Today, my brother, who just did his first three Higher School Certificate subjects got his results. He’s happy. Doesn’t want to go to Uni anyway. He’s always been easy about that sort of thing. When I was at school, I was all about Letters and Numbers (grades, marks, etc). Although I did better in some subjects than I originally thought I have thought over the years that I could’ve done better and sometimes wish I did.

I hear the line a lot: “It doesn’t matter”. “As long as you passed, then it’s fine”.

Sweet of my Mum to say that, but is it?

Depends on what you want to do…. kind of.

I always thought of the HSC/ VCE/ other Year 12 equivalent to be a albeit temporary, ticket to fast track your career, especially if your dream job requires, or will be fast – tracked by a University degree. So, say, if you started Uni at 19, finish your degree at 21 or 22 (going on the average three to four year course length), then you’ll get to your dream job quicker. At least, theoretically, that’s what I thought.

However, TAFE is a real reputable option too. When I was at high school (between 2002 – 2008), the (somewhat) stigma, if you like of TAFE started to disappear. Going to TAFE started to be an equally reputable option for students, not an easy way out (trust me, TAFE isn’t a bludge, especially if you’re doing a Diploma). Pathways from TAFE to University started to be a common thing and available in a number of courses, including Early Childhood, Nursing, and apparently even Media/ Arts in Melbourne’s Swinburne University.

I was told by a friend that after a former HSC/VCE/ Year 12 student turned 21, the marks aren’t counted at all. A friend of mine even told me that when she applied for her Uni course as a mature age student, she couldn’t even find her results, but because of her past work, she got in.


So there IS hope if you don’t get the perfect mark. It may take a few more years to get to where you want to go, but that’s OK. If you’re genuinely disappointed with your results, don’t try and ignore the feeling. But know that it’s not the end of the world, even if it currently feels like it is.

What’s your attitude to HSC/ VCE/ Year 12 marks?