Support toolkit for parents and caregivers of Year 12s

Year 12 exams and university admission can be a demanding, stressful time for the whole family. You and your child are at the start of a new journey and you need the best information to help make informed decisions.

That's why we’ve put together everything you need to help your child in Year 12 make the exciting transition to university life – from coping with stress to getting set up for a successful career.

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Finding the best information

When it comes to tertiary education, you don't need to be an expert – you just need to know where to find one.

Start with your school

Most schools offer dedicated careers counsellors who understand the ins and outs of the university application process. They can explain it in simple terms, and help students who aren't sure what to study to narrow down their options.

Visit VTAC

Not only does the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) website impartially list every course in Victoria, it offers great information around how your child’s ATAR will be used by universities to determine entry.

There are also useful explanations of common university policies around admissions, offers, enrolment and deferral.

Deakin University

Deakin has a dedicated support team that can help get to the bottom of university jargon and complex processes and course information. Deakin’s advisers are available on 1800 693 888 or myfuture@deakin.edu.au.

Read more advice from Deakin on supporting your child through Year 12.

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Understanding the VTAC process

VTAC is the administrative body that processes applications for Victorian universities – most Year 12s apply to university through VTAC online at vtac.edu.au. VTAC also notifies Year 12s of their university course offers.

VTAC lets students rank up to eight different course options, from most- to least-preferred course of study. The courses your Year 12 child picks might be from the same or different universities around Victoria.

It's important to:

  • Check the course’s entry requirements on the course page before your child applies. Make sure they are eligible for selection for the course they’re interested in.
  • Check to see if they need to submit any supporting documentation in their application. For example, some courses need a separate portfolio of work to be submitted alongside the VTAC application.

For more information about how to navigate the application process, read our guide to university for parents and caregivers (PDF, 1.5MB).

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Supporting your Year 12 child

The lead up to exams and then the tense wait for results can be stressful, but like anything in life, preparation is key. Helping your child stay focussed and feel supported is crucial, and possible with these tips.

Healthy routines

Getting physical exercise each day is proven to improve concentration and mental health. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can make a big difference to mood and memory, so building movement into the daily schedule is a big win.

Studying effectively

Similarly, cramming for hours at a time is counterproductive. Make sure there are plenty of regular breaks – apps and techniques like Pomodoro can help break down big study sessions into manageable chunks.

Planning for success

A study plan is a great way for your child to maintain a sense of progress and discipline. We suggest students work backwards from the date of the exam or assignment, and break the time into weeks/days/hours – they’ll then be able to schedule in time to hit the books.

What's next?

Thinking about life after study can help keep your child’s mind on the prize. What are the career options for the courses they’re interested in? What are they passionate about, and what opportunities exist to explore that passion?

Explore career and course options for after Year 12.

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Whatever the ATAR, there's a pathway to Deakin

An ATAR’s just one way to get into the course your Year 12 is interested in – there are often many other entry pathways. Some of the most common include:

  • Same course, different campus. Sometimes the same course is offered at a different Deakin campus with a lower ATAR requirement – check the course page for details.
  • Different course, similar subjects. Some of our courses share similar subjects, and after studying for a year it may be possible to transfer between them. Get in touch to let our course advisers give guidance on this option.
  • Via Deakin College or TAFE. A TAFE qualification might offer the credit points your child needs to get into a course, and Deakin has guaranteed TAFE entry pathways. Similarly, studying a year at Deakin College offers fast-tracked, guaranteed pathways into Deakin courses.

Learn more about all of the pathways Deakin offers.

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Securing a future career

All of us want our kids to be happy, healthy and successful. In a transforming job market, how can you help ensure a secure career for your child?

Passion is key

Students who switch courses often tell us they felt they ‘had to’ study a particular course so they could get a ‘good’ job. But every course offers a range of graduate outcomes; the only way to ensure your child flourishes at uni and stays committed to their degree is if they’re studying something they’re truly interested in – this should be priority #1. Use our Explore app to search careers and courses by interests.

Soft skills for life

In our automated world, employers increasingly value ‘soft skills’ like communication, teamwork and critical thinking. Computers can’t do these things, but they’re essential parts of every successful career. We’ve integrated these skills in all of our course units, so Deakin graduates have the mental flexibility and real-world skills to thrive whatever the future holds.

The latest in industry and technology

Technology moves fast, and to be successful your Year 12 child needs to be familiar with the latest work tools.

Whichever university they pick, make sure it offers:

  • technology-rich classrooms
  • online learning platforms
  • academics sourced from industry, familiar with the tools of the trade
  • a hands-on, interactive and practical approach to learning.

Discover how Deakin's hands-on approach to learning makes our students career-ready.