Each university sets its own ATAR scores and other course-entry requirements.

Most universities have a similar approach to facilitating course entry. ATAR scores are important for recent high-school leavers.

  • As a high-school leaver, getting into your preferred university course depends on your ATAR score and, often, on subject grades as well.
  • If you are older and don't have a good ATAR score, alternative pathways allow you to get in based on factors such as work experience and completed qualifying courses.
  • For post-graduate study, entry depends on university qualifications plus grades.

Differences in ATAR cutoffs across universities are significant.

  • The highest cutoffs are generally for prestigious universities based in the major cities.
  • Lower cutoffs apply for regional and "regular" universities.
ATAR score celebration.

For Australian HSC Graduates

Australian students are given an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) shortly after completing a 2-year Higher School Certificate. It is a score out of 100. Grades and subjects are combined to determine each person's score.

  • Although some states don't use the ATAR system, an ATAR-equivalent can be worked out using conversion tables/calculators.
  • A high ATAR is like a golden ticket for getting into university courses. Pre-admission interviews/tests are not normally used for Australian courses. And most courses have few or loose requirements about which subjects applicants should have taken at high school. In short, ATARs rule.
  • Early in the admissions process, universities publish ATAR course scores. These can generally be interpreted as the scores required for guaranteed admission. The final ATAR score may be lowered if there are spare places, particularly if the initial ATAR cut-off was on the high side (above 70). You can also effectively increase your score if a university makes adjustment factors (bonus points) available to you.

ATAR cut-off scores are shown in the table, demonstrating how hard it is to gain entry to different universities. The list covers popular degrees. The top ranked universities, where there is excess demand for places, set the highest ATARs. Less in-demand universities may use ATARs just to establish basic academic requirements.

Indicative ATAR Cutoffs (2019)

University Arts Bus STEM Avg
University of New South Wales 81 97 92 90
University of Sydney 80 95 92 89
University of Melbourne 85 93 85 88
Australian National University 80 86 90 85
University of Technology Sydney 75 90 80 82
University of Western Australia 80 80 80 80
University of Queensland 76 76 86 79
Monash University 75 75 86 79
RMIT University 80 70 85 78
Macquarie University 75 80 80 78
Queensland University of Technology 70 82 80 77
Western Sydney University 75 70 80 75
Edith Cowan University 70 70 82 74
Curtin University 70 70 80 73
Murdoch University 70 70 80 73
University of Wollongong 70 70 80 73
University of New England 73 73 73 73
Bond University 68 68 79 72
University of Notre Dame Australia 70 70 70 70
University of Adelaide 65 65 80 70
Southern Cross University 68 65 72 68
Griffith University 66 66 73 68
University of Tasmania 65 70 68
University of Newcastle 60 62 80 67
Flinders University 60 61 80 67
Charles Sturt University 65 65 70 67
Swinburne University of Technology 60 60 75 65
University of Southern Queensland 60 60 75 65
University of South Australia 60 63 70 64
Deakin University 60 61 66 62
Charles Darwin University 60 60 60 60
University of Canberra 60 60 60 60
Australian Catholic University 59 59 59 59
James Cook University 50 50 73 58
CQUniversity 53 53 65 57
University of the Sunshine Coast 53 53 65 57
La Trobe University 50 50 60 53

The ATAR is what will get you into uni. It stands for Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank... It’s based on rank, not performance. So if you get an ATAR of 80, it means you performed better than 80 per cent of students – you’re in the top 20 per cent!

For International Students

International students need to meet similar course entry requirements to Australian students. The main difference is an extra requirement to demonstrate English language skills.

  • To be admitted to an undergraduate course, a foreign student normally must have a grade point average in his or her home country that at least meets the standard set for Australian students. Universities publish these requirements by course and country on their websites.
  • Postgraduate courses generally have very similar or the same requirements for Australian and international students.

All foreign students who have not normally studied in English need to demonstrate language skills. This can be done by taking one of several recognised tests, such as IELTS. The required level of English proficiency varies according to the course being applied for.

International students are required to meet the same standards as Australian residents... If English is not your first language or was not the medium of instruction in your secondary or tertiary studies, you're required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by achieving a prescribed level in an approved English examination or test.

More university lists