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Academic Excellence Scheme

Recognising achievement by rewarding academic excellence
From 2020 we are introducing the Academic Excellence Scheme for domestic students to recognise high achievement in English and mathematics during Year 12.

Our evidence demonstrates that studying higher-level English and mathematics ensures that students are better prepared for university and their future careers. 

The Academic Excellence Scheme recognises high performance in higher levels of English and mathematics by applying adjustment factors to boost your selection rank for eligible courses. 

Your ATAR will not change, however, your selection rank can increase for particular courses based on these subject-related adjustment factors. Your selection rank is determined by a combination of your ATAR and any subsequent adjustments that have been applied.

Depending on the course you have applied for and whether you achieved a Band 5* or 6 (or equivalent) in high-level English or mathematics, you can have an adjustment of up to 5 points added to your ATAR or equivalent IB score, to raise your selection rank for an eligible course.

So if your ATAR or equivalent IB score is up to 5 points below the entry requirement for your course of choice, through excellence in English or mathematics you can potentially still gain entry to that course.

*excluding Faculty of Engineering courses

Am I eligible?

You will automatically be considered for the Academic Excellence Scheme if:

  • you are a domestic current school leaver applying for an undergraduate course at the University of Sydney (via UAC) to commence study in 2020, and
  • you are completing the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) or any other Australian state or territory Year 12 qualification, or the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, in or outside Australia in the year prior to admission, and
  • have achieved one of the below results in English or mathematics:
  Subject Required band performance
NSW 2019 HSC Subject English Advanced 5 or 6
English Ext. 1 E4
English Ext. 2 E4
IB 2019 Year 12 Subject English A: Language and Literature (HL) IB HL 5
English A: Literature (HL) IB HL 6 or 7

For the equivalent subjects and grades required in interstate year 12 qualifications, visit the UAC website.

  Subject Required band performance
NSW 2019 HSC Subject Mathematics 5 or 6
Mathematics Ext. 1 E4
Mathematics Ext. 2 E4
IB 2019 Year 12 Subject Mathematics (SL) IB SL 6
Mathematics (HL) IB HL 6 or 7
Further Mathematics (HL) IB HL 6 or 7

For the equivalent subjects and grades required in interstate year 12 qualifications, visit the UAC website.

How many points will I get?

The adjustment (or number of points) you will be awarded will depend on your performance in either English or mathematics, and which course you apply for. View the below list of courses included in the scheme:

 

Band 5

Band 6 (E4)

B Architecture and Environments 3 5
B Design Computing 3 5
B Design Computing/B Advanced Studies 3 5
B Design in Architecture 3 5
 

Band 5

Band 6 (E4)

B Arts 3 5
B Arts/B Advanced Studies 3 5
B Arts/B Advanced Studies (International and Global Studies) 3 5
B Arts/B Advanced Studies (Languages) 3 5
B Arts/B Advanced Studies (Politics and International Relations)
3 5
B Economics 3 5
B Economics/B Advanced Studies 3 5
B Visual Arts 3 5
B Visual Arts/B Advanced Studies 3 5
  Band 5 Band 6 (E4)
B Commerce 3 5
B Commerce/B Advanced Studies 3 5
  Band 5 Band 6 (E4)
B Education (Early Childhood) 3 5
B Education (Health and Physical Education) 3 5
B Education (Primary) 3 5
B Education (Secondary: Humanities and Social Sciences)/B Arts 3 5
B Education (Secondary: Mathematics)/B Science 3 5
B Education (Secondary: Science)/B Science 3 5
B Social Work 3 5
B Arts/B Social Work 3 5
  Band 5 Band 6 (E4)
B Advanced Computing 0 3
B Advanced Computing/B Commerce 0 3
B Advanced Computing/B Science 0 3
B Advanced Computing/B Science (Health) 0 3
B Advanced Computing/B Science (Medical Science) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Aeronautical) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Biomedical) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Chemical and Biomolecular) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Civil) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Electrical) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Flexible First Year) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Mechanical) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Mechatronic) 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Software) 0 3
B Engineering Honours with Space Engineering major 0 3
B Engineering Honours/B Arts 0 3
B Engineering Honours/B Commerce 0 3
B Engineering Honours (Civil)/B Design in Architecture 0 3
B Engineering Honours/B Project Management 0 3
B Engineering Honours/B Science 0 3
B Engineering Honours/B Science (Health) 0 3
B Engineering Honours/B Science (Medical Science) 0 3
B Project Management 0 3
  Band 5 Band 6 (E4)
B Applied Science (Exercise and Sport Science) 3 5
B Applied Science/B Advanced Studies (Exercise and Sport Science) 3 5
B Applied Science (Exercise Physiology) 3 5
B Arts/M Nursing 3 5
B Nursing (Advanced Studies) 3 5
B Pharmacy 3 5
B Pharmacy and Management 3 5
B Science/M Nursing 3 5
B Science (Health)/M Nursing 3 5
  Band 5 Band 6 (E4)
B Music 3 5
B Music (Composition) 3 5
B Music (Music Education) 3 5
B Music (Performance) 3 5
  Band 5 Band 6 (E4)
B Liberal Arts and Science 3 5
B Psychology 1 2
B Science 3 5
B Science (Health) 3 5
B Science (Medical Science) 3 5
B Science/B Advanced Studies 3 5
B Science/B Advanced Studies (Advanced) 3 5
B Science/B Advanced Studies (Agriculture) 3 5
B Science/B Advanced Studies (Animal and Veterinary Bioscience) 3 5
B Science/B Advanced Studies (Food and Agribusiness) 3 5
B Science/B Advanced Studies (Health) 3 5
B Science/B Advanced Studies (Medical Science) 3 5
B Science/B Advanced Studies (Taronga Wildlife Conservation) 3 5
B Science/M Mathematical Sciences 3 5
B Science/M Nutrition and Dietetics 3 5
B Veterinary Biology/D Veterinary Medicine 3 5

