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Does a High ATAR Score 99.95% guarantee you a Happy and Successful Career?

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Does a High ATAR Score 99.95% guarantee you a Happy and Successful Career?

Not necessarily.

In the past we have seen that of more than 65,000 school leavers in NSW, only 48 of them achieved HSC ATAR scores of 99.95% that will allow them to apply for medicine at Sydney University. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that of this 48 some would still miss out on the 30 places offered at the University. There are many reasons why students miss out, one is that some students are just not suited to the profession.

In addition to gaining high ATAR scores, universities will interview potential undergraduate candidates to assess their general attributes and skill suitability such as interaction with others, critical thinking and problem solving. Although these students are outstanding performers in the classroom, many professions with high ATAR result requirements are not always suited to some individuals. It leaves me to question whether these students understand the professions soft skill requirements or have they selected a profession based solely on their high ATAR results.

I see many first-year university students drop out of their selected course within the first 6 weeks of the university opening semester. Because some students pursue a career based solely on their HSC ATAR scores, they don’t realise how important their choice should be based on their values, passions, personality, life experiences, and beliefs.

To learn about what career will give meaning and purpose to a student’s life, students need to gain knowledge about themselves, their experiences and how they will match this against career options available to them. The ideal time to do this is in the final years of a student’s schooling. Yes, there is a lot going on, but can you really afford not to spend a few hours seriously planning the next 5 years of your life!

Today’s world of work is dominated by constant change and student’s career plans need to be flexible and strategic if they are to be successful. When things don’t go the way you expect, you need to change the plan fast. If you don’t have a strategic plan, remember you will be competing in a bigger pond with students who have sought out personalised career guidance and have a plan. If there are 65,000 school leavers in NSW and you compare that number to the numbers in your school year that should give you an idea of how large the pond is when you leave the school gates and that’s just NSW. For those students missing out on medical degrees, what are their next moves and how committed are they to pursuing the profession despite being rejected at the first stage of entry?

The ATAR scores you achieve is just a score, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get into the course you wanted, it does not define you and what you can achieve in the future. Sometimes obstacles are put in front of us to see how passionate we are in pursuing what matters to us.

Career Development is an ongoing journey for all of us, review of where we have been, what is happening now and where we want to go. It is an ongoing process. If you didn’t make it into your course, there are always other options perhaps ones you have not considered before. A career option that requires lower ATAR scores may be what gives you the fulfilling and successful career you are looking for.

So remember….

Have a strategic career plan in place and you will be able to maneuver and become resilient despite obstacles and challenges put in your pathway.

2 comments on “Does a High ATAR Score 99.95% guarantee you a Happy and Successful Career?
  1. Great post. I got a score in the high 90’s a few years back but selected a university degree that only required a score of 40! I don’t regret a second of it either, as I now have my own business doing what I love.

  2. Gina Bell on said:

    Thanks Gavan for sharing your experience. It just goes to show that regardless of the ATAR score you achieve, there are a lot of other things to consider in finding a career that makes you happy.

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