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New Senior Assessment System (ATAR)
The Queensland’s new senior assessment system will start with students entering Year 11 in 2019. The first students to receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) instead of an Overall Performance (OP) will graduate from Year 12 in 2020.

What does this mean for your child at Northpine Christian College?

Since the Queensland Government announced the new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system, Northpine Christian College has invested a large amount of time and resources for a successful transition which would support all our Year’s 7 – 12 students in this journey.  Currently, teachers are actively involved in the development of curriculum, relating to the new senior program.  They are also continuing to strengthen study skills and processes, needed for success for external examinations.

Our current Year 10 cohort (2018) will be the first to receive an ATAR instead of an OP.  In order to support these students through this transition, the college has implemented a number of programs in support of excellence.


As the Year 10 students commence their senior journey, here at Northpine Christian College we will continue to provide the building blocks for future learning, by continuing to strengthen essential literacy and numeracy skills. These skills are necessary to achieve academic potential especially as students embark on the new senior assessment program in Queensland.

Our academic success and outstanding results this far are accredited to the careful and considered planning of programs by our committed teaching staff.  Students will continue to be supported in this way by many years of valuable experience offered by our staff.

Will there be a difference between the old and new senior assessment system?

Current System

The existing system is based around assessments set and marked by the school, and then verified by panels consisting of Queensland teachers.  Currently, a student’s OP is calculated by comparing their results in Authority subjects studied at school with those of other OP-eligible students.

Currently, for an OP student, subject results are moderated and scaled using Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Test results. The final QCS Test will be held in 2019.  The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) will remain as Queensland’s senior school qualification. All eligible Year 12 graduates will be awarded a QCE now and in the future.

New System

In the new system subject results and student achievement will be based on three school-based assessments and one external assessment that is set and marked by the Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority (QCAA).  This will mean that there will be fewer assessments than student’s currently complete, emphasising quality over quantity.  In the new system, school – based assessment will generally contribute 75% to a student’s final subject result; 50% in mathematics and science. Therefore, external assessment results will generally contribute 25% towards a student’s result in most subjects. In mathematics and science subjects, they will generally contribute 50%.

There will be quality control and comparability of school-based assessment. This will include the type of assessment, the conditions under which it should be administered and a common marking scheme.  All school-based assessments will be subject to endorsement by the QCAA before they are used in the classroom.  This will ensure that all assessments provide sufficient opportunities for students to demonstrate syllabus requirements and to build teachers’ capacity to develop high-quality assessments.

Will there be fewer assessments?

Currently, Year 12 students complete up to seven assessments in each subject. Under the new system, students will be expected to complete four pieces of assessment per subject. Three will be school-based assessments and one will be externally set and graded. All four assessments will count towards a student’s final result.

How are ATAR’s calculated?

QTAC will calculate ATARs based on either:

  • a student’s best five Authority subject results, as is currently the case for the current OP system or
  • a student’s best results in a combination of four General subject results, plus – a result from a completed vocational education and training (VET) qualification at an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate III or above or – a result from an Applied subject based on a QCAA Subject Area Syllabus.
  • In the new system, eligibility for an ATAR would require satisfactory completion of a QCAA English subject.
  • In order to adhere to Northpine Christian College requirement of 6 subjects, students will select one additional subject.

How can parents support in this new journey?

As in the current system, students should choose subjects according to their learning goals, and what they enjoy and are good at. They should pay close attention to the prerequisite requirements of the courses they are considering for tertiary study. For all students intending to go onto University, achieving a satisfactory grade in English will be a prerequisite for receiving an ATAR.

How are teachers and students being prepared for the change?

Northpine Christian College teachers and students are consistently involved in trials, QCAA subject workshops, training webinars, online courses delivered by QCAA, and other preparatory activities throughout the transition period.  The college has also invested in its own extensive professional development program to ensure smooth implementation of the new and redeveloped syllabuses.  We are looking forward to a productive partnership with you to ensure each child can achieve their highest potential. We recognise that, in order to be successful in school, our children need support from both home and Northpine Christian College.