There are a number of different pathways that high school students in Australia can undertake in order to graduate with a diploma. Two common routes are the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and International Baccalaureate (IB) pathways.
Converting an IB score to an ATAR rank is not only important for Australian IB students, but also for international IB students that wish to pursue further education in Australia. This is because many university courses in Australia have entry requirements based on a student’s ATAR result, and so this conversion will allow students to have a general idea of how competitive they are with regards to them receiving an offer in the university courses they applied for.
However, there are some universities which use a student’s IB score rather than their corresponding ATAR result. Nevertheless, it is always best to check with the specific institution you are applying to.
How does IB convert to ATAR?
The way in which domestic students apply to universities in Australia is mostly done through Tertiary Admission Centres (TAC’s). TAC’s cover the majority of institutions in Australia, in the areas of Queensland, South Australia/Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.
The process is that the student will apply to area-specific universities within these TAC’s, and, if a student has an IB score, these TAC’s will automatically convert their IB score to an ATAR score, and send this score to the student’s chosen universities*. This converted ATAR is now a standardised, common national measure of Australian year 12 achievement, referred to as a combined rank.
Applications by international students residing outside of Australia to institutions through TAC’s may not always be accepted, so again, it is always best to check with the specific institution you are interested in.
An ATAR score ranges from 0-99.95, with the yearly average being around 70.00. To receive an IB diploma, a student must score a minimum of 24 points (maximum is 45). Students can visit the websites of TAC’s to check their own IB-ATAR equivalent score. It is important to remember that exact IB-ATAR conversions may change yearly. For reference, on the Queensland Tertiary Admission Centre website (QTAC), if an IB diploma is completed in 2020 (for 2021 admissions) and a particular student was awarded a score of 40, this value translates to a combined rank of 98.05.
* note that additional paperwork may be required to be handed in by IB students
South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre – SATAC process applications on behalf of these participating institutions in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Find out more about SATAC here