What is an ATAR and how does it work?
What is an ATAR?
The ATAR is a ranking of your Year 12 results, compared to all other final year students across Australia. The ATAR helps tertiary institutions – likes unis and TAFEs – compare the achievements of students, regardless of which subjects they’ve studied. While it’s used by tertiary institutions for admission into some courses, in many cases it’s not the only factor that’s considered when you apply.
Who gets an ATAR?
To be eligible for an ATAR, you need to get study scores in at least four Units 3 and 4 VCE subjects, including at least one English subject.
What is scaling?
For each subject, you receive a raw study score between 0–50. This raw score is based on your results from school assessments and exams. Just like the ATAR, the raw score is a ranking, so it reflects how you performed compared to all other students who studied the same subject.
The raw score is then scaled up or down by VTAC, based on the difficulty of getting a high score in that subject. This doesn’t mean that some subjects are easier or harder, but it ensures you’re not advantaged or disadvantaged based on your subject choice.
How is the ATAR calculated?
In Victoria, the ATAR is calculated by VTAC after you complete the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). The ATAR is a number between 0 and 99.95, and it’s made up of the scaled study scores from your top four scoring subjects (including at least one English subject), plus 10% of your fifth and sixth subjects.
Once these scaled study scores are added together, they form an aggregate. This is then converted into your ATAR. So if you get an ATAR of 75, you’ve performed better than 75% of Year 12 students in that year.