TOP 10 TIPS FOR YEAR 10 STUDENTS CHOOSING THEIR HSC COURSES
- Choose what you’re good at, interested in and which will lay a foundation for your future plans.
- Choose HSC courses best suited to your ability. Don’t choose courses just because of scaling or because you think they will give you a better ATAR.
- Make the link between your choice now and where you want to go after Year 12.
- Check if the uni you want to go to (and/or the course you want to do) has prerequisites and assumed knowledge – this booklet has all this info.
- If you want to get an ATAR, make sure you will be eligible.
- Depending on what you study, marks around 70 in the HSC could lead to an ATAR in the 50s, while marks closer to 80 could lead to an ATAR of 80. This is because most students have marks between 70 and 80 so when you are ranked that group really spreads out.
- If you are getting marks in the 70s do whatever you can to get closer to 80 – it will make a big difference to your ATAR.
- Remember that unis award bonus points for your performance in particular HSC courses, and usually for Bands 4 and above.
- If you’re not sure what level maths and English to take, choose the level that suits your ability and future plans. You will not necessarily get a higher ATAR just by studying a lower level course, and unis don’t always give bonus points for the lower level courses, no matter how well you do. Also check prerequisites in case you need to get a certain performance band.
- To maximise your ATAR you have to make good choices about what to study, work to the best of your ability and work towards your goals for life after school.
STEPS TO UNI FOR YEAR 10 STUDENTS
In Year 10 you will select the courses that you will study for the next two years. This is an exciting time with many choices available. The following guidelines will help you make the best possible decisions.
1. IDENTIFY YOUR END GOAL
Set aside some time to imagine what you would like to do after you finish school, whether you plan to work or study. To study at university, you must select ATAR courses in Years 11 and 12. Even if you’re not sure whether tertiary study is for you, selecting ATAR courses will allow you the flexibility to change your mind down the track.
2. CONSIDER YOUR ABILITIES AND INTERESTS
Choosing courses you enjoy and perform well in will give you the best chance of achieving a high ATAR and gaining access to university. Avoid choosing a course simply because it scales well. If you don’t get good marks, scaling won’t make much difference.
3. EXPLORE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
It is important to select the degree you need to get the job you want. Career expos and university open days are an invaluable source of information on career choices, as is speaking to family, friends, teachers and careers advisers. Consider doing work experience in your area of interest so you can better assess whether a certain career path is a good match for you. If you’re not sure about the career path you want to follow, choose subjects that will keep several options open for you.
4. RESEARCH STUDY OPTIONS
The courses you choose in Years 11 and 12 should reflect the degree you want to study at university. UAC’s Steps to Study for Year 10 Students lists the prerequisites, recommended studies and/or assumed knowledge necessary for entry to different degrees. This publication is available for free as a download or you can buy the printed book from the UAC Shop.
Use the UAC course search to browse courses that interest you and read course descriptions. Attend Year 10 information evenings held by universities and find out which HSC courses will prepare you for the university degrees that interest you. Remember, when selecting HSC courses, it’s more important to consider your end goal, abilities and interests, than to think about how subjects will be scaled.