In addition to your ATAR score, universities can award you additional points also known as factors for various activities or units you may have taken. See Universities Admissions Centre’s page on University selection rank adjustments for more information.

What are ATAR Adjustment Factors?

ATAR adjustment factors, sometimes referred to as bonus points, are additional points that can be added to a student's ATAR to increase their selection rank. This can help increase their chances of gaining entry into specific university courses. These adjustment factors are used by some universities in Australia as a way to recognise and reward various achievements, attributes, or circumstances that may not be fully reflected in a student's raw ATAR score.

How do I calculate my selection rank?

Calculating your selection rank is as follows.

Calculating your selection rank

The purpose of ATAR adjustment factors is to acknowledge students who have demonstrated particular skills, overcome challenges, or excelled in certain areas. By awarding adjustment factors, universities aim to encourage diversity and provide opportunities for students with unique talents or circumstances to gain entry into their desired courses.

At Macquarie University, if students meet the published selection rank, they will receive a guaranteed place in the course if it is their highest eligible preference.

The types of ATAR Adjustment factors can vary between universities but may include:

  • Educational Access Schemes (EAS): EAS are designed to support students who have experienced educational disadvantage during their studies. This may include factors such as financial hardship, personal illness, disability, or difficult personal circumstances.

  • Subject Adjustment Factors: Some universities offer adjustment factors for specific subjects that are considered relevant to the course of study. For example, a student applying for a science-related course might receive additional points for excelling in subjects like Mathematics or Chemistry.

  • Regional Adjustment Factors: Universities may provide adjustment factors to students from regional or remote areas to encourage participation in higher education from these communities.

  • Equity or Diversity Adjustment Factors: Some institutions grant adjustment factors to applicants from underrepresented groups or backgrounds, such as Indigenous students or those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

  • Performance-Based Adjustment Factors: Adjustment factors can also be awarded for outstanding achievements in areas like music, sports, leadership, or community service.

At Macquarie University, adjustment factors are broken down into three main categories. These are:

  • Achievement-Based Schemes

  • Location-Based Schemes

  • Equity-Based Schemes

Scheme Who you are Application process Points
Academic Advantage Scheme You’ve performed well in Year 12 HSC subjects that correspond to Macquarie University degrees listed in your UAC preferences. Automatic Up to 6 points
Elite Athletes and Artistic Performers Scheme You’ve had your studies in Year 11 and/or Year 12 affected by your performing, training, and/or competitive commitments. Direct Application 4 points
Duke of Edinburgh, Queen’s Scout and Queen’s Guide Awards Schemes You’ve completed the Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, the Queen’s Scout Award or the Queen’s Guide Award. Direct Application Up to 6 points
Learn more
Scheme Who you are Application process Points
Macquarie Catchment Scheme You live within Macquarie’s catchment region. Automatic 5 points
Regional Entry Scheme You live in rural or regional Australia. Automatic Up to 9 points
Learn more
Scheme Who you are Application process Points
Educational Access Scheme (EAS) You’ve experienced educational or social disadvantage, or other special circumstances that may have hindered your Year 11 or 12 academic performance. Complete your application via UAC Up to 5 points
Learn more

You can see how many additional points you may be eligible for at Macquarie University using the adjustment factor calculator.

It is essential to note that not all universities use ATAR adjustment factors in their admissions process, and the specific criteria and number of points awarded can vary from one institution to another.

Students interested in applying for courses that consider ATAR adjustment factors should check with individual universities or consult their respective admissions websites for specific details and eligibility criteria.

Adjustment factors can make a significant impact on a student's final ATAR, potentially improving their chances of being accepted into competitive courses. However, it is important to remember that the ATAR is just one aspect of the university admission process, and other factors such as prerequisite subjects and interviews may also play a role in the final decision. Furthermore, ATAR is not the only pathway into university. Find out more about alternative pathways here.