The ATAR (once-upon-a-time known as the ENTER) is formed by ‘aggregating’ ‘scaled’ ‘study scores’…(ASS’S – LOL!) and we hope the following will clarify this terminology….


What is the ATAR? Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. Based upon their final VCE results, each student in Victoria is measured or ranked against all their Victorian peers (year 12).

The highest ATAR score is 99.95.

An ATAR rank is primarily used for enrolment into Tertiary (University / TAFE) Institutions. It can be used by its self or in conjunction with a range of criteria and requirements.

  • If you achieve an ATAR score of 66.25 this means that your VCE results places you in the top 34% of your Year 12 age group in Victoria.
    • Your ATAR score will be calculated by 
      • adding up the results of your English, 
      • plus next best three subjects then 
      • adding 10% of your fifth & 
      • 10% of your sixth subject. 
    • However, your ‘scaled‘ results are used to calculate your ATAR, not your raw ‘study score‘… please read on to find out more…

Study Score

What is a ‘Study Score’? You will receive a ‘Study Score‘ (max of 50) for each Year 12 (Unit 3/4) subject. Study Scores are calculated from the results of your SACS/SATS & Exams.

  • Even though your ‘in-school’ tests (SACS & SATS) are scored, you are only told your results in a variety of ways: ‘numerically’, ‘high’, ‘medium’, or ‘low’.
  • Why?
  • Your SAC results may be ‘moderated’ depending on your exam results. (If you do well in your exam your SAC results may be adjusted up, conversely, if you don’t do well, your SAC results could be lowered.)
  • This is only one of the many checks and balances in place to ensure the entegrity of the system. You can’t be told your SAC results during the Year because they may change after your exam.
    • Let’s say that you receive a study score of 38 in English – (now read on to find out how this number mutates on it’s journey to the ATAR!)


What is ‘Scaling’?

Each of your subject ‘Study Scores‘ are ‘scaled‘. This is done, again, to measure or rank you against your peers from across the country. The scaling process is a complicated mathematical procedure designed to recognise (and distribute reward according to) the varying degrees of difficulty between courses.

  • When you consider that a mark of 30 in Maths Methods might be particularly harder to get than a mark of 30 in Literature you can begin to understand why there is a scaling process.
  • The scaling process will raise or lower the original mark (Study Score) to make the ranked score ‘equitable’ (or fair) across all subjects.
    • So, your Study Score of 38 in English will be ‘scaled’ and become a different number… (for example in 2008 it became 37.13).
  • The  reports below (PDF) will show you how subjects are scaled.


What does ‘Aggregating’ do to my score?

Aggregating happens to your ‘scaled‘ scores. By adding the scaled scores from your English + next best 3 subjects + 10% of the 5th Subject + 10% of the 6th subject this gives you your Aggregate score.

    • The Aggregate score will look something like: 160.2 which converts into an ATAR score of 89.65 (2008).
  • The following Aggregate/ATAR report will help you change an Aggregate score into an ATAR Score.

Calculation of your ATAR

To get an idea of what your ATAR may be…. Here is a calculator you can try:

    • AtarCalc
      • Remember the AtarCalc is only a toy – results will only give you a ball-park figure!
      • By the way, the average Study Score is 30.
      • You are being ranked against all students from across the ENTIRE State/Country, not just your school!

Publications / Links

VTAC produce a couple of publications for further research on scaling etc. You can download the ‘ABC of Scaling‘ (which all Year 12’s receive late in the year) or current Year 10s & 11s can download specific publications pertaining to them by clicking here.

VCAA – you may find some answers to curly questions here.

Or, ask a question below and a dedicated Careers Advisor from our Shepparton region will endeavour to answer it…

Busting some myths about the ATAR..

This ‘tongue in cheek’ toon, discusses myths regarding the ATAR. These are the views of the author only!

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