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Course Selection: Tertiary Information

Entry to Public Universities

The University of Western Australia, Curtin, Edith Cowan and Murdoch Universities use a relatively common selection system. Basically, for entry they require four criteria to be satisfied to obtain entry:

  • Meet the requirements for the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) prescribed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority;
  • Achieve competence in English as prescribed by the individual universities;
  • Obtain a sufficiently high Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for entry to a particular university and/or course;
  • Satisfy any prerequisites or special requirements for entry to particular courses.

Please refer to the TISC website for further information on university entrance on

On production, the TISC University Admission 2027 Guide is a very useful document.

University Handbooks

University handbooks are a great source of information for students and families considering studying at University. They include course descriptions and entry requirements.

Please use the links below to access the latest editions from W.A. Universities:

Competence in English

For university admission purposes, the general rule of thumb is that students are required to achieve a scaled score of at least 50 in either English ATAR or Literature ATAR. Please check individual university or course requirements.

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank is the basis of admission to most university courses. Students are ranked in order of merit based on their ATAR.

What is the ATAR?

The ATAR is a number out of 100 which indicates a student’s relative position compared with all other students who graduate from Year 12. An ATAR of 75.00 indicates that a student has an overall rating equal to or better than 75% of the Year 12 school leaving age population in Western Australia.

WACE Examinations

A reminder that in order to use a course for the generation of the ATAR, students must sit the WACE Examination at the end of Year 12. Students who are studying ATAR courses must sit the WACE examination.

How is the Tertiary Entrance Aggregate and ATAR calculated?

The ATAR is derived from the Tertiary Entrance Aggregate (TEA). All ATAR classified courses count towards generating the ATAR.

For courses to count, a consecutive pair of units must be undertaken to produce a school score. Students are required to sit for the WACE examination in that course to produce a combined score (a school score added to the examination score). Students will sit separate ATAR exams in all courses.

The TEA is calculated by adding the best four Year 12 courses. In using scores from the best four courses, there are some rules that apply:

  • There are unacceptable course combinations. For example, Maths Methods and Maths Applications.
  • Scores can be accumulated over a number of years.
  • A LOTE bonus of 10% of a LOTE scaled score is added to the aggregate of the best four scaled scores. Maths Specialist and Maths Methods also have a 10% bonus.

Scaling is performed using the Average Subject Scaling Method (ASSM). In general terms, a subject is scaled according to the marks that all students doing that subject achieved in their other three courses. Students no longer have to sit for the Australian Scaling Test (AST).

Calculating your predicted ATAR

Click HERE to access a video showing you how to calculate your ATAR using a final Year 11 report.

What Does an ATAR Mean?

Depending on student demand for particular courses and the number of places available for those courses, the ATAR required will vary from course to course and from year to year. For example, there is a very limited number of places available in the Veterinary Studies course at Murdoch University, and the student demand is very high. This results in a higher ATAR (and associated TEA) and only the higher ranked students would be offered a place. In some courses, such as Education at Edith Cowan University, there are many more places available. These are not typically under high demand from students with high ATAR’s. Therefore the ATAR for Education may be lower. For more information please refer to the TISC website for the ATAR Cut off and Eligibility Ranks for courses at the various universities.


Students must ensure that they satisfy the prerequisites for admission to the university course of their choice. Prerequisites are courses or special requirements that must be successfully completed for entry to particular university courses.

For some university courses the special requirements may include bridging/special course units, interviews, auditions, folio presentations, manual dexterity tests, aptitude tests, fitness requirements, etc. Prerequisite/Recommended information for ALL universities can be found HERE.

Alternative Entry

Universities offer alternative entry to university. These range from preparation courses to applying as a mature age student. Students who desire to attend university but might not be academically strong or mature enough to apply themselves to competing difficult courses at high school should investigate these options.

