ATAR Score Guide by Subject
These are indicative ATAR cut-off scores for 2021. They are not guaranteed by us. Always check with the individual uni first.
Each university has its own policies around ATARs. You may be able to get in with a lower score, especially if you have adjustment factors in your favour.
- Arts: Bachelor of Arts (or similar). May be for a specific major such as Creative Writing, History or Journalism.
- Business: Bachelor of Business, or Bachelor of Commerce (general entry)
- STEM — Science: Bachelor of Science degree. May be for a specific major, such as Biology or Environmental Science.
- The figures are from university websites and were gathered shortly before being published in the table.
- Universities often use the final cut-off score for previous years as guidance. Some unis have fixed ATARs. Other unis adjust cut-off scores depending on demand for places.
- Where there are different scores for a subject at a uni (e.g. by campus or specialisation), the lowest or most common score is generally reported.
- A score of 50 may mean that the university sets low admission standards and is unwilling to provide actual ATAR profiles for offered places.
- Please check university course guides before making final enrolment choices.
University ATAR Cut-Off Scores
The table of university course entry scores uses ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) cut offs for bachelor degrees. These provide guidance for 2021 admissions and late 2020 admissions.
ATAR or ATAR-equivalent scores are published by the universities and indicate the score a school leaver needs to achieve to receive an offer. Some are fixed while others are estimated scores based on final cut-offs for 2019 or 2020 applicants. The sample consists of 3 of the most popular undergraduate degrees: Arts, Business/Commerce, and Science/Engineering.
Uni Admission Score Practices
Universities that are hard to get into are considered prestigious. Demand for places is strong, so they can set admission standards above the norm. Are they better? Maybe, maybe not. But a degree from a university with tough entry standards will tend to be valued more than a degree from an “average” university.
A. Elite (high ATAR) universities
For prestige reasons, universities often actually have lower ATAR requirements than advertised. They want to fill places but don’t want to admit to having lower standards. You may be able to gain entry even if you don’t meet the published ATAR requirement.
Getting into a university with high ATAR cut-off scores is great. But many other things are worth considering when choosing a uni and course. Too many students decide to go to the most prestigious university that will have them—when there are better options available.
Universities with the highest course entry standards tend to be the older universities based centrally in major cities—for example, Melbourne Uni, Sydney Uni and UNSW. By studying there, you can get a highly valued degree while experiencing the big city. But city life is not for everyone and you may have to relocate.
There can also be an academic downside to attending elite universities. Because other students have high academic ability on average, you may struggle to stand out. Would you rather be an average student at a prestigious university or a high achiever at a normal one? Ultimately, whichever university you attend, your performance as a student is what really matters.
B. Universities with low ATAR cut-off scores
Universities that set modest or low course admission standards do it for different reasons. Some universities target students who have average ATAR scores and can’t into other universities. They are competing with other universities and set scores low enough to attract students.
But often universities with modest course entry requirements are the main university in a region (e.g. James Cook University). They need to provide places for all students with the ability to complete a degree. Regional Australian universities can have many outstanding students.