Year 10 post-school pathways

Year 10s – set your compass now

It is SET Plan time again, when year 10 Queensland students begin to develop their Senior Education and Training (SET) Plans. Schools will be working with students and their parents/carers to help them plan their senior studies and to select subjects for their years 11 and 12. 

Developing a SET Plan helps students think about their education and further education and training and career goals after Year 12. It makes sure they structure their learning in Years 11 and 12 around their abilities, interests and ambitions and helps them map their pathway towards a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and post-school pathways. The flowchart below summarises the post-school pathways. 

School students’ SET Plans need to be finalised by the end of Year 10 and are a vital component of students’ senior studies. The SET Plan is agreed upon by the student, their parents/carers and the school with a copy of the student’s SET Plan retained by the school as an official record. 


Year 10s – how can QTAC help you? 

Choosing what subjects to do get your QCE, or to help you get the ATAR you are aiming for, is a very personal decision and there are many factors to consider. QTAC does not advise students on what senior subjects they should be doing and we encourage students to make use of advice from those people who know them well – their teachers, careers guidance officers and parents. However, we CAN help you set your compass for your post-school pathway.  


I think I know what courses I want to study and put as my preferences.  
How do I get there? 


I don’t know what job I want to do, but I do know what subjects interest me and that I am good at. 

What courses could I do? 

Use your SET Plan to identify the QCAA subjects and/or VET qualifications that will give you the best chance of getting into one of your preferred courses. 

Our QTAC advisors can talk you through possible pathways, entry and prerequisite subject requirements for specific courses and discipline areas. We can help you with your preferences. We can point you to institutions who can give you more information. 


Your school careers counsellors and teachers should be able to advise what types of courses and careers you could look at. You can look up information on university websites, go to an Open Day and talk to universities and TAFE. Our QTAC advisors can help answer questions about entry requirements into specific courses. You can talk to us at any time, the earlier the better for setting that compass! 



Help for Flood-Affected QTAC Applicants

Have your studies been affected by the recent floods in Queensland and NSW?

Will you be applying for university through QTAC soon?

If so, you can apply for help through the Educational Access Scheme (EAS). EAS may assist applicants who have faced personal challenges by adjusting their selection rank.

Apply in the Financial Hardship category if your household has experienced financial difficulties as a result of the floods.

Apply in the Home Environment and Responsibilities category if your home was damaged.

Apply in the School Environment category if your schooling was disrupted, eg: your school was flooded.

How Zoe went from Cert III to Bachelor Degree

There are so many ways to achieve your dreams.

While ATAR is the standard pathway into tertiary study, its not the only way.

Tertiary pathways are a personalised plan or guide, which can be tailored to an individual’s needs. Just like the individual, the journey can be very different and unique.

Meet Zoe.

Graduating Year 12 in 2020, Zoe was one of almost 2000 students who left secondary school without an ATAR. Passionate about the arts and always seen with her sketch book on hand, Zoe knew she wanted to pursue something fulfilling when she left school.

Describing herself as creative, organic and gifted, a younger Zoe would have said she wanted to be a fashion designer when she grew up. While at school, Zoe attended a careers expo where she learnt she could complete a Certificate III in Design Fundamentals during year 11 and 12. This meant she was able to study something she enjoyed and was good at, while still completing her Queensland Certificate of Education.

Knowing she would gain a minimum selection rank of 68 (from having completed her certificate III), Zoe was confident of her next steps toward tertiary study. This also meant Zoe was able to spend more time doing the things she loves, including playing video games, painting, reading and creating poster artwork.

“I felt very chill in Year 12, as I had a clear pathway”, Zoe said.

Completing her Certificate III prepared Zoe a smooth transition into a Diploma of Graphic Design. A year has passed since she left high school, Zoe has completed her Diploma and is looking forward to commencing a Bachelor degree in 2022.

“I feel happy and alive since leaving school as I am doing something I really enjoy”, she said.

Once completing her bachelor degree, Zoe plans on chasing her dream of becoming an Illustrator.

“Anyone can get where they want to be if they work hard enough. Just follow your passion”, Zoe said.


Zoe’s top 3 tips for the Class of 2022:

1 Look for other pathway options.

2 Do something everyday that pushes you out of your comfort zone and scares you.

3 Relax – take a break.

If you would like to check out Zoe’s artwork and follow her journey, you can see her on Instagram.

