08 Oct Can I still get into my dream course even if I don’t have the marks?
It can be easy to think everything rides on your final school or university mark. This can create a huge pressure to achieve the right result. But, what if you don’t get the marks? Is your dream over?
The answer is definitely no. The door to your dream course has not closed, it just requires you to do some creative planning. So let’s explore some alternative pathways or options!
Gain relevant experience
Some courses will give you consideration if you’ve had relevant work experience as a way to gain access to the course. Perhaps one year of entry-level job experience or an internship could give you not just entry to the course of your dreams, but a much broader set of transferable skills that will help you to ace the course once you’re in.
Find a relevant upskill certificate
From certificates to short courses it has never been more possible to continue upskilling and learning. Perhaps the way into your dream course is to upskill slowly. With your relevant certificate in hand and some work experience this could be enough to get you in.
Start a similar degree and transfer across
Is there a course that you can get entry into that is similar in subjects to your dream course and is taught at the same institution? Talk to the relevant institution in person and ask whether there is the option to transfer from that course to your dream course after you’ve completed some subjects. We also suggest you check what marks will be necessary to support the transfer.
You could also check if the same course is available at a different institution. Is it possible to get entry into that course with your current mark?
Sit the exam again
This can seem like a long option, but it is still an option. We like the saying that ‘fail’ actually stands for “First attempt in learning”. If this course really is your dream and there is no other way to get in except getting the right mark, this could be an option worth exploring. You might even find you enjoy your subjects better the second time around!
Some final food for thought…
What is the lesson to take away from the experience?
Sometimes situations like this are an opportunity to think deeply about whether the course is really your dream and is the right one for you. Here are two questions worth thinking about while you make your big plan.
Is this really the dream job for you or is it worth exploring other options?
Sometimes we get so focused on one option that it’s easy to not spend the time really thinking about the broad range of alternative courses that are out there. We encourage you to get active, experiment and explore a variety of courses and jobs that could be a good fit for you. The more information you can get on yourself and the world of work, the more ready you will be to make a decision that is in line with your values and strengths.
Is there a parallel job in the industry that would be a better fit?
Most industries have a huge variety of roles, even though typically we only think of a few popular ones. If you know you want to work in a certain industry go out and talk to someone who works in it and learn about different roles. As some degrees like law, psychology and medicine fill up fast, perhaps there is a related job in the industry that could have more available space (and maybe even more future job opportunities). For example, if you want to be a doctor, is it worth exploring nursing or other allied health roles?
What if I can’t decide in time? If you need some help planning how to make use of your time off you can check out our article on how to make the most of your gap year. Click here to read it now.
Don’t let your marks get in the way! It’s always possible to get access to your dream course. All you need is some creative thinking and persistence.