The tertiary education sector faces increasing pressure to deliver more graduates with improved levels of skill whilst having fewer students fail subjects throughout their time of study. In engineering education the situation is even more complex with many universities having to accept students with lower ENTER scores to fill quotas. Historically, students with borderline ENTERs have shown great difficulty during their first year in the engineering degree program. Worse, the transition from first year to second year is often more difficult than from school to first year. The “smoothing‐in” of school graduates into the first semester of first year is seen as a transition period, with second semester being the first “full‐on” engineering semester of study. The challenge that now faces many universities is a balancing act of gradually introducing students into first year whilst minimising the shock that will await students when commencing second year. At Swinburne University of Technology, a system of experiential learning has been tried over the past year with great promises for success. The system comprises of a combination of projects, large assignments, and regular assessments. Students are guided to analyse, ponder and evaluate class problems in a more real‐world manner, and regular assessments ensure that they stay up to date. Project work is employed to encapsulate as much of the disciplines that the student have been exposed to into a single meaningful real‐world engineering task.