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Three students studying outside on their computers on a sunny day, all hoping to get a high ATAR
ATAR Guide for Students
4 Minute Read

How To Achieve Your Dream ATAR

How do you get a good ATAR? In this article, we explore what it takes to score the ATAR that allows you to achieve your goals.

Matthew Bassat
Education Analyst

The ATAR — a key to fast-tracking your goals

There is far more to school than the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) you achieve – a single number will never represent the countless hours of work that you put into Year 11 and Year 12, nor should it be the only measure of success. However, whether you plan to go to university or enter the workforce directly, your ATAR can be a golden ticket to your pathway of choice after school.

How to get a high ATAR

The definition of a ‘high’ ATAR depends on the goals that you set for yourself. For some students, this will be determined by the entry requirement for their desired university course. For others, the goal is to compete with the best students in the country, or to be eligible for the most competitive university courses. For many, the aim is simply to improve with every assessment, and to achieve an ATAR that reflects the hard work they have done.

Whatever the goal, the best strategy for maximising your ATAR is choosing the subjects that are best suited to your strengths and developing consistent study habits that allow you to approach your exams with confidence.

Which subjects should I choose?

Meeting course prerequisites

If you plan to pursue further study after school, it is important that you are aware of university course prerequisites when selecting school subjects. For example, many STEM-related courses require school maths and science subjects as prerequisites.

If you are like most students and have not yet decided on a tertiary pathway before the beginning of Year 11, you should seek to maximise your options with your subject selection.

If your passion is in the humanities, for instance, specialist maths may not be the subject for you. But if you’re tossing up between being a playwright and a mechanical engineer? Why not take both!

Doing subjects early

Although it will hopefully also be a year of fun, discovery and personal development, there is no denying that Year 12 is demanding. Many schools offer students the opportunity to take one or more Year 12 subjects in Year 11 to lighten their load in Year 12 – this often means studying Year 11 subjects in Year 10.

Although some students may worry that they have not yet developed the right study habits to take a Year 12 course in Year 11, this experience will be immeasurably useful for the following year. Your future self in Year 12 will doubtless thank you for the empty slots in the timetable!

Should I choose my subjects strategically?

The best measure of whether you will perform well in a subject is whether it is one that you enjoy – if you naturally find the material interesting, studying will be much less of a chore.

Although you may be tempted to choose a subject because it scales more favourably, or because you believe it to be easier than other subjects, keep in mind that you will spend between four and five hours per week in classes for each subject. That’s nearly 200 hours of class per year (not to mention dozens of hours of homework)!

What subjects get the best ATAR?

Firstly, it is possible to achieve a great ATAR (any ATAR, in fact) with every subject combination. As indicated above, even if your only goal is to maximise your ATAR, there is no substitute for passion in choosing subjects (the most interesting and most strategic subject choices are one and the same!).

However, it is important to be aware of the effect of scaling on study scores, and to recognise that certain subject combinations are more strongly correlated with scoring an exceptionally high ATAR than others. After the raw study scores for a subject are calculated, the scores are ‘scaled’ based on the average performance of that subject cohort in their other subjects relative to the general cohort (read more on how scaling and the ATAR system work here).

As a result, certain subjects that attract typically high-performing students, such as foreign languages and specialist maths courses, are ‘scaled up’ (since achieving an ‘average’ mark in these subjects is statistically harder than for the average subject). As a result, it is possible to achieve very high scores in these subjects, and the majority (but not all) of the highest-ranking students include these subjects in their studies.

At the same time, many subjects are ‘scaled down’ for opposite reasons, such that an ‘average’ raw score is adjusted to be below average based on the performance of the cohort.

This may create the impression that, to maximise your ATAR, you should preference subjects that scale up, and avoid subjects that scale down – but this is absolutely not the case for the vast majority of students (excluding the small proportion of students who are at the very top of their year level cohort).

Subjects that scale up do so for a reason, and the increased competitiveness of the cohort will make it more difficult to obtain a high raw score. Moreover, for a given student, it is statistically easier to achieve a high raw score in subjects that scale down. So, the effects of scaling balance out! This is, after all, what scaling is for. As a result, subjects should not be chosen based on scaling alone.

It is possible to achieve a great ATAR (any ATAR, in fact) with every subject combination.

How hard is it to to get your target ATAR?

