The Change From OP to ATAR

  1. Senior School
  2. The Change From OP to ATAR

The Queensland Government, working with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA), has announced that new systems for assessment in Years 11 and 12 and tertiary entrance will be phased in, effective from Year 12, 2020. The new systems draw upon recommendations by the Review of Tertiary Entrance conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research. What do the proposed changes mean for Queensland students?

Current System

New System

Subjects in the Senior Phase

Students choose a pattern of subjects made up of:

#    Authority subjects with strong academic rigour

#    Authority-registered subjects with a practical focus

#    VETIS options through school-based courses, traineeships or apprenticeships

Students will study a combination of General subjects and Applied subjects:

#  General subjects - academic subjects
    which can contribute to the ATAR

#  Applied subjects - more practical
    subjects (one applied subject can
    contribute to the ATAR)

VET options through school based courses and traineeships may still be offered

Assessment in the Senior Phase

#   Assessment programs are developed by schools
     for each subject. These programs are approved
     by the QCAA. Schools set the assessment, and
     grade the student work, in line with the
     approved work programs.
#   The QCAA has processes for monitoring and
     validating the assessment instruments and the
     grading of student results on the assessment.

#  Results in General subjects results will
    be based on a student's achievement
    in three school-based assessments
    and one external assessment that is
    set and marked by the Queensland
    Curriculum and Assessment
    Authority (QCAA). For most
    subjects, the external assessment
    will be worth 25% of the result,
    except in mathematics and science
    subjects, where the result will be
    worth 50% of the result.

#  Assessment in Applied subjects will be
    based on school assessments (ie no
    external exams)

Not Applicable

#  An ATAR will be based on the strongest
    results in five General subjects; or four
    General subjects and one Applied
    subject; or four General subjects and
    one completed VET Certificate III, IV
    or Diploma

#  An English subject will be compulsory
    for students to receive their ATAR. This
    could be a General English subject (eg.
    English, Literature, English for ESL) or it
    could be the Applied subject of Essential
    If the English result is not one of the
    five strongest results, the other five
    stronger results will be used to
    determine the ATAR

#  The new ATAR arrangements will
    commence for students completing
    Year 12 in 2020

The ATAR will be determined by the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre

Queensland Certificate of Education

All students who complete Year 12 will receive a transcript of their results, which is called a Senior Statement. Students who meet minimum standards in terms of their learning, and for literacy and numeracy, will also be eligible to receive a QCE.

Students will receive a Senior Statement, and a Queensland Certificate of Education if they meet minimum standards in terms of their learning, and for literacy and numeracy (ie this will not change).

Overall Position

#    Students completing 20 semesters of Authority subjects (ie 5 subjects for 4 semesters) receive an Overall Position (OP), determined by the QCAA.

#    The OP is based on the exit (final) results in Authority subjects, standardized in a process using QCST results

#    The OP is a ranking score, reported on a 1-25 scale.

There is no Overall Position determined for students in the new system.

Queensland Core Skills Test

#    All OP-eligible students in Qld sit the QCST in Yr 12, which is made up of four external papers, set and graded by the QCAA, testing essential learnings across the Authority subjects.

There is no Queensland Core Skills Test in the new system.

Tertiary Entrance

#    Tertiary Entrance for most institutions in Queensland is managed by the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).

#    For OP-eligible students, the OP score is used for tertiary entrance in Qld.

#    For OP-ineligible students, QTAC determines a Tertiary Selection Rank Score which is used for entry in Qld.

#    QTAC also determines a Tertiary Selection Rank Score for completed Certificate III, IV or Diploma courses which can also be used for entrance.

#    Tertiary Entrance will continue to be managed by QTAC.

#    Instead of using an OP determined by QCAA, there will be an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), determined by QTAC.

#    The ATAR is number between 0.00 and 99.95 in increments of 0.05. This is not a score out of 100, but a rank showing student's achievement against other students.