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The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) will replace the Overall Position (OP) from 2020.

What is the difference between the ATAR and OP?

  • The ATAR is a finer grained rank order of students than the OP.
  • It’s a number between 0.00 and 99.95 with increments of 0.05, whereas the OP consists of 25 bands.
  • The ATAR is commonly used in other states and territories.

Calculating ATARs

The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) will be responsible for calculating students’ ATARs.

QTAC will calculate ATARs based on either:

    a student’s best five General (currently Authority) subject results, as is currently the case for the OP system


    a student’s best results in a combination of four General subject results, plus an applied learning subject result.

Best five QCAA General subjects

Best four QCAA General subjects


The best result in a:

QCAA Applied (currently Authority-registered subject or Subject Area Syllabus subject)


Certificate III


Certificate IV



or Advanced diploma

If a student is eligible for an ATAR in both categories, QTAC will use their highest ATAR.

English as a requirement for ATAR eligibility

In the new system of tertiary entrance, eligibility for an ATAR will require satisfactory completion of a QCAA English subject.

Satisfactory completion will require students to attain a result that is equivalent to a Sound Level of Achievement in one of five subjects — English, Essential English, Literature (new subject), English and Literature Extension (renamed), or English as an Additional Language.

While students must meet this standard to be eligible to receive an ATAR, it won’t be mandatory for a student’s English result to be included in the calculation of their ATAR .

More information

For more information about the new tertiary entrance system visit the QTAC website.

To keep up to date up with the transition to the new senior assessment system, subscribe to new senior assessment system updates - a regular email highlighting developments and opportunities for participation.

Last updated: 18 January 2017

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