Information for Queensland school students applying to uni from 2020.

Some changes are being made to the way you are assessed for entry into university.

In 2020, the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) will replace the Overall Position (OP) as the selection rank to tertiary study for Queensland Year 12 students.

Don’t worry, the change won’t impact your results or potential to gain entry to uni, it’s simply a different way of scaling your performance – and it will make Queensland consistent with other states in Australia. The ATAR will be introduced for students starting Year 11 in 2019, who will graduate from the end of 2020 and seek entry to tertiary courses from 2021.

About the new Queensland School Curriculum

Subjects are structured into four units: units 1 and 2 (typically studied in Year 11) are formative and won’t contribute to the overall achievement attained. Units 3 and 4 (typically studied in Year 12) are summative and will contribute to subject results.

The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) will remain as Queensland’s senior secondary school qualification.

Meeting subject prerequisites

Successful completion (eg, grade of C or better) in units 3 and 4 of the following general subjects will satisfy subject prerequisites. The following table shows subject equivalencies between the OP system and the new curriculum which the ATAR is based on. 

ATAR general subjects Current Qld Year 12 subjects (OP system)

English as an Additional Language


General Mathematics

Mathematics A

Mathematical Methods

Mathematics B

Specialist Mathematics

Mathematics C


Biological Science





How is the ATAR calculated?

QTAC will calculate ATARs for Queensland school leavers using either:

  • your best five general subject results


  • your best results across four general subjects plus one other result from approved study (eg, an applied subject result or a completed VET qualification).

Satisfactory completion of a QCAA English subject will determine eligibility for an ATAR. However, the result of the English subject is not mandatory to be included in the ATAR calculation.

What about adjustment factors?

If you are eligible for adjustment factors, these will automatically be applied to your ATAR when you apply through QTAC.

Frequently asked questions

What if I don’t qualify for an ATAR?

If you do not undertake the required studies (five general subjects or four general plus one other approved study result), or if you do not successfully complete an English subject, you will not be issued with an ATAR.

However, you still have options for gaining entry to university. There are many admissions pathways to study at ACU including VET or TAFE training, entry programs, STAT and employment experience.

Learn more

What about VET qualifications?

An AQF Vocational Education and Training (VET) award completed during Year 12 (eg Certificate III, Certificate IV or Diploma) may contribute to your ATAR if it is one of your best eligible study results. 

ACU will continue accepting Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualifications for most applicants.

We are currently reviewing the schedule of selection ranks allocated to Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualifications. VET qualifications completed after school will have the same selection ranks as those completed in school.

For more information

For further information about senior subjects and subject results contact the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA).

For further information on the ATAR contact QTAC.

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