Calculating your ATAR... what you need to know

Since the dawn of time (or at least the late 20th century), calculators have been used to solve mathematical problems without much thinking needed from people. But when it comes to calculating your ATAR - the same approach can be more confusing than Drake's dancing in Hotline Bling.


But it doesn’t have to be this way - Understanding how your ATAR results are calculated is not rocket science. Estimating your ATAR is not brain surgery and knowing the difference between the UAI and UAC is definitely not rocket surgery (which you can actually study if you get a really good ATAR score).

To make things easier for you, we’ve put together the following explanations and translations to help you understand the ATAR process.

Sit back and let us do the thinking for you :)

What’s an ATAR?

The ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) is a ranking system that lists students in order of academic achievement.

The rankings are determined by the University Admissions Centre (UAC) and range from 99.95 to 0.

Universities use these rankings along with other selection criteria to determine which students are eligible to sit for particular university courses.10-23-2012_Rocket_Surgery_T_SHIRT_det

TranslationYour ATAR is a number that will decide if you can sit for particular University courses like rocket surgery.

Stressbuster Even if you don’t receive a ranking that’s high enough for a particular University, you can still study the course of your dreams at private education providers like Macleay College – so don’t stress!


How is my ATAR Score Calculated?

Firstly, the UAC scale subjects up or down according to the performance of students throughout the year.

This is done to fairly compare marks in different Year 12 subjects.

After scaling, the results from your 10 best units of study are combined to give you a score out of 500.

That score is then converted to a percentage to give you your ATAR!

Your ten best units are made up of the following –

  • Your best scaled study score in any of the English studies
  • The scaled study scores from your next best three permissible studies
  • 10% of scaled study score for fifth study (where applicable)
  • 10% of scaled study score for sixth study (where applicable)FullSizeRender

Translation – The results from your 10 best units of scaled study combine to create a percentage which will determine your ATAR and eligibility to study rocket surgery.

Stressbuster Your ATAR results DO NOT determine your future.

Regardless of your results, you’ve done a great job just to be here and have your whole future to look forward to. Some of you will go to University, some of you will study later in life and some of you will travel the world before you even have the faintest clue what you want to do with the rest of your life.

You can still be successful without the ATAR of your dreams.

How do you calculate your ATAR?

An ATAR calculator can be used to estimate your ATAR results based on scaled data from previous years VCE and HSC results.

These calculators rely on scaled data that has been rounded off, condensed and then published by the UAC.

It is important to remember that ATAR calculators only create an estimate of your ranking.

Each year a different group of students sits for each HSC subject, therefore the same HSC results will create a different ATAR from year to year.

Translation – ATAR calculators will only predict your ATAR results based off previous year’s results, but it can help to identify if you’re in the running to study at University. Just remember – it’s only an estimate.

Stressbuster – Whether your calculations add up to perceived success or failure is irrelevant. The old pathway of School – University - Work has been replaced by a highway of opportunity. There is no singular road to success, and right now there is more opportunity than ever before.

Enjoy the ride and best of luck with your results – not that you need them!

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