The ATAR Explained
Your ATAR explained - what is it?
Your Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) represents your rank among all Year 12 students in Tasmania.
Your ATAR is a number between 0 and 99.95 that is used to compare students who have completed different TCE subjects. It ranks your position relative to all the students who commenced high school the same year as you. For example – if you receive an ATAR score of 80, you have performed better than 80 per cent of your peers and you are in the top 20 per cent of the total cohort.
Are you eligible for an ATAR?
To be eligible for an ATAR you must:
- meet the standards of the Tasmanian Certificate of Education,
- achieve at least a Satisfactory Achievement (SA) award or equivalent in at least three Level 3 or Level 4 TASC accredited senior secondary courses with external assessment,
- have at least four scaled scores in different courses with a total size value of at least 60, and
- have at least three scaled scores in different courses studied in your final year of study.
What is the TCE?
The Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) is a qualification for students who reach the following five standards:
- Participation and Achievement Standard - complete an equivalent of a two-year program of post year 10 education and/or training, achieving 120 credit points.
- Everyday adult reading and writing standard.
- Everyday adult mathematics standard.
- Everyday adult use of computers and the internet standard.
- Develop and review future career and education plans (also known as a pathway plan).
If you would like further details on the Tasmanian Certificate of Education you can find more information on the TASC website or your Teacher may be able to guide you.
How is your ATAR calculated?
Your ATAR is based on the aggregate best-five equivalent (total size value of 75) scaled scores. The equivalent of three (total size value 45) of the results counted towards your ATAR must be studied in the final year but the two years of study from which your ATAR can be calculated do not have to be consecutive but must be in Years 11, 12 or 13.
You cannot use the same course twice in the calculation of your ATAR. If you repeat a course, the higher score is used, unless the original score has been used in a previous calculation.
You may study more senior secondary courses at Level 3 or Level 4 but your ATAR will be based on a maximum of 5 scores.
Can you count High Achiever Program (HAP) and University Connections Program (UCP) units towards my ATAR?
Results from eligible HAP and UCP units can be counted towards your ATAR.
Subject scaling is applied to eligible HAP and UCP units and uses the same methodology and process as scaling for TASC Level 3 and Level 4 subjects.
What is Scaling?
Scaling as a way of standardising marks from different subject areas to ensure students are not disadvantaged or advantaged by their subject choices. Scaling does not change your ranking within a course.
Scaling is applied each year for senior secondary courses at Level 3 or Level 4 and approved UTAS units.
Once scaling is complete, TASC will calculate your Tertiary Entrance (TE) score by aggregating the scores of your best three pre-tertiary subjects from your final year of study, together with the best score(s) of up to two other pre-tertiary subjects in that year or one other year. This TE score is then expressed as an ATAR.
Can I receive bonus points?
The University allocates bonus points for:
- social disadvantage that can result from students attending schools in areas of socio-economic disadvantage; and
- achievements of students in studying Languages.
These points reduce the ATAR score that is required for a course by up to five points. For example, if your preferred course requires an ATAR of 87, and you have 4 bonus points, you could qualify with an ATAR of 83.
Full details of the scheme are available on the Bonus Points Scheme page.
Do bonus points change a change your ATAR?
No, bonus points do not change your ATAR. Bonus points allow for an adjustment to the entry rank in the course you are applying for.
How do I know what ATAR I need?
Each course has a Guaranteed Entry ATAR published in the Course and Unit Handbook. Where there are no Guaranteed Entry ATAR scores, you are directed to refer to the entry requirements.
How will I receive my ATAR
TASC will advise eligible students of their TE scores and ATAR once they are finalised at the end of the School year.
How do I get an ATAR if I’ve completed the IB?
You will not receive an ATAR if you have completed the IB diploma, rather, you will be given a rank comparable to an ATAR. This will be based on your IB score out of 45.
What if I didn't get an ATAR?
UTAS knows that some students complete a different TCE study path that does not award an ATAR, Vocational Education and Training (VET) study, senior schooling at home, or attending a school which follows a non-standard curriculum.
If you have completed a ‘non-standard’ Senior Secondary course you will be assessed according to your study plan, subjects and results and given an Assessed Entry Score (AES). This entry score will be converted to a percentile rank based on the TE to ATAR conversion table.
I studied Year 11 interstate, am I eligible for an ATAR
UTAS will obtain your scaled scores from the relevant interstate authority when they are available and provide TASC with these scores. TASC will convert these scores to an equivalent Tasmanian scaled score and these scores will contribute to your final awards. If you are eligible, TASC will then calculate your Tertiary Entrance score (TE) and your ATAR.
Will my results from Year 13 count towards my ATAR?
Yes, your results from Year 13 can count toward university entrance (and your ATAR) but you can count results only from 2 calendar years; for example, you can count results from Year 11 and Year 13, or Year 12 and Year 13, but not from all 3.
Also, if you repeat a course it can only be used once in deciding eligibility for entrance to university or when calculating your TE score. You are also required to have completed three TASC level 3 or level 4 courses from either Year 12 or Year 13.
What else do I need for my preferred course?
Each course has a set of entry requirements and you may need to satisfy course prerequisites and specific entry requirements such as interviews or auditions.
You may satisfy the course prerequisite with studies undertaken as part of your TCE or by undertaking additional study in foundation units or preparatory pathway programs.
To determine the course entry requirements, check the Entry requirements section in the Course and Unit Handbook under the degree you wish to study.
How does course selection work?
Selection into a course is based on both eligibility and merit (for example your selection rank). Eligibility allows you to be considered for your chosen course and your rank determines whether you are competitive enough to be selected.
You will be ranked on the basis of your ATAR or AES (including any bonuses) for each of your course preferences. Offers are made in order of rank until the course quota is filled or the acceptable minimum score for the course is reached.
Meeting the admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into the course of your choice.
Applications are usually assessed in order of preference until you are made an offer in the highest preference for which you are eligible. If you are not eligible for any of your preferences UTAS will provide alternative course options or pathways which will assist you in gaining entry into your chosen course in following years.
Remember: Your ATAR is just one pathway to study at University
If your ATAR doesn't meet the requirements for a course you want to study, UTAS offers a range of alternative pathways for you to study. Please contact the UTAS Information Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 363 864 to discuss your options.
Do you require more information?
You can find more FAQ's relating to your study at AskUs.