For Students

Your ATAR in 2024: What it is, How it Works, and What it Means for You

Discover everything you need to know about the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and how it affects university admissions in Australia in this comprehensive guide.

Tristan Blake
Senior Educational Analyst
February 18, 2023
min read

Your ATAR in 2024: What it is, How it Works, and What it Means for You

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a term that is likely familiar to many students in Australia. ATAR is a ranking system that measures a student's academic performance in relation to other students in their graduating year.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide or what ATAR means to you!

It is important to understand the ATAR as it is critical to getting into your preferred university degree straight out of high school. However, also remember, that ATAR is not everything. Once you enter the university system there are lots of other ways to get into your preferred course even if you do not have the ATAR.

If you want to maximise your ATAR, consider getting a tutor from Apex Tuition Australia. Our tutors have got an average ATAR of 99.00. We only select the best tutors who know exactly what it takes to get the best ATAR. Contact us today!

What is ATAR?

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a ranking system used in Australia to measure a student's academic performance relative to their peers in the same graduating year. It is a score between 0 and 99.95 and is used by universities and other higher education institutions to determine admission to undergraduate courses.

What is the ATAR?

The ATAR is calculated by the state or territory admissions centre using a complex algorithm that takes into account a student's raw examination marks in their best four subjects, scaled scores, and any adjustments made for factors such as subject difficulty, gender, and location. The final ATAR score is calculated on a curve, with the top 0.05% of students receiving a score of 99.95 and the bottom 50% receiving a score below 50.

ATAR Score Range

What is the difference between raw and scaled study score?

For VCE subjects, students will receive a raw score out of 50. This score is calculated based on the student's performance on assessments (SACs) and exams throughout the year, and is then scaled and moderated by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to ensure fairness and consistency across different schools and assessors. The scaling is done using statistical methods that take into account factors such as the average score, the spread of scores, and the number of students taking the subject.

The scaling is done using statistical methods that take into account factors such as the average score, the spread of scores, and the number of students taking the subject.

The scaled score out of 50 is then used as one of the inputs in the calculation of the student's ATAR, which measures their overall academic achievement relative to other students in their year level. The raw score out of 50 can give students a good indication of how well they are performing in a particular subject, but it is important to remember that it is just one part of the larger picture when it comes to university admission and future career opportunities.

Curious to know what your ATAR is going to be? Use our VCE ATAR Calculator to estimate your ATAR in 2024!

How is the ATAR calculated?

Your ATAR is calculated by first calculating your aggregate score. Your aggregate score is a sum of your scaled study scores for all of your unit 3 and 4 subjects. Your English scaled study score will always be included. Then your next three best scaled study scores will be included as well. Any additional fifth, sixth or extra subject will only account for 10%. These will all add up to give you an aggregate score.

How is the ATAR calculated?
Diagram explaining how your aggregate score is calculated

From your aggregate score, it will then be converted into an ATAR. Every year the conversion from aggregate score to ATAR will be slightly different. However, the changes are usually only very marginal. You can see the full conversion table from 2023 here. You can see below how the conversion works. For every ATAR in increments of 0.05 there is a range of aggregate scores.

Aggregate score to ATAR conversion
Aggregate score to ATAR conversion

How to prepare to get your pest possible ATAR in 2024

Preparing for the end of year exam can be a daunting task, but with the right study tips and strategies, students can maximise their performance and achieve their desired results. Here are some tips and strategies for preparing for the exams:

How to prepare for exams

Study tips and strategies:

  • Create a study schedule: A well-structured study schedule can help students stay organised and on track with their studies. It's important to allocate enough time for each subject and ensure that the schedule is realistic and achievable.
  • Practice past papers: Practicing past exam papers is an effective way to familiarise oneself with the exam format and types of questions that may be asked. It also helps students identify areas where they need to improve.
  • Seek help when needed: Don't hesitate to ask teachers or tutors for help when needed. They can provide additional resources and support to help students improve their understanding of difficult concepts.
Study schedule

Maximising exam performance:

  • Time management: Time management is crucial during the exam. Students should allocate time for each section of the exam and ensure that they don't spend too much time on any one question.
  • Read instructions carefully: It's important to read the exam instructions carefully to ensure that all questions are answered correctly and completely.
  • Double-check answers: Before submitting the exam, students should double-check their answers to ensure that they have answered all questions and that their answers are correct.
Time management

Managing stress and anxiety:

  • Get enough rest: A good night's sleep is essential for optimal cognitive performance. Students should aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before the exam.
  • Relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and other relaxation techniques can help students manage stress and anxiety.
  • Seek support: Talking to friends, family, or a counsellor can help students manage stress and anxiety related to the exam.

Importance of extracurricular activities:

Participating in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or volunteering can help students develop important skills such as teamwork, leadership, and time management. These skills can be beneficial for academic and career success.


Resources for students:

There are many resources available to help students prepare for the ATAR 2024 exam, including study guides, online tutorials, and tutoring services. It's important for students to research and utilise these resources to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the exam.


ATAR and University Admissions:

Universities use the ATAR as a key factor in determining admission to undergraduate courses. Here's what you need to know about how universities use ATAR scores for admissions:

  • Cut-off scores and selection criteria: Universities set a minimum ATAR score, known as a cut-off score, for admission to each course. In addition to ATAR, universities also consider other factors such as academic performance in specific subjects, personal statements, and extracurricular activities.
  • Alternative pathways to university: Students who do not meet the minimum ATAR requirements can still gain entry to university through alternative pathways, such as completing a bridging course or vocational education and training.


Here are some frequently asked questions about ATAR:

What is an ATAR?

ATAR stands for the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. It is a ranking system used in Australian states and territories (except for Queensland) to compare the overall achievement of students who have completed their secondary education. The ATAR is a percentile score which ranges from 0.00 to 99.95, in increments of 0.05, and is used by universities to grant admission to different courses.

Can someone achieve a 100 ATAR?

No one can get an ATAR of 100 because the highest achievable ATAR is 99.95. The score is calculated based on your scaled marks in various subjects, and it indicates your ranking relative to your peers.

What is considered a good ATAR?

What is "good" can vary depending on individual goals and the requirements of the specific course or university you are interested in. Generally, an ATAR of 80 is considered to be above average and can give you access to a wide range of university courses. A 90 ATAR is indeed excellent, placing you in the top 10 percent of your graduating class.

What is the average ATAR in Australia?

The average ATAR score tends to fluctuate yearly and can vary between states but is around a 70. It's advisable to check the most recent statistics for the most accurate data.

What if I fail my exams?

Students who fail their exams can repeat the subject the following year or pursue alternative pathways to university.

How can I improve my ATAR?

Students can improve their ATAR scores by seeking additional support and resources, such as tutoring or study groups.

What happens if I miss out on my preferred course?

Students who miss out on their preferred course can explore alternative courses or consider taking a gap year to gain additional skills and experiences.

How long is ATAR valid?

ATAR does not expire and can use it many years after you finish high school.

What if I want to study overseas?

Students who wish to study overseas should research the entry requirements for their desired program and country.


ATAR scores play a crucial role in university admissions and can impact career pathways and personal development. With the right preparation, resources, and support, students can achieve their academic and career goals. Strive for your goals, and remember that success takes hard work and perseverance.

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