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April 24, 2021, 03:20:05 am

Author Topic: QCE Questions: New ATAR System  (Read 4933 times)

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Joseph41

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QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« on: January 16, 2019, 02:27:46 pm »
+12
Hi everybody!

As you may know, Queensland is in the process of moving away from the OP system, and to the new ATAR system. The Class of 2020 will be the first cohort to receive an ATAR and to experience the new subjects, syllabuses and systems.

ATAR Notes is here to help you understand what you have ahead of you. If you have any questions at all about the new ATAR system or what it all means, please post them here!

And keep an eye out, because we will be posting lots of new resources specifically for QCE students. :)

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Twisty314

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Re: QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 01:06:27 pm »
+6
Hello!

So, as Joseph41 stated, Year 12 students in QLD in 2020 will be first ever in the state to receive the ATAR (me  :-\). During Year 10 last year, our school tried to explain the process of scaling. I don't think anyone actually understood it, and I have suspicions that the school wasn't really too informed either. I've got the basic principle of, for example, an A in General Maths (Maths A) shouldn't be equivalent to and A in Specialist Maths (Maths C), and so QTAC adjusts this accordingly.

But what I'm wondering is, how scaling actually works; what does QTAC look at when scaling your scores? What processes do they do to ensure all subject scores are in 'equilibrium' with each other, so to speak? This process of scaling is really messing with my head! ???

Anyone else in the same boat here?

I'd really appreciate all of you peoples advice. Thanks in advance!  :D
QCE 2020:
English [], Biology [], Chemistry [], Physics [], Mathematical Methods [], Specialist Maths []

Joseph41

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Re: QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 01:17:17 pm »
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Hello!

So, as Joseph41 stated, Year 12 students in QLD in 2020 will be first ever in the state to receive the ATAR (me  :-\). During Year 10 last year, our school tried to explain the process of scaling. I don't think anyone actually understood it, and I have suspicions that the school wasn't really too informed either. I've got the basic principle of, for example, an A in General Maths (Maths A) shouldn't be equivalent to and A in Specialist Maths (Maths C), and so QTAC adjusts this accordingly.

But what I'm wondering is, how scaling actually works; what does QTAC look at when scaling your scores? What processes do they do to ensure all subject scores are in 'equilibrium' with each other, so to speak? This process of scaling is really messing with my head! ???

Anyone else in the same boat here?

I'd really appreciate all of you peoples advice. Thanks in advance!  :D

Hey Twisty! Really good questions. The concept of inter-subject scaling probably seems quite foreign at the moment.

First up, try not to worry too much if scaling confuses you. Itís been around in Victoria and New South Wales for a long time, and the vast majority of students wouldnít be aware of how it actually works on a structural level. To my knowledge, the intricacies are still being flattened out, so Iím sure your school will be able to help more in time, too.

Youíre right with the general principle: different subjects are dissimilar and, therefore, canít really be treated equally. Itís sort of like trying to compare the weight of two children, except one is listed in kilograms, and the other in pounds. Even though we have a number for each, theyíre not directly comparable. In order to compare them accurately, we need to get them onto the same scale, and this is essentially what scaling achieves in the QCE.

The important thing is this: inter-subject scaling does not account for difficulty of a subject, because this is not inherent and depends on the student. For example, you might find Specialist Maths (Maths C) really easy, but I might find it really difficult.

Instead, QCE scaling looks at the competitiveness of a cohort. This is because your scores for each subject are really a percentile ranking. So a scaled 80 in Geography is the equivalent of a scaled 80 in Chemistry - and we know this because we have accounted for the competition in that subject.

To measure competitiveness, we look at how that cohort (so everybody who studied that subject) did in their other subjects. If, on average, everybody who studied Biology did super well in all of their other subjects, this indicates that the Biology cohort was very competitive, and getting a high score in Biology, therefore, was hard.

In terms of what actually happens, thereís some pretty complicated math involved, and Iíd honestly encourage you not to worry too much about this at this stage. But if you are interested, you can read more in this white paper.

This is also a helpful video if you havenít seen it (ignore the comments on the YouTube video lol):


NOTE: Everything here is just based on my understanding. If you want a more detailed explanation, I can do my best. :)

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Twisty314

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Re: QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2019, 10:21:42 am »
+2
Thanks Joseph41!

Wow! That's pretty comprehensive. I always thought that scaling depends on how a subject is - glad you cleared that up for me!

Quote
Itís sort of like trying to compare the weight of two children, except one is listed in kilograms, and the other in pounds. Even though we have a number for each, theyíre not directly comparable. In order to compare them accurately, we need to get them onto the same scale, and this is essentially what scaling achieves in the QCE.

That's such a good analogy! If someone I know is ever confused about scaling I'll be sure to use this example.

I've got another question: what pathways are there to achieve my QCE? So the pathway I'm doing to get my QCE (6 General subjects). Just interested if there are other ways. Abd if anyone else is doing something different, I'm curious to see what everyone's up to!  ;) Feel free to share!
Thanks again!


QCE 2020:
English [], Biology [], Chemistry [], Physics [], Mathematical Methods [], Specialist Maths []

Joseph41

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Re: QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 03:58:43 pm »
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I've got another question: what pathways are there to achieve my QCE? So the pathway I'm doing to get my QCE (6 General subjects). Just interested if there are other ways. Abd if anyone else is doing something different, I'm curious to see what everyone's up to!  ;) Feel free to share!
Thanks again!

Sorry for the late reply!

There are a bunch of different options. To be eligible for an ATAR, students need to:

1. Complete an English subject (although this doesn't necessarily have to contribute to the ATAR)
2. Complete at least five General subjects, or four General subjects and one Applied subject/VET subject

So there are certainly different pathway options based on a) number of subjects, and b) whether those subjects are General/Applied/VET. :) More here.

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e_grace

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Re: QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2019, 10:17:45 pm »
+1
I REALLY NEED HELP MAKING A DECISION!

I just completed unit 2 for spec maths and we did our unit 1 and 2 exam. I do well at school and usually am getting top marks. However, spec maths no matter how hard I study isn't going too well. I get 100% on my assignments but my exam is around 65%. I am doing the QCE atar system and I am unsure whether to stick with spec. I am striving for a 99 atar! I know spec scales high but I am not sure if it will scale my potential 65 to the 95 that I really need to get a 99 atar. However, no one seems to know the scaling and I am stuck with what to do. Spec causes me a lot of stress and I feel like maybe in order to do better it might bring down my other marks.  I really need help with making a decision!
Do i drop out of