How is the ATAR calculated?

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or ATAR is your key to the tertiary course of your choosing. But do you know how it is calculated?

school-1283979.jpgATAR scores are ranks, based on how well you achieve compared to the rest of the Year 12s this year. They are calculated from:

  • the VTAC Scaled Study Scores for the top four Unit 3&4 subjects, which must include your English subject, regardless of how well you do
  • 10% of the VTAC Scaled Study Scores of optional fifth and sixth Units 3&4 subjects.
Add the VTAC Scaled Study Scores of: Max possible score:
 “Top four” subjects The score in the best English subject 50
The score in the best subject 50
The score in the second best subject 50
The score in the third best subject 50


Optional subjects 10% of the score of the 5th subject 5
10% of the score of the 6th subject 5

Aggregate score


Want to improve your ATAR?

Come along to ACED’s September Holiday Revision Lectures held at Melbourne Uni – you’ll get great notes delivered by expert teachers. Tickets are selling fast, so book now at

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Units 3&4 Business Management – 23rd September (9am-1pm)

Units 3&4 Biology – 24th September (9am-1pm)

Units 3&4 Psychology – 23rd and 24th September (1.30pm-5.30pm)


…The total scores (called ‘aggregates’) of all VCE students in the state are ranked from lowest to highest, with the top students being awarded an ATAR of 99.95. Each rank (e.g. 99.90, 99.85, etc.) includes approximately 30-35 students. Here’s an example (remembering that scaling and aggregates required for certain ATARs change from year to year):

Example ATAR calculation

VTAC Scaled Study Score:





Health and Human Development


Business Management



Legal Studies (10%)


Biology (10%)


Aggregate score




The minimum number of Units 3&4 subjects required for an ATAR is four; the fifth and sixth subjects each offer a 10% bonus to the ATAR calculation. Therefore, to maximise your ATAR, you should consider a program that contains up to six Units 3&4 sequences.

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Also check out ACED’s September Holiday Revision Lectures to help you improve your ATAR at

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