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International Baccalaureate (IB) studies

QTAC’s tertiary institutions accept the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma as an equivalent to an Australian Year 12 Qualification, but do require the IB Diploma score to be assigned an ATAR-like rank (the QTAC Selection Rank) to facilitate comparisons for selection purposes.

International Baccalaureate (IB) and the International Baccalaureate Admissions Score (IBAS)

The IB Combined Rank process is changing. Changes will be implemented starting with the November 2022 IB graduates who are applying for admission to tertiary courses commencing in 2023. The Australasian Conference of Tertiary Admissions Centres (ACTAC) has been working with the IB Organisation (IBO) to find ways to obtain finer-grained data about the performance of IB students to create a more detailed schedule against which IB students’ selection ranks will be calculated. The new Combined Rank schedule provides more conversion points by using scaled total marks from all subjects to differentiate between IB students on the same IB score. Click here to download a copy of the new IB to Rank conversion process.

In the new system a common process will be used by tertiary admissions centres (TACs) to calculate what is known as the IB Admissions Score, the new IBAS. The IBAS will be used by IB graduates identify their Combined Rank using the new Combined Rank Schedule.

The IBAS is calculated for all students who obtained their IB in Australia, and QTAC is responsible for providing all IB students who studied for the IB Diploma in Queensland schools with their IBAS regardless of where an individual IB Diploma recipient resides.

How IB Diploma students are considered for entry to tertiary courses in Australia

Results from the IB Diploma are reported on a numerical scale between 24 and 45 and are mapped to an IB Admissions Score (IBAS, which as noted above is used to obtain an ATAR-like rank) to allow IB Diploma students to be considered for tertiary places alongside their counterparts who have completed state curricula.

This ATAR-like rank is known as the Combined Rank because it is a national conversion which combines student data gathered from across all states in Australia. This means that IB students can apply in any Australian state or territory with confidence about how their results compare to their peers who have completed state curricula and received an ATAR.

Up until November 2022, the number scale the IB Diploma was reported on, consisted of less informative reporting of whole number scores which all achievements were rounded to. Students who completed their IB Diploma prior to November 2022 will still be assigned a selection rank according to the schedule and selection rank conversion table relevant to their graduation year.

QTAC Selection Rank, the new Combined Rank Schedule 

QTAC Selection Ranks and ATARs both have scales from 0.00 to 99.95. This means that IB graduates receiving an IBAS that equates to a QTAC Selection Rank of 99.75 on the new Combined Schedule, will be considered for tertiary admissions alongside students who received an ATAR of 99.75.
 
Students with a completed IB Diploma are considered for tertiary study through QTAC on the basis of having met ‘Eligibility’, requirements (minimum course entry for their desired tertiary course, such as subject prerequisites, auditions, portfolios or interviews) and ‘Merit’, QTAC Selection Rank (In this case IB Diploma, other examples are ATAR and VET Qualifications).
 
Use the new Combined Rank conversion table below to determine a QTAC Selection Rank from an IBAS.

When the new Schedule applies

The new Combined Rank conversion table comes into play for the 2023 admissions cycle and will apply to IB May and November 2022 sitters and beyond (until 2024). May 2022, November 2022, May 2023, November 2023, May 2024 and November 2024 sitters will be assessed on the new combined rank schedule regardless of whether they are onshore sitters (IBAS calculated) or offshore sitters (use Total score issued by the IBO).

For any IB sitters from previous years, QTAC will continue to use the Total Score issued by the IBO for the completed IB Diploma and applicants will be assessed for their selection rank against the relevant schedule.

The technical process behind the IBAS and the calculation of the new Combined Rank

Detailed information about each IB student’s performance is provided directly to TACs by the IBO when their results are supplied in January 2023. This additional information is used to assess where each student’s individual marks lie within the grade band that they have been officially allocated allowing TACs to perform what we call fine grained scale ranking of IB students which is obviously more precise than working with scores reported to the nearest whole number.

For instance, if the boundaries for Grade 6 in Biology are marks between 61 and 70, and a student’s mark is 68, then clearly the student’s performance position within that specific grade band is fairly high and we would like to capture this level of detailed information about the student’s performance.

Every subject a student has taken undergoes this type of band position assessment. An average position for each IB student is calculated from across their six subjects and used to derive the IBAS.

The new Combined Rank Schedule provides more conversion points, by using finer grained data whereby scaled total marks from all subjects will be used to differentiate between IB students on the same IB score.

This means that in 2023 the IBAS will be reported to a level of detail of two decimal places, for example, you may receive an IB Diploma score of 41, and a corresponding calculated IB Admissions Score of 41.75 which is far more informative to our partner institutions in terms of how it measures performance in relation to the rest of the IB cohort.

Through the use of a more refined ranking scale, the IBAS can reflect differences in student performance for use in institution admission purposes.

Students in Queensland will receive their IBAS directly from QTAC via email, which they will be able to review against the Combined Rank table below in order to work out what their ATAR-like ranking will be which is what partner institutions will use for course selection purposes.

Key Dates

International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) will release its graduate results for the November 2022 sitting on Monday 2 January 2023 to the TACs who calculate the IBAS. Within two business days each participating state and territory Tertiary Admissions Centre (all of which make up ACTAC) will have their up to date respective state or territory’s IBAS results to distribute back to graduates.

If you are an IB student, to prepare your QTAC Application please scroll down to read, about, “What IB Graduates need to know when applying through QTAC” before signing up and lodging your QTAC Application via Application Services.

