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ATAR and bonus points

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a calculated figure used to rank and select school leavers for admission into tertiary courses. It's a ranking, not a performance-based figure.

What if my ATAR is not high enough?

If your ATAR is less than 60 and you want to study for a degree, there are other pathways you can follow to meet the minimum admission requirements.

Regardless of whether or not you think you will attain an ATAR score of 60 at the end of Year 12, you're encouraged to apply for your chosen CDU course through the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

There are two reasons for this:

  1. If you're eligible for bonus points, this may bring your score up to 60
  2. There may be alternative pathways. Indigenous students can contact our Indigenous Academic Support officer regarding an alternative admission assessment and/or the most appropriate pathway into CDU.

If you're not applying through SATAC and want more information about alternative pathways, contact CDU Student Central on 1800 061 963.

Does CDU have pre-requisites / what is assumed knowledge?

There are no pre-requisites for CDU courses, however there is assumed knowledge for some courses.

Assumed knowledge indicates the minimum level of knowledge students need to cope with a course. It should be used as a guide to subject choices for students undertaking Year 12.

All CDU courses have a quota, i.e. a maximum number of places available each year. For some courses, the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of places available so applicants with higher ATAR rankings are selected first.

What if I don’t get an offer?

There are alternative pathways into CDU:

  • Complete a VET level course such as a Certificate IV (and/or its Certificate III pre-requisite if applicable)
  • The Tertiary Enabling Program is CDU’s bridging pathway to Higher Education. You must be at least 18 years old to apply
  • Apply to sit a Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) if you are at least 19 years of age.

Contact CDU Student Central to discuss your options: 1800 061 963.

As of 2016, two new bonus point schemes will replace all existing ones at CDU. Eligible students can receive up to five bonus points for the new Universities Equity Scheme and two or four points for the Universities Language, Literacy and Mathematics Bonus Scheme. Students can receive a maximum of nine bonus points under the two schemes.  All bonus points are added to the university aggregate from which selection ranks are calculated.

The Universities Equity Scheme

This scheme provides bonus points in two ways, school-based bonuses and Individual bonuses.

School-based bonuses are determined by the following considerations outlined in the 2016 SATAC Guide:

  • the school's remoteness as defined under the Australian Standard Geographical Classification
  • the participation rate (the percentage of students in each school gaining an ATAR who received a SATAC offer, averaged over three years)
  • the mean ATAR achieved in each school (over three years).

Schools that are eligible for the Universities Equity Bonus Scheme will be in informed by SATAC each year in July. The classification of schools may change from year to year.

Students do not need to apply for school-based bonus points.

Individual bonuses

Students attending schools that are not eligible for school-based bonuses can make an application to gain bonuses individually. Eligible students will need to demonstrate disadvantage by showing one of the following:

  • they or their parents are in receipt of a Centrelink means-tested income support payment
  • they're holders of a Health Care Card
  • they're the holder of a School Card.

For more information about this scheme and to apply for consideration please visit SATAC. Applications open in early August 2015.

Universities’ Language, Literacy and Mathematics Bonus Scheme*

This scheme is designed to encourage students to undertake a Language or specified English and Maths subject in preparation for undergraduate study.

Students eligible for this scheme will receive two to four bonus points for successfully completing a subject in the following categories:

  • 20 credits of a LOTE in the Languages Learning Area (not including the subject language and culture  - two 10 credit Australian indigenous languages subjects can be paired in lieu of a 20 credit LOTE)
  • 2END20 English studies or 2ECS20 English communications
  • 2MDS20 mathematical studies
  • 2MSC20 specialist mathematics

To obtain these points, students will need to achieve an overall grade of a C or better in these subjects.

For more information about Bonus Points, please visit SATAC.

*This scheme is not available for students applying for the Charles Darwin University Bachelor of Clinical Science.