If you hate school, leaving IS AN OPTION. There is no point hanging around at school if you hate it.
If you are worried that you won’t ever get into uni, you need to know that only 26% of uni students go straight there via the ATAR pathway. Most university students get there through some other pathway.
If you are worried that you won’t ever get a well paid job, you need to find out about modern trends in lifelong learning and careers.
Good things about leaving school
You will feel better.
You will make new friends.
You will discover new things to enjoy.
Don’t jump too quickly
Don’t wait until you are ready to leave to start preparing. (If you are in Year 9 see the tips below.)
As soon as you start thinking of leaving school, talk to a career advisor. They can help you to:
Do career quizzes and narrow down the jobs you would like.
Explore different jobs through VET courses and work experience.
Develop your work readiness and job application skills through part-time work and volunteering
Link you with appropriate support services that can support you as you leave school.
If you don’t have a school career advisor, go to a Jobs and Skills Centre for free career advice.
Each Training Hub is managed by a full-time Career Facilitator, providing an on-the-ground presence while delivering Training Hub services.
Career Facilitators work with and encourage young people to build skills and choose occupations in demand in their region, creating better linkages between schools and local industry, repositioning vocational education and training as a first-choice option.
They mainly focus on year 11 and 12s but if you are in Year 10 you may be able to engage with their services.
How to leave school
Arrange a full-time job, enrol in a full-time course or organise a combination of both.
Get your parents to fill out and sign a Notice of Arrangement which details what you will do if you get permission to leave school.
The Notice of Arrangement is forwarded by your school to the Minister for Education for consideration.
You will be informed of the Minister’s decision. It won’t be a straight “no”. You will either have your application approved, or you will be told what extra things you need to do in order to get approval.
In Western Australia you must stay at school until you finish Year 10, then you can get special permission to leave school before you finish Year 12 if you have:
a full time job or
full time study
Or a combination of both.
In most cases you need to be 15 to be employed or 13 to work in a fast food outlet. (There are exceptions to this. You can see details of the exceptions HERE.)
Tell people you want a job.
You can get a job through family and friends, through volunteering and impressing employers, through work experience and through part time work.
No OLNA or English Qualification?:
There are foundation and introductory courses at TAFE that do not have any English or maths requirements. You can be accepted into some of these courses while you are still of school age.
Go to a Jobs and Skills Centre for information about the courses that are available and which course would be best for you.
Year 11 or 12:
If you are okay academically but don’t want to go to school, go to a Jobs and Skills Centre and do an aptitude test, talk to a counsellor and get advice about your study options.
3. Work and Study
If you get an apprenticeship or traineeship you will be doing on the job and off the job training.
You may be able to start studying a part time VET course now, and combine your study with a part time job.
Common pathways from school
You can end up ahead of your friends who complete their WACE if you start a VET course early. You can do a Certificate II in Health Support Services and follow through with higher studies in the health sector.
Common pathway from school
You can’t go wrong with qualifications in computing, particularly if you have a detailed, problem solving brain.
If you are in Middle School and you are hating school:
Talk with your friends about what to do
Check with a career counsellor
If you care for a family member, get support fromYoung-Carers
Go to your closestJobs and Skills Centreto find out about alternatives to school in your area. They have information about courses and about jobs.
The new Career Taster Programin WA schools gives Year 9s the chance to learn about opportunities after school. Through the Taster Program you will meet workers who will tell you about what their work involves.
Through your contacts you may get additional volunteer experience, or a part time job.
If you want to leave school early, don’t just jump. There are people and services around to help you to smooth your path into a life that you find much more fun than school.
Start to check out possible jobs.
Investigate some of the services about in the mind map.
Start to talk to people who will help you to start your new life.
Good luck with your new adventures.
There are outstanding teachers in all disciplines in Western Australia, but great teaching doesn’t lead students to make great career choices. Career Educators are the light on the hill that students and families need.