If you are looking for a pathway or needing some direction to get you where you want to be, check out our helpful pathways information here.

So, you’ve finished year 12 and Queensland ATARs and QCE results have been released. Where to from here?

So, you’ve finished year 12 and your Queensland ATARs and QCE results have been released. Where to from here?

Congratulations! Finishing year 12 is a major milestone.

No matter your pathway, achieving your ATAR and/or VET qualification is significant for those looking to enter tertiary study.

When are Offers made?

Some of you may have already received an early offer from QTAC. For those QTAC applicants waiting for their offers, 23 December 2021 is the first offer round where current Year 12 applicants can be considered for an offer based on their ATAR.

Please note:  Not all courses will be participating in this offer round. If your course isn’t offered in December, don’t worry as most courses will participate in the 13 January Offer Round.

For more information on individual institutions’ course offer dates and vacancies please refer to . There will also be further offer rounds throughout January and February 2022.

What to do if you get your offer

Make sure you respond to your offer by the date given with your offer. Remember, you may lose your offer if you allow your offer to expire, or if you receive a new offer for the same semester. The QTAC OFFERS page steps you through how to respond to your offer and how to log in to QTAC Application Services.

Did you get the ATAR you had hoped for or needed?

If you did, that’s great news!  It’s not long to wait now for offers to be released.
If you are not sure if your ATAR will get you into your preferred course – don’t panic! You may still get an offer. Entry requirements for courses are made up of more than just ATARs and institutions minimum selection thresholds may not yet be decided.

Check and change your preferences

Now you have your QCE results and ATAR, check the course entry requirements for your preferenced courses. If you don’t meet the prerequisites or minimum selection ranks, you may need to look at changing your application preferences (see ).  Just remember, you can only change your preferences for free, three times.

Upgrading Pathways

If you didn’t get the ATAR or the course offer you had hoped for by the January 13 offer round, there are many ways to achieve your goals. Check out the information on Upgrading pathway options. There are many tertiary pathway options which can help you work towards getting into your dream course. This could involve bridging courses, upgrading via tertiary study or tertiary preparation courses to assist with gaining a higher rank and/ or meeting subject prerequisites. Offers for most courses will continue to be made after the 13th January 2022 offer round as well.

What about improving your ATAR if you really need to get into the course you want?

If pathways aren’t for you, then you can consider further year 12 study. See the Factsheet on Qualifying for a New ATAR for more detail.

Non-ATAR pathways

Did you know that you can gain entry into most institutions, for certain courses, without an ATAR?

Using the standalone selection ranks of VET qualifications can be a great pathway into your dream course. Check the individual institutions and specific courses for entry requirements.

The QTAC Customer Service team are experienced in helping applicants navigate applications and to find suitable course options and pathways.

Call us on 1300 467 822

Can 2021 year 12s apply for EAS based on the impact of COVID-19?

What is EAS?

QTAC’s Educational Access Scheme (EAS) may be of assistance to students when applying for further study if they have experienced circumstances during 2021 that may have negatively affected their most recent studies. There are extensive resources on the QTAC website. You can also refer to our EAS FAQs and EAS Case Studies.

EAS provides rank adjustments for educational disadvantage through five main categories: Financial Hardship; Home Environment and Responsibilities; English Language Difficulty; Personal Illness or Disability, and School Environment. Note that the Educational Disruption category was renamed ‘School Environment’ in August 2021 and there is a new form  on the QTAC website.

If you are assessed as eligible for adjustment factors, any rank adjustment will be applied to your QTAC selection rank under EAS, your original ATAR does not change.

Putting in an EAS application: What students need to know

Students should refer to the information on the QTAC website, in particular:

  • Carefully consider the choice of EAS category.
  • Check the due dates for documentation submission.
  • Follow the 7 Steps on How to Apply.
  • If you change your mind about applying for EAS after you have applied, call our contact centre on 1300 467 822.

School representatives may be asked to be a support person, complete a school statement, provide supporting documents or give other input, as required. 

Can 2021 year 12 students apply for EAS based on the impact of COVID-19?

Year 12 students whose studies have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 should, in the first instance, work with their school and QCAA for any educational adjustment available within the specific circumstances.