Is an ATAR of 85 a realistic goal? How about a score of 90, or even a 99.95? For a more detailed breakdown of the precise 'aggregates' required to get these scores, our article on how the ATAR is calculated from aggregate scores is the place to be.

How to get an ATAR above 85

Getting an ATAR of 85 or above is a sign that a student has worked diligently and has developed a sophisticated understanding of their subject matter, qualifying them for entry into many prestigious university pathways. This article explores options for tertiary study in more detail, and the ATARs required for various degrees and professions. Spoiler: the ATAR is not a requirement for any post-school pathways! But it can speed up the process.

While it may seem daunting to aim for so high a rank, if you choose subjects for which you have a real interest and you approach your studies with the right strategy, you will give yourself every advantage over your peers.

How to get an ATAR above 90

An ATAR above 90 would place you in the top 17% of students who receive a ranking, an undeniably difficult but worthy goal and, with sufficient preparation, a realistic one.

This ATAR indicates that you have established an advantage over a large majority of your peers. This cannot be achieved without a clear game plan with respect to your choice of subjects and your preparation for tests and exams, as well as a strong desire and commitment to execute this plan.

Students who get into this ATAR bracket are clearly hard workers. Many of these students also work alongside an online tutor to ensure that they are well prepared for their exams and assessments too.

How to get a 99.95 ATAR

For students who have shown a pattern of conscientiousness and a penchant for study, aiming for the highest possible ATAR is an achievable goal. To get an ATAR of 99.95, a student must score in approximately the top 0.1% in their cohort, meaning that around one in a thousand students achieve this rank.

However, setting such an ambitious goal for yourself is already half the battle – in reality, only a small proportion of students will position themselves to pursue this goal, such that the subset of students with whom you are competing is relatively small. Moreover, certain subjects lend themselves to achieving this goal better than others, especially those subjects which scale generously.

Finally, the best argument in favour of aiming for an ATAR of 99.95? Even if you don’t succeed, you will likely have succeeded anyway – by placing no upper limit on your target ATAR, you will be motivated to get the very most out of yourself, and there is every chance that this will be reflected in your marks at the end of Year 12.

Thanks for reading our guide! For more information on how the ATAR system works, check out our other article, 10 ATAR Facts that Every Student Should Know. For the answers to every ATAR question you could possibly imagine, our collection of ATAR Info blog posts will have you sorted!

The ATAR — a key to fast-tracking your goals

There is far more to school than the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) you achieve – a single number will never represent the countless hours of work that you put into Year 11 and Year 12, nor should it be the only measure of success. However, whether you plan to go to university or enter the workforce directly, your ATAR can be a golden ticket to your pathway of choice after school.

How to get a high ATAR

The definition of a ‘high’ ATAR depends on the goals that you set for yourself. For some students, this will be determined by the entry requirement for their desired university course. For others, the goal is to compete with the best students in the country, or to be eligible for the most competitive university courses. For many, the aim is simply to improve with every assessment, and to achieve an ATAR that reflects the hard work they have done.

Whatever the goal, the best strategy for maximising your ATAR is choosing the subjects that are best suited to your strengths and developing consistent study habits that allow you to approach your exams with confidence.

Which subjects should I choose?

Meeting course prerequisites

If you plan to pursue further study after school, it is important that you are aware of university course prerequisites when selecting school subjects. For example, many STEM-related courses require school maths and science subjects as prerequisites.

If you are like most students and have not yet decided on a tertiary pathway before the beginning of Year 11, you should seek to maximise your options with your subject selection.

If your passion is in the humanities, for instance, specialist maths may not be the subject for you. But if you’re tossing up between being a playwright and a mechanical engineer? Why not take both!

Doing subjects early

Although it will hopefully also be a year of fun, discovery and personal development, there is no denying that Year 12 is demanding. Many schools offer students the opportunity to take one or more Year 12 subjects in Year 11 to lighten their load in Year 12 – this often means studying Year 11 subjects in Year 10.

Although some students may worry that they have not yet developed the right study habits to take a Year 12 course in Year 11, this experience will be immeasurably useful for the following year. Your future self in Year 12 will doubtless thank you for the empty slots in the timetable!

Should I choose my subjects strategically?

The best measure of whether you will perform well in a subject is whether it is one that you enjoy – if you naturally find the material interesting, studying will be much less of a chore.

Although you may be tempted to choose a subject because it scales more favourably, or because you believe it to be easier than other subjects, keep in mind that you will spend between four and five hours per week in classes for each subject. That’s nearly 200 hours of class per year (not to mention dozens of hours of homework)!

