How to apply General information Understanding ATARs, OPs and entry pathways

Understanding ATARs, OPs and entry pathways

An Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) allows tertiary admissions centres to compare students from across Australia when they apply for tertiary study. The ATAR is a number between 0 and 99.95, in increments of 0.05. ATARs below 30 are not reported.

From 2020 the Australian Tertiary Access Rank (ATAR) replaces the Overall Position (OP) in the Queensland secondary education system. This aligns Queensland with other Australian states who have been using the ATAR for a number of years.

ATAR General Information

As Unit 1 and 2 of your high-school subjects do not contribute towards your ATAR, they are not suitable to meet JCU's Subject Prerequisites.

To meet subject prerequisites, applicants will need to achieve a grade of C or higher in the applicable Unit 3 and 4 of the subject.

The below table reflects the comparability of previous Queensland Year 12 OP subjects to the QCAA ATAR (general) subjects which are now taught in Queensland high schools.

Previous QLD Year 12 (OP Subjects)ATAR General Subjects
English as an Additional Language
Mathematics AGeneral Mathematics
Mathematics BMathematical Methods
Mathematics CSpecialist Mathematics
Biological ScienceBiology

The Queensland tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) calculates the ATAR and issue results to Queensland Year 12 students.

QTAC will calculate your ATAR and you will be assigned a separate selection rank for your VET qualification. For most courses, your application to study at JCU will be assessed for entry on whichever rank is higher.

JCU will consider and accept AQF VET qualifications as a basis of tertiary admission.  JCU allocates the following selection ranks to completed qualifications (either competency based or with a GPA of 4.0 for graded qualifications).

AQF VET QualificationSelection Rank
Certificate III68
Certificate IV74
Advanced Diploma91

The assigned election rank can change for graded qualifications depending on your GPA, or how many subjects completed as part of an incomplete Diploma or Advanced Diploma.

Pathways to JCU for non-ATAR Students

JCU has multiple Pathways to University available for students who may not have the higher enough ATAR or selection rank or who may not met the required subject pre-requisites for entry into their JCU undergraduate course.

Although non-AQF Performing Arts qualifications (AMEB music awards or Trinity College qualifications) do not contribute toward your ATAR, JCU will consider these qualifications in their own right as basis of admission to our undergraduate courses.

Specific completed Performing Arts qualifications, at a minimum of seventh grade, will be assigned a selection rank which can be used to gain entry into JCU undergraduate courses.

Students with a complete IB Diploma will receive a selection rank from QTAC that can be used to gain entry.

Incomplete IB qualifications and Career-related Programs will not receive a selection rank. Students with an incomplete IB or a Career-related Program will need to gain entry through another JCU Pathway to University.