10 April 2018

Crunching the number: Exploring the use and usefulness of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

This paper discusses the role of the ATAR in determining young people's entry into tertiary study. The authors point out that despite the message reinforced by many schools, families and the media – that the ATAR is everything in determining a young person's ability to engage in tertiary education - in 2017 60% of undergraduate university offers were made on a basis other than the ATAR. What many young people do not know is that despite the existence of a common entry framework utilising the ATAR, universities are free to set their own admission criteria and standards. The authors note that the evidence suggests that an admission to tertiary study is now much broader than school leavers and school results.