The new Combined Rank process  

As Australian International Baccalaureate (IB) schools and students are aware, changes are being made to the IB Combined Rank process for IB students with the introduction of the IB Admissions Score (IBAS) and a new Combined Rank schedule. There is up-to-date, comprehensive information about the tertiary application process for IB students on the QTAC website
QTAC have put together some FAQ responses to some of the most common questions schools, students and parents are asking.  

What is the difference between the ATAR  and the IBAS? 

The Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) is the overall achievement for Australian NZ senior secondary qualifications and profiles a selection rank from a specific QTAC schedule.
IB Admissions Score (IBAS) or Total Score, is the overall achievement for the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme of study and profiles a selection rank from a specific QTAC schedule. 

What is changing? 

A new, common process will be used by all Australian Tertiary Admissions Centres (TACs) to calculate what is known as the IB Admissions Score i.e. the new IBAS. The IBAS will be calculated for all students who obtain their IB in Australia from the 2022 IB November sitting onwards. The IBAS will be used to determine the selection rank using the new Combined Rank Schedule.  

When are the changes being implemented?

The new IB Combined Rank process will be implemented starting with students sitting the IB Diploma in November 2022, many of whom will be applying for admission to tertiary courses commencing in 2023. All previous IB graduates, including the May 2022 cohort, will have their combined rank calculated using the previous system (Total Score).  

Why is the process changing?

The changes are designed to assist the tertiary selection process for IB students. The Australasian Conference of Tertiary Admissions Centres (ACTAC) has been working with the IB Organisation (IBO) to find ways to create a more detailed schedule against which IB students’ selection ranks can be calculated from their achievement in the IB Diploma.  
The new Combined Rank schedule will provide more conversion points by using finer-grained data. This will consist of scaled Total Marks from all subjects to differentiate between IB students on the same IB score.  

Why has the conversion scale become finely grained, how are the incremental point scales worked out, and is this a state or Australia-wide admission centre approach?

Up until November 2022, the number scale the IB Diploma was reported on, consisted of less informative reporting in a scale of whole number scores which all achievements were rounded to. 
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.
Through the use of a more refined ranking scale, the IBAS can reflect differences in student performance for use in institution admission purposes.
The same methodology is used consistently across Australia’s Tertiary Admissions Centres.  

Australia-wide are the IBAS scores calculated differently in the states/territories?  

Each state or territory’s respective Tertiary Admissions Centre will calculate their state’s IBAS using an agreed common approach and Combined Schedule. In Queensland, IBAS is calculated by QTAC and QTAC is responsible for notifying students of their IBAS, which will be via email. Students who studied for their IB Diploma in a school located in any other state will receive their IBAS from the TAC in that state.  

How do IB students participating in the January 2023 offer round determine how to amend their preferences in their QTAC Application if the IBAS isn’t released before the last date to change a preference? 

It is important to note that in January 2023, IB students will be receiving their IBAS after QTAC’s deadline for Change of Preference in our busiest January offer round. Please do not let this alarm you.  

Before they receive their IBAS, students can still get an estimate of their initial QTAC Selection Rank by using their IB Total Score and the new Combined Schedule. The IBAS will add decimal places to the Total Score based on a student’s average performance within each band of subject results. For example, a student may receive a Total Score of 41 and an IB Admissions Score of 41.68. Thus, whilst it is not the final IBAS and QTAC Selection Rank, the IB Total Score should give students some guidance towards rearranging their preferences. 


How will IB results be reported from 2022? 

  • The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) will continue to provide students with their final IB Diploma results. Students will still receive a whole number Total Score when completing the IB Diploma. 

  • Tertiary Admissions Centre – Students will receive their IBAS (IB Admissions Score) directly from the tertiary admissions centre in their state. QTAC will provide all IB students who studied for the IB Diploma in Queensland schools with their IBAS. 

  • The IB Admissions Score (IBAS) will add decimal places to the Total score based on a student’s average performance within each band of subject results. For example, you may receive a Total Score of 41, and an IB Admissions Score of 41.68. This IB Admissions Score can then be used to look up your Combined Rank on the national schedule. 


Will the distribution of marks be calculated each year and along with it will the conversion schedule be adjusted? 

The IBAS will be calculated by the TACs each year using the mark distribution for that year. The IB Schedule will not change every year, it will be reviewed every 3 years.    

IB Graduates and their QTAC Application  

Will offshore-IB Diploma students be required to submit their results for review and to be assigned an IB Admissions Score in order to apply for Australian courses? 

No, QTAC will not be calculating an IBAS for offshore IB students. 

How and when will Educational Access Scheme (EAS) assessment be made for IB students?   

The EAS assessment process is separate to the Application and qualification assessment. Where applicable, any EAS adjustment will automatically be applied to a student’s selection rank. 

How will a domestic student with an IB Diploma score of 45 (and an IBAS) be considered alongside a student who has attained their diploma score of 45 offshore and an ATAR 99.95 for a place in a highly competitive course such as Dentistry or Medicine? 

ACTAC has confirmed that each state should decide how to deal with these students. This enables each state to accommodate any individual requests from their own institutions as to how those institutions wish to set their criteria for using the new IBAS and Combined Rank for selecting students for specific courses. In Queensland, those who sat their IB Diploma outside of Australia are to apply directly to tertiary institutions. 

Key dates for November 2022 IB graduates

Tuesday 3 January IB Diploma candidates able to access their IB results online from the IBO portal. 
Monday 2 January – Thursday 5 January 2023  IBO provide TACs with IB data from November sitting. TACs calculate the IBAS for all Australian IB graduates. 
Thursday 5 January 2023  QTAC distributes individual IBAS results to Queensland IB Graduates. 

QTAC Applicants: Key dates for IB graduates applying to QTAC after IB results release

August – September 2022Create and sign in to your QTAC account to lodge your QTAC Application for 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. 
Friday 9 December 2022 The due date to apply for the 12 January 2023 offer round. 
Thursday 12 January 2023  The date of the first QTAC offer round where offers will be made on the basis of IB results. This is a key round where the majority of offers are made.  
11.59pm on Wednesday 4 January 2023 The Change of Preference deadline for 12 January offer round. This is before IBAS is released, but after students will know their Total Marks. 
March 2023 QTAC offer rounds continue through to March 2023 for Semester 1 courses, where vacancies exist.