Things You Should Know About ATAR

Things You Should Know About ATAR

ATAR or Australian Tertiary Admission Rank is the scale of evaluation to measure the rank of students on a scale of 0 to 99.95. Australian universities offer many choices and opportunities for students who want to pursue higher education. In order to get admission to Australian Universities, students need to score well in ATAR. The process consists of many steps passing which the student will be given mighty options in several Australian universities. For every subject, a student takes, four types of marks are attributed on the basis of which evaluation is made. If you are an aspiring student, here are the things you should know about ATAR and the steps included.


Passing HSE is not enough to get a student through ATAR. Rather the student needs to take and finish a minimum of 10 units of the ATAR course. There is a prescribed set of subjects for these ten units which the student must take compulsorily. It includes and is not limited to

l 2 units of English

l 4 subjects

l 8 units from category A

l 3 board developed courses

The student must take courses on these subjects and score a high percentage to get admission in any of the Australian universities.


Certain categories of students are excluded from ATAR. These students do not need ATAR to get admissions to Australian Universities. Excepted category either need to hold an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and Open Foundation and Tertiary Preparation Certificate (TPC).

Course and Syllabus

Any exam is easy to crack if approached right. To understand an exam, students need to first understand its syllabus. The syllabus of ATAR is classified into several categories.

Category A is supposed to provide academic insight and in-depth knowledge to students while subjects coming under category B are considered contributory in the aggregate.


After understanding the syllabus, students need to fix a proper time schedule. There might be many limitations including shortage of time, difficulty in learning certain subjects or concepts. But a student must have the determination to overcome all of this. Talk with people who have attempted the exam and passed it. Ask them about the right studying practice and useful study materials. Time is valuable. One cannot afford to waste it over studying the wrong things or in the wrong format or referring to the wrong material. Ask them to share study tips and materials with you and pay heed to their advice. Find out what worked for them and what didn’t. Understand and reflect upon it and take lessons from it. You can also enroll with reputed online tutoring platforms to improve your ATAR score.

 Calculation of ATAR

ATAR is calculated by considering many factors. When a student completes the 10 courses, the assessment begins. It is based on the following things.

l The best two units are taken from English

l Best 8 courses are picked from the remaining portion

For each subject, a mark of 4 is given. The 4 marks are assessment mark, HSE mark, performance band, and an examination mark.

Performing well in high school is extremely important to crack ATAR. Because the calculations are made in connection with the rank and score secured by the student in their HSE exams. It is called school scaling. This is the assessment mark.

HSE marks are allocated as bands. If you are in band 6 it means you scored a mark between 90 and 100. The better you scored during high school, the better your ATAR percentage would be.

Aggregate or the total score is determined on the basis of the marks scored in all the subjects. The sum of marks scored in several subjects is calculated from the student’s top 10 scoring units. This aggregate is called the total score and determines an ATAR.

Students can know their ATAR score and the same is sent to all universities they applied to. Decisions are made on the basis of ATAR scores and students can know whether they got selected or not. 


Getting a good ATAR score is not a herculean task if approached right. The first step is of course to score well in HSE and attain the maximum marks. The rest can be cracked easily with some dedicated effort and a fixed study routine. Make use of techniques such as flashcards, attempting practice questions, answering previous year’s papers, etc. Also, do revisions regularly otherwise you might forget a part that you had studied thoroughly. Always make time for revisiting the lessons already covered. Understand which subjects and portions are difficult for you and plan extra time to study those. Don’t leave out anything just because it is hard to understand. When you are studying, make sure you understand the concepts. Just memorizing lines is not going to help you in the long run. Understand, reflect, revisit, these should be your motto while preparing for ATAR.

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