Don't pin all your hopes on a single number, urges the University of Sydney's head of undergraduate recruitment, Kaveh Ghezel.
"There is more than one path to your desired study and career destination," he said.
"Amongst all the commentary this week about ATAR results, it's easy to lose sight of the many experiences available at university, both in terms of degree choices and extracurricular opportunities. Students and parents need to ensure they are aware of all their options.
"Think about the education that will provide you with the widest range of opportunities and experiences.
"If you're itching to kickstart an innovative business idea, you could join our startup accelerator program for young entrepreneurs, INCUBATE. Or if you're an avid rev-head, why not join the Sydney University Racing Team, where you can design and build a race car to compete against other universities.
"With the broadest range of subject choices and the top-rated student experience in Australia, the possibilities are endless. There are many degree pathways to help you find your passion and get you where you want to go."
Around 40 per cent of school leavers are expected to change their study preferences upon receiving their ATAR on Thursday 17 December, with students able to amend their choices until 6 January 2016.
"Students should use this vital time to explore their passions and use this – rather than a number – as the basis for deciding their next steps," said Ghezel.
"In today's job market, employers are increasingly seeking graduates with adaptable and transferrable skills. A generalist degree will give you that broad-ranging depth of inquiry necessary to traverse a vast range of different jobs in a rapidly-changing jobs market.
"We know that our students go on to become the most sought-after graduates in Australia, as reflected in the latest QS Graduate Employability Rankings. A degree from the University of Sydney is a passport to an untold number of opportunities."
For those students seeking guidance on what to do after receiving an unexpected ATAR, Ghezel recommends attending Info Day on Tuesday 5 January, visiting the START website and calling the University of Sydney's hotline on 1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864).
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