The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or ATAR rating is considered the primary criterion for entering an undergraduate university program in Australia. For example, your ATAR score is 97.0; this means that you perform better than 97% of your peers, and rank lower than 2.95% of your peers since the highest score that can be achieved is 99.95%. Tertiary education and university programs use the ATAR rating in selecting prospective applicants.
Continue reading below to have a better idea of what the ATAR rating is and how it relates to your plans of studying in Australia.
ATAR Rating Is a Rank
The ATAR rating denotes a student’s ranking then they complete their secondary education. With a 0.05 minimum increment, the ATAR is a percentile score that can range between 30 and 99.95. You can use a great ATAR Calculator guide to predict your ATAR to have a better understanding of your future study options in Australia.
Here are some facts about the ATAR rating:
- In June 2009, Julia Gillard, the Federal Minister for Education in Australia, introduced the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, and the Universities Admission Index or UAI was then abolished. ATAR aims to centralize the university entrance system in Australia because each territory previously had individual systems.
- Your ATAR rating is not a percentage but your ranking. For example, a score of 85 puts you in the top 15% of your state. The ATAR ranks provide a comparison for education institutions or universities in Australia when it comes to student selection for course entry.
ATAR Rating Opens Better Opportunities
With a higher ATAR rating, you have more opportunities to study the course you want. Having a high score doesn’t mean you have to choose law or medicine if these courses are not your initial preference. While these courses can bring you prestige, you don’t want to spend years studying a degree that you don’t love, causing stress and health issues. It’s a good thing that there are ways to destress as a student nowadays, even for those stressors caused by a low ATAR rating.
Here’s how your ATAR rating relates to your study in Australia:
- Planning Stage:You can adjust your preferences or change your mind depending on your rating.
- Decision-Making Stage:Your ATAR score can allow you to choose a college or university you want to study. It gives you the chance to reassess the course or degree choices you wish to pursue.
- Course of Action:Before you make a final decision, you can talk to a school career adviser at the institution of your choice to know your course options as they can give you the next steps.
Other Ways to Get Into a University in Australia
While a high ATAR rating provides you with more options, you can get into a university with alternative entry options. You can take a different pathway, such as reapplying once you have some work experience or begin in the Vocational Education and Training or VET sector. It enables you to gain the right qualifications and specific skills for different types of employment. Universities are offering a wide range of specialized tertiary preparation programs, leading straight to a second-year study.
Here are your alternative options to still get into the university you want to study in Australia if you don’t meet the entry requirements:
- Study a different course with different entry requirements, like one with a lower ATAR rating.
- After a year, use it as a pathway to gain credit for the subjects you’ve already completed. You can move from one degree to a combined course. Also, you can move to a specialized degree from a general course.
- A private provider qualification or technical and further education (TAFE) can be your stepping stone to enter the university of your choice. It may also give you credit so you can fast-track your university degree to save time, effort, and money. Make sure to meet the standard or study performance required, and you’ll have a guaranteed place at the university to study a relevant course you want after the completion of your TAFE course.
Getting a university education in Australia involves checking your ATAR rating. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re just right for specific courses or you should pursue a prestigious course even if it’s not to your liking. A higher ATAR rating provides more opportunities for you when it comes to course selections and the career path you want to take. A lower ATAR score doesn’t also mean you give up your dream of studying in your chosen university right away because you have alternative options, like taking a TAFE or VET course.