Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

For students wishing to study at degree or diploma level at a tertiary institution, the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) replaces the Overall Position (OP) in Queensland in 2020.

Once a student completes their senior schooling, the QCAA forwards their subject scores from Unit 3 and 4 to the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) who are responsible for calculating the ATAR; the primary mechanism used nationally for tertiary admissions and to indicate a student’s position relative to other students.


To be eligible for an ATAR, a student must have:

  • satisfactorily completed an English subject
  • completed five general subjects, or four general subjects plus one applied subject or VET course at AQF certificate III or above
  • accumulated their subject results within a five-year period.

While students must satisfactorily complete an English subject to be eligible for an ATAR, the result in English will only be included in the ATAR calculation if it is one of the student’s best five subjects.

ATAR Calculation

The ATAR is expressed on a 2000 point scale from the highest of 99.5 down to 0, in increments of 0.05. The ATAR is calculated by combining a student’s best five subject scaled scores. Scaled scores will be derived from a student’s subject results, as reported to QTAC, by the QCAA, using a process of inter-subject scaling. Inter-subject scaling is where raw scores for a given subject are adjusted so the results for that subject can be compared fairly with the results of any other subject.

Inter-subject scaling

Inter-subject scaling will not enhance or diminish a student’s performance in their subjects. The student’s ranking relative to other students in their subjects does not change, nor does their achievement grade. Scaling simply allows for performances to be compared across all subjects, and then only for the purposes of including these in the calculation of a student’s ATAR.

Adjustment Schemes

Some universities offer Adjustment Schemes where students can receive ‘bonuses’ which raise their ATAR. These are university specific and they are applied by QTAC after the ATAR is calculated.

Adjustments can be made for taking certain subjects like LOTE or Specialist Mathematics, or simply because you live in a particular region. Students should refer to course information on the QTAC website to determine what each institution offers with regards to adjustments.

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