Parents should be supportive, but also acknowledge their child’s disappointment if they fall short of their desired OP score, says a university academic.
Parents should be supportive, but also acknowledge their child’s disappointment if they fall short of their desired OP score, says a university academic.

What to do if your OP scores falls short

Parents should be supportive, but also acknowledge their child's disappointment if they fall short of their desired OP score, says a university academic.

Year 12 students received their OP scores in the mail on Friday and now generally know the courses that are potentially available to them.

Griffith University's head of school education and professional studies Donna Prendergast said all the focus should be on the doors their OP scores open not the ones that closed.

Ms Prendergast said every student and parent should be optimistic and positive about whatever OP score they receive, even if it falls short of expectations and career ambitions.

"Their starting position should be optimism and hope and even if it's not exactly what they are wanting, it still opens doors to other possibilities," Ms Prendergast told The Courier-Mail.

"Look at what you can get into and where that can lead you.

"If you need an OP 3 to get into your absolutely ideal program and you get a 5, look at what is available at 5 that is in the same field that helps you enter your preferred program from a side door."

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Brisbane Grammar School celebrated 150 years this year. Picture: (AAP Image/Josh Woning)
Brisbane Grammar School celebrated 150 years this year. Picture: (AAP Image/Josh Woning)

University of Queensland's domestic student recruitment Steve Forster explained how students may enter the side door to their dream course after only 12 months at university.

He said after a year, OP scores no longer count and students are assessed on their university score, rated from a low of 1 to 7, combined with your grade score average.

"If you score 5-1/2 or better then you can look at changing degrees," Mr Forster said.

"It's a starting point but you want to do as best as you can.

"It used to be called upgrading but now it's referred to as undertaking a tertiary study pathway."

The focus should be on the doors that student’s OP scores open not the ones that closed.
The focus should be on the doors that student’s OP scores open not the ones that closed.

Whatever the OP outcome is, students have to remain positive about the future and their pathways and what is achievable, Ms Prendergast said.

"It's about the overall position to entrance … keep in mind that learning is more than just that number," she said.

"If you can't get physiotherapy, then take exercise science and they will develop similar expertise and take the professional step later.

"Universities are keen to have people who want to be there."

Tips for students who fall short of their OP expectations:

•Speak with university experts, they're there to help you

•Concentrate on what courses available to you

•Be mindful of the pathways that your second or third choice courses can open up for you

•It's possible to change courses after just 12 months

•OP scores are irrelevant after the first year at university

•A score of 5-1/2 or better after 12 months at university can help you achieve that dream course

For Parents

•Be supportive but it's important to acknowledge their disappointing

•Be proactive in helping them research their opportunities

•Take a step back and allow the student to take responsibility for their decisions

•Support them no matter what program they choose