What to do once you've got your ATAR

14 Jan 2022

Female uni student holding a laptop and phone smiles to camera

ATARs are almost here! 2021 NSW and ACT HSC students will be able to access their ATAR on the UAC website at 9am on Thursday 20 January.

The first round of ATAR-based university offers will be released at 7.30am on Wednesday 26 January. You’ll have until 11.59pm on Friday 21 January to finalise your course preferences for this offer round.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting your ATAR, and what to do once you’ve got it.

What is an ATAR?

The ATAR is a rank, not a mark. It is a number between 0 and 99.95 with increments of 0.05. It allows us to compare the overall achievement of students who have completed thousands of different combinations of HSC courses. An ATAR of 80.00 places you in the top 20% of your age cohort.

The ATAR enables universities to rank applicants for selection in a fair and objective way. It is designed to be used as an indicator of readiness for uni study: there is no notion of pass or fail.

Download our short publication ATAR Essentials for an explanation of how and why the ATAR is calculated, how it is used for selection to tertiary study, and its relationship to HSC marks.

How will I get my ATAR?

You will be able to access your ATAR on the UAC website from 9am on Thursday 20 January. To log in, you’ll need your Year 12 student number and your UAC PIN. You'll see a list of the ATAR courses you studied and their category, and the number of units of each ATAR course that contributed to the calculation of your ATAR.

While you’re there, remember to download and save your official 2021 ATAR Advice Notice. It's free until 28 March 2022: after that you will need to buy it through the UAC Shop at a cost of $60.

If you've lost your Year 12 student number, call NESA on 1300 13 83 23 or contact your school. If you've lost your UAC PIN, call UAC on (02) 9752 0200.

I have questions about my ATAR

Take a look at our FAQs about the ATAR to see if your question is answered there.

If you have specific questions about your ATAR once you've received it, you can call UAC’s ATAR Enquiry Centre on (+61 2) 9119 5012 on the following dates:

Thu 20 Jan and Fri 21 Jan

8.30am to 8.30pm

Sat 22 Jan and Sun 23 Jan


Mon 24 Jan to Wed 26 Jan

8.30am to 4.30pm

Make sure you have your Year 12 student number (or UAC application number) ready when you call the Enquiry Centre.

General enquiries about your application: Contact UAC on (+61 2) 9752 0200 or via the online enquiry form. UAC's Customer Service call centre will be open extended hours – until 6.30pm – on Thursday 20 January and Friday 21 January.

Questions for institutions: You can also contact the universities you are applying to – most will have special telephone lines and information days to give you advice. Download institution contact details.

HSC results: If you have questions about your NSW HSC results, released by NESA from 6am on Thursday 20 January 2022, visit the HSC results area of the NESA website, or call the HSC Results Inquiry Centre on 1300 13 83 23.

I’ve got my ATAR: should I change my course preferences?

You might be happy to leave your preferences as they are, even after you’ve received your ATAR! But if you're still unsure about the courses you've chosen, here are some tips to consider.

  1. Put your dream course first: Even if your ATAR wasn’t what you’d hoped for, leave your first preference in place, because lowest selection ranks change from year to year.
  2. Check if you are eligible for adjustment factors: You might be eligible to receive university selection rank adjustments, which are additional points that sit on top of your ATAR and increase your selection rank into particular courses at particular universities. This means you could get an offer to a course even though your ATAR is below the lowest selection rank. Do your research on university websites to see what adjustment factors you can get so you can take that into account when choosing your preferences.
  3. Have a plan B: Research the full range of courses in the field that you’re hoping to study in. Look for courses with lower selection ranks and consider adding them to the bottom of your list of preferences. This way, if you miss out on your dream course, you'll have a good chance of getting an offer to something similar.
  4. Include a course that matches your ATAR: Make sure that you have at least one course within your UAC preference list which has a selection rank that matches your ATAR.
  5. Find another path: Many students don’t go straight into their first preference in their first year of tertiary study. You could instead start in a general degree, or a foundation or pathway program, and apply for your preferred course later. (Some unis may allow you to apply for an internal transfer.) Uni info days, which are run by many institutions at the end of January, are a great way to get your last-minute questions answered about your options.
  6. Make the changes before the deadline: For the main round of ATAR-based uni offers (January Round 2), you have until 11.59pm Friday 21 January to make changes to your preferences. For the following offer round (February Round 1), released on Thursday 3 February, you have until 11.59pm on Saturday 29 January to make changes.

How do I change my preferences?

You can rearrange the order of your preferences, add new courses or delete courses as many times as you like until the change of preference deadline – and there's no charge. Simply log in to your application using your UAC application number and UAC PIN.

I applied for the Educational Access Scheme. When will I get my eligibility letter?

EAS eligibility letters will be released on Thursday 20 January to all applicants with a finalised assessment for January Round 2 (26 January).