ATAR calculation

In NSW, your 2017 ATAR is based on an aggregate of scaled marks in 10 units of ATAR courses comprising your:

  • best 2 units of English
  • best 8 units from your remaining units, which can include no more than two units of Category B courses.

Although eligibility for an ATAR requires completion of at least four subjects, the aggregate may be based on fewer subjects; for example, English Advanced, HSC English Extension 1 and Extension 2, HSC Mathematics Extension 1 and Extension 2, and one other 2-unit course. But you must still satisfactorily complete at least four subjects to be eligible for an ATAR.


Both HSC marks and ATARs are derived from raw examination marks and moderated school assessments.

However, HSC marks and the ATAR are calculated separately and are two very different measures of achievement: HSC marks provide a measure of a student’s performance against performance bands while the ATAR ranks a student among their entire Year 7 cohort.

Find out more about the HSC on the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) website.

Read specific information about:

Calculation of the ATAR is the responsibility of the Technical Committee on Scaling on behalf of the NSW Vice-Chancellors' Committee. For detailed information about the calculation of the ATAR, read Calculating the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank in New South Wales: A Technical Report.

Note: Information about the calculation of the ACT ATAR is available from the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies.

Changes to HSC results?

If the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) provides UAC with amended HSC results, your ATAR will be automatically recalculated and UAC will notify you by email.