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Queensland senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems

​​​​​The Queensland Government has released its final position on new senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems – Advancing futures: New senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems in Queensland (PDF, 1.47MB)

The new systems will start for students who enter Year 11 in 2019.

Commencement in 2019 will ensure teachers, students and families have time to familiarise themselves with the new arrangements.

The new systems include:

  • a new senior assessment model that combines school-based assessment with external assessment
  • new processes to strengthen the quality and comparability of school-based assessment
  • replacement of the Overall Position tertiary entrance rank with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank

More information about the changes is available in the following documents:

Preparing for the new systems

The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) is leading work to develop and implement the new senior assessment processes.

Information and resources are available for schools, students and parents to learn more about the changes to senior syllabuses, and new assessment processes on the QCAA website.

Responsibility for generating a common Year 12 tertiary entrance rank will be transferred from the QCAA to the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC). QTAC will administer this process on behalf of Queensland tertiary institutions.

Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce

The Minister for Education has established a Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce to guide the development and implementation of these new systems.

The Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce is chaired by the Minister and includes representatives from the schooling sectors, parents, teachers, principals, the tertiary sector, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre.

Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce members (PDF, 41KB)

On 21 March 2016, the Minister announced a number of key decisions that will guide the development of the new systems.

These new proposals will help transition to the new assessment system and include:

  • most senior subjects will have four summative pieces of assessment - this will include three school-based assessments and one external assessment
  • external assessment will generally contribute 25 per cent towards a student's subject results in most senior subjects - in senior mathematics and science subjects, external assessment will generally contribute 50 per cent of the overall subject result
  • school-based assessment will not be scaled against the results of the external assessment when calculating subject results.

From 2020, the ATAR will be calculated by a process of inter-subject scaling as used in a number of other Australian jurisdictions. This will enable students completing different combinations of subjects to be compared in a single tertiary entrance rank.


A brief communique is published after each Taskforce meeting. These documents provide an overview of key points considered and discussed by Taskforce members.


The taskforce is supported by the Strategic Policy and Intergovernmental Relations Branch within the Department of Education.​

Enquiries can be directed by email to Michael Shephard, Director, Strategic Innovation or by telephone (07) 3034 5935.

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Last updated
22 August 2018