Why do students need an ATAR?
A question we receive from younger students in Year 7 and 8 always revolves around the HSC and the ATAR.
Specifically why do NSW high school students actually need an ATAR? We answer your burning questions about the ATAR itself, and how it can open doors for you in the future.
What is the ATAR?
Let’s start from the beginning, according to the University Admissions Centre the ATAR is a rank, not a mark.
This is a number between 0.00 and 99.95 that indicates a student’s position relative to all the students sitting the HSC in their age group (in New South Wales). So, an ATAR of 80.00 means that you are 20% from the top of your age group (not just your Year 12 group at your school).
Why do universities need the ATAR for entry?
According to UAC, universities use the ATAR to help them select students for their courses and admission to most tertiary courses is based on your selection rank (your ATAR and any applicable adjustments).
If you want to find out more about the ATAR you need for a particular course, click here to find out more information.
Can I use my ATAR to apply to international universities?
Yes, you can. It is a common misconception that only the International Baccalaureate can grant you entry to universities on an international level.
According to the University of Oxford, offers are likely to be for a position between 98.5 and 99.50 (depending on the course) of a maximum ATAR of 99.95.
Should I choose subjects in Year 11 and 12 that will help my university studies?
The subjects you take in Year 11 & 12 are to maximise your marks so you can achieve the ATAR you need. You don’t need to choose HSC subjects purely to reflect what you want to study in university – most students don’t actually know what they want to pursue after high school!
If you need some help with Year 10 subject selection and scaling, we suggest you check out our free seminars by clicking here. We’ve also been running online webinars so students from all over New South Wales can join in!
Is English a compulsory subject for the HSC?
Yes, English is the only subject which all students have to take in order to receive their ATAR.
However, there are different levels of English you can choose from which include:
English Extension (Not mandatory)
If you need more help navigating the ATAR as well as subject scaling, head over to our Eventbrite page and you’ll be notified about our upcoming seminars – which are also free! Click here for more information.