How is the ATAR Calculated?

Posted on May 25, 2017 by DJ Kim

How is the ATAR calculated?

The ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) is a rank calculated by UAC using an aggregate of scaled marks in 10 units of ATAR courses. These ATAR courses must include at least:

  • their best two units of English
  • their best eight units from their remaining units, which can include up to two units of Category B courses

What is the process for calculating the ATAR?

Read the following 7 steps on how the ATAR is calculated.

Step 1: School assessments are used to assign overall assessment mark and rank in each subject.

Step 2: All students sit a common HSC Exam for each subject

Step 3: The NESA (previously known as BOSTES) determines your HSC mark using your HSC exam mark and moderated assessment mark.

The image below is a scanned copy of Higher School Certificate that a student received from BOSTES. Note that it shows examination mark, assessment mark and HSC mark for each subject undertaken by the student.

HSC Certificate

Image: Higher School Certificate from BOSTES

Learn more: How are school assessment marks moderated?


Step 4: UAC scales each subject out of 50 for comparison across subjects.

Step 5: UAC determines each student’s aggregate of scaled marks out of 500.

Step 6: The aggregate mark out of 500 is used to determine your percentile.

Step 7: ATAR is your percentile score, rounded to the nearest 0.05.

The image below is a scanned copy of ATAR Advice that a student receives from UAC.

ATAR Certificate from UAC

Image: ATAR Advice from UAC


Did you know:

In 2016, students required

  • 404/500 aggregate of scaled marks to receive 95.00 ATAR
  • 447/500 aggregate of scaled marks to receive 99.00 ATAR
  • 478/500 aggregate of scaled marks to receive 99.95 ATAR.

You can estimate your ATAR using the Matrix ATAR Calculator.


You might also be interested in:

Found this article interesting or useful? Share the knowledge!


You may also like

Get free study tips and resources delivered to your inbox.

Join 19,576 students who already have a head start.