ATAR Information

Wondering what an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is? An ATAR is the standard measure of a student's academic achievement throughout their senior years in relation to other Year 12 students.  Your ATAR is one of the many entry pathway options available to study a course CQUniversity.

For Queensland students, from 2021 onwards, the ATAR will replace the Queensland Overall Position (OP) used by high school graduates for admission into tertiary study. So, if you are a Queensland Year 12 student in 2020, you will graduate with an ATAR, rather than an OP. The introduction of ATARs to Queensland also means that there are changes to the senior schooling curriculum and subjects.

Explore the below information and our frequently asked questions to find out all you need to know about ATARs and getting into CQUniversity from 2021.

You will find many pathways available to reach your study goals at CQUniversity. If you do not have an ATAR, or need help to meet a pre-requisite, increase your chances of getting in or to boost your confidence our Entry Pathways may be just right for you.

There are several pathways to university and at CQUniversity, a vocational qualification is just one of the ways you follow to reach your higher education goal.
At CQUni, we will accept the following VET qualifications:

  • A completed Certificate III or IV
  • At least one semester of a Diploma or Advanced Diploma

Provided you have completed your Certificate III or Certificate IV, or at least one semester of a Diploma or Advanced Diploma we will assign a selection rank that you can use for entry into university study. This selection rank is not your ATAR and is assigned differently to how your ATAR is calculated (even though your ATAR calculation can include a VET Certificate III or IV.)

A Certificate I, II or incomplete Certificate III or IV does not meet entry requirements for a higher education degree at CQUniversity.

Selection Ranks For Completed VET Qualifications

If you have completed an accepted VET qualification, we will allocate the following selection ranks.

(competency based on with a grade point average
of 4.0 for graded qualifications)
Selection Rank *
Certificate III68
Certificate IV74
Advanced Diploma91

*The selection rank you receive for your VET study depends on your GPA, and the number of units you have completed if you have an incomplete diploma or advanced diploma, so it may be higher or lower than what is listed in the table above.

Entry Score Thresholds for CQUni Courses

How entry score thresholds for courses are determined will not change for our 2021 intakes. Thresholds are determined by the number of places in a course, the number of applicants for the course and the academic standard of those applicants. Minimum selection thresholds can change from year to year.

Should I Use My ATAR or VET Qualification If I Have Both?

If you meet the requirements to receive an ATAR and you also have completed a certificate III, certificate IV, diploma or advanced diploma VET qualification, you will receive two ranks; a selection rank for your VET qualification and an ATAR. When you apply to study with CQUniversity, your application will be assessed on whichever score is highest.

Performing Arts Qualifications

If you have completed certain Performing Arts qualifications at a minimum of seventh grade, CQUni will assign a selection rank that can be used when completing an application for study with CQUniversity.

IB Qualification

If you have completed an IB Diploma we will assign a selection rank that can be used when completing an application for study with CQUniversity. An incomplete IB qualification will not receive a selection rank.

Refer to the table below to view current subjects that lead towards an OP and their equivalency to subjects that will lead to an ATAR in Queensland.

The minimum grade to meet pre-requisite requirements is a ‘C’ grade or higher (A or B) in Units 3 and 4.
If you graduated before 2020, we will use your equivalent subjects when assessing pre-requisites and recommended study requirements.

OP:  Year 12 Subjects (2019 and prior years)
(Grade of 4, SA)
ATAR: Queensland General Subjects (2020 onwards)
(Units 3 and 4, C grade or higher)
English as an Additional Language
English and Literature Extension
Mathematics AGeneral Mathematics
Mathematics BMathematical Methods
Mathematics CSpecialist Mathematics
Biological ScienceBiology
An Authority ScienceAgricultural Science
Earth and Environmental Science
Marine Science


The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a score used to assess and compare the results of graduating high school students. An ATAR will be the new standard pathway used to meet entry requirements for tertiary study. An ATAR score is a measure of your overall position (your rank position) relative to all other students and is represented by numbers ranging from 0 (lowest) to 99.95 (highest). ATARs less than 30.00 will be noted as ’30 and below.’

Along with your ATAR, you will receive a Certificate of Education, provided you meet certificate requirements. Your Certificate of Education certifies that you have completed your senior secondary schooling.

In each state the relevant tertiary admission centre (TAC) calculates ATAR scores for the relevant universities that operate in that state.

If you are a graduating high school student in Queensland, the Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre (QTAC) calculates ATAR scores on behalf of Queensland universities. 2020 will be the first year that QTAC calculates ATAR scores for high school students graduating in Queensland. View the QTAC website for details on how ATAR is calculated.

If you are graduating year 12 in 2020, you will receive an ATAR. If you are applying to study a university course, your ATAR will be used to meet entry requirements. You will also need to meet any required course thresholds, pre-requisites and any other entry requirements as required for your course of interest.

If you are eligible for an adjustment scheme, when you apply for tertiary study the adjustment scheme will be automatically applied by the Tertiary Admission Centre (TAC) you apply via. At CQUniversity we have a number of adjustment schemes that you may be eligible for and we advise the relevant TACs of these so that they can automatically apply these to your application when it is submitted.

Successfully completing a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification may contribute to your ATAR if it is a Certificate III, Certificate IV or Diploma-level qualification. Your result from successfully completing your Certificate III, Certificate IV and Diploma-level VET qualifications will undergo similar scaling to general and applied subjects and if your VET qualification result is one of your top five eligible subject results it will be used to help calculate your ATAR. If you have studied a Certificate III, Certificate IV or Diploma at CQUniversity in the last 10 years you may be eligible to apply direct to CQUni.

You can still apply using your OP. If you have an OP and would like to apply to study with CQUni from 2021 we will translate your OP into its equivalent ATAR and your application with then be assessed.