It may be only about halfway through the school year but this year's cohort of Year 12 students have had to face the unimaginable.
Home-learning, no face-to-face interaction with their teachers and not knowing if or when they would be able to sit their exams, this year's Grade 12s were left with uncertainty over their ATARs.
However, hundreds of students will be waking up with that uncertainty alleviated as the University of Tasmania sends out its first-round offers thanks to its school recommendation program.
About 1600 first-round offers will be sent to students on Thursday.
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St Patrick's College year 12 students Tom Dwyer and Kate Macdonald said they had both been anxious about the impact the pandemic would have on their ATAR score and admission.
"When we first applied to the university, we weren't even sure whether we would be able to sit exams. It was really good to know that we could just focus on getting through the year, that as long as we passed, we had a place at the university," she said.
Mr Dwyer said knowing he already had been offered a place took the pressure off while he was undertaking his exams.
"To be given this opportunity by the university without having this big ATAR is a great opportunity for us," he said.
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Miss Macdonald said one of the things they missed most was not being able to participate in the traditional year 12 social activities, which had been impacted by the gathering restrictions.
The recommendation program was initiated by UTAS in April as a response to the disrupted learning experienced by the students.
UTAS vice-chancellor Rufus Black said the program had been quite successful, with more than 1800 applications so far.
"We've always trusted the teachers in Tasmania know their students best. We've always thought that they were the people who were so well-positioned to be able to assess whether somebody was ready for higher education," Professor Black said.
St Patrick's College principal Tony Daley said it had been positive that UTAS and the school could work so closely together to ensure a good outcome for this year's year 12s.
He said staff had seemed a bit daunted about the program at the start but had since embraced being more involved in their students' higher education prospects.
"At this point, they do have a strong bond [the staff and students] and they want to help them to achieve," he said.
Mr Daley said staff at St Patrick's College felt respected, that they were now part of the process.
Professor Black said UTAS would look to keep some elements of the recommendation program into the future.
The school recommendation program is in place for all courses except the quota courses such as medicine.
The program will continue accepting applications until November 30. For more information head online.