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ATAR not everything

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Students’ future careers don’t have to live and die by their ATAR score as an increasing number of institutions are looking beyond entrance rankings when admitting students.

Attitude and ambition will not always show up on a student’s ATAR and past academic results are not always a true gauge of academic potential and future career success. This is why institutions like the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) are implementing robust entry requirements that are not based solely on a student’s ATAR.

According to the University Admissions Centre (UAC), the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a rank, and not a mark. Students are placed on a numeric scale between 0.00 and 99.95, indicating a student’s position relative to all the students who started high school with them in Year 7. For example, an ATAR of 80.00 means that a student is 20 percent from the top of the Year 7 group (not the Year 12 group). The average ATAR is usually around 70.00.

“At ICMS we believe that a student’s ATAR score is not a true reflection on future academic capabilities. That is why our entry requirements are not based solely on the ATAR,” ICMS CEO and President Dr Dominic John Szambowski said.

Entry into ICMS courses and degrees is based on an application interview and on a student’s performance in individual HSC subjects (or equivalent) related to the degree chosen. The student’s ATAR is taken into account, but is not the main criteria for acceptance.

Interviews with prospective students are done on a one-to-one basis with an ICMS staff member. The interview is structured as a way to recognise other important factors besides academic results, such as a student’s enthusiasm or unique abilities, that will determine their success at ICMS.

 “In addition to the ATAR, we look at each student’s attitude, determination and motivation, as these are the attributes that differentiate our students and put them on the path to success,” Dr Szambowski said.

“We focus on the individual students - looking at individual marks and an interview, all in an effort to look at the individual’s ability to study at ICMS,” he added.

Prospective students are encouraged to apply directly with ICMS and also through UAC. Applying via UAC could mean consideration for an ICMS High Academic Place, which could mean that a portion of tuition fees are subsidised by ICMS. The ICMS High Academic Places are only available to the February student intake.


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