Entry to the University of Notre Dame

Admission – School Leaver

Notre Dame seeks to enrol students who wish to make a special contribution to society. To identify such students a comprehensive admission process that goes beyond the use of a single score is used.

The admission process considers:

  • School results from Year 11 and 12;
  • Australian Tertiary Admission Rank;
  • A personal statement;
  • References from school and work contacts; and
  • Performance at an admissions interview.

Minimum Entry Requirements

  1. Achievement of a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE). Students should have fulfilled the Curriculum Council’s WACE requirements. See WACE Requirements in this handbook.
  2. English Language Competency. Students should have achieved at least a ‘C’ grade in Year 12 English or English Literature (and for approved students, English as a Second Language) at ATAR level.
  3. Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). Students should have achieved a minimum rank of 70.00 or higher. Offers of admission will be made to those students who have fully demonstrated throughout their Year 11 and 12 results that they have the capabilities to succeed.
  4. Extra Curricular Involvement. In addition to meeting the academic minimum entry requirements, students are to specify leadership roles, community involvement in various clubs, teams, groups and organisations (including church organisations) and service to others.

Students with exceptional circumstances may be exempted from one or more of these requirements. Many courses with competitive entry and/or higher levels of academic rigour will require performance at levels exceeding the minimum entry requirements.

Alternative Entry

The university offers a number of alternative entry pathways. There is a Tertiary Enabling Program and Foundation Year available to prepare weaker students for the rigors of university studies. Please enquire at the University’s Prospective Students Centre on 9433 0533 or at for further information on these options.

Training WA Entrance (TAFE)

Vocational education and training has become increasingly important to school leavers seeking to join the workforce. TAFE offers students an enormous range of subjects and courses to meet their specific career goals. Each year in Western Australia, some 150,000 people receive vocational education through TAFE. Of last year’s school leavers, approximately 25% went to one of the TAFE Centres.

The main study areas are listed below:

  • Agriculture
  • Applied Science
  • Architectural & Building Studies
  • Art, Design and Fashion
  • Engineering
  • General Studies
  • Health & Community Care
  • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Management, Business and Commercial Studies
  • Pre-Apprenticeships

TAFE qualifications are developed in conjunction with industry to ensure graduates are ready for the workplace, with knowledge and skills they can use on the job. Qualifications are at different levels, each involving an increasing degree of skills. There are pathways and links between them to increase opportunities for further education and training.

Diploma: This qualification gives the student a broad theoretical knowledge and/or technical or creative skills of substantial depth. Analysis, judgement and planning are involved across a broad range of technical and/or management situations. Graduates at this level are expected to work autonomously in complex technical operations or to coordinate their own work and the work of others.

Advanced Diploma: The highest qualification offered by TAFE recognises the ability to apply fundamental principles and complex techniques in a wide range of contexts. 

Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate: A small number of Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates are offered by the TAFEWA sector for students who have completed a university degree or have the equivalent of a degree through experience and other qualifications.

At this level the student is broadening the skills already gained in an undergraduate programme, or developing vocational knowledge and skills in a new professional area.

Further Education Pathway

TAFE can be a stepping stone to further education. For example, the student can commence studies at TAFE, get credit for the work completed and apply for university entrance.

For 2021, entry to full-time award courses will be by application made the previous year.

TAFE Entry

Step 1: Demonstrate literacy and numeracy skills.

OLNA requirements at TAFE

To undertake study at all TAFEs in WA, you will need to have an OLNA. An OLNA is an Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment designed to enable students to successfully meet the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) requirement of demonstrating the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy.