What subjects get the best ATAR?

Firstly, it is possible to achieve a great ATAR (any ATAR, in fact) with every subject combination. As indicated above, even if your only goal is to maximise your ATAR, there is no substitute for passion in choosing subjects (the most interesting and most strategic subject choices are one and the same!).

However, it is important to be aware of the effect of scaling on study scores, and to recognise that certain subject combinations are more strongly correlated with scoring an exceptionally high ATAR than others. After the raw study scores for a subject are calculated, the scores are ‘scaled’ based on the average performance of that subject cohort in their other subjects relative to the general cohort (read more on how scaling and the ATAR system work here).

As a result, certain subjects that attract typically high-performing students, such as foreign languages and specialist maths courses, are ‘scaled up’ (since achieving an ‘average’ mark in these subjects is statistically harder than for the average subject). As a result, it is possible to achieve very high scores in these subjects, and the majority (but not all) of the highest-ranking students include these subjects in their studies.

At the same time, many subjects are ‘scaled down’ for opposite reasons, such that an ‘average’ raw score is adjusted to be below average based on the performance of the cohort.

This may create the impression that, to maximise your ATAR, you should preference subjects that scale up, and avoid subjects that scale down – but this is absolutely not the case for the vast majority of students (excluding the small proportion of students who are at the very top of their year level cohort).

Subjects that scale up do so for a reason, and the increased competitiveness of the cohort will make it more difficult to obtain a high raw score. Moreover, for a given student, it is statistically easier to achieve a high raw score in subjects that scale down. So, the effects of scaling balance out! This is, after all, what scaling is for. As a result, subjects should not be chosen based on scaling alone.

FAQ

What age groups are covered by online maths tutoring?
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Online maths tutoring at Tutero is catering to students of all year levels. We offer programs tailored to the unique learning curves of each age group.

Are there specific programs for students preparing for particular exams like NAPLAN or ATAR?
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We also have expert NAPLAN and ATAR subject tutors, ensuring students are well-equipped for these pivotal assessments.

How often should my child have tutoring sessions to see significant improvement?
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We recommend at least two to three session per week for consistent progress. However, this can vary based on your child's needs and goals.

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We provide regular progress reports and assessments to track your child’s academic development.

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Are there any additional resources or tools available to support students learning maths, besides tutoring sessions?
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Yes, we offer a range of resources and materials, including interactive exercises and practice worksheets.

How hard is it to to get your target ATAR?

Is an ATAR of 85 a realistic goal? How about a score of 90, or even a 99.95? For a more detailed breakdown of the precise 'aggregates' required to get these scores, our article on how the ATAR is calculated from aggregate scores is the place to be.

How to get an ATAR above 85

Getting an ATAR of 85 or above is a sign that a student has worked diligently and has developed a sophisticated understanding of their subject matter, qualifying them for entry into many prestigious university pathways. This article explores options for tertiary study in more detail, and the ATARs required for various degrees and professions. Spoiler: the ATAR is not a requirement for any post-school pathways! But it can speed up the process.

While it may seem daunting to aim for so high a rank, if you choose subjects for which you have a real interest and you approach your studies with the right strategy, you will give yourself every advantage over your peers.

How to get an ATAR above 90

An ATAR above 90 would place you in the top 17% of students who receive a ranking, an undeniably difficult but worthy goal and, with sufficient preparation, a realistic one.

This ATAR indicates that you have established an advantage over a large majority of your peers. This cannot be achieved without a clear game plan with respect to your choice of subjects and your preparation for tests and exams, as well as a strong desire and commitment to execute this plan.

Students who get into this ATAR bracket are clearly hard workers. Many of these students also work alongside an online tutor to ensure that they are well prepared for their exams and assessments too.

How to get a 99.95 ATAR

For students who have shown a pattern of conscientiousness and a penchant for study, aiming for the highest possible ATAR is an achievable goal. To get an ATAR of 99.95, a student must score in approximately the top 0.1% in their cohort, meaning that around one in a thousand students achieve this rank.

However, setting such an ambitious goal for yourself is already half the battle – in reality, only a small proportion of students will position themselves to pursue this goal, such that the subset of students with whom you are competing is relatively small. Moreover, certain subjects lend themselves to achieving this goal better than others, especially those subjects which scale generously.

