RE: The new ATAR system
posted in General Discussion
When I was at school about 10 years back it was a pretty simple system. You did all your internal work (at the beginning of the year you were provided with a handbook which told you for every subject what assessments would come up when and how much they would be weighted). The final task would be your trial exams, and when you had completed that you would get a final internal mark and a ranking. You would then complete the external exam and get another mark. These two would be averaged and a final score would be provided.
If your school had an internal program that was easier/harder this would be discovered by the final exam marks and adjusted accordingly, however if your scores were scaled your ranking would not change (if I was ranked #1 in the internal program I would maintain the highest scaled score for that component).
To develop an ATAR (UAI for me) was a bit more difficult, based on your results and your subject difficulty, a ranking was obtained. Students would get so worried about the subjects they chose that some even wanted to repeat year 11 with better subject selections to scale themselves higher. The teachers would all just tell you to work hard and try your best and not worry about logistics. In the end those who followed that advice were the ones who achieved their best possible results and those who worried about it maybe under performed a little. Also remember that your year 12 results are only one of many ways into university. Once your are there your high school results mean nothing, your ATAR may be a talking point with a few new friends you make in your first 2-3 weeks but otherwise nobody really cares by that point.
Just remember, if you get to university the first year there is a similar level to year 12 (or at least the first half of each unit is). I did not study Economics in high school but every year my first year Economics subjects spent a few weeks covering year 12 Economics. Since I had studied Business in year 12 some of the areas that I had covered then were a bit easier at Uni, but it gave me more time to focus on other subjects.