ATAR: What is it?

ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank. It’s a score between

Your ATAR is calculated using your TEA, Tertiary Entrance Aggregate (see below).

For example, if you achieved an ATAR of 80.0, then your aggregate is better than 80% of students in your year group, and therefore in the top 20%.

It’s used by most undergraduate entry programs to universities in Australia to determine your selection rank in relation to other students.

How is it calculated?

The ATAR is calculated by ranking your TEA in comparison to the other students. For instance, if you had a TEA of 250 and an ATAR of 90, this would mean that 90% of students had a TEA of less than 250.

Your TEA is a score out of 400. In turn, is the aggregated sum of the scaled score of your top 4 courses, after standardisation and moderation. Confusing, right? I’ll try and explain it clearly here.


Languages (main post here):

Some universities, such as UWA and Curtin, offer a bonus if you do a language as a subject. The bonus works like this:

If I did Italian 3AB with a final scale score of 80, 10% of that score would be added to my TEA, regardless of whether Italian was in my top 4 subjects. Thus, if my TEA was 250 before, it would now be 258 as a result of the languages bonus. This UWA website explains it clearly.


Since there are so many maths courses with varying levels of difficulty, this is accounted for when calculating ATAR. These bonus points are added to your WACE course score before scaling.

Subject Bonus
Maths 2AB 0
Maths 2CD +10
Maths 3AB +20
Maths 3CD +30
Maths Specialist 3AB 0
Maths Specialist 3CD +15

ATAR Calculators

Here is a very easy-to-use ATAR calculator, using your WACE results. Please note that ATAR calculators should be used as guides only, as the marks adjustment process changes significantly every year.
WACE Calculator

You do not need an ATAR to graduate; achieving an ATAR of less than 50 does not mean you do not graduate, it just means your options in university are limited. However, there are other ways to get in if you do not achieve the required ATAR. Click here for more information.

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