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Keep up to date with the latest career opportunities in Western Australia.
Training organisations that are not associated with UCAT offer additional training. UCAT has this to say about those organisations:
Commercial organisations will be using questions that are not necessarily of the standard you will encounter in the UCAT and this may distort your performance whilst practising. Screen views may be different and commercial organisations are unlikely to include the new question types, which you may encounter in your test. They may also not replicate the UCAT scoring and banding accurately and may give misleading indicators of your anticipated UCAT score.
Good luck to all of you who aim to get into medicine.
Subscribe to In Focus Careers News to discover trends, career ideas and opportunities for the future for West Australians
You can use the skills you developed when coming to high school to guide your transition from high school to uni.
Tip 1: Where
Online Study V On Campus
Get your student number and connection to the internet sorted. You will be given instructions about how to do this around Christmas time with the offer that comes after the final TISC results come out.
If face to face classes are available on campus, go to them. Uni is so much more than curated information about different subjects.
On Campus Accommodation
If you CAN stay on campus, do that.
We want students to stay at the on campus accommodation, whether they are from South East Asia or South Perth.
Professor Harlene Hayne, Vice Chancellor Curtin University
St Catherine’s College Curtin
There are people employed by residential colleges who have knowledge, networks and power to create an amazing university life for you. You will make friends for life, get help with study and create networks that will lead to jobs.
If you will be taking public transport to uni, figure out the best route and timetable and find out how to get your SmartRiderticket.
Not being able to find parking when you are under pressure can break you.
Get your parking stickers/app during the holidays. Find where you can park and where to find parking during peak hours. Try to find free parking, although most good free spots will be taken by students who have been at uni for a while.
Go to movies, food van markets, play sport or join clubs on campus. Each baby step you make to become familiar with your uni will make your transition easier.
Walk around the campus. If you are doing engineering, go to the engineering building. Check out the room and lab locations. Find the library.
Whatever course you are doing, find your buildings and know where your classes will be held BEFORE Orientation Week.
Tip 2: What Subjects
If you aren’t certain which subjects to take, do a uni prep course – its free and it will help you to make better subject choices. You will be able to go to the same campus as your friends who are leaping into their degree straight away, and you will learn enough to be clear about what course you want to do before you start your degree.
About 30% of students change courses as they find out more about their degree. This is an expensive path to take. Each subject/ unit at university will cost around $2000. You can check how much each unit will cost on the UWA Fee Calculator.
Only 26% of university students go straight there from school on their ATAR results. Consider taking a gap year before you go to uni. You will expand your world and get clearer about what you want to do next. Check out Gap Year Ideas
If you are worried that you won’t ever start to study again if you stop studying after Year 12, go to uni and choose broad subjects that allow you to specialise later, when you know more about the course or working in that industry.
In response to COVID disruption ALL universities in Western Australia have significantly increased the amount of support that is available to future students. Use the free career advice that is available at every university.
Tip 3: When – Timetable
Lectures, tutorials and workshops will be scheduled throughout the week. You choose your timetable.Your school timetable is a good model to follow when choosing your class times.
Treat uni like school. Organise your timetable so that you go to uni every day. Don’t be tempted to pack your scheduled times into a few days and just go during scheduled times. Spend your “free time” doing your research and assignments.
If you treat uni as a job, with a 40 hour week and some good study planning you are on a good path to success. Schedule breaks where you meet your friends and where you play sport or engage in club activities. A mix of work and play is what you need to have a great time at uni.
Tip 4: Friends
The friends you make at uni can stay with you for your entire life.
There will be so many people to choose from. If you go to Curtin, there will be about 50,000 people to choose from. If you go to Notre Dame in Fremantle, which is our smallest uni, you will have about 6,000 to choose from.
If you pick clubs or sports or volunteer activities from the amazing choice that is available, you will find friends there who have the same interests as you. You can join clubs during Orientation Week.
If you arrange to stay at university accommodation you will meet lots of new people there.
