QCS – the dreaded end of year test confusingly designed to determine your ‘all-important’ OP score. Since the beginning of high school, you’ve probably had the exact same thing repeated to you, as we all have; “Pick your subjects in grade 9/10, that will lead to the subjects you want to study in grade 11/12, which are directly related to your course at university, which leads to you obtaining your dream profession.” In other words – pick your career when you’re 13 years-old. Easily done right?
With or without your career in mind, you’ve started hearing more and more about this OP stuff, and before you know it you’ve reached grade 12 and it’s become reality. Furthermore, on top of all your final year assessment, you must now squeeze in QCS practice sessions, which in my case involved giving up my Thursday morning sleep-ins – not happy!
BUT, you mustn’t (and aren’t allowed to) forget that it’s all worth it, as without achieving the right OP score you are essentially doomed to a lifetime of occupational suffering. Although slightly exaggerated, this mindset is not uncommon and remains nothing more than a myth – often only realised upon graduating. Luckily for you guys, I’ll be doing some myth busting and let you in on my precious secret regarding OP scores and university.
First and foremost, in simple terms, if you manage to only juuussssttt scrape through a year of any degree at university, aka you are just passing your subjects; well congrats, you’ve scored yourself an equivalent OP 5! Yes, it does sound like magic, but with your newly acquired OP score you’re now welcome to upgrade into whatever degree tickles your fancy. I’m almost certain some of you are squirming at the thought of wasting an extra year studying something you aren’t committed to. But squirm no more. You’ll be pleased to know that choosing a similar course will allow you to pick a number of identical classes as though you were actually studying your preferred degree. This means that once you do upgrade, you will get credit for these completed subjects, thus the year has not been wasted.
To really make sense of this relatively unknown trick, I’ll give you an example. You want to study Film & Television at QUT and therefore you aspire to get into the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Film & Television) degree. However, let’s say (for this example) the cut-off was an OP 3 and you missed out with an OP 9. You would instead start the Bachelor of Creative Industries degree (OP 10) with a major in Film & Television. You stick with this course for a year, choosing as many subjects as you can that would be identical to your preferred Fine Arts degree. After receiving a credit (just one mark above a pass) for the year, you now have an equivalent OP 3 (yay!) and are free to upgrade into your desired degree – not forgetting that you’ve already completed some of the subjects!
This nifty trick can be applied to any area of study, and your ‘upgrading degree’ doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your subsequent degree. Also, I must add, that this is only one of many alternative ways to get into university and for that reason, I stress for you to stress less (oh the irony!).