What is an ATAR?
Wondering what an ATAR is and why you might need one? If you’re at high school and are thinking about starting university soon, an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is one way to gain direct entry into university.
An ATAR is a number between 0 and 99.95 and represents your position amongst all the other year 12s in Western Australia. It is a rank, not a score or mark. For example, an ATAR of 75 means you have performed better than 75% of year 12s in WA.
How is an ATAR calculated?
- The four highest scores achieved in your WACE exams are added together to become your Tertiary Entrance Aggregate (TEA).
- Your TEA is then ranked against all other Year 12s in WA. This is your ATAR.
- Every course has a minimum ATAR to qualify and apply.
ATARs are equivalent from every state except Queensland, so an ATAR of 75 in New South Wales will still be 75 in Western Australia for example.
What’s the difference between an ATAR and a selection rank?
Your ATAR tells you how you’ve been positioned compared to other year 12 students, while your selection rank is your ATAR plus any adjustments.
These adjustments could include the location of your high school or your main living address, completing certain subjects like specialist Mathematics or a language other than English, or your eligibility for an educational access scheme such as Murdoch RISE.
Selection rank adjustments don’t change your actual ATAR – they change your selection rank for entry into a particular university.
Choosing the right school subjects
It’s best to choose school elective subjects that you enjoy and do well in. While there are recommended ATAR subjects for some courses, these are not strict pre-requisite entry subjects.
For example, year 11 and 12 maths will help if you want to study a science, mathematics or business course, while physics, chemistry and biology are useful for some of our science courses. These subjects may count towards your degree and can allow for exemptions of some pre-requisite units.
If you haven’t completed these subjects in year 11 or 12, don’t worry. You will be able to take bridging or pre-requisite units in your first year to bring you up to speed.
Do I have other uni entry options?
We understand that sometimes things don’t go according to plan. If your ATAR is lower than expected, there are still a range of options and support available to help you secure your place at Murdoch.