Frequently asked questions

Throughout the SATAC website you will see various abbreviations for the key terms SATAC use to explain tertiary selection for year 12 students. A list of the abbreviations can be found below; along with the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by year 12 students and their parents when applying for study. 

Abbreviations
ATAR Australian Tertiary Admission Rank
CAR  Course Admission Requirements
CSPA Core Skills Profile for Adults
IB International Baccalaureate
NTCET Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training
OP Overall Position
SACE South Australian Certificate of Education
TAS Tertiary Admissions Subject
TES Tertiary Entrance Statement

Frequently Asked Questions

Assumed knowledge is the background knowledge a student gains from completing a SACE/NTCET Stage 1 or Stage 2 subject or equivalent, or an identified skill a student may have gained through previous study, that is expected to enhance their understanding of the content of a given tertiary course/program.  

A prerequisite is a specific subject that a student must achieve a certain minimum grade in, in order to be eligible for selection/entry into a nominated course or program.

For example, students must obtain a minimum grade of C- or better in a SACE/NTCET Stage 2 TAS subject or equivalent to be eligible for selection into the course/program for which the prerequisite is nominated. 

To earn a Completion, a student must achieve a grade of E or better at Stage 1 and a grade of E- or better at Stage 2. To earn a Successful Completion of Subjects, a student must achieve a grade of C or better at Stage 1 and a grade of C- or better at Stage 2. 

For SACE/NTCET students, counting restrictions are used where it is deemed desirable to limit the number of credits that can be counted towards a university aggregate and the ATAR in a specific subject area. This is to ensure students study a broad range of subjects.

For example, a subject area might have eight 10-credit subjects available, but the universities might set a counting restriction of 40 credits. This means that only four 10-credit subjects can ever count towards the calculation of an ATAR.

For SACE/NTCET students, the flexible option refers to the final 30 credits of study contributing to the university aggregate and the TAFE SA Selection Score. The 30 credits of the flexible option can be met with the scores from additional 10 or 20 credit TAS and/or Recognised Studies.

Recognised Studies are studies such as International Baccalaureate, interstate year 12, higher education studies or Vocational Education and Training (VET) awards that have been approved by the SACE Board and can count towards the SACE/NTCET. 

Recognised Studies are deemed by the universities and TAFE SA as being eligible to be included in the calculation of the ATAR and TAFE SA Selection Score. 

For Recognised Studies, scores approved by the universities and TAFE SA will be used in calculations. 

A precluded combination is two subjects that have been defined by the universities and TAFE SA as having significant overlap in content. They cannot both count towards your ATAR or TAFE SA Selection Score. 

Scaling is the mathematical process which provides a basis for comparing performance in different SACE/NTCET Stage 2 subjects which have different objectives, content and assessment processes. The ‘raw scores’ are scaled to ensure they are comparable before they are totalled to produce the university aggregate.

A selection rank is the rank used to determine a student's competitiveness relative to other applicants. If you are competing in a year 12 subquota, your selection rank for most courses will be based on your ATAR, adjusted to take account of any bonus points to which you are entitled.

A Tertiary Admissions Subject (TAS) is a SACE Stage 2 subject which has been approved by the universities and TAFE SA as providing appropriate preparation for tertiary studies. Both the universities and TAFE SA require students to study a minimum number of credits of TAS to be eligible to receive a selection score or rank.