Depending on how you feel about study—and how groomed you’ve been since childhood to see yourself as ~especially~ academically gifted by your parents—year 12 exams and the marathon to the ATAR can either be a p chill cake walk, or a year long anxious shitfight. The fact that schools are now disrupted and or largely online ain’t making it any easier… thanks coronavirus.
How are you supposed to focus on exams when the entire world is engulfed in a fight against a society-crippling pandemic? Honestly, if all you can do right now is try and manage your mental health, that’s enough. (If you’re actually thriving, baking bread, watering crops, masturbating a lot etc… I love that for you.)
Given the intense shakedown of year 12 students’ critical year, some proposed a “year 13”, in which students would redo their final high school year as a possible solution. Whether you thought that sounded like hell on earth or a video game XP bump, federal and state education ministers ruled that option out on Tuesday. Some states have said that exams will be delayed.
Today, Julie Bishop, the chancellor of Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra proposed a slightly different tack. ANU is offering admission to 2021 undergrad degrees based on year 11 marks, not year 12, as a way of recognising the “significant disruption” students have faced.
If you’re currently in year 12, you’re now allowed to apply to ANU between April and 25 May, and a round of offers will be made in August. If you did decide to go for this though, you would still be required to finish year 12, even if you were accepted based on year 11 scores.
According to Bishop, “This will give those wanting to study at ANU next year certainty and hopefully remove much of the stress and anxiety that they are likely to experience undertaking year 12 studies this year, with all the disruption and challenges coronavirus has wreaked upon our education systems.”
The former foreign minister also noted that, “It’s hard to tell what year 12 will look like state to state,” adding that “We want to make an offer now, knowing year 12 students will experience a tough year in 2020.”
If you were considering ANU and the town of roundabouts anyway, this could actually be a really helpful initiative. Not having to stress *as much* about year 12 marks would alleviate a tiny modicum of anxiety about the future. Or at least, it could be for those of us who actually tried hard during year 11.
The research shows that staying engaged in the education system is a good predictor of how well someone progresses through the labour market later on in life. With a recession looming and many industries on unsteady ground, “stay in school kids!” actually doesn’t sound so bad rn.
Lead image via Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.