Tuesday 15 December 2020
Year 12 students - the wait is over! SACE and NTCET results are out today.
If you're planning to go on to uni next year you can also check your ATAR.
We have a whole section of our website devoted to resources for students, but here are some of the key concepts it might be helpful to understand when talking about ATARs.
What is the ATAR?
The ATAR is the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. It's a national ranking system that some university courses use to select applicants.
The ATAR is a rank showing how students perform in Year 12 relative to other students in their year group. So, an ATAR of 70.00 means you ranked higher than 70% of students in your cohort.
SATAC calculates your ATAR using the best scaled scores from 90 credits of SACE Stage 2 subjects. There are rules about which subjects can count in the calculation, as well as some flexible options.
The ATAR isn't used to measure individual performance in your subjects. It's a comparative tool used to make impartial decisions about university offers.
Is the ATAR important?
It's worth remembering that the ATAR won't reflect all the skills and experience you have. It also won't define your future.
The ATAR's usefulness is in ranking students for entry to uni courses. Ranking is important for courses that are competitive. A competitive course is one which has more applicants than places available to offer. If you're applying for a competitive course then a good ATAR improves your chances of getting an offer.
If you don't intend to go on to university after school, then you don't need to be too concerned about the ATAR.
If you do intend to go on to uni after school, ATAR isn't the only option. Each institution offers a variety of pathways to gain entry to their courses.
Selection ranks vs ATAR
SATAC uses 'selection rank', not ATAR, when describing entry ranks for courses. This is because the rank we use to create the merit order for offers may include more than your ATAR.
For example - a selection rank might include adjustments from the Universities Equity Scheme or the Universities Language, Literacy and Mathematics Scheme, or a combination of ATAR plus results from auditions, interviews, or other criteria.
Selection ranks determine how 'competitive' you are relative to other applicants for the same course.
Your selection rank may be different from your ATAR. You can log into your SATAC application to check the selection rank for each of your preferences.
The ATAR is a national system used by all states and territories in Australia. ATARs are transferable to any other state or territory and remain the same.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma students will receive a selection rank (equal to the ATAR) based on their IB points.
SATAC will assess any non-standard or overseas year 12 qualifications for eligibility.
Questions and advice
If you have questions about your ATAR or need advice about a SATAC application, you can contact us.
Our institutions can also provide advice and information about pathways to study.