The much-anticipated ATAR results day has arrived. So what happened this year? And what to make of your results?
That one important day in December is upon us. And no, I’m not talking about Christmas (what was that again?). ATAR results are out for Victorian year 12 students, and given the implications, it’s understandable that students can find the situation pretty stressful. Not only that, but it can be hard to make sense of what exactly the results mean: study scores, scaling, and all the various statistics about how students and schools performed are a lot to take in. So what does it all mean? There’s a lot of information swimming around online, so I’ll try to condense it down to a few key points and resources to help you get on top of all things ATAR release.
Overview of 2022 VCE results
At 7:00 am on 12 December 2022, over 50,000 Victorian year 12 students received their VCE results and Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), which is used to gain entry into university degrees. Contrary to popular belief, the ATAR is not a percentage; rather, it is a student’s rank relative to all other students in Victoria. This could also be attributed to subject scaling, where subjects are scaled up or down relative to their difficulty; check out 2022's scaling report here.
The top score possible is 99.95, which in 2022 was achieved by 39 students. Of those students, 31 were male and 8 were female. However, on the whole, females performed better than males, receiving an average ATAR of 71.23 compared to 69.30. The average score across the state was 70.33, an increase from the average in 2021, which was 69.26. (Keep in mind, it is not actually possible to receive either of these average scores as ATARs only come in increments of 0.05). In total, 49,581 students graduated with their VCE in 2022, a completion rate of 98%.
How to find and compare your result
There are three ways to access your VCE results:
- Web - log onto the VCE Results and ATAR website (resultsandatar.vic.edu.au)
- App - download the Results and ATAR app on your Apple or Android device
- Mail - receive your results in the mail (only available for students who have paid all processing fees)
As of 13 December 2022, you can view all study scores of 40 and above by student name and school online.
ATAR calculation and scaling
For those about to undertake their year 12 VCE in 2023, or for keen beans in younger years wanting to know the secret formula to maximising their ATAR when the time comes, an ATAR calculator can come in handy. However, I am obliged to point out that this is only a predictor of what your ATAR *might* look like if you achieve certain scores in your subjects. Ultimately, it all depends on how your subjects scale (see below), and how well students in your cohort do compare to previous years. Even if you get the same aggregate score as a friend who did VCE this year or the year before, your ATARs may not be the same. So, while the ATAR calculator is a valuable tool for getting a feel for what uni courses you might be in the running for, don’t use it as an exact science. There are several ATAR calculators available online. You can access the KIS Academics calculator here.
Before you go down the calculation path, you should have an understanding of what scaling is. By year 12, you would have heard a lot from teachers and peers about scaling, however, schools don’t do a particularly good job of explaining how it works. The idea of your scores being scaled can be frustrating, especially if you’ve worked really hard to get a stellar result, only to see a few points shaved off before it feeds into your ATAR. While scaling is not a perfect system, there are good reasons for it. For example, if one subject is mostly taken by the highest achieving students, and another mostly by lower achieving students, it wouldn’t be fair for a score of 30 (the median score) in each of these subjects to be treated equally when it comes to the ATAR. That’s where scaling comes in. Scaling varies year by year and considers several things including the total number of students taking the subjects, the spread of their marks in the subject, and how they perform in all their other subjects. Usually, the year-to-year variation in scaling doesn’t differ wildly for the common subjects (e.g., English, Further Maths, Biology), however, it may for some of the smaller subjects such as less commonly studied languages. See our post on understanding the ATAR system for more info about scaling.
Finally, for those going into VCE who are looking at success posts from 2022’s top scorers and scratching their chins wondering how they can achieve those kinds of results, consider VCE tutoring. Tutors can be valuable for every subject and every goal, whether it’s simply passing VCE or gunning for a particular ATAR. In addition to guiding you through the content, tutors can serve as mentors for course selection, study skills, life beyond VCE, mental health, and everything in between. If you’re interested, take a gander at our guide to VCE and tutoring to find out how a tutor could benefit you and what’s on offer.
If you’re considering tutoring in 2023, you might find the following infographic with Australian private tutoring statistics for 2022 useful.
For those still overwhelmed by the whole ATAR system and everything covered in this post, I’ll leave 3 key questions and answers here that are important to know.
1: How do I access my VCE results?
- There are three ways to do this: by logging onto resultsandatar.vic.edu.au; by downloading the Results and ATAR app; or by waiting for the results to arrive by mail.
2: What is scaling?
- Scaling is a complex process that adjusts scores for a particular subject according to relative difficulty. It varies year by year and considers factors such as the number of students taking a subject and their performance in all their other subjects.
3: When could a tutor be useful?
- Tutoring can come in handy for anyone wanting to maximise their VCE results. Tutors can also be valuable mentors beyond VCE scores to ensure you keep the bigger perspective of life beyond VCE in mind during your year 12 journey.
Written by KIS Academics tutor Dee Tomic. Dee currently offers to tutor for VCE Maths Methods and Biology. Dee is completing her PhD in epidemiology at Monash University. If you have any questions for her or would like to request Dee as a tutor, feel free to reach out through her profile here.