About ATAR

The Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) is the national standard for tertiary admissions. It indicates your position relative to other students. Entry to tertiary study will use ATARs from 2021.


What's changing

If you start Year 11 in 2019 and graduate from Year 12 at the end of 2020, you will get an ATAR.

If you are a Year 12 student this year in 2019, you will still receive an OP. You will also be the last group to complete the Queensland Core Skill (QCS) test.

ATAR eligibility

To be eligible for an ATAR you must:

  • Successfully complete an English subject
  • Complete five General subjects
  • OR four General subjects PLUS one Applied subject or certificate III or higher VET course
  • Accumulate these results within a five-year period

Vocational education and training (VET) course results, like a qualification completed at TAFE Queensland, will now contribute to your ATAR. But only at a certificate III level or above.


Each eligible VET qualification level will have a single scaled score. This score can contribute to your ATAR.

The single scaled score remains the same if the qualification level is the same. The course duration and study area don't influence the score. For example, a Certificate III in Hospitality and a Certificate III in Community Services will have the same scaled score.

It’s expected that the score for a completed diploma will be higher than a completed certificate IV. Which will again be higher than a completed certificate III.

What's staying the same

VET for tertiary entrance

Tertiary study admissions will use successfully completed VET courses in two ways:

  • Incorporated into ATARs; and/or
  • Used as, or as part of, the basis of admission

Completing a VET course is not just a great way to get a head start on your career. It can also help you to get into your dream university course. TAFE Queensland has pathway options and university pre-requisite alternatives available.

VET and the QCE

The ATAR provides a ranking mechanism for tertiary admissions. It does not directly affect your Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

VET qualifications still contribute towards your QCE. Each level qualification level is worth a different amount of credits.



Speak to your VET coordinator or guidance counsellor for more information. There's an option and pathway that's right for you.




Information for school students

Whatever you're interested in, TAFE Queensland has a pathway to help you begin your career or embark on further study. You can even get started while you're still at school with our TAFE at School program, or finish your high school studies at our Senior College.

Learn more

Information for parents and advisors

There are a variety of reasons students should consider vocational education and training (VET) after school. Learn more about how TAFE Queensland can help them enter a trade, test out an industry, or provide a pathway to further education and university.

Learn more