Media releases

The truth about the ATAR

23 Nov 2018

IT'S only 3 weeks until NSW HSC students get their ATARs, and it's time to clear the air.

While the ATAR cops the blame for lots of things people don't like about Year 12 and getting into uni, the truth is that it is an effective tool for rationing places and predicting success at tertiary study.

The ATAR gives tertiary institutions a complete picture of overall academic ranking, not just in one subject but across a whole pattern of Year 12 study.

Unis have to be fair and equitable, and use public money wisely, and the ATAR actually helps them do those things.

Having said all that, we know it's not perfect – nothing is.

The ATAR is one measure of student performance and potential, and of course unis have other measures they can use instead of or in conjunction with the ATAR. These include, questionnaires, portfolios, auditions, interviews and tests. All of them have their pluses and minuses but let's get real and stop bagging the ATAR.

‘For students our message is congratulations on finishing your exams; now try to keep calm while you wait for your ATAR,’ says Kim Paino, General Manager, Marketing and Engagement. ‘We know you are so much more than a four-digit number, but all the same it's a useful number for universities to fairly work out who should be offered places. And to help you know where you stand when that happens.’

More information about the ATAR is available on UAC’s website or students can call UAC’s customer service on 1300 275 822 (02 9752 0200 from mobiles).

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For further information (media only) email or contact: 
Diane Jardine, Communications Officer, UAC on (02) 9752 0775, or 
Kim Paino, General Manager, Marketing and Engagement, UAC on (02) 9752 0760 or 0409 155 112.

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