Finally, the best argument in favour of aiming for an ATAR of 99.95? Even if you don’t succeed, you will likely have succeeded anyway – by placing no upper limit on your target ATAR, you will be motivated to get the very most out of yourself, and there is every chance that this will be reflected in your marks at the end of Year 12.

It is possible to achieve a great ATAR (any ATAR, in fact) with every subject combination.

Thanks for reading our guide! For more information on how the ATAR system works, check out our other article, 10 ATAR Facts that Every Student Should Know. For the answers to every ATAR question you could possibly imagine, our collection of ATAR Info blog posts will have you sorted!

The ATAR — a key to fast-tracking your goals

There is far more to school than the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) you achieve – a single number will never represent the countless hours of work that you put into Year 11 and Year 12, nor should it be the only measure of success. However, whether you plan to go to university or enter the workforce directly, your ATAR can be a golden ticket to your pathway of choice after school.

How to get a high ATAR

The definition of a ‘high’ ATAR depends on the goals that you set for yourself. For some students, this will be determined by the entry requirement for their desired university course. For others, the goal is to compete with the best students in the country, or to be eligible for the most competitive university courses. For many, the aim is simply to improve with every assessment, and to achieve an ATAR that reflects the hard work they have done.

Whatever the goal, the best strategy for maximising your ATAR is choosing the subjects that are best suited to your strengths and developing consistent study habits that allow you to approach your exams with confidence.

Which subjects should I choose?

Meeting course prerequisites

If you plan to pursue further study after school, it is important that you are aware of university course prerequisites when selecting school subjects. For example, many STEM-related courses require school maths and science subjects as prerequisites.

If you are like most students and have not yet decided on a tertiary pathway before the beginning of Year 11, you should seek to maximise your options with your subject selection.

If your passion is in the humanities, for instance, specialist maths may not be the subject for you. But if you’re tossing up between being a playwright and a mechanical engineer? Why not take both!

Doing subjects early

Although it will hopefully also be a year of fun, discovery and personal development, there is no denying that Year 12 is demanding. Many schools offer students the opportunity to take one or more Year 12 subjects in Year 11 to lighten their load in Year 12 – this often means studying Year 11 subjects in Year 10.

Although some students may worry that they have not yet developed the right study habits to take a Year 12 course in Year 11, this experience will be immeasurably useful for the following year. Your future self in Year 12 will doubtless thank you for the empty slots in the timetable!

Should I choose my subjects strategically?

The best measure of whether you will perform well in a subject is whether it is one that you enjoy – if you naturally find the material interesting, studying will be much less of a chore.

Although you may be tempted to choose a subject because it scales more favourably, or because you believe it to be easier than other subjects, keep in mind that you will spend between four and five hours per week in classes for each subject. That’s nearly 200 hours of class per year (not to mention dozens of hours of homework)!

What subjects get the best ATAR?

Firstly, it is possible to achieve a great ATAR (any ATAR, in fact) with every subject combination. As indicated above, even if your only goal is to maximise your ATAR, there is no substitute for passion in choosing subjects (the most interesting and most strategic subject choices are one and the same!).

However, it is important to be aware of the effect of scaling on study scores, and to recognise that certain subject combinations are more strongly correlated with scoring an exceptionally high ATAR than others. After the raw study scores for a subject are calculated, the scores are ‘scaled’ based on the average performance of that subject cohort in their other subjects relative to the general cohort (read more on how scaling and the ATAR system work here).

As a result, certain subjects that attract typically high-performing students, such as foreign languages and specialist maths courses, are ‘scaled up’ (since achieving an ‘average’ mark in these subjects is statistically harder than for the average subject). As a result, it is possible to achieve very high scores in these subjects, and the majority (but not all) of the highest-ranking students include these subjects in their studies.

At the same time, many subjects are ‘scaled down’ for opposite reasons, such that an ‘average’ raw score is adjusted to be below average based on the performance of the cohort.

This may create the impression that, to maximise your ATAR, you should preference subjects that scale up, and avoid subjects that scale down – but this is absolutely not the case for the vast majority of students (excluding the small proportion of students who are at the very top of their year level cohort).

Subjects that scale up do so for a reason, and the increased competitiveness of the cohort will make it more difficult to obtain a high raw score. Moreover, for a given student, it is statistically easier to achieve a high raw score in subjects that scale down. So, the effects of scaling balance out! This is, after all, what scaling is for. As a result, subjects should not be chosen based on scaling alone.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

It is possible to achieve a great ATAR (any ATAR, in fact) with every subject combination.