There are several alternative pathways to TAFE for school students who do not achieve an OLNA:

  • Vocational pathway (VET in schools): school students who complete a vocational course while at school can rely on their AQF qualification to demonstrate their literacy and numeracy skills (this is included in the guide) i.e. students can achieve an OLNA or a Certificate I, II or III to gain entry to a TAFE course (with the exception of qualifications within the Foundation Studies training package (FSK);
  • TAFE Admissions testing: students can opt to sit the literacy predictor assessment and/or the numeracy predictor assessment managed by TAFE Admissions to demonstrate their literacy and numeracy skills;
  • Alternative assessment: students can be referred to the learning area at their preferred TAFE college for a Learning Area Assessment;
  • Students can enrol at any Certificate I level, as there are no entry requirements (this is included in the guide); and
  • Students can enrol into one of the Foundation skills and equity courses.
  • A prospective student who has not achieved an OLNA and submits an application to TAFE Admissions will be guided into a learning pathway.

For more information download the latest TAFE Admissions Guide for entry to full time courses.

Step 2: Provide evidence against the selection criteria for courses.

Selection Criteria

Applicants who can demonstrate minimum literacy and numeracy skills will be assessed and ranked against the following selection criteria. Offers will be made to applicants with the highest total point scores.

Academic achievement - maximum 60 points Work history - maximum 30 points

Derived from the highest points either from

  • secondary education results; or
  • completed AQF qualification

An overview of the points used to calculate a sore for the academic achievement is provided in attachment A

Credit for total hours worked at 0.003 points per hour:

  • employment
  • work experience
  • community services/volunteer work


Selection criteria: Academic achievement (maximum 60 points). Academic achievement can be demonstrated through secondary education results or a completed AQF qualification. If documents for both secondary education and completed AQF qualifications are provided, points will be calculated for both and the higher points used to calculate the score for academic achievement. If more than one AQF qualification has
been completed, the one which awards the highest points score will be used. Points awarded for secondary education results Western Australian secondary education The score will be generated from the three completed full-year courses that award the highest points.


Year WACE course level C grade B grade A grade
Year 10   6 8 10
Year 11 or 12 Foundation 6 8 10
Year 11 General 11 12.5 14
Year 11 ATAR 14 16 18
Year 12 General 14 15 16
Year 12 ATAR 18 20 20


To maximise entry prospects to TAFE studies, particularly competitive courses and those at higher levels, students should:

  • Undertake VET studies at school, particularly those which lead to a completed credential.
  • Undertake workplace learning; keep records of any part time work undertaken 


  • TAFE selection is very different to that for university.
  • TAFE points can be maximised by selecting those subjects and courses which result in the highest grades.
  • TAFE also considers aspects of work experience and employment as well as any completed credentials.
  • A small proportion of TAFE courses are highly competitive.
  • It is becoming increasingly possible for TAFE students to transfer to university courses, with substantial credit.
  • Students will always maximise TAFE entry by enrolling in a Vocational Education and Training Program (VET) at school.

Other Key Contacts

School Curriculum and Standards Authority

303 Sevenoaks St, Cannington
Western Australia 6107
Phone: 9273 6300
General Email


Catholic Education Office of Western Australia

50 Ruislip Street, Leederville WA 6007
Phone: 6380 5313
Contact: Senior Secondary Consultant


Tertiary Institutions Service Centre

100 Royal Street
East Perth 6004
Phone: 9318 8000


Curtin University of Technology

Bentley Campus, Kent St Bentley WA 6102
Phone: 9266 9266


University of Notre Dame Australia

19 Mouat Street, Fremantle WA 6160
Phone: 9433 0555
Contact: Liz Beal, Recruitment Officer


The University of Western Australia

Admissions Centre, Stirling Highway
Crawley WA 6907
Phone: 9380 2477


Edith Cowan University

Centre for Prospective Students
Pearson Street, Churchlands WA 6018
Phone: 9273 8665


Murdoch University

South Street, Murdoch WA 6150
Phone: 9360 6538 Website:









Important Dates

Year 10 students moving into Year 11 2025: subject data is due Friday 2 August

Year 11 students moving into Year 12 2025: subject data is due Friday 16 August

Year 7,8,9 students moving into 2025: elective data is due Friday 23 August