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What is ATAR and How to Calculate It?
June 25, 2024
Author : Bill

Are you excited to know what is ATAR and what are some steps to calculate it? Let's start with a short introduction. So, an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) is a ranking which is used in Australia for university admissions. Moreover, it has a number between 0.00 and 99.95 in increments of 0.05, which indicates a student's position relative to all other students in their year group. Further, there always remains the question of how is an ATAR calculated. So, you can calculate ATAR by state-based authorities which is based on a student's performance in their final year of secondary school (usually Year 12) and it is used by universities to determine eligibility and selection for undergraduate courses.

Who gets an ATAR?

In Australia, an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) is usually received by students who have completed their final year of secondary education. These students are usually focused on pursuing tertiary education at universities. Furthermore, the ATAR is used as a tool to rank students based on their academic performance relative to their peers across the country. It helps universities make decisions about which students to admit into their undergraduate programs. Till now, you know all the basics about what is ATAR.

National ATAR

The National ATAR, usually refers to the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) system which is used all over Australia. It's how they evaluate and rank students based on their final high school results. Here's the scoop on the National ATAR system:

Uniformity across Australia

The National ATAR system's main focus is to provide a standardised method of ranking students' academic achievements over all states and territories in Australia.

Calculation Basis

The ATAR calculation is based on a student's scaled total score from their best four subjects (plus 10% of their fifth and sixth subjects, if applicable and beneficial). By this, you can get some idea about "how is an ATAR calculated".

Conversion to Percentile Rank

The calculated total score is then converted into a percentile rank, which shows a student's position is related to their peers nationally.

Range and Significance

ATAR ranges from 0.00 to 99.95. An ATAR of 99.95 indicates that the student is in the top 0.05% of their cohort nationally. While an ATAR of 50.00 shows that the student is in the middle of the cohort.

Use in University Admission

ATARs are used by universities and other tertiary education institutions as a primary criterion for admission to undergraduate programs. Moreover, higher ATARs generally match up with more competitive entry to courses.

State-Specific Variations

While the concept of the National ATAR system is equal across Australia, conversely the specific details and administration of assessments may differ slightly between states and territories.

Overall, the National ATAR system provides a fair and transparent way to assess and compare students' academic achievements, facilitating entry into higher education institutions across Australia. Moreover, now, you know all about what is ATAR.


How to Calculate ATAR?

Calculating an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) involves several steps and considerations. Here's a simplified guide:

Understand the Components

First, you need to understand the components of ATAR. Moreover, the components of ATAR includes that it is primarily based on your scaled scores in your best 10 units of ATAR-eligible courses, including 2 units of English. Further, you are required to know that these scaled scores are derived from your raw exam marks, moderated to account for the difficulty of subjects. Basically, it is the first step of how is an ATAR calculated.

Raw Examination Marks

It is important that you have the knowledge about the raw examination marks in which your raw marks from each HSC/VCE/WACE/SACE/TCE subject are used as a starting point.


Scaling is the step in which each subject's raw marks are adjusted based on the scaling process in which it takes into account the relative difficulty of subjects and the performance of other students.


After the scaling step, the scaled or calculated marks from your best 10 units are aggregated. Further, this total score is then scaled to align with the distribution of ATARs across the state or territory.

Final ATAR Calculation

After all of the above steps, finally you need to do the last calculation in which your aggregate is converted into an ATAR, which is a percentile ranking relative to other students in your state or territory that completed Year 12 in the same year. Further, if you are still facing any problem in calculation or have any doubt then you can seek help from our experts of academic writing services.

Example Calculation

Suppose your aggregate places you in the top 30% of students in your state. So, your ATAR might be around 70 because an ATAR of 70 means you are ranked in the top 30% of students.

Special Considerations

In special consideration, there are some adjustments that you need to consider such as bonus points for specific achievements or circumstances (e.g., rural students, high-level mathematics). These can affect your final ATAR.

Check with Your State's Tertiary Admissions Centre (TAC)

After reading the heading of this step, you must have understood what you have to do in the end. Each state or territory has its own TAC (e.g., UAC, VTAC, and SATAC) so, you need to calculate and issue ATARs. They will provide detailed information and can answer specific questions.

Always ensure that you check the current guidelines and consult with your school's careers advisor or relevant TAC for the most accurate information regarding ATAR calculation.

Overall, you get the idea about how is an ATAR calculated.

Wrapping It Up!

After evaluating all the points, we came to the step that you need to first understand all about the ATAR. Together then you need to move to the ways to calculate it. Moreover, you need to put in your best efforts in regular practice of calculating an ATAR. Therefore, these kind of topics require practical knowledge instead of theoretical knowledge. Conversely, if you are still facing any problem in understanding the concept or while calculation then you can seek help from our experts of academic writing services. Our experts will surely help you to solve your problem. Further, if you have any other doubts or problems related to any other field. Then you can seek help or reach out to our MY Assignment Services. So, now you know all about the ATAR and how you can calculate it. It’s time for your calculations!

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About the Author


Bill is an academic expert in the fields of law, nursing, business, and management. His diligence in editing and writing assignments solutions has been applauded by students from around the globe; who swear by his eclectic writing style and subject matter expertise in Law and Nursing Studies. He is full time associated with My Assignment Services as a Senior Academic Writer and loves binge-watching on anything sci-fi.


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