So just 4 Tips
Decide what uni to go to and how to get there.
Decide what to study, or at least choose a path that will help you to decide.
Look at timetables for this year. The chances are that they won’t change much next year. You will be able to draft your study timetable before Orientation Week.
Look forward to meeting a bunch of new, wonderful people who like doing the same things that you do.
Get clear, unbiased career information for West Australian school students and educators.
Most senior students undertake some form of extra revision programs to give themselves every chance to succeed.
Many schools offer revision programs.
Your school newsletter will identify revision programs or additional support that your school will be offering.
You can often find semi retired teachers, who have been expert advisors on exam content and style, who are available as tutors. Ask at your front office if they have a list of available tutors.
Some of the best programs are offered by subject specialists who advise on the style and subjects of the exams. Ask your specialist ATAR teachers if there will be an ATAR Exam Information session on their subject.
Several organisations specialise in tutoring students in preparation for ATAR, OLNA or NAPLAN exams.
ECU has run ATAR revision programs in the past. In 2021 it did them online because of COVID. A program for 2022 has not yet been published but watch out for them as they are free and they fill up quickly.
I will put a notice in the In Focus Careers Newsletter as soon as details become available.
Academic Task Force
ATAR Revision Courses
Academic Task Force Holiday Revision Courses are designed specifically for students looking to revise ATAR course content and practice exam-style questions in preparation for exams.
Students will increase their understanding, receive fresh insights and gain intensive revision of their subject during this short course. Each subject is taught by a highly qualified and vaccinated ATAR teacher with a strong background in marking and writing exams to increase their performance.
Master Classes are one hour sessions conducted once a week in term time. Each week they reteach, revise and reinforce the topics and areas of study that the students are dealing with in their classes at school.
ReviseOnline offers specifically designed multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions in a range of Year 11 and 12 courses which match the format of ATAR exams.
Once you submit a completed test or exam you’re provided with ATAR-standard sample responses and can evaluate your answers against a fully-worked marking key. All our courses are up to date and WACE specific, so each question you complete is improving your exam skills and ultimately boosting your ATAR!
Nailing the ATAR and getting the results you are hoping for isn’t necessarily about being the smartest kid in the class. It’s about being well-prepared, knowing what to focus on and understanding what questions are most likely to come up in the exams and how to answer them.
With the help of T.E.E. Consultants’ July holiday intensive exam revision program, Year 12 students can access ten hours of additional teaching per subject, to truly understand the course curriculum and perform better in exam conditions.
Students are invited to enrol in up to five subjects in Week One of the July holiday period. Country students can access heavily discounted, full board accommodation packages which offer safe, secure, supervised accommodation on-site for regional students who enrol in at least three subjects.
If you have a high ATAR you will automatically be awarded the Curtin Excellence Scholarship if you’re a domestic year 12 student, graduate with an ATAR of 96+*, have an eligible Curtin course as your first preference and accept our main round offer:
If your ATAR is 96 – 96.99, you’ll receive a one-year scholarship valued at $5,000.
If your ATAR is 97 or higher, you’ll receive a three-year scholarship valued at $15,000.
Academic Excellence Scholarships provides financial support to students who have been recognised for their outstanding academic results. These Scholarships are available to both Domestic and International students across all study areas.
ECU Excellence Scholarship is open to Western Australian year 12 school leavers displaying outstanding academic excellence. You will be considered for this scholarship when you select Edith Cowan University as your first preference on your TISC Application. The scholarship offers a payment of $2,500 per semester (or pro rata for part time study) for a total of $5,000 per year for the duration of your course.
High performing students can apply for ECU Science Excellence Scholarships valued at $15,000, based on their ATAR. Available for qualifying candidates interested in science or computing & security courses, successful students receive $15,000, paid as $5,000 per year over 3 years once they enrol at ECU.
