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COVID-19 and uni: Q&A for Year 12s

This article appears in: High school to uni
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If you’re getting ready to transition from high school to further studies amidst COVID-19, you probably already anticipated a more stressful year than usual. The pandemic, the lockdown, and the economy wobbles have added a few more worries.

So, how should you be preparing for uni? Here are your most pressing questions answered.

What will uni admissions look like in 2021?

It’s confirmed that Year 12 examinations and ATAR are going ahead.  If  your ATAR hopes and fears are keeping you up at night, you’re not the only one. A 2019 study found that 75 per cent of students feel their ATAR will impact the rest of their life. And the events of 2020 are likely to have spiked that number.

So let’s unpack the ATAR myth. It’s time to tackle ATAR anxiety.

Your ATAR is an important piece of the admission puzzle for higher education degrees, but not the whole puzzle. First of all, the ATAR is not a fixed score, it’s a ranking. You and other Year 12 students who are going through very similar circumstances will be ranked along each other. The likelihood you will be impacted in a similar way to your peers is high.

And if you do feel that you’re at a disadvantage because of COVID-19, don’t hide it. Explain why you think that is, and the impact it’s had on your studies, and add it as a personal statement to your application.

The other thing to remember around admissions is that there are a lot of different ways to come to uni. If you meet the ATAR requirements for your course, you can explore different pathways, such as a university pathway or bridging program, like CDU’s free Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP), or a vocational education and training course. It doesn’t all rest on that magic number.

Contact CDU’s Student Central dream team for help mapping your options.

Read more: Four pathways to get into university

How will going to uni look after COVID-19?

The simple answer is there are many different shapes uni study could take. A lot is still unknown about the virus. Change is still likely to happen at any moment and we want our community and our students to be in the best position possible to face that change.

When choosing your preferences, make sure you pick an institution and a course that allows for flexibility and could quickly adapt to any changes.

CDU has been delivering distance and online education for 30 years, so we have everything in place to enable 100 per cent online study, should the need for it arise at any time next year.

Stay up to date with the latest information on COVID-19 for CDU students.

How are universities preventing the spread of the virus?

Universities are excellent collaborators and that’s what they’ve been doing to stop the spread of the virus. As soon as the COVID-19 concerns were raised, Australian universities, including CDU, closely followed the advice of health authorities and moved to prevent the spread.

At CDU, many of our classes can be attended online to reduce face-to-face teaching and make social distancing easier. We also offer 24/7 online tutoring and learning support. See how some of CDU’s Colleges are implementing innovative online amidst COVID-19.  

We will continue to implement safety measures to slow down community transmission and observe the advice of relevant government authorities.

What about making friends at uni?

Starting uni is one of the most exciting times of your life for new and long-lasting friendships. How will you form those new connections, when social distancing is still very much the norm?

Remember that social distancing doesn’t mean social disconnection. There are many ways to stay connected and make friends using technology.

Because CDU is a leader in online learning, our systems and staff are already set up to encourage collaboration online with your peers.

Thankfully, the Territory’s social scene has been recovering, so you’ll have opportunities to spend face-to-face time with your new peers well.

As a year 12 student in 2020, you are without a doubt facing an unexpected level of stress compared to normal circumstances. Be easy on yourself. And don’t lose sight of the many opportunities available to you.

As things are changing on the ground, be sure to keep in touch with CDU’s Student Central team, who can give you the latest updates around all things admission, pathways and COVID-19 impact.

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