Students around Australia will soon be receiving their ATARs, which inevitably leads to a state of confusion — particularly for those who have the option of changing their preferences.
Most states will allow students to change their preferences between each offer round. The main reasons for students finding themselves navigating the Change of Preference period is if they have received a different score than expected, or if they have changed their mind since submitting their initial preferences.
Change of preference dates
More information on each state’s change of preference dates is listed below.
2021 change of preference dates for Victoria
- Admissions body: Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC)
- Change of preference deadline: Monday 4 January 20201 (first round offers)
- More information: www.vtac.edu.au/dates.html
2021 change of preference dates for ACT and NSW
- Admissions body: Universities Admissions Centre (UAC)
- First preference offer round: There are two offer rounds each month
- Change of preference deadline: Open most of the time — there are short periods before each offer round when you are unable to change your preferences in your application.
- More information: www.uac.edu.au/assets/documents/ug-fact-sheets/ug-fact-sheet-key-dates.pdf
2021 change of preference dates for Queensland
- Admissions body: Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC)
- Due date to apply and submit documents: Wednesday 9 December 2020
- Change of preference deadline: 12pm Monday 21 December 2020
- More information: www.qtac.edu.au/key-dates
2021 change of preference dates for Western Australia
- Admissions body: Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC)
- Change of preference deadline: Friday 8 January 2021
- More information: www.tisc.edu.au/static/guide/tisc-calendar-current.tisc
2021 change of preference dates for South Australia and Northern Territory
- Admissions body: South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC)
- First preference offer round: Thursday 3 December 2020
- Change of preference deadline: Thursday 7 January 2021
- More information: www.satac.edu.au/pages/undergraduate-key-dates
2021 change of preference dates for Tasmania
- Applications managed directly by the institution.
The Good Universities Guide is hosting a change of Preference Expo
The online webinars take place from 10am–3pm in your state’s local time on the following dates:
- Victoria and Tasmania: Wednesday 30 December 2020
- NSW and ACT: Friday 18 December 2020
- Queensland: Tuesday 22 December 2020
- South Australia: Monday 21 December 2020
Tips from a career advisor on changing your preferences
Helen Green of Career Confident has provided these tips for things you may wish to consider when ordering (or re-ordering) your preferences:
- Prerequisites: Do you have the requisite subjects for all courses on your list? Not all similar courses have the same prerequisites.
- Your interests: Consider first year subject descriptions, majors/minors offered and the extent to which they align with your interests. Do you know what the course fees are?
- Opportunities: How important is it for you to have the opportunity for an overseas study exchange or work integrated learning placement as part of your course? Internships really add value.
- Your strengths: If you have multiple interests and strengths, will the course you have selected give you opportunities to try different specialisations in first year before you select a stream?
- Electives: How much flexibility do you have to choose electives? Can you take cross institutional subjects or subjects from another faculty as part of your course if this is of interest to you?
- Your other commitments: What are your work or other commitments and how do they fit into the course timetable/contact hours? How long will it take you to travel to university? Will online learning suit you if Universities are not back to full campus teaching in 2021?
- Pathways: If you are taking a generalist degree first with the intent on further study, what pathways to further courses are possible? Any limitations?
- Accreditation: Is the course professionally accredited with an industry body (if relevant)? This is important and whilst on the subject, it is a terrific idea to join a professional body as a student member once you start studying.