With over $2.5 million in scholarships awarded every year, students from all walks of life are enjoying the benefits a scholarship can bring. Unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be repaid so you can spend more time focussing on your studies. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, new or continuing, we encourage you to explore the opportunities available.
The content was just what our Year 12’s needed, and the timing is perfect.
This 30-minute Pathways from High Schoolpresentation with video is a great alternative to the face-to-face presentations as it can be shown to students and families, at any time.
Students can even take a copy home and watch it with their parents!!
It shows 3 different case studies.
Pathway 1: Judy the academic superstar
Judy is an academic superstar who checks out the Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) at Curtin, medicine everywhere, and Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) at UWA.
Pathway 2: Flynn General ATAR, Alternative Pathway
Flynn is looking for alternative pathways for non-ATAR school leavers. He checks out all of the unis, looks at university preparation courses and seeks advice from career counsellors and Centrelink.
Pathway 3: Angie VET and Gap Year
For those wanting a Gap Year, who never to return to full-time study again. Angie looks at the Defence Gap Year program and at Harvest Trail as well as at some on the job training she can do at McDonald’s and online courses.
I recommend that all students seek professional advice that narrows down to their personal choices, once they have a general idea of which direction they want to take.
Don’t rush. Plan to spend a 3 – 4 hours at the Open Day.
Book in for a campus tour.
If there are overarching welcome events, make sure you go to those.
Go to course information sessions.
Go to subject taster sessions
Pick Me! Faculty Stands
Every faculty wants you to enrol in one of their courses.
University lecturers are the experts at the faculty stands who you need to approach with questions like:
Why do you love working in this field?
What are the career opportunities in this field?
What are the entry requirements and pathways available?
How long will it take to get the degree as a full time student?
What subjects can you choose from?
What support is available to students.
If you qualify within any support group ask about financial and other support that the university provides.
There may be help available to you if you are you First in Family, Aboriginal, RRR, migrant, Disability, woman in non-traditional occupation, if you have a disability, if you are from a defence family.
What opportunities are there for face to face learning?
What support is available to students learning online?
What opportunities does the course provide for students to engage with industry through the degree?
What types of careers do graduates go into?
If you do not have course prerequisites or think you may not achieve the required ATAR, ask about alternative pathways.
Find Current Students at the Stands
There will be current students at most stands. Ask them what course they are doing and what they love and hate about it.
Ask a student ambassador if they are willing to have a coffee with you.
Ask why they are doing the course and if they are going to achieve the outcome they hoped for.
Find what extracurricular activities there are. Are there any clubs or teams that you can join now?
What can the union offer to students?
Find out what they have done about fees, financial support and scholarships.
You may be invited to enrol on the spot. Don’t do this.
Don’t make your career decision based on a brochure and 30 second discussion. If there is a crowd at the stand when you visit, ask for an appointment.
Don’t sign up at an Open Day.
If you plan to stay in university accommodation:
Tour at least one of the accommodation colleges
Ask where you can find accommodation scholarships and financial support.
Start learning about life at university in Year 9. Check out the food vans. Listen to the music. Go into buildings and see the latest tech tools, computer games and research. See what workshops are on. Find the library, the shops and the toilets.
Explore and Experience Try stuff. There will be people inviting you to engage with practical experiences in their subject. It could be VR. It could be checking out the latest medical research, making a short movie using their studio. All faculties will have practical experiences for you to engage with. Do it now.
Get an authentic experience. Engage with current students. Build on what you have learned in years 9 and 10 visits by asking questions of both students, academics and staff. Check out presentations and exhibitions to see what you will gain most from and register for them, or just make a schedule of where to be and at what time.
Year 12 Tips
This is it. You need to be able to build from your other Open Day experiences. You will know what faculties to visit, and you will have a range of questions to ask. By now you should have narrowed down your options and you will be able to ask specific questions about subjects, industry engagement opportunities, mentors, support programs etc. You will know which presentations and demonstrations you need to revisit.