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The information on this page relates to a student who has or will receive an OP. For information regarding the new system, please refer to Preparing for new senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems.

What is an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank?

An Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) allows tertiary admissions centres to compare students from across Australia when they apply for tertiary places. The ATAR is a number between 0 and 99.95, in increments of 0.05. ATARs below 30 are not reported.

In Queensland, students who complete Year 12 may apply for tertiary entrance using multiple pathways. However, for Queensland students, only students who are eligible for an Overall Position (OP) are eligible for an ATAR.

How are ATARs calculated?

The ATAR is calculated in Queensland using the same underlying fine-grained measure as the OP, but segmented in a different way. An ATAR is a percentile ranking of a student’s overall achievement out of all potential Year 12 school students. This group includes OP-eligible and ineligible students, as well as those people not in senior schooling. All potential Year 12 students are used due to the fact that each state and territory calculates their local tertiary rank differently. For example, the way subjects are weighted, the scaling techniques used and the eligibility rules for the local tertiary rank all vary between jurisdictions. Additionally, the various states and territories have different proportions of the population participating in senior schooling. By calculating ATARs using the whole possible Year 12 cohort as a base, ATARs from different jurisdictions can be compared.

Each state is responsible for determining ATARs for its students. Every year an independent statistician analyses each state's calculations to determine if there are anomalies or practices that seem to be inappropriate.

When are ATARs used?

When OP -eligible students apply for entry into very competitive degree programs, at Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) member institutions, the ATAR may be used to ensure there is an equitable allocation of tertiary places if Field Positions (FPs) do not provide enough differentiation between high-achieving applicants.

ATARs may also be used by institutions outside of Queensland to rank students.

Can I review my ATAR?

No. An ATAR will not change unless your OP data changes as an outcome of requesting a review of your Tertiary Entrance Statement results (OP/FPs).

The processing period available to Year 12 students to request a review of their Tertiary Entrance Statement results (OP/FPs) ends in January on the date listed on the Application for verification or review form issued with Senior Education Profiles. This is usually the second Monday in January. You cannot request a review of your Tertiary Entrance Statement results (OP/FPs) after this time.

Procedures for review of Tertiary Entrance Statement results (OP/FPs) are outlined.

Do I need to apply for my ATAR?

No. The QCAA provides all Tertiary Entrance data (OP/FPs and ATAR) to the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC). If you are applying for tertiary entrance in Australia, the tertiary admissions centre can obtain your ATAR directly from QTAC.

ATARs are calculated for all OP-eligible Year 12 students following the award of Tertiary Entrance Statement results (OP/FPs).

If you are applying for an Australian interstate course, scholarship or residential college, you may be asked to provide your ATAR.

If you are applying to study overseas, it is up to that overseas country to determine how your results are recognised for tertiary entrance in that country. There are likely to be different procedures for students who have completed schooling in that country and students who have completed schooling in Australia.

If you want to know what your ATAR is you need to apply for a ATAR statement.

How do I apply for my ATAR?

If you have an Overall Position (OP) or are eligible for an OP and wish to obtain your ATAR statement, you need to complete an application form.

This form must be posted to the QCAA along with current certified copies of your identification.

  • There is no charge for providing an ATAR.
  • ATARs are not available for students graduating before 1997.
  • If you do not have an OP, or are not eligible for an OP, you will not have an ATAR. For entry to tertiary courses apply to QTAC for a QTAC selection rank. Information about selection ranks is available from QTAC on 1300 467 822.
  • The QCAA does not report ATARs to schools as these belong to students and are not part of current reporting arrangements.

Processing timeframes

Applications from current Year 12 students will be processed only after the issue of OPs in December.

All other applications are generally processed within 7 working days.

The ATAR statement will be emailed or posted to the address nominated on the application.

More information

For more information see the tertiary entrance section.

Last updated: 9 March 2017

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