Key dates for the next release of IB diploma scores and IBAS 

  • Monday 2 January 2023, IBO provide TACs with IB data from November sitting and release IB Diploma scores to graduates
  • Tuesday 3 January 2023, ACTAC calculates IBAS 
  • Wednesday 4 January 2023 from 12:00pm, QTAC distributes individual IBAS results to Queensland IB graduates

QTAC Selection Rank, the old Combined Rank Schedule 

The process for calculating a QTAC Selection Rank for merit purposes for IB students who completed their IB diploma in November 2021 or prior is that QTAC converts the student’s original IB score in the completed diploma to a QTAC Selection Rank according to the ‘combined rank’ rules agreed Australia-wide. 

To find out how tertiary admissions centres in Australia determine tertiary entrance rankings, click here.

The rank conversion schedules usually change year on year. As a comparison to the new IBAS combined rank conversion above, the Combined Rank conversion table below was used to determine a QTAC Selection Rank for 2021 IB sitters applying for the 2022 admissions year.

What IB graduates need to know when applying through QTAC

If you’re an IB student or graduate, you can sign up and lodge a QTAC application via Application Services, just like an ATAR student or graduate from 2 August 2022, for the 2023 admissions year. You can prepare and lodge your QTAC Application well in advance, and begin preferencing before receiving your IBAS with ample time to consider what is right for you.

QTAC calculates the ATAR but it does not issue nor calculate the IB, it uses a national tertiary admissions approach to calculate a rank that achieves an ATAR equivalent. Like all QTAC applicants, students completing the IB will receive a QTAC Selection Rank. The method to obtain that rank is different but that is where the difference stops. The process of applying through QTAC for a QTAC Selection Rank for entry in to a tertiary course does not vary greatly however, it is advised you read our below current timeline as a guide for applying through QTAC for tertiary courses commencing in 2023. Your IBAS and the Combined Schedule will tell you your final QTAC Selection Rank which will be used by the institutions. However, your window to adjust your preferences based on your performance will close before you receive the official IBAS. It is important to know that you can adjust preferencing based on the IBO release of your IB diploma score which will occur before receiving your IBAS.

Like any student applying to tertiary courses, ensure you check in on information surrounding key dates, fixed closing dates and information specific to the courses you’re interested in, including early offers as this may also influence your preferencing. See the timeline below which adopts some key dates and focuses on January in the coming 2023 admissions year.

Here’s a timeline we advise for all IB student Year 12 QTAC Applications for 12 January 2023 Offer round

The below is an example timeline to follow for the earliest offer round that falls following the release of the IB Diploma scores to students. You can check key dates for further offer round dates.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022
Friday, 9 December 2022
Monday, 2 January 2023
August - September
Create and sign in to your QTAC account, to lodge your QTAC Application to further tertiary study. You can submit your application prior to knowing your IBAS, so you don’t have to miss out on early offers or offer rounds. To speed up your application, make sure you check for any outstanding documents. If you have applied for EAS, it is important to submit your documents as soon as you can this September to ensure there is processing time.
December
We have offer rounds taking place at a higher frequency in December through to January. Please please check information on your intended course to be sure when offers will be made. If you are participating in the 12 January 2023 Offer Round then you need to submit your application by 9 December 2022.
January
IB results are sent to graduates from the IBO. This gives you an early indication of what your IBAS could be, so now it is time to swap or change your preferences accordingly. The last date to change a preference for this offer round is Wednesday, 4 January. On Wednesday, 4 January (from 12:00pm), QTAC will release your IBAS to you via direct email. To know your QTAC Selection Rank, you can now use your IBAS to see how it aligns to the Combined Rank Schedule on this webpage. If you participate in the Thursday 12 January offer round a response to any offer made is due Monday 16 January

 IB documentation

QTAC can obtain your IB results from the IBIS (International Baccalaureate Information System). Make sure your school IB Coordinator gives the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) your authority to release your results to us.

If we can’t obtain your results from the IBO, you will need to provide a copy of your official IB results transcript to us.

Note: Do not submit downloaded results as we can’t assess these.

Subject prerequisites

Your IB subjects will meet subject prerequisites if these:

  • are comparable to the relevant QCAA subject
  • are studied at Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL)
  • you achieve a minimum grade of 3 in the relevant HL subject or 4 in the relevant SL subject; refer below.

Note: you will need to check your preferenced institution’s website for further information about meeting prerequisties with IB subjects, as some institutions have varying requirements which may not be outlined above.

Are you an IB student who did not obtain a Diploma?

QTAC has withdrawn its incomplete IB Diploma schedule as a stand-alone pathway for Year 12 students to tertiary study.

Most QTAC institutions do not give a selection rank for an incomplete IB Diploma.

Institutions that currently consider an incomplete IB Diploma are listed below.

Note: There are many courses that do not require a selection rank/ATAR for entry. These courses are not affected by the completion of the IB Diploma.

IB students applying through QTAC in 2022

Improving university entry for IB Diploma students

For 2023 admissions, an improved conversion schedule for IB scores will be introduced. The International Baccalaureate will provide QTAC with access to percentage marks for each subject, offering more conversion points and more detailed information about IB Diploma students on the same overall score.

The change will provide more gradations for IB Diploma students on the same score and a more accurate mapping of their score to a QTAC rank.

Read the documents below for more information:

Improving IB entry to Australian tertiary courses for 2023 admissions

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