Victorian school leavers can cross off another milestone in their strangest year of learning.VCE results have been released to tens of thousands of final year students.
A whopping 98.3 per cent of students who set out to complete their VCE this year achieved their goal, with 50,284 officially completing the task on Wednesday morning.
Students can now access their ATAR and their VCE results at the official VCAA website: resultsandatar.vic.edu.au
VTAC, the governing body, began the day with a message of encouragement for all students;
"You did it, 2020 Year 12s. No matter what your results are, remember you have navigated the toughest year in living memory with impressive spirit and determination," VTAC posted.
The release of the rankings is two weeks later than normal to account for the exam period delayed because of months of remote learning.
What is unknown though is the impact of COVID on the scores that will help decide the university courses that are offered to the students for next year.
Across the state, 38 students achieved an ATAR of 99.95. The average ATAR across all students was 68.14 with an average of 69.45 for female students and 66.60 for male students.
The impact of COVID and remote learning on each year 12 student was individually assessed during term four and university rankings will be adjusted to account for the hardship that months of remote learning and COVID uncertainty had on their final year of secondary schooling.
Students received their ATAR online or via text message from 7am Wednesday.
Students have until noon on January 4 to change their university preferences, with the first round of offers to be released on January 14.
With so much focus on the final score after such a difficult year, education experts have reassured students that even if they don't reach the ATAR they were aiming for, there are many different paths to get them to the job or career they want.
headspace Ballarat reminded students there was always support available.
"You're so much more than a number on a piece of paper," they said in a Facebook post.
Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) director Catherine Wills congratulated students on their resilience and determination in successfully completing their VCE despite the challenges of 2020.
"All students who were able to complete the VCE in 2020, should be proud of what they have achieved, and confident of their ability to successfully navigate their next steps."
Experts on post-school pathways agreed that while a good ATAR score was handy, it was just one of many pathways to work and study.
"When the ATAR arrives 'it is what it is'. If it is high enough to gain access to the program of your choice, then that is great. If it isn''t, this is where the fun begins.
"The ATAR (whatever its value) is the starting point for the next stage of life's journey where you can start to plot and plan to explore the myriad of alternative pathways that will lead you to your your ultimate goal. The journey might be different, but the ultimate satisfaction of achieving your goals is just as empowering."
Federation University and ACU both have advisors available on the phone and online to help advise students before the change of preference deadline.
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