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University entry processes

The information we have presented within this resource is basic and general. If you are interested in using one of the alternative entry pathways it is essential that you do further research. Here are some basic tips on how to find out more about existing uni entry processes.

  • Get an early start with your research. Some admission processes close as early as August. Also you may need more time to get hold of all the relevant pieces of documentation needed for an application not based on your ATAR score.
  • Make a plan that sets out which processes you want to learn more about and where to find the information. Update your plan as you go and be sure to write down advice from others about how to find more details.
  • Keep notes about information you learn, the people who were most helpful in your search and their contact details, and any useful written material or websites.
  • Start your research with the Universities Admissions Centre website and Guide. The UAC website gives explanations of the various types of admissions processes. Each uni's entry in the UAC Guide will also make brief reference to the specific alternative entry processes at the uni.
  • Find out more about the processes at each of the unis you are interested in attending.
  • Ask lots of questions of both school and uni staff. At school talk to your teachers, year adviser and/or careers adviser. The uni staff you should approach with questions will generally include the admissions officer, course adviser of the course you intend to enter and the disability liaison officer.
  • You can also speak to your local National Disability Coordination Officer.
  • Ask which University staff you should speak to for further information or advice. Most universities now have a call centre and online service for future student enquiries. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to ask lots of questions and get the most up to date info straight from the University itself. Remember these staff are employed just to help you.
  • Be sure to find out the following details about any entry process you want to seriously consider:
    • basic explanation of the process, including any specific name the uni uses to describe the process
    • any minimum entry criteria required of applicants
    • closing date for applications using this process
    • criteria used to select successful applicants
    • where and how to make an application
    • what documentation an applicant needs to submit
    • whether this process will allow you to enter the specific course(s) you want to enter and
    • who to approach with any questions about your application.

Course entry requirements

Because getting into uni is a competitive process, the uni course you eventually get into will depend on whether you meet the course entry requirements and how you compete with the other applicants.

Therefore it is essential that you find out about course entry requirements before making the decision about which course to apply for. Follow these steps to check out which courses you are likely to meet the entry criteria for:

  • Get to know the Universities Admissions Centre (NSW & ACT) (UAC)'s Guide and website very well. Learn about the entry requirements for each course you are considering.
  • Find out whether the course has entry criteria additional to your Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). This could be subject pre-requisites, auditions, interview, applicant questionnaire, submission of art portfolios - or that you achieve a particular level of bands in HSC subjects (in some cases achieving the band requirement could help you enter a course even if your ATAR is lower than the cutoff. The best place to find this information is in the UAC Guide, UAC website and UAC's 'University Entry Requirements Booklet' (released each year to help Year 10 students to choose HSC subjects in preparation for uni).
  • Do a 'reality check' about what entry requirements you are most likely to meet. At this stage it is important that you reflect honestly and reasonably on your chances of meeting course entry requirements. You might also think about whether you need to adjust your goals, do more preparation for uni and/or consider alternative ways into uni or other options for getting into your preferred career.
  • Remember there are alternative entry pathways into uni that may help boost your chances of gaining entry into your preferred course.