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Question about UNSW interviews


New Member
Hi, so I was having a look at the unsw website and this is the criteria they have put up for selection for their interviews. "Applicant are offered an interview on the basis of the combination of their predicted or actual ATAR and actual UMAT score (total raw score). BOTH ATAR AND UMAT ARE EQUALLY WEIGHED. Interviews are offered to the highest ranking applicants until all interview places have been filled.
One of my friends had a predicted atar of 99.80 and a total UMAT raw score of 172 (84th percentile) & he obtained a first round interview.
99.80 + 172 = 271.8
97.30 + 190 = 287.3
If the atar & umat are equally weighed, then wouldn't a 97.30 atar and a total UMAT raw score of 190 (96th percentile) also be eligible for an interview as the total is higher??

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Nope, equally weighted doesn't mean that one UMAT point is equal to one ATAR point. It means that your UMAT ranking and ATAR ranking are given equal merit.
For example, if I were to oversimplify the system, then, if you have a 99.80, you might be ranked 200th in terms of ATAR (say), and with your UMAT of 172 you might be ranked 400th, for an average ranking of 300.

The system is a bit more complicated than that, and uses z-scores and calculations of standard deviations etc. to actually qualify this, but an ATAR of 97.30 is way, way, way down the ranking list compared to a 99.80 rather than just a couple of points - there are at least several hundred people ranked between the 97.30 and 99.80. Consequently, you'd need a UMAT ranking which was much, much higher (several hundred ranks higher!) to get an interview with that.

As a rough estimate, a 97.30 ATAR has generally required a UMAT around the 205-210 mark for an interview at UNSW, and this would be scraping into interview (and consequently also having a very low chance at getting a place due to competitive combined scores being much higher than that.)

If your above system were the case, then given that a 99.95 with a score of 152 gets an interview ( - total 252 by your system) then a 50 ATAR with a 202 UMAT should also get an interview (same total 252 score) - this makes zero sense.
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Admissions Speculator
Adding to Mana's post, ATAR numbers and UMAT overall scores are different scales. They must be scale-standandised before summing, the tool for which is commonly the z-score method. UNSW applies this to all the applicants with ATAR>96 and UMAT>150, then rank them on their [z(ATAR) + z(UMAT)].

If that is difficult to visualise you can use this approximation method instead. It happens that the average ATAR mark per subject approximately goes 1-to-1 against the average UMAT section mark, so you can use [Aggregate/5 + Overall score/3] to evaluate one student against another. See example below:

ATAR => AvgMark -- UMAT required for interview -- Section Avg -- Total
99.95 => 95.5 -- 164 -- 54.7 -- 150.2
99.50 => 92 -- 172 -- 57.3 -- 149.3
99.00 => 90 -- 180 -- 60 -- 150
98.00 => 86 -- 190 -- 63.3 -- 149.3
97.00 => 83 -- 200 -- 66.7 -- 149.7
96.00 => 80 -- 210 -- 70 -- 150

In the cases you quoted, the 99.80's total is (94+57.3)= 151.3, the 97.30's total is (84+63.3)= 147.3 quite below the interview cutoff.

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