How to get ATAR bonus points using your language skills?

How to get ATAR bonus points using your language skills?
From year 2020 Queensland Year 12 students will be certified for ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) rather than OP (Overall Position).

What is the difference between the ATAR and OP?

  • Like OP, ATAR is not a MARK, it is Percentile rank. The ATAR is a finer-grained rank order of students than the OP. While OP has 25 ranks, ATAR has a number between 0.00 and 99.95 with increments of 0.05. An ATAR 99.95 (highest rank) means you are the top 0.05%, similar to OP 1, the highest rank.
  • The ATAR is commonly used in other states and territories while OP is only used in Queensland.
  • Both ATAR and OP offer bonus points for languages other than English. Chinese and Japanese languages are among the languages you can get the bonus points.

In ATAR, bonus points are also called adjustment factors. While it does not change your ATAR score it will boost your selection ranking when you apply for universities and other tertiary institutions.

In summary: Your Selection Rank = Your ATAR + Bonus Points.

There are many universities offer bonus points, each university has their own standard.

Below are the list of the universities listed on Universtiy Languages Portal Australia (ULPA) website. You can find the details by visiting the university you like.

  • Australian Catholic University
  • Australian National University
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Curtin University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
  • Macquarie University
  • Monash University
  • Murdoch University
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Queensland
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Wollongong
  • Western Sydney University


You can gain ATAR bonus if you pass Chinese and Japanese language subjects at school, or pass certain recognised programs like HSK 6 (Chinese Language Proficiency Test), Senior External Examination in Chinese and JLPT N5 & N4 (Japanese Language Proficiency Test).

  • HSK 6: HSK 6 is the highest level of the HSK test. According to research, there are only about 130 Chinese language professionals with an equivalent HSK level of 5 or 6 in Australia. It is very hard for high school students to pass HSK 6. It used to be HSK 2 & 3 in 2019 which is more realistic. We helped some students pass HSK 2 before and got bonus points, but we will not encourage Non-Chinese background high school students to take HSK 6 exam with this new standard. However, we do believe HSK is a very valuable certificate. It is the only official Chinese Language Certificate recognised globally especially in China. An HSK 3 level will be requested if you want to learn or work in China. We do offer HSK course for professionals.
  • Senior External Examination in Chinese (SEE Chinese): For high school students whose school doesn’t offer Chinese class or cannot choose the Chinese subject due to a timetable clash, they can sit for a Senior External Examination (SEE). The SEE result may contribute credit to the award of QCE and contribute to ATAR calculations. This year’s examination will be based on Chinese General Senior External Examination Syllabus 2019. Below is the structure. While HSK is a more systematic system to learn Chinese languages, SEE Syllabus is more focus on situation communication. For details please see QCAA website.
  • JLPT N5 & N4: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N5 & N4 are the entry-level of Japanese. We have helped many high school students passed JLPT N5 & N4 and got bonus points. Please see QCAA website for details.


It is not only for ATAR credits, language skills are also a bonus for your career. Not only a teacher, interpreter, tourism guider but also international business, finance, defence and many public services.

Language skills will open a new world for you.


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