These courses are not included in the Academic Excellence Scheme:

  • B Applied Science (Diagnostic Radiography)
  • B Applied Science (Occupational Therapy)
  • B Applied Science (Physiotherapy)
  • B Applied Science (Speech Pathology)
  • B Arts (Sciences Po Dual Degree)
  • B Arts/B Advanced Studies (Dalyell Scholars)
  • B Arts/B Advanced Studies (Media and Communications)
  • B Arts/B Laws
  • B Arts/D Medicine
  • B Commerce/B Advanced Studies (Dalyell Scholars)
  • B Commerce/B Laws
  • B Design in Architecture (Honours)/M Architecture
  • B Economics (Sciences Po Dual Degree)
  • B Economics/B Laws
  • B Engineering Honours/B Laws
  • B Engineering Honours (Dalyell Scholars)
  • B Oral Health
  • B Science/B Advanced Studies (Dalyell Scholars including Mathematical Sciences)
  • B Science/B Laws
  • B Science/D Dental Medicine
  • B Science/D Medicine

Do you have further questions?

Take a look at the frequently asked questions below or contact us for more information.

Adjustment factors will automatically be added following the release of your 2019 Year 12 results to UAC. For most eligible students, this will mean that the subject-based adjustment factors will raise your selection rank by up to 5 points for eligible courses from December round 2 offers released by UAC on 23 December 2019.

No. Only one subject in either English or mathematics will be considered. Points based on adjustment factors do not accumulate if you have achieved the required band in more than one subject. For example, if you achieved a Band 6 in HSC Mathematics and E4 in Mathematics Extension 1, only one of these results is required to be considered under the Academic Excellence Scheme.

The maximum number of points that you can receive under the Academic Excellence Scheme for eligible courses is 5, except for courses from the Faculty of Engineering and the Bachelor of Psychology which do not award the maximum.

At the University of Sydney, you may be eligible for multiple ATAR adjustment schemes, but you will only be awarded the ATAR adjustment factors of highest benefit to you. You cannot accumulate points across multiple ATAR adjustment schemes.

Most undergraduate courses at the University of Sydney have a guaranteed ATAR for admission. This means, if you achieve the guaranteed ATAR and any other non-ATAR admission criteria that may apply, you are eligible to receive an offer if you placed that course as your highest eligible preference.

The Academic Excellence Scheme aims to encourage prospective students to put their course of choice as their highest eligible preference even if their ATAR is a few points below the entry requirements. This is because the subject-related adjustments can raise your selection rank for eligible courses helping you potentially achieve the guaranteed ATAR.

Yes. All other admission criteria including the mathematics course prerequisites still apply where relevant. The Academic Excellence Scheme supports admission into the course only by applying adjustment factors to raise your selection rank for eligible courses.

International Baccalaureate (IB) applicants eligible for the Academic Excellence Scheme will have any earned ATAR Adjustment Factors added to their ATAR equivalent rank and not their IB result (out of 45).

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Address
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