Class of 2020 arises to Year 12 results and ATARs

Published Saturday, 19 December, 2020 at 09:00 AM

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

More than 49,600 teenage education “pioneers” have today claimed another first: first graduates in a new Queensland Certificate of Education system with Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks (ATAR).


Education Minister Grace Grace congratulated the Class of 2020 on their efforts throughout an exceptional year, and throughout their “pioneering” school years as the state’s first full cohort of Prep students, and the first Year 7s to attend high schools.


“And now, despite the disruptions to their schooling caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the great news is 89 per cent of these young people achieved a QCE,” she said.


“Of those, 31,548 also achieved a vocational education and training qualification – making Queensland the leader in VET qualifications achieved at school.


“As well 1193 completed a university subject.


“Of the total cohort, 26,042 students also received an ATAR with 30 placed in the highest possible band of 99.95. “


QTAC chief executive officer Dr John Griffiths said it was wonderful to see Queensland students utilise the three different schemes on offer to achieve an ATAR.


  • Five General subjects – 18,878 students
  • Four General subjects and one VET course (Cert III or higher) – 2970 students
  • Four General subjects and one Applied subject – 4194 students


“This reinforces the important decision to include VET in the Queensland ATAR and is evidence of a well-rounded and inclusive education for students in Queensland,” he said.


The 30 students receiving an ATAR of 99.95 did so with a combination of 16 different subjects including math methods, economics, physics, literature, modern history and engineering.


Ms Grace said secondary schooling in Queensland continued to provide valued pathways for all students whether that was to university, TAFE or other training or paid work.


“The Queensland Government has invested more than $130 million in the new QCE system to give students the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century,” she said.


"Schools across Queensland introduced the new syllabuses and assessment model with Year 11 students in 2019, and the success of the transition is a credit to the hard work and professionalism of principals and teachers.”


Ms Grace said graduates who might not be satisfied with their results still had options.


“There’s no need to be disheartened,” she said.


“Anyone whose results aren’t what they hoped for can explore alternative ways to enter university and training courses.”


Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) chief executive officer Chris Rider said Certificates of Academic Commendation would be sent to 983 graduates who received ‘A’ grades in at least six General subjects.


“The commendation is the first category to be awarded in the annual Queensland Certificate of Education Achievement Awards,” Mr Rider said.


“Winners in a further three categories, including Queensland’s highest achieving student, will be announced in February.”


Graduates with questions about their subject results can call the QCAA’s myQCE hotline on 1800 804 991.


Graduates with questions about their ATAR can contact QTAC on 1300 193 173.


Fast facts


  • 49,651 students graduated
  • 44,295 students (89%) achieved a Queensland Certificate of Education
  • 26,042 students received an ATAR. The ATAR is a standard measure of an individual’s overall academic achievement in relation to that of other students. It has replaced the OP as the primary way for Queensland universities to select school leavers for high demand courses.
  • 30 students received an ATAR of 99.95
  • 694 students received an ATAR between 99.95 and 98.90 (the equivalent of an OP 1)
  • 5343 students received an ATAR between 99.95 and 91.50 (the equivalent of the OP 1-5 range)
  • 19,524 students received an ATAR between 99.95 and 65.50 (the equivalent of the OP 1-15 range)
  • 983 students will receive a Certificate of Academic Commendation for ‘A’ grades in at least six General subjects
  • 31,548 students achieved a VET Certificate I, II, III or IV qualification 
  • 1193 students studied a university subject while still at school
  • 992 students with learning impairments were awarded a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement.