All the Ways to Get ATAR Bonus Points! The Truth Behind the Rumours.

If you think you might need those bonus points to get into the university course of your dreams, we’ve got all the insider info to get you on the right track. We’ll help you navigate the tricky world of understanding ATAR bonus points, and whether you’re eligible for them.

What are ATAR bonus points, and how does it work?

With all the crazy rumours flying around, it’s never been more important to understand what ATAR bonus points are and how the system works so you can make the right decision for your future.

Bonus points are now known as adjustment factors. It’s important to know that any adjustment factors don’t actually add to your overall ATAR score. They’re just extra points that tertiary institutions (such as TAFEs and universities) add on top of a student’s ATAR to boost their selection ranking when applying to a specific university course. Your ATAR remains the same.

Each institution has its own specific criteria for what these adjustment factors are and when they apply. They might not be applicable for all courses or even for all students. All institutions limit the maximum number of adjustments that apply to your ATAR or selection rank. Some may choose to limit the increase to your score by only 5 points. Visit the website of the university you’re interested in to see if they provide information about their specific criteria. The Queensland University of Technology (QUT), for instance, provides its applicants with a maximum of 10 adjustment factors or ATAR bonus points.

ATAR bonus points

What types of criteria exist? How do I know if I qualify?

There are a few common types of adjustment factors that most universities agree should boost your score. These include:

  • Experiencing financial hardship
  • Disruptive home environments
  • Increased responsibilities at home
  • A disability, injury, or illness/health condition
  • A disruption to your education – the coronavirus this year is an excellent example of this!

When you apply to your university course through QTAC, you’ll be able to select these adjustment factors through the Educational Access Scheme or EAS.

In special circumstances, there are also other types of adjustment factors that may apply to you. These can include:

  • If your school has a strong relationship with a particular university, you may apply for adjustment factors.
  • If you’re excelling at a particular subject that applies to the degree you’re interested in, you might apply for bonus points.
  • If you’re a current Year 12 applicant and you’ve undertaken specific secondary subjects or university enrichment courses, you may be eligible for bonus points. This is known as subject adjustment.
  • If you live or attend a school that is rural or within a particular region, you might find a few extra points padding your ATAR. Universities might refer to this as location adjustment.
  • If you excel at a certain sport, or you’re talented at music, dancing, debating, drama, or anything of this sort, then you might have lost a fair amount of study time due to other commitments. Universities can take this into account, and offer ATAR adjustment factors.
  • If you live somewhere the university deems important, you might receive bonus points.
  • If you didn’t do as well as you’d hoped with your ATAR score despite killing it in the grades department at school, recommendations from your teachers or your school could go a long way in convincing your university to fling a few points your way!
  • If you’ve displayed exceptional leadership qualities or you were the school captain, you might also qualify for adjustment factors.
  • If you’re of Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander descent.

For more information on ATAR scores, ATAR tutoring, or ATAR adjustment factors, visit A Team Tuition and book a tutoring session today!