How To Maximise Your ATAR
Updated: May 20
I've got a young student who is looking at ways to maximize their ATAR. Unfortunately, the reality is ATAR's a big part of getting into Uni and a lot of students have got to focus on trying to get the most out of it.
Pick Subjects You Enjoy
There are a couple of ways that you can do it, but the first thing that I want to say above anything else is if there is a subject that you just hate, that you just don't get along with, don't pick it.
It doesn't matter how big the boost is, if you are not enjoying the subject at all, you're going to, first of all, just put it at the back of your mind and not prioritize it, which means that you're going to get a really average score, and even if it's bumped up, you won't get as much as if you did say, a less advanced subject that you just happen to absolutely smash.
So if you hate math, then don't pick Specialist Maths for the ATAR boost.
VCE Subjects That Are Boosted
Having said that, there are a few subjects that you can pick that obviously will maximize your score. Unfortunately the reality is that science-based subjects are the ones that get boosted the most.
So things like picking Specialist Maths, even Maths Methods, Physics, Chemistry (Biology not as much because it's a more popular option); these subjects will definitely boost your study score.
If you have got a knack for maths, I would recommend taking on Specialist if you're looking for that ATAR boost. It is a complex subject. It does take a fair bit of work, but the payoff for getting even the most mediocre of results is pretty massive.
Languages Are A Great Pick
The other one that I would suggest, which not a lot of people think of is consider pursuing a language subject all the way through to the end of Year 12.
Languages have one of the biggest scaling values, for lack of a better term, then pretty much any other subject.
I studied French when I was in Year 12 and once it was scaled, I actually ended up getting over 50 for a study school, which is pretty good because the study score is out of 50. After it got scaled and bumped up because of the ranking that I had, it ended up being something like 51 or 52 out of 50, like crazy, crazy numbers. When the reality is that I think I got forties, mid forties, lower mid forties, something like that. I spoke French, I was kind of cheating, but my point is that language subjects, if you can put in the commitment, have a massive, massive score boost.
So the two biggest factors that I can attribute to a pretty solid ATAR, to be honest, was the fact that I did some advanced Maths subjects and I did a language all the way through Year 12.
Those two things alone managed to bump my score into the high nineties. Now this is going past the fact that I studied a music subject, which is actually scaled down. I studied further maths, which was scaled down, and I studied English. My English score was okay, it was nothing special. It was pretty average.
Now as an idea those are some of the things that you can definitely do. The ATAR unfortunately is a large part about how much commitment you have, and also which subjects you pick. So if you're looking for a scaled ATAR, a way to sort of get the most out of your work, unfortunately the reality is that science based subjects and/or languages are definitely the way to go.
But having said that, don't forget that thing that I said right at the start of this video. If you hate a subject, don't do it because if you get a 20 in French, you still won't do as well as if you get say a 40 in art, which you clearly enjoy more.
So make sure you prioritize subjects that you actually are interested in because that is the only way to actually achieve those high results. You've got to have some level of interest in it so that you can put in the time and the energy to get the results that you actually need.
If you guys have any other questions about maybe thinking about what subjects may or may not work for your ATARs and study scores, all that sort of stuff, whack it in the comments, I'd love to hear from you.