What is the ATAR?

The ATAR is a rank, not a mark.

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a number between 0.00 and 99.95 that indicates a student’s position relative to all the students in their age group (ie all 16 to 20 year olds in NSW). So, an ATAR of 80.00 means that you are 20 per cent from the top of your age group (not your Year 12 group).

Universities use the ATAR to help them select students for their courses and admission to most tertiary courses is based on your selection rank (your ATAR + any applicable adjustments). Most universities also use other criteria when selecting students (eg a personal statement, a questionnaire, a portfolio of work, an audition, an interview or a test).

The average ATAR is usually around 70.00.

If every school student went on to achieve an ATAR, the average ATAR would be 50.00. But because some students leave school early and the ones who stay on to receive an ATAR are a smaller, more academically able group, the average ATAR is higher.

ATARs are calculated in each state to reflect a student’s rank against other students in their state. In NSW, the ATAR is calculated and released by UAC. In the ACT, it’s calculated by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies and is released by schools. NSW ATARs are equivalent to those in other states. For example, an ATAR of 85.00 in NSW is equivalent to an ATAR of 85.00 in other states.

ATAR eligibility

To be eligible for an ATAR in NSW, you must satisfactorily complete at least 10 units of ATAR courses.

ATAR courses

Not all of the many HSC courses can contribute to an ATAR.

ATAR calculation

Your ATAR is based on an aggregate of scaled marks in 10 units of ATAR courses.

How to get your ATAR

This year's NSW ATARs will be released on Friday 14 December.