Throughout Year 12, you’ll inevitably find yourself punching numbers into an ATAR calculator as a means of predicting your ATAR. These numbers will fluctuate throughout the course of the year, depending on whether you receive a disappointing biology SAC result, or if you aced that English oral. You’ll reassure yourself that you might not be getting a 40 in Chemistry, but a 35 would still get you a 95 ATAR.
It’s an all-too-familiar, mentally strenuous game that you’ll be playing - just you and your performance, versus the unknown opponent of 'The ATAR'. Here at KIS, we want to help you develop your study skills, refine your learning approach for your final years of high school, and provide you with extensive insight into the cogwheels of the ATAR. This is why we thought we’d introduce a new series, in which we break down a former high school student’s ATAR to its bare essentials. We hope that not only will this be informative in understanding how ATARs are derived, but will provide you with both motivation and inspiration to keep you working as hard as you possibly can.
Before we delve into it, let’s just rattle off a few disclaimers. Firstly, these features are not ‘one size fits all’. It’s important to remember that the ATARs we’ll be examining are from a range of graduate years and schools, and these will all affect the resultant outcome. Additionally, SAC marks vary between schools depending on the level of difficulty of the assessment. There are a myriad of factors impacting how an ATAR is derived, so please don’t use this as the ultimate guide by which you base all predictions of your future ATAR. In fact, don’t use any resource as the be-all-end-all to predict your ATAR. Instead, study hard and keep yourself accountable throughout Years 11 and 12. Secondly, yes, we know, our tutors have all done incredibly well in VCE. Their thorough understanding of the curriculum and high performances are why we’ve hired them in the first place! Regardless of the scores featured, don’t feel unmotivated. Use these to get more of an understanding of how VCAA works.
Now, without further ado, let’s get into the juicy stuff.
Jeff is the Victoria Team Leader of KIS Academics, and currently studying Medicine at Monash University having achieved a perfect score of 99.95 in 2019.
Let’s look into the breakdown of his ATAR!
When and where did Jeff complete VCE?
Jeff completed VCE at Xavier College in 2019. This means that all scaled values and aggregate-to-ATAR values discussed are only applicable to results achieved in 2019.
What was Jeff’s subject selection for VCE?
Jeff undertook the following subjects in VCE:
- Mathematical Methods
- Specialist Mathematics
- Chinese (SLA)
What study scores did he get for these subjects?
For English, Jeff scored a raw 50, which remained at 50 once scaled, and was also a recipient of a Premiers’ Award. Scoring highly in English is paramount to doing well in VCE, given that English is the only subject which mandatorily sits in the top 4. He also scored a 50 in Physics, which also didn’t change with scaling.
Jeff scored highly in his mathematical subjects, with a 49 in Mathematical Methods, which scaled to a 50.20 and a 46 in Specialist Mathematics, which scaled to a cool 53.04.
In his bottom two subjects were Chemistry and Chinese SLA. He scored a 46 and a 35 in these respectively, which would then scale to become a 47.97 and 43.65. These subjects had 10% of their value contribute to his aggregate score.
What was Jeff’s aggregate score?
The total of his study scores brought Jeff’s aggregate score to an impressive 212.39. This fit him into the 2019 aggregate range required to achieve a 99.95, which was between 210.04 and 218.99.
How did Jeff perform in SACs?
Jeff was high-performing throughout the year, and scored the overall top SAC score for his cohort for English, Methods, Chemistry and Physics.
What did Jeff get in his GAT?
Jeff scored a 49 in Written Communications, 47 in Maths/Science and 35 in Humanities/Arts. Although there is no way of knowing whether a GAT score influenced your final ATAR, it is in your best interest to perform well in the GAT, especially in the disciplines which correspond to your subjects. For example, because Jeff undertook 4 subjects in the fields of mathematics and science, it was important that his GAT score for Maths/Science was high. We have an article explaining the relevance of the GAT, and why you should aim to do your best in it here.