The QTAC educational access scheme is open to all year 12s whose studies have been impacted by COVID-19. Each EAS applicant must make a case based on their individual circumstances and supply all the supporting documents normally required for the category in which they are applying.

Where possible, EAS personal and school statements should:

  • Clearly describe how COVID-19 negatively impacted the individual EAS applicant’s ability to study – be sure to include who, what, where, when, and why.
  • Address how the applicant was disadvantaged relative to school peers from the same state.
  • Explain what educational adjustment has already been made.

We are carefully monitoring the range of adjustment measures being adopted by state education authorities around Australia and updating our processes accordingly.

Some examples of COVID-19-related circumstances that are considered in different EAS categories are supplied below. This is not an exhaustive list.

EAS Category


School Environment


·         Positive COVID-19 case/s in school community leading to prolonged school closure.

·         Poor internet connectivity for rural and regional students negatively impacting online learning during protracted COVID-19 lockdowns.

Missed schooling

·         Boarding students forced to return home to remote areas and unable to recommence in-person studies at the same time as city peers due to travel restrictions and lockdowns.

·         Returned overseas travellers who missed a significant period of study due to quarantine requirements.


Home Environment


·         COVID-19 case/s in applicant’s immediate family or household disrupting study for a significant period.

·         Family members of front-line health care workers who experienced serious disruption to their home environment.


Personal Illness


·         Applicant tested positive to COVID-19 with severe and prolonged impact on study.

·         Disabled applicants and applicants with learning difficulties whose conditions affected their ability to participate in online study during prolonged lockdowns.


For further information or assistance with EAS please call the QTAC contact centre on 1300 467 822.

The Defence Industry Internship Program helps place student engineers in real-world work

QTAC is proud to be partnering with the Department of Defence in the administration of the successful Defence Industry Internship Program, otherwise known as DIIP.

Aimed at engineering students studying at Universities all around Australia that are in their last or second last years of study, DIIP is an opportunity to gain practical engineering experience at a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) that supports the Defence Industry in Australia.

DIIP helps bridge the gap between theory & practice

Past students have reported that they learned more during their internship experience than they had during their entire previous year at University, as the work experience is invaluable in putting theory into practical applications.

How specialised are the internships?

You’ll see a diverse range of internships on offer this year.  We have electrical and electronic engineers, some of whom are working on the latest high tech surveillance equipment.  We have aeronautical and aerospace internships where students get to work on advanced rocketry and space programs sometimes involving satellites and drones. There are numerous mechatronic opportunities and many mechanical, civil, chemical and software opportunities on offer, all of which involve using innovative technology and equipment that many students simply don’t have exposure to at University.

Working with supportive SMEs & ongoing employment

The hosting companies are fully committed to the process, offering mentoring and support to budding engineers, as they understand the competitive nature of graduate engineering for students. For the SMEs that partake DIIP, it’s a great way to be able to support the future of Australia’s engineering community.

Companies are always keeping an eye out for talent and if an intern proves to fit well within the team, there is very often an offer of ongoing work made at the completion of the internship program.  Many of our former DIIP interns from previous years are still working for the company that they interned with, or at least have used the knowledge gained during their internship as a stepping stone to a successful career within the Defence Industry.

How to Apply

Applications each year commence from mid-June through to July with the internships running for 12 weeks commencing around November/December and finishing in February/March the following year.

If you, or someone you know, is nearing the end of their engineering degree, please refer them to our website for more information and details on how to apply.

Qualifying for a new ATAR – New Factsheet released

Qualifying for a new ATAR, ATAR amendments and Variable Progression Rates. There are a number of situations where a student may qualify for a new ATAR after their first ATAR is released at the completion of their year 12 studies.

This factsheet provides information to guide students, teachers and parents through the options: Re-entry students doing additional subjects, accumulating results, repeating subjects, ATAR amendments and appeals. The information also covers Variable Progression Rate students.

Download a copy of the Factsheet.

ATAR & COVID-19 Factsheet

Events in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted on the schooling and studies of many of our students. QTAC has prepared a factsheet with information about tertiary admissions and your ATAR and in this COVID-19 year. The factsheet gives links to resources to answer the many questions students, parents and teachers are asking about ATAR results, QTAC applications and how to support our students’ future study plans.

Download a copy of the Factsheet.