How hard is it to to get your target ATAR?

Is an ATAR of 85 a realistic goal? How about a score of 90, or even a 99.95? For a more detailed breakdown of the precise 'aggregates' required to get these scores, our article on how the ATAR is calculated from aggregate scores is the place to be.

How to get an ATAR above 85

Getting an ATAR of 85 or above is a sign that a student has worked diligently and has developed a sophisticated understanding of their subject matter, qualifying them for entry into many prestigious university pathways. This article explores options for tertiary study in more detail, and the ATARs required for various degrees and professions. Spoiler: the ATAR is not a requirement for any post-school pathways! But it can speed up the process.

While it may seem daunting to aim for so high a rank, if you choose subjects for which you have a real interest and you approach your studies with the right strategy, you will give yourself every advantage over your peers.

How to get an ATAR above 90

An ATAR above 90 would place you in the top 17% of students who receive a ranking, an undeniably difficult but worthy goal and, with sufficient preparation, a realistic one.

This ATAR indicates that you have established an advantage over a large majority of your peers. This cannot be achieved without a clear game plan with respect to your choice of subjects and your preparation for tests and exams, as well as a strong desire and commitment to execute this plan.

Students who get into this ATAR bracket are clearly hard workers. Many of these students also work alongside an online tutor to ensure that they are well prepared for their exams and assessments too.

How to get a 99.95 ATAR

For students who have shown a pattern of conscientiousness and a penchant for study, aiming for the highest possible ATAR is an achievable goal. To get an ATAR of 99.95, a student must score in approximately the top 0.1% in their cohort, meaning that around one in a thousand students achieve this rank.

However, setting such an ambitious goal for yourself is already half the battle – in reality, only a small proportion of students will position themselves to pursue this goal, such that the subset of students with whom you are competing is relatively small. Moreover, certain subjects lend themselves to achieving this goal better than others, especially those subjects which scale generously.

Finally, the best argument in favour of aiming for an ATAR of 99.95? Even if you don’t succeed, you will likely have succeeded anyway – by placing no upper limit on your target ATAR, you will be motivated to get the very most out of yourself, and there is every chance that this will be reflected in your marks at the end of Year 12.

Thanks for reading our guide! For more information on how the ATAR system works, check out our other article, 10 ATAR Facts that Every Student Should Know. For the answers to every ATAR question you could possibly imagine, our collection of ATAR Info blog posts will have you sorted!

The ATAR — a key to fast-tracking your goals

There is far more to school than the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) you achieve – a single number will never represent the countless hours of work that you put into Year 11 and Year 12, nor should it be the only measure of success. However, whether you plan to go to university or enter the workforce directly, your ATAR can be a golden ticket to your pathway of choice after school.

How to get a high ATAR

The definition of a ‘high’ ATAR depends on the goals that you set for yourself. For some students, this will be determined by the entry requirement for their desired university course. For others, the goal is to compete with the best students in the country, or to be eligible for the most competitive university courses. For many, the aim is simply to improve with every assessment, and to achieve an ATAR that reflects the hard work they have done.

Whatever the goal, the best strategy for maximising your ATAR is choosing the subjects that are best suited to your strengths and developing consistent study habits that allow you to approach your exams with confidence.

Which subjects should I choose?

Meeting course prerequisites

If you plan to pursue further study after school, it is important that you are aware of university course prerequisites when selecting school subjects. For example, many STEM-related courses require school maths and science subjects as prerequisites.

If you are like most students and have not yet decided on a tertiary pathway before the beginning of Year 11, you should seek to maximise your options with your subject selection.

If your passion is in the humanities, for instance, specialist maths may not be the subject for you. But if you’re tossing up between being a playwright and a mechanical engineer? Why not take both!

Doing subjects early

Although it will hopefully also be a year of fun, discovery and personal development, there is no denying that Year 12 is demanding. Many schools offer students the opportunity to take one or more Year 12 subjects in Year 11 to lighten their load in Year 12 – this often means studying Year 11 subjects in Year 10.

Although some students may worry that they have not yet developed the right study habits to take a Year 12 course in Year 11, this experience will be immeasurably useful for the following year. Your future self in Year 12 will doubtless thank you for the empty slots in the timetable!

Should I choose my subjects strategically?

The best measure of whether you will perform well in a subject is whether it is one that you enjoy – if you naturally find the material interesting, studying will be much less of a chore.

