As a NZ student, how do my school marks convert into an ATAR?

It works like this: when you submit your application for an Australian university program, you need to do so via the state-specific admissions centre (refer to this article for more information).

When your results are released (e.g. mid-January for CIE), you will need to submit them to the admissions center so that they can process it and give you an ATAR score. The ATAR score derived from your CIE results will not only be based on your results but is also influenced by everyone else who has applied for admissions. The exact method for calculating these scores is usually undisclosed, but we do know that it’s based on the raw marks achieved by all applicants.

(Side note: there are a lot of online calculators that seem to produce accurate conversions, but since it may vary from year to year based on the results of the people who apply in that year, there isn’t really a consistent or straightforward way to convert students’ results from NZ marks to ATAR.)

After that, universities will use applicants’ results to make interview offers or course offers.

Before we wrap up this question, here’s a final bit of advice to improve your chances of getting in:

First, your focus should be to do your best at school so that you have a better chance of ranking highly. We’ve seen NZ students gain entry into Monash University and the University of Adelaide with 2 A*s and 2 As, as well as other students with slightly higher and lower results who also made it into other medical schools in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia.

However, what’s absolutely critical to remember is that some medical schools (e.g. WSU & CSU, JMP, UQ, CQU, Adelaide) make interview offers purely on the basis of your UCAT results. For 2021 entry, the minimum UCAT cut-off score for those medical schools was around the 93rd percentile (with a ‘safe’ UCAT mark being around 95th percentile)—meaning that anyone who achieved a score lower than 93rd percentile wouldn’t even get an interview offer, let alone be considered for final course offers (more information on that in this article). So besides doing as well as possible in your school subjects, if you want to come out on the other side with a course offer you also need to focus on preparing for the UCAT and scoring well on it.

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ucat guide 2022