How to apply University for the international students who complete year 12 in Australia

If you are still an international student and nearly complete year 12 in Australia. You need to apply to the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) for the majority of undergraduate courses offered by Queensland universities, TAFE Queensland, the Australian Maritime College, some courses at universities in northern New South Wales and some private tertiary education providers.

Entry requirements

Tertiary institutions select applicants for courses based on a range of entry requirements. These include prerequisites such as school subjects, auditions, portfolios, and interviews as well as your OP or tertiary selection rank. Make sure you take note of any extra entry requirements and their due dates to ensure you don’t miss out on a place in your preferred course.

What is an OP?

An OP is your rank order position from 1 (highest) to 25 (lowest) based on your overall achievement in Authority subjects. It indicates how well you’ve done in comparison to all other OP-eligible students in Queensland.

Approximate distribution of students across OP bands:

  • Band 1 — about 2% of students
  • Band 2 to 6 — about 21% of students
  • Band 7 to 21 — about 73% of students
  • Band 22 to 25 — about 4% of students.

OP eligibility

To be eligible for an OP you need to:

  • study 20 semester units of Authority subjects with at least 3 subjects for 4 semesters each
  • sit all 4 subtests of the Queensland Core Skills (QCS) Test
  • remain at school until the final day of Year 12.

How are OPs calculated?

OP calculations take into account the results of your best five Authority subjects. In calculating OPs, all subjects are treated equally. There is no bias in favor of certain subjects (e.g. maths or science).

Your OP result is determined by how well you perform in your senior studies when compared with all other OP-eligible students in Queensland. It is not determined by the school you attend.

School and subject-group data from the QCS Test are used as part of a statistical scaling process that enables the QCAA to make a fair and reasonable comparison of the performance of students across Queensland.

Your individual QCS Test result is not used on its own in the calculation of your OP. Therefore your grade on the QCS Test will not indicate what your OP will be.

As I explained, for year 12 students in Australia they have to apply university through the QTAC. It normally opens on Aug, students could choose 5 universities when they apply. But it will take a long time to process and if students want to apply some medical course which is normally with limited space. You may lose the chance due to this reason.

However, if students want to apply for Griffith or Bond university, we could help them to get a conditional offer first, and once their OP meets the entry requirement and other condition if there is (Like: auditions, portfolios, and interviews), University will issue the unconditional offer letter.

You may still have these questions:

  1. What are the prerequisites for the course that I want to choose?
  2. How I could apply through QTAC?
  3. How to improve my OP? 
  4. Can I apply to University first?

and so on…Please contact us, we are always here to help you.

Kate LEE

Kate migrated to Australia in 2007, going on to become a qualified education counsellor in 2009. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of international students achieve their academic dreams in universities across Australia. Kate helps her clients successfully complete their school enrollments and student visa applications. For clients outside Australia, she is always available for regular contact through Skype or Facebook.

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