Frequently asked questions

FAQs about the ATAR

2023 ATAR Advice Notice

2023 NSW ATARs were released on Thursday 14 Dec.

Log in to view your ATAR: you'll need your Year 12 student number and UAC PIN.

If you've lost your Year 12 student number, call NESA on 1300 13 83 23. If you've lost your UAC PIN, call UAC on (+61 2) 9752 0200.

When you view your ATAR, download and save your official 2023 ATAR Advice Notice. It's free until 18 Mar 2024: after that you will need to buy it through the UAC Shop at a cost of $70.

NSW HSC students can also have their ATAR issued as a digital credential: instructions on how to claim your credential.

December Round 2 lowest selection ranks [PDF]: the lowest selection rank – ATAR plus adjustment factors – that could have resulted in an offer to each course in December.

January Round 1 lowest selection ranks: the lowest selection rank – ATAR plus adjustment factors – that could have resulted in an offer to each course in January Round 1.

2023 ATAR Advice Notice

2023 NSW ATARs were released on Thursday 14 Dec.

Log in to view your ATAR: you'll need your Year 12 student number and UAC PIN.

If you've lost your Year 12 student number, call NESA on 1300 13 83 23. If you've lost your UAC PIN, call UAC on (+61 2) 9752 0200.

When you view your ATAR, download and save your official 2023 ATAR Advice Notice. It's free until 18 Mar 2024: after that you will need to buy it through the UAC Shop at a cost of $70.

NSW HSC students can also have their ATAR issued as a digital credential: instructions on how to claim your credential.

January Round 1 offers were released on Thu 11 Jan 2024.

January Round 1 lowest selection ranks: the lowest selection rank – ATAR plus adjustment factors – that could have resulted in an offer to each course in January Round 1.

January Round 2 offers will be released on Wed 24 Jan 2024. You can change your course preferences for this round until 11.59pm Wed 11 Jan 2024.

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Getting your ATAR

You'll need your Year 12 student number and UAC PIN to log in to the UAC website and view your ATAR.

NSW HSC students

Your 8-digit student number is issued to you by NESA. If you've lost it, call NESA on 1300 13 83 23.

Your 4-digit UAC PIN will be emailed to you in April. It is different to your HSC PIN. If you've lost your UAC PIN, call us on (02) 9752 0200.

ACT students

Your 7-digit student number is issued to you by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies.

Your 4-digit UAC PIN will be emailed to you in April. If you've lost your UAC PIN, call us on (02) 9752 0200.

UAC’s ATAR Enquiry Centre will run for a few days following the release of ATARs on 14 December 2023. The contact details and opening hours will be published in December.

After these dates, you can contact UAC.

When you call, you'll need to provide your Year 12 student number (or UAC application number) ready.

CredFolio is a free digital wallet in which 2022 and 2023 HSC students can receive their ATAR as a digital credential.

2022 HSC students

Submit an online enquiry form asking UAC to re-issue your ATAR to CredFolio. Include your:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • NESA student number
  • up-to-date email address.

You'll then receive an email from CredFolio telling you that UAC has issued your ATAR to the wallet. It will include instructions on how to retrieve it.

2023 HSC students

When 2023 ATARs are released, you will receive an email from CredFolio telling you that UAC has issued your ATAR to the wallet. It will include instructions on how to retrieve it.

If you're a UAC applicant, the email will be sent to the address you have entered in your application. If you're not a UAC applicant, the email will be sent to the address you have registered with NESA.

If you don't see any emails from CredFolio, please check your junk folder. If you still can't find them, submit an online enquiry form and include your:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • NESA student number
  • up-to-date email address.

In the meantime, you'll still be able to download and save your ATAR Advice Notice when you log in to view your ATAR on this website.

If you have any other questions, please call UAC's Customer Service team on (+61 2) 9752 0200.

Yes. You can purchase a replacement ATAR Advice Notice from the UAC Shop.

If you received your ATAR in 2022, you can have your ATAR issued to your CredFolio digital wallet. Refer to the question above.

Eligibility

To be eligible for an ATAR in NSW in 2023 and 2024, you must satisfactorily complete at least 10 units of HSC courses. These courses must include at least:

  • 8 units from Category A courses
  • 2 units of English
  • three Board Developed courses of 2 units or greater
  • four subject areas.

Your ATAR is then calculated from your:

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

From 2025, there will be no distinction between Category A and and Category B courses.

To be eligible for an ATAR in NSW from 2025, you must satisfactorily complete at least 10 units of HSC courses. These courses must include at least:

  • 10 units of Board Developed courses
  • 2 units of English
  • three Board Developed courses of 2 units or greater
  • four subject areas.

Your ATAR is then calculated from your:

  • best 2 units of English
  • best 8 units from your remaining units.

Access a list of HSC courses and their subject areas

It's important to understand the difference between an HSC subject area and an HSC course. Within an HSC subject area (eg mathematics) there may be a number of courses (eg Mathematics Standard 2, Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2).

If a student studies, for example, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2, English Advanced, English Extension 2 and Biology they will not meet the four subject area requirement because they have only studied courses from three subject areas: Mathematics, English and Biology.

All extension courses fall under the same subject area as the base course. For example, when combined with Modern History, History Extension falls under the subject area of Modern History; when combined with Chemistry, Science Extension falls under the subject area of Chemistry.

Who gets an ATAR?

If you do not satisfactorily complete a course, that course will not count towards meeting your ATAR requirements. If the course is a 2-unit course with an associated extension course in which you are enrolled, the extension course will not count either. Receiving a mark for a course on your Record of Achievement is an indication that you have satisfactorily completed that course.

No. IB Diploma candidates do not receive an ATAR. If you're a NSW or ACT IB student, UAC will provide you with an IB Admissions Score based on your IB overall score. Then, when you apply for university through UAC, we'll convert your IB Admissions Score to a UAC rank, which is assessed as equivalent to an ATAR.

Students undertaking tertiary preparation programs such as the Tertiary Preparation Certificate (TPC) and Open Foundation don’t receive an ATAR either.

No. The 2-unit course can be completed one year and the extension course completed in a later year. If you withdraw from the extension course, the marks from the 2-unit course that you have already completed will be available for inclusion in the calculation of your ATAR.

Calculation

Your ATAR is calculated once all HSC raw marks are available from NESA.

You'll receive an ATAR the first year you satisfy the eligibility requirements. If you complete additional courses or repeat courses you have completed, your ATAR will be recalculated. Your most recent ATAR is the one used for selection purposes.

Not necessarily. Only courses developed by NESA – for which there are formal examinations that yield graded assessments – can be included in the calculation of your ATAR. These are called Board Developed courses. If you have more than 10 units of these courses, your ATAR will be calculated using your best 2 scaled units of English and the best 8 scaled units from your remaining units.

If you are completing the HSC in 2023 or 2024, no more than 2 units of Category B courses can be included in the calculation of your ATAR.

If you are completing the HSC from 2025, there will be no distinction between Category A and Category B courses. Any Board Developed course can be included in the calculation of your ATAR.

Up to 4 units of calculus-based maths can be included in the ATAR calculation. If you study Mathematics Extension 1 you should be aware that it has a different weighting (in terms of units) depending on whether you take Mathematics or Mathematics Extension 2. Read about the calculation of your ATAR.

Yes. Your ATAR may be recalculated:

  • if NESA provides amended HSC results to UAC
  • if you repeat courses you have already completed
  • if you complete additional courses.

Institutions use your latest ATAR for selection purposes, which could be higher or lower than – or the same as – a previous ATAR.

Your aggregate will be recalculated using the new course and your previous courses. Since you are being compared with a different age cohort, your ATAR may increase, stay the same or even decrease.

Your HSC marks (your performance) and ATAR (your position) are different measures of achievement and therefore should not be compared. However, if you are in the middle group of students in all your courses (with marks typically in the late-70s), you may receive an ATAR of around 70.00. Sometimes marks in the 70s can mean a much lower ATAR depending on your courses and your position in those courses.

Scaling

No. Performance bands and scaled marks relate to two distinct processes. NESA uses raw HSC marks to align performance bands and calculate HSC marks, while UAC uses the same raw HSC marks to undertake the scaling process and calculate the ATAR. Therefore, performance bands and scaled marks cannot affect each other.

Courses are scaled using the mean scores and distribution of marks, which indicate the ability of all students studying that course. Courses studied by students who perform well in all their courses will be scaled highly. Courses such as Mathematics Extension 2 and Physics traditionally scale well because of this; however, you need to achieve high HSC marks to gain any benefit from scaling.

HSC course choice

Just about any combination of courses can lead to a good ATAR; it all depends on how well a student has done in all their courses in comparison to other students. Your choices should be based on your interests, demonstrated abilities and the value of courses for future career plans, not on what you believe are the likely effects of scaling.

While most students who achieve an ATAR of 99.95 take at least one extension subject, there are many different patterns of study observed every year. Students present anywhere from 10 to 15 units, some accumulating over two years and some over three years.

In recent years some candidates have achieved an ATAR of 99.95 studying Visual Arts, Drama and Music. Further, some students in the 99.95 group did not study mathematics at all; instead, their study patterns typically consisted of English Extension 1 and languages or English Extension 1, Modern and/or Ancient History and subjects like Business Studies or Studies of Religion II. Remember, students should select subjects in which they are interested and which prepare them for their future careers.

No. You cannot assume that simply by studying more units your ATAR will be increased. While students who study more units tend to gain higher ATARs, there are a number of reasons why, such as each student’s interest, motivation, effort and time management.

HSC marks

No. You’ll keep your own exam mark and your own assessment rank. When your school’s assessment marks are moderated, you may be given a different assessment mark depending on the exam results of the other students in your course, but you’ll keep your rank. Your exam mark will depend on how well you perform in the exam and is not affected by your assessment rank.