How your ATAR or OP score affects you

You’ve put in the hard yards, now what will your ATAR or OP reveal about your performance?


So you worked really hard and you’re pretty chuffed about how you might have performed in the HSC/VCE? This will translate into a nice ATAR or OP score but what does this score really mean and how will this reflect your capabilities, talent and ability to extend into formal study in the creative industries?

Why your ATAR or OP score may not accurately reflect your aptitude for tertiary study.

It’s generally assumed that students who do well at school will go on to do well at university, and students who perform poorly at school will continue to under achieve in their tertiary studies. Victoria Institute for Strategic Economic Studies senior research fellow George Messinis has found that, neither is necessarily the case, stating that ‘while students with high ATARs/OPs achieved higher first-year university marks on average, many high-ATAR/OP students also achieved low marks and many low-ATAR/OP students achieved top marks when they pursued higher education’. 

This is especially the case with creative courses and creative students, who often excel when they have the chance to study and participate in subjects that reflect their passion. Many students may not get the opportunity to study many creative courses at high school, which could also affect their results. For example, you may be coming top in your music courses but don’t enjoy English as much which has the potential to drag your ATAR/OP score down. This is very important when it comes to considering students and their ATAR/OP scores especially for creative universities such as JMC Academy. 

Why your ATAR/OP score may not accurately reflect your capabilities

Other factors such as age, gender, socio-economic background and English proficiency also played a big role in student achievement. A report, backed by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education at Curtin University, reflects an earlier WA study which showed that students from disadvantaged schools tended to do better at university than those with similar entry scores from schools in more privileged areas.

It is now widely understood that a relatively low ATAR/OP may actually reflect the coincidence of their social background or where they went to school, rather than their true capabilities and potential.

Why passion and creativity outweigh ATAR/OP performance at JMC Academy 

Many universities have a minimum ATAR/OP score entry, meaning that if your result is affected by other students in your school, it could mean you do not get into the University of your choosing.  However, most schools such as JMC Academy understand that creative people tend to excel in non-traditional ATAR/OP subjects which may form the basis of their results. Consequently, JMC Academy offers an alternative pathway to students who may have missed the mark of 65 (ATAR) or 16 OP, for entry into study to pursue a career they love irrespective!  

An alternative pathway to your degree

Alternative admission at JMC Academy will give you entry into a Diploma which articulates into a Bachelor Degree upon successful completion of the Diploma.

Domestic students can qualify for alternative entry on the basis of:
•    A completed application form
•    Minimum age of 17 years
•    Interview
•    Audition (for Music)
•    No minimum ATAR or OP required
•    To have completed year 12 or equivalent

For more information on alternative entry, click here...

For more information on the courses available at JMC Academy, click here...