Universities Admission Index

Universities Admission Index

The Universities Admission Index (UAI) is used in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Australia, as the primary criterion for entry into most undergraduate-entry university programs. It is a number between 0 and 100 (though those below 30 are not reported), occurring in increments of 0.05 and indicating the rounded percentile rank of a student undertaking the Higher School Certificate or ACT Year 12 Certificate with a valid quantity and combination of units of study.


The UAI is awarded to students on the completion of the HSC in NSW and the completion of an ACT Year 12 Certificate with a "Tertiary Package" in the ACT - both at the end of year 12. It provides a percentile ranking of peer students of the same age. In NSW, the UAI is determined by a combination of the public HSC exams common across all schools at the end of Year 12 and continuing assessment. Assignments and exams in Year 11 serve to prepare students for Year 12 but are not in any way involved in the calculation process. In the ACT, the UAI is determined by ongoing assignments and exams spanning through both years 11 & 12. The ACT Scaling Test (AST), sat by tertiary students, links a student's ability with the school's mean score in each course and is used to scale students in different courses and schools.

UAI scores are not directly equivalent to a percentile rank among those who completed year 12 (i.e. a UAI of 99 is not equivalent to placing in the top 1% of the state). [http://www.uac.edu.au/pubs/pdf/2004-Table-A8.pdf Table A8 (pdf)] demonstrates the statistical distribution of UAI scores - in 2004, 1.6% of students who completed year 12 scored at or over a UAI of 99. UAIs are awarded in increments of 0.05. The UAI's predecessor, the Tertiary Entrance Rank, was different because it defined the student population as only students in year 12. The UAI attempts to rank students who did not progress to their senior years of High School, by estimating what they would have got. This keeps the rank consistent throughout the years despite fluctuating year 10 drop-out rates as the rank is always measured relative to a year 10 cohort, with the ranks of the drop-outs being estimated.

A student's UAI is given as a number between 30 and 100. Students who receive 30 or below receive a 'pink slip' which simply informs them that they received below 30, though these are rare due to the fact that most of the estimated Year 10 cohort's marks fall into this range. UAIs of 100 are extremely rare and are only achieved by a few students (generally, about 20 out of almost 66 000) every year.

The organisation responsible for administering the UAI, the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), scales all subjects using mathematical formulae to try to ensure equity of marks across subjects.

To be eligible for the UAI as well as the HSC or ACT Year 12 Certificate students must comply with additional rules set by the Board of Studies in New South Wales or the Board of Senior Secondary Studies in the Australian Capital Territory.

Calculation In NSW

To calculate the UAI the UAC uses the raw exam marks of the HSC and the moderated assessment mark.

The assessment mark is that obtained from the internal school examinations a student sits over the last term of year 11 and the three terms of year 12. The school marks are sent to the UAC from the Board of Studies, and from these students are ranked from first to last. The student ranked first is then assigned a moderated assessment mark equal to the highest examination mark scored by that group of students, regardless of who scored it, and similarly the student ranked last will receive the lowest examination mark. The rest of the students have their assessment marks moderated between these two values, with the proportional difference between the marks remaining the same (for instance, the gap of 10 between two marks spread over a range of 20% will be halved if the range is halved to 10%).

The student who comes first in the subject is then assigned the maximum mark, normally 50.0 on a one unit basis but may change with scaling. Following that all students who sat the course have a scaled mark calculated based on an estimate of what each student would have achieved had they sat that course. This is repeated for all of a student's units.

The student's two best English units are added along with their next best eight units, which may include further English units, to give an aggregate mark, out of 500.0. Students are then ranked - however, this rank does not translate directly to the UAI. The distribution of students is uneven. Ranking scales upwards - only 29.3% of students will receive a UAI of under 50, and the median UAI is around 65, a statistical trend which is applicable at every UAI level. This is because the spread of marks takes into account those who did not complete their HSC or otherwise attend the post-compulsory years of education. Their hypothetical marks are determined by the School Certificate, one compulsory for all students in NSW. As their marks are generally lower than those who complete the HSC, they cause the uneven spread across the spectrum of the UAI. Hypothetically, assuming that everyone continued to complete the HSC, the spread would be completely even. However, NSW retention rates for students stand at around 70%, and there are students who complete the final years without gaining an HSC.

tudents who finish high school overseas

Students who finish high school overseas and who have a qualification such as the SAT, IB or A Levels may have their score converted to a UAI.

ee also

* Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank
* Tertiary Entrance Rank
* University admission
* List of admissions tests

External links

* [http://www.uac.edu.au Universities Admissions Centre website]
* [http://www.uac.edu.au/admin/uai.html Universities Admission Index]
* [http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au New South Wales Board of Studies website]

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