Your ATAR Isn't Everything...The Many Paths To A Degree

As high school students launch into the annual stress test of end-of-year exams, a related bout of anxiety begins to set in: the widespread fretting about ATAR scores and what it will mean for future lives and careers.

FORTUNATELY, at Macleay College, that final score does not represent the be-all-and-end-all of your prospects. 

In the modern era, it has become essential for tertiary institutions to look beyond the blunt instrument of ATAR when it comes to providing educational opportunities for students. This is particularly important given research has identified concerning degrees of ATAR anxiety among students.

A ReachOut survey in 2018 found that worrying levels of exam stress had increased from 51.2 per cent of students in 2017 to 65.1 per cent a year later. In an earlier survey, conducted in 2015, 42 per cent of Year 12 students in NSW reported high-level anxiety symptoms - high enough to be of clinical concern. Sixteen per cent of students reported extremely severe levels of anxiety, while 37 per cent reported above-average levels.



Macleay's Pathways program gives students peace of mind about their options post-high school.


Which is why the Macleay Pathways program will come as a relief to any students worried about their ATAR and contemplating their next step.

Essentially, Pathways offers an ATAR-free entry point to a degree in one of six courses offered by Macleay at its Sydney and Melbourne campuses: Accounting; Advertising and Media; Business; Digital Media; Journalism; and Marketing.

With Pathways, even if your ATAR score means you have missed out on entry to a Bachelor’s degree at Macleay, you can instead choose a Diploma in the same course. The Diplomas can be completed in 12 months (or the equivalent of three trimesters study) - and require no ATAR.


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On their own, the Diplomas open the door to employment opportunities - but they also provide entry to our Bachelor courses. After successfully completing your diploma, you receive credit for that course and progress into a Bachelor degree - which can be completed in two years, or the equivalent of six trimesters.




Our fast-tracked courses are offered both in Melbourne and Sydney and enable our graduates to enter into the workforce sooner and job-ready.


It is all part of the Macleay philosophy of making education accessible, and as student-friendly as possible. In the same spirit, Macleay offers the benefits of smaller class sizes; lecturers who are active in their industries; and classes spread across three days of the week to allow you to pursue other interests.’ 

According to the authoritative QILT scores (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching), Macleay outperforms Australia’s big universities for learner engagement; teaching quality; student support; skills development; and quality of the entire educational experience.

So as students enter this stressful exam period of 2019, it is worth remembering that the exams don’t define your future - and nor does your ATAR score.



Macleay's small class sizes and collaborative learning allow students to thrive in a personalised environment. 


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To find out more about Pathways at Macleay, call us on 1300 939 888 or email Our team is happy to advise you over the phone or arrange a visit to one of our campuses to observe the Macleay experience first-hand.

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Why choose a Course at Macleay College?

At Macleay College we believe in real-world course content to ensure you're job ready.

  • Our course material and teaching method incorporates the latest industry practices and real-world experience.
  • Our lecturers have industry experience and up-to-date knowledge.
  • Our small classes feature personalised teaching that nurtures your unique strengths.

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