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mabajas76

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Confusion about ATAR calculation between states
« on: August 10, 2021, 09:58:31 am »
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How is the ATAR calculated amongst states?
Like in victoria, we have the SS mainly from vce subjects. In HSC, they have bands, how do these bands contribute to atar? How are the bands compared to SS? How about in other states? Am i just way off on how it works?
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Joseph41

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Re: Confusion about ATAR calculation between states
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2021, 11:33:24 am »
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How is the ATAR calculated amongst states?
Like in victoria, we have the SS mainly from vce subjects. In HSC, they have bands, how do these bands contribute to atar? How are the bands compared to SS? How about in other states? Am i just way off on how it works?

Hey mabajas76! I've left some comments/thoughts below, but I'm sure others will be able to add or correct (it's been a little while, so there may be some errors - apologies if so).

If we look at three states as a starting point - so Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland - all three states ultimately land on the same thing (the ATAR), but have slightly different ways of getting there. All of the ATAR-calculation systems have similarities, but none are completely consistent.

For example, in Victoria the ATAR is derived from your "top four" subjects, plus 10% of your fifth and sixth subject if applicable (with some other potential factors, but that's usually the case). That's not the case in other states, where the ATAR is derived from a different number/combination of subjects.

As you mentioned, VCE has what we call "study scores", which are out of 50 for each subject. QCE subject scores are also out of 50, but are calculated a little differently. HSC subject scores are out of 100, but most of the same principles apply.

The performance "bands" you've mentioned, which are used in New South Wales, are basically groups of results for each subject that align with an expected level of knowledge for that mark. There are usually six bands (with Band 6 being the best), although extension subjects have four bands (with E4 being the best).

To my knowledge, there's really no reason systems like the VCE or the QCE couldn't incorporate a similar system or concept - we just haven't done so formally. You could argue that there's a bit of an equivalent in VCE where we speak of things like a "30+ study score" or a "40+ study score".

Re: comparison between states, IMO that's a very difficult and ultimately pretty fruitless exercise. The way each system calculates the ATAR is a little different, but so are assessment criteria and structure, subject content, and even how the academic year is timed. There are very many variables, which makes accurate comparison difficult. I guess that's why we need the (national) ATAR in the first place - so that universities and other tertiary institutions have a single measure by which they can compare performances across states.

I'm not sure having an intricate knowledge of the three systems (or any of the systems, really) is necessary, but if you're interested, you can find more info at the starting points below.

VICTORIA:
* VCE Behind the Scenes: Moderation, Rankings, Scaling, Aggregates
* {SAC RANKINGS} -All you need to know about it-

NEW SOUTH WALES:
* From Assignment to ATAR: How Your Marks Are Calculated
* Technical HSC Explained (video playlist)

QUEENSLAND:
* How to Ace QCE - Part 1 (ATARs, Subject Scores, Scaling) (video)
* What is the ATAR?
* How is the ATAR calculated?
* How does QCE inter-subject scaling work?
* QCE System Explained - ATARs, Assessments, Polyranks, Inter-subject Scaling & More!
* VCE System Explained (video playlist)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2021, 11:35:15 am by Joseph41 »

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mabajas76

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Re: Confusion about ATAR calculation between states
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2021, 11:47:59 am »
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Thanks for your reply! I thought that the ATAR was calculated taking into consideration the whole country which i thought was weird but is it calculated by state? So it could be easier to get a 99.95 in vic then say tasmania or HSC.
"Don't give up, and don't put too much effort into things that don't matter"-Albert Einstein, probably.