Image of a studying girl

There is no if buts or maybes with this. If you can afford it, you should invest every cent you can in your child’s education, what level of education and how well they do will decide most of your child’s future achievements. Today in Australia each state has their own certificate they give to children when they graduate high school, the problem with most of these certificates is, no one has ever failed one of them. Take the Victorian Certificate of Education or VCE as it is commonly called, it was established as a pilot program in 1987 but officially replaced the Higher School Certificate in 1992, and it should not come as a surprise to anybody that not one single child who wanted it has ever failed to get their VCE.

The State Certificates

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The state certificates only compare students in that state, the old HSC you were up against all the other kids in the country, and you could fail the certificate, especially science subjects. Depending on where you live, it is often a good idea that you get specialist science tuition for your children starting with their weakest points onwards. Hence, most experts do recommend science tutoring for primary school students as well. As children get older, they will know where their weaknesses are, and these should be where their tutors concentrate their efforts. Most science tutors or tutors in general in Australia for that matter are either current or ex-teachers and generally, they are the better teachers because once they leave the classroom, even on a casual basis, they only get paid on performance, it is the only criteria used in the private sector.

If You Are Thinking of an Elite School

If you plan on sending your children to an elite school that is renowned for science, especially the final years of high school, then having them prepared by a tutor for the entrance exam which all of these schools have is just about a requirement. If your child can go to a school of this type unprepared and still pass the entrance exam, then I would have to say you have a genius child. Even kids with months of preparation fail these entrance exams on a regular basis, and for a lot of them, it will be the first time they actually fail and get told they have failed. They should also be prepared for that as it can be quite traumatic.


Image of a scholarship application

There are always scholarships available to private schools, but these require another exam to be taken, as well as in a lot of cases an entry exam. The scholarship exam is not as academically challenging as the entrance exam is. But still, you need to prepare for it. One of the things your child’s tutor will do while preparing them for either or both of these exams will be to put them in a similar scenario where they get a feel for what is happening. To most children, the exam room used is a very hostile environment, they have adults they don’t know telling them what they have to do, and anything other than compliance is a failure. The public school sector in Australia, in particular, does not prepare children for failure in any way shape or form, private schools not only prepare children for it but they will inflict it on any child who doesn’t meet their standards.

Higher Education

For most children, once they complete 12 years of high school, their education is not over. Even if you have your VCE or HSC or whatever, your state has some influence over whether you are going to be qualified for a science stream at the university or if it is going to be something else that your child might not even be interested in. You cannot just take it and go to university or TAFE (technical and further education college) and enroll in a science course just because you want to do it. There is another ranking you need to have, it is called ATAR, and that stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, this covers all students Australia wide and is what all of the universities and higher education colleges use to judge whether a student qualifies to do the course they want to do. And most students who choose science as their stream in their high school certificate; VCE, HSC, etc., typically have had a hard time getting their ideal ATAR scores required for them to get into their dream course in their dream university because of lack of support they have had.

In most cases, ATAR’s are relatively close to the other certificates scores. For instance, in the 2016 HSC in New South Wales a student who scored 86.5 in their HSC, was given an ATAR score of 86.1. Since the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank was introduced in 2010, scores have usually been pretty close over the years. The introduction of the ATAR score for all students nationwide was the first time we had a universal ranking method in Australia for students graduating high school since the 1970s when the HSC was used across the country and was the only real ranking anyone had to go on. The biggest difference today is that year 11 and year 12 students can get an ATAR before you had to have finished year 12 to get a university admissions index, which is what it used to be called.