Tertiary Application Portals and Access Schemes

Tertiary study needs to be contemplated from year 10 when students have to select their courses for year 11 and 12.

Students must then decide if they want to aim for university entry, in which case they have to plan how to get an ATAR, an Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking. If you want to find out how that is calculated for each State or Territory, go here: Year 12 Certification and ATAR.

This is the tertiary application process for year 12

1. Get tertiary institutions application number from your school (August);

2. Online application portals open in August;

3. Register, enter course preferences based on projected ATAR scores, pay application fees;

4. Enter bonus point options – whether through the portal, if that is covered by your service centre or according to information from applicable institutions;

5. ATAR is published in December – change course preferences from your application account if applicable;

6. University offers are made in January.

Online Application Portals Open

University application portals open first or second week in August. The student should then have received an ATAR projection from their school that should enable them to aim for suitable courses in their application.


Undergraduate applications will for most universities go through an application portal. Check out the information below.

Bonus points or special entry

Applications from year 12 is made based on the ATAR and any bonus points. Note that some bonus points are applied automatically while for other access schemes you have to apply and be granted these bonus points. Any bonus points are added to the ATAR to achieve a higher admissions ranking.

Special entry can be by entry tests or other criteria relevant to the course applied for. Some Arts courses will consider portfolio submission entry with an interview.

Course prerequisites

Make sure you check course prerequisites early. Some universities will offer bridging courses for students but it is easier to plan well from year 10 to make sure you are not frustrated when you get to the application process in year 12.

Medicine and Law commonly have entrance exams in addition to course prerequisites.

International Baccalaureate and International students

The tertiary application centre in each state or territory as applicable will calculate an ATAR based on IB and international qualifications. Submit translated copies of certified secondary school qualifications.


SA and NT

QLD and Tasmania (Australian Maritime College)




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