Although you may be tempted to choose a subject because it scales more favourably, or because you believe it to be easier than other subjects, keep in mind that you will spend between four and five hours per week in classes for each subject. That’s nearly 200 hours of class per year (not to mention dozens of hours of homework)!

What subjects get the best ATAR?

Firstly, it is possible to achieve a great ATAR (any ATAR, in fact) with every subject combination. As indicated above, even if your only goal is to maximise your ATAR, there is no substitute for passion in choosing subjects (the most interesting and most strategic subject choices are one and the same!).

However, it is important to be aware of the effect of scaling on study scores, and to recognise that certain subject combinations are more strongly correlated with scoring an exceptionally high ATAR than others. After the raw study scores for a subject are calculated, the scores are ‘scaled’ based on the average performance of that subject cohort in their other subjects relative to the general cohort (read more on how scaling and the ATAR system work here).

As a result, certain subjects that attract typically high-performing students, such as foreign languages and specialist maths courses, are ‘scaled up’ (since achieving an ‘average’ mark in these subjects is statistically harder than for the average subject). As a result, it is possible to achieve very high scores in these subjects, and the majority (but not all) of the highest-ranking students include these subjects in their studies.

At the same time, many subjects are ‘scaled down’ for opposite reasons, such that an ‘average’ raw score is adjusted to be below average based on the performance of the cohort.

This may create the impression that, to maximise your ATAR, you should preference subjects that scale up, and avoid subjects that scale down – but this is absolutely not the case for the vast majority of students (excluding the small proportion of students who are at the very top of their year level cohort).

Subjects that scale up do so for a reason, and the increased competitiveness of the cohort will make it more difficult to obtain a high raw score. Moreover, for a given student, it is statistically easier to achieve a high raw score in subjects that scale down. So, the effects of scaling balance out! This is, after all, what scaling is for. As a result, subjects should not be chosen based on scaling alone.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

It is possible to achieve a great ATAR (any ATAR, in fact) with every subject combination.

How hard is it to to get your target ATAR?

Is an ATAR of 85 a realistic goal? How about a score of 90, or even a 99.95? For a more detailed breakdown of the precise 'aggregates' required to get these scores, our article on how the ATAR is calculated from aggregate scores is the place to be.

How to get an ATAR above 85

Getting an ATAR of 85 or above is a sign that a student has worked diligently and has developed a sophisticated understanding of their subject matter, qualifying them for entry into many prestigious university pathways. This article explores options for tertiary study in more detail, and the ATARs required for various degrees and professions. Spoiler: the ATAR is not a requirement for any post-school pathways! But it can speed up the process.

While it may seem daunting to aim for so high a rank, if you choose subjects for which you have a real interest and you approach your studies with the right strategy, you will give yourself every advantage over your peers.

How to get an ATAR above 90

An ATAR above 90 would place you in the top 17% of students who receive a ranking, an undeniably difficult but worthy goal and, with sufficient preparation, a realistic one.

This ATAR indicates that you have established an advantage over a large majority of your peers. This cannot be achieved without a clear game plan with respect to your choice of subjects and your preparation for tests and exams, as well as a strong desire and commitment to execute this plan.

Students who get into this ATAR bracket are clearly hard workers. Many of these students also work alongside an online tutor to ensure that they are well prepared for their exams and assessments too.

How to get a 99.95 ATAR

For students who have shown a pattern of conscientiousness and a penchant for study, aiming for the highest possible ATAR is an achievable goal. To get an ATAR of 99.95, a student must score in approximately the top 0.1% in their cohort, meaning that around one in a thousand students achieve this rank.

However, setting such an ambitious goal for yourself is already half the battle – in reality, only a small proportion of students will position themselves to pursue this goal, such that the subset of students with whom you are competing is relatively small. Moreover, certain subjects lend themselves to achieving this goal better than others, especially those subjects which scale generously.

Finally, the best argument in favour of aiming for an ATAR of 99.95? Even if you don’t succeed, you will likely have succeeded anyway – by placing no upper limit on your target ATAR, you will be motivated to get the very most out of yourself, and there is every chance that this will be reflected in your marks at the end of Year 12.

Thanks for reading our guide! For more information on how the ATAR system works, check out our other article, 10 ATAR Facts that Every Student Should Know. For the answers to every ATAR question you could possibly imagine, our collection of ATAR Info blog posts will have you sorted!

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