ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. It is a ranking system used in Australia for university admission purposes. The ATAR is calculated based on a student’s performance in their senior secondary studies, usually completed in the final two years of high school.
Different states and territories have their own secondary school qualifications, but the underlying purpose of the ATAR remains consistent—to rank and compare students for university entry.
How is it calculated?
The ATAR is calculated by the relevant state or territory’s tertiary admissions’ authority. The calculation involves several steps, including scaling of students’ study scores in their completed senior secondary subjects. Different states and territories have varying requirements for the number of subjects or units to include in the ATAR score calculation. Typically, scores are calculated from a student’s highest 5 qualifying subjects (10 units) and the score needs to include their English results.
What is an ‘ATAR Score’?
The ATAR is reported on a scale from 0 to 99.95, with 99.95 being the highest possible ATAR. It represents a percentile rank, indicating the percentage of students whose scores are equal to or lower than a particular ATAR. For example, an ATAR of 80 means the student performed better than approximately 80% of the cohort.
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