There are lots of reasons why you may want to change your preferences. Perhaps you got a better (or worse) ATAR or OP than you expected, or maybe you’ve just done more research and changed your mind.
Either way, it’s quick and easy to change your preferences.
If you’ve applied for Uni through one of the tertiary admissions centres, all the information about how to change your preferences will be available on their website. And if you’re finding the process confusing then just pick up the phone and call them – their staff will be happy to walk you through it.
You’ll need to login and password you created when you originally applied, so dig those out and hop online to see what you need to do next.
|State||Admissions Centre||Results Release Date||Change of Preferences Closes|
|NSW & ACT||UAC||14 December||By midnight 16 December|
|Victoria||VTAC||14 December||between 10am and 4pm 4 January|
|Queensland||QTAC||15 December||By 4.30pm 8 January|
|WA||TISC||17 December||By 11pm 18 December|
|SA & NT||SATAC||Check with SATAC /
SACE target date 18 December
|Tasmania||UTAS||18 December||End of Week 1 Semester 1 (March)|
If you’ve applied for Uni through one of the direct entry institutions, check out their website for information or give their admissions centre a quick call. Find out how to go about it, what you’ll need to have on hand and, most importantly, what date change of preferences closes.
The whole results-to-offers process moves quite quickly, so if you’re thinking you might want (or have) to change your preferences then keep reading…
Don’t want to change your preferences? Great – you’ve probably picked the right courses. Move on, make a cup of tea, and sit back and wait for the offers to roll in.
Lots of people change their preferences, particularly after the results are released. Here are some of the reasons they give for wanting to change:
- You aced your exams and your ATAR / OP is way better than you expected. You can apply for courses you always dreamt of but weren’t confident about meeting the entry criteria
- Or, perhaps exam time was tough on you and you didn’t get the score you hoped for – you can choose courses with lower entry requirements (you might be able to swap over to your original choice mid-way through the year)
- Maybe you’ve had a change of heart about what you’d like to study now that the pressure to apply and study is off
- After a bit more research you’ve found a course you prefer, a new course that’s become available, or you realise you haven’t numbered your preferences correctly on your application
- The university has cancelled a course or adjusted the entry requirements and you need to make a new choice
TBH it makes sense that you’d spend more time thinking about your preferences once exams are done – you’ve barely got time to breathe when you’re in the middle of your HSC, and uni seems like it’s off in the far distant future, so why would you give it your full and undivided attention?
If any of the above apply, then you can change your preferences after your results are released – get it done before the cut-off date for the change of preferences though. Or you’ll end up hanging about waiting again to see if you made it through to second or third round offers.
What you should think about before you make changes
- Don’t change your preferences just because you get a higher score than you expected. If you’re happy with your preferences then stick with them – there’s no such thing as ‘wasting’ a good ATAR or OP
- Research any changes you make thoroughly before committing to them so that you know you’re making a good choice
- Make sure any courses you add (or move up your list of preferences) meet all your requirements and that you are eligible for entry
Don’t freak out
If you don’t end up getting offered a place on the course you wanted, don’t panic. You could get offered the course you wanted in the second – or even third – round of offers.
You’re never going to be locked-in to anything, you can change your mind about what and where you study at any time. There will always be paperwork involved but that’s as serious as it gets.
Plenty of students change their degrees or majors while they’re at Uni, and you’ll always be encouraged and helped out by the staff. They want you to stay and complete a degree, so don’t quit if you find you’re struggling with your chosen course or you just don’t like it.
Research alternative pathways
If you’re feeling despondent after getting your ATAR / OP score as you don’t meet the entry requirements for your dream course, don’t give up.
There are lots of options to get you where you want to be without wasting any time:
- Speak to the admissions centre at the Universities for their recommendations
- you might be able to start on a different course and swap over to your preferred course
- they might have a similar course with lower entry requirements that could suit you perfectly
- you could try a more generalised course with options to specialise in your area of interest later
- Investigate with TAFE, university pathway colleges, or other institutions about bridging courses you can do over the next year
Get more help
Many Universities run ‘change of preference’ or ‘course information’ sessions right about now.
They’ll also have lots of information about preparation courses you can do, extracurricular activities that’ll be on offer, accommodation and other services, plus alternative entry options – you should really consider attending.
Here’s a list of all the sessions, it’ll give you time to decide if you’re going to go along to any and organise how you’ll get there
Change of Preference Dates:
(December 15- 19)
North Terrace Campus
North Terrace & Flinders Connect
Macquarie University – Explore Your Options Week (13th – 22nd)
CQUniversity Brisbane – Level One, Room 1.07
CQUniversity Bundaberg – Foyer, Building One
CQUniversity Cairns – Level Three, Foyer
CQUniversity Gladstone Marina – Grand Court, Leo Zussino Building
CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea – Ground Floor, Room G.08, Building 19
CQUniversity Rockhampton City – Ground Floor, Room G.27, Building 65
CQUniversity Townsville – Foyer, Building Two
(December 15- 19)