From 2020, Qld Year 12 students will no longer receive an OP… Here’s why!

Overall Position scores will soon be a thing of the past for Queensland Year 12s, with OP’s being scrapped for a new tertiary entrance ranking system.

From 2020, the standard pathway to tertiary study will change from OP to the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

According to Study Gold Coast, the new system brings Queensland in line with other states and territories in Australia, who already use the ATAR system.


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Dean of Education, Professor Nan Bahr was part of the ministerial taskforce in charge of implementing the ATAR system in Queensland and says the main reasons for the change was to not only bring the state into alignment with the rest of Australia, but to ensure student outcomes could be better understood and more easily comparable.

“The old system used to rely on teachers meeting with other teachers to compare their assessments and moderate and adjust student scores,” she said.

“This new system flips that on its head. Teachers, under the new system, will use assessments that have been verified in the first place, which changes the nature of how teachers assess students.

“It will now combine school-based assessment with external exams – a new era for Queensland.”

PHOTO: Supplied | Nan Bahr’s research centres on responsive teaching and teacher education with specific attention to the developmental and learning needs of young adolescents.

Professor Bahr said the main difference was that schools and universities could understand student performance at a different level and be more assured of how they compare, as the same rating will apply across all schools.

“There is a little bit more equity in that,” she said.

For those still a little confused, here’s an explanation of the difference between an OP rank and an ATAR:

OP ranks are based on the results of five senior Authority subjects and rank students between one and 25.

ATAR is a more inclusive ranking, which can also include a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or Subject Area Syllabus (SAS) subject. ATAR rankings also place students between 0 and 99.95 (with 99.95 being the highest).

Overall, an OP is a broad ranking, while an ATAR is a “fine-grained” score.

ATARs will be calculated by comparing student results only. Instead of the QCS test there will be a process of inter-subject scaling.

Students entering Year 11 next year will be the first to graduate under the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) system.

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