Australian Tertiary Admission Rank

ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank and it is the rank used by universities across Australia to help them select Year 12 students for entry into their courses. In Queensland they use the Overall Position (OP).

The ATAR is a rank, not a mark.

The ATAR is a number between 0.00 and 99.95 with increments of 0.05 that indicates a student’s achievement relative to other students. For example, an ATAR of 80.00 means that you are in the top 20 per cent of your age cohort.

ATARs are calculated in each state to reflect a student’s rank against other students in that state. All ATARs are treated as equivalent between the states, which makes applying interstate easier. For example, an ATAR of 75.00 in New South Wales is the same as an ATAR of 75.00 in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.

There are some differences between the states in the way the ATAR is calculated. For more information about the ATAR in each state, visit the relevant state Tertiary Admissions Centre:

For information about the ATAR in the Australian Capital Territory, visit the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies.

Overall Position (OP)

Queensland does not currently use the ATAR. This will be introduced in 2020 and used for tertiary admissions in 2021 and beyond. The OP is a number from 1 to 25, where 1 is the highest and 25 is the lowest. The OP is converted to a commonly accepted rank for use in other states across Australia. For more OP information visit the QTAC website.

Adjustment factors

Referred to previously as “bonus points”, adjustment factors are additional points that may be used in combination with an applicant’s ATAR to derive a person’s course selection rank. Adjustments do not change an individual’s ATAR, it changes their selection rank for a particular course or courses. Common types of adjustment factors are:

  • Elite Athlete and Performer adjustments: Adjustments available on the basis of the applicant’s sporting or artistic prowess.

  • Equity adjustment: Adjustment available on the basis of characteristics associated with disadvantage.

  • Location adjustment: Adjustment available on the basis of the applicant’s proximity to the institution offering the course.

  • Subject adjustment: Adjustment available on the basis of the particular relevance to the academic requirements of a higher education course of a secondary subject that the applicant undertook.

  • Maximum adjustment: The maximum total adjustments possible to an applicant’s selection rank from the combination of all adjustments they are eligible for.

Interstate subject equivalents

There are some differences between the states in the way that Year 12 subjects are classified.

For example, mathematics has a different classification in most states. In VIC and ACT it is identified as Specialist Mathematics, while the equivalent in QLD is Mathematics C.   

If you are thinking about studying in a different state to where you completed Year 12, then you may need to contact your state Tertiary Admissions Centre to confirm if your subjects meet the program prerequisites for your chosen course.

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