Inside An ATAR: 98.20

Ella is one of our lovely, incredible tutors. She graduated in 2019 with an ATAR of 98.20. She is currently in her second year of studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, and hopes to major in Zoology.

3 years ago   •   5 min read

By Jessica Hinh
Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu / Unsplash

Welcome back to one of our most popular segments - ‘Inside an ATAR’ - where we break down the ATARs of past students who have traversed the path of Year 12. We started this series to give you more insight into how ATARs are derived and to try and further your understanding of the inner machinations of VCE.

Also, they’re just fun to read!

Before we get started, we’ll have to just briefly cover the same disclaimers that we did in our last piece. The components of this blog post will only specifically reflect the graduate year and school in which this ATAR was derived. There are a wealth of factors that impact how ATARs are formulated, many of which are outside of an individual’s control. Therefore, this article will not apply to your personal situation. Additionally, yes, our tutors all have incredibly high ATARs, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the curriculum and excellent work ethic (which is why we hired them in the first place!). However, it should be said that achievement is relative to the individual; you should be aiming to do the best that you possibly can. Use these articles to get more of an understanding of how the system works, and to inspire you to work hard! If you're still unsure how exactly the ATAR is calculated, check out our comprehensive guide to the ATAR.

Now, without further ado, let’s get into the juicy stuff!

Ella is one of our lovely, incredible tutors. She graduated in 2019 with an ATAR of 98.20. She is currently in her second year of studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne, and hopes to major in Zoology. She’s been tutoring VCE biology and Years 7-10 English, Maths and Science with KIS Academics since the start of 2021, and has loved helping students enhance their learning and study skills.

Meet Ella, one of our amazing KIS tutors

When and where did Ella complete Year 12?

Ella completed her high-school education in Victoria. She graduated from Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School in 2019 with an ATAR of 98.20.

What subjects did Ella do for VCE?

Ella undertook an impressive range of diverse subjects for Year 12:

  • English
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese (SL)
  • Art
  • Mathematical Methods

What study scores did she get for these subjects?

Ella’s top 4 subjects included English, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematical Methods. She scored an impressive 46 in Biology, which scaled up to 46.73. For her other science discipline, Chemistry, Ella scored a raw 40, which was bumped up to 43.59. She scored a 44 in English, which scaled down to 43.72, and a 38 raw in Mathematical Methods, which scaled up to 43.23.

The subjects that comprised Ella’s bottom two were Chinese (SL) and Art, which would both contribute 10% of their scaled value to her aggregate score. She scored a 31 raw in Chinese (SL), which received an impressive scaling of over 10 points to become 41.58, and a 41 raw in Art, which scaled down to 39.58. If you're completing VCE, here is an overview of the VCE Scaling Report that could be helpful while choosing your subjects.

What was Ella’s aggregate score?

Ella’s aggregate score, which combines the scaled scores for her top 4 subjects, and 10% of the scaled values for her bottom two subjects, was 185.37. This aggregate score put her into the 2019 ATAR bracket between 98.00 and 98.50, which was 184.04 - 187.48, thereby giving her an ATAR of 98.20.

How did Ella perform in her SACs?

Ella’s overall SAC scores were the following:















Chinese (SL)



Mathematical Methods



What were Ella’s GAT scores?

In 2019, Ella scored a 29 raw in Written Communications, which was scaled to a 40, 28 raw in Maths/Science which scaled to a 41, and 28 raw in Humanities/Arts which bumped up to a 44.

What advice does Ella have for anyone going through Years 11 and 12 right now?

Firstly, don’t stress too much about SACS, especially if you’re studying a Unit 3/4 in Year 11. There are so many other things that factor into your study score and it’s not worth the stress. Stressing too much and over-preparing for SACs will actually negatively impact your score, which is something I learned after my Immunity SAC in Biology 3/4. Like many 3/4 Biology students, I found the immunity content to be very difficult. Instead of asking my teacher for help, I over-prepared and completed far too many practice questions, without actually fully understanding the content. I found that this hindered the little understanding that I already had, and I became completely overwhelmed whilst studying for and even during the actual SAC. In the end, I was unhappy with my result, but I think I could have done better if I hadn’t stressed so much about it.

Secondly, although stressing about SACs is definitely detrimental, try and ensure you’re always well prepared (to minimise stress more than anything else!). I aimed to start preparing for SACs 2 weeks in advance, although this wasn’t always possible, so be kind to yourself if you’re unable to do this every single time. For SAC prep, I would use the first week to get my notes in order, and really make sure I was comfortable with the content. Having a complete and comprehensive set of notes is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Making these notes helps you organise the information in your head and better understand the content, and having the notes is great for referring back when preparing for the exam. For the second week of SAC prep, I would focus on trying to complete as many practice questions as I possibly could. Doing practice questions is probably the best thing you can do to revise content, as it allows you to apply your knowledge, which further aids your understanding. After SACs and practice exams, I would review my mistakes, and add these (as well as solutions) to my notes. This process helps to ensure you won’t make the same mistakes again, thereby  making a huge difference in your scores.

Lastly, make sure to spend time with your friends wherever you can! Go to those 18ths, hang out during your spares and lunchtimes, and just really enjoy spending your last year of school surrounded by your favourite people! This helps you ensure you keep stress to a minimum and really enjoy VCE. Minimising stress and having fun is one of the best things you can do to ensure you get the marks you want. An overworked brain will never perform at its best.

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