What in the world is ATAR and QCE?

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Over the last year, you may have heard of acronyms such as ATAR and QCE. In this edition of the newsletter, I would like to explain what these two acronyms mean and how it may apply to your child.

What is ATAR?

ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank and is used nationally for university admissions. ATAR indicates a student’s position relative to other students. ATARS are expressed as a number on a 2000-point scale from 99.95 down to 0.00 in steps of 0.05. The highest ATAR is 99.95, then 99.90, then 99.85, and so on, down to 0.00. Students receive their ATAR score at the end of Year 12.

To be eligible for an ATAR score, a student must in Year 12:

  • complete five General subjects (Units 3 and 4); or
  • complete four General subjects (Units 3 and 4) plus one Applied subject (at Units 3 and 4) or a VET course at AQF Certificate III level or higher; and
  • accumulate results within a five-year period. 

Students must also satisfactorily complete (i.e. achieve a minimum grade of C or higher) an English subject (one of English, English as an Additional Language, English and Literature Extension, Literature, or Essential English).

An ATAR pathway is for those students who are interested in pursuing a university degree. For those students not interested in attaining a ATAR score, we have various pathways available to equip your child for attaining work related qualifications

What is QCE?

QCE stands for Queensland Certificate of Education. The QCE is Queensland's senior secondary schooling qualification. It provides evidence of senior schooling achievements.

As students in Year 11 and 12 successfully pass their units of work, points will be allocated. A student needs to attain 20 points to achieve the QCE. They will also need to pass at least a semester of an English subject and a semester of a Mathematics subjects. Essential English and Mathematics are included in this.

Students completing traineeships and certificate courses also gain points towards their QCE.

Our goal at MMCC is that every child can achieve their QCE. For Year 10 students, information on QCE and ATAR will be explained at their Careers Retreat at the end of Term 2.

If you would like further information on ATAR and QCE, please use the two links below:

Kris Naiker
Assistant Principal Teaching & Learning: Senior