In preparation for the release of 2019 course information next week, we have prepared a summary of changes to the display of course information as a result of the Higher Education Standards Panel requirements.
Swap ‘Bonus’ for ‘Adjustment’
Subject bonuses are now called subject adjustments.
When these adjustments and/or SEAS assessments are considered in selection, an applicant’s ATAR, inclusive of these adjustments, is known as an ‘adjusted ATAR’ or ‘selection rank’.
There are now four types of applicant, known as applicant groups. These are:
- Applicants with recent secondary education (current Year 12 students and those who completed in 2016 or 2017 and haven’t completed any tertiary study)
- Applicants with higher education studies (applicants who have completed at least one semester of higher education)
- Applicants with VET studies (applicants who have completed at least one semester of vocational education and training (VET))
- Applicants with work and life experience (applicants who finished Year 12 more than three years ago and haven’t completed any tertiary education or applicants who have not finished Year 12)
Applicants need only to be aware of their group to find and complete the appropriate application and selection requirements, now known as ‘essential requirements and admission criteria’. These are listed in CourseSearch. VTAC will soon have a questionnaire available to assist applicants in identifying their applicant group.
Note: VTAC has split the recent secondary education group into current Year 12 students and other recent secondary graduates.
Looking for selection criteria? See essential requirements and admission criteria.
The information previously published as ‘selection criteria’ is now published under ‘essential requirements and admission criteria’. Select the appropriate applicant group to find the relevant prerequisites and other requirements and criteria that must be met for an applicant to be eligible for selection into a course.
- Essential requirements for selection and application must be completed to be considered for entry.
- Essential requirements for enrolment or graduation are advisory. They are not required for selection, but the course requires them for enrolment or completion of the course (previously called enrolment considerations and other information).
- Admission criteria are other selection requirements and considerations. These may be compulsory or advisory— this will be indicated in the criteria information and the ‘At a glance’ table in each course entry.
Prerequisite studies for Year 12 students may be listed under ‘admission criteria’ or ‘essential requirements for selection and application’. If the prerequisite study is only applicable to Year 12 applicants, it will be listed under ‘admission criteria’. If all applicant groups are required to meet the same prerequisite studies, they will be listed under ‘essential requirements for selection and application’.
The ATAR profile
Courses that use the ATAR in selection publish an ATAR profile.
The profile shows the highest, median and lowest ATARs of applicants to whom offers were made: firstly for the ‘raw’ or unadjusted ATAR before any adjustments such as SEAS or subject adjustments are applied, and secondly for the selection rank—the ATAR after adjustments are applied.
The ATAR profile linked to from VTAC CourseSearch entries is the data for the main offer round in January. Institutions may also publish further tables – a link to this information is available from individual course entries.
Courses which make a small number of offers based on the ATAR may publish LN (low number), NP (not published) or the unadjusted ATAR range only, as the data for a small number of offers is not meaningful.
The ATAR profile provides an array of other data which you can read about in The ATAR Profile Explained fact sheet (vtac.edu.au/ publications).
The lowest selection rank (not Clearly-in ATAR)
The piece of data in an ATAR profile that is most useful to applicants is the ‘lowest selection rank’. This represents the minimum selection rank (ATAR or adjusted ATAR) needed to have been sure of selection into that course in that selection period (if course requirements including prerequisites were also met).
Lowest selection ranks are not set ahead of selection—they are produced because of the selection process. Applicants can use the lowest selection rank from the previous year as a broad indicator of how competitive entry into a course was that year, and it can assist them to evaluate their chances of an offer in the next selection period. Keep in mind that if your ATAR is below the lowest selection rank, it may still be worth listing this course as a preference as you might be eligible for adjustment factors such as interviews, tests, auditions, and/or special consideration for access and equity schemes, and the lowest selection rank might be lower in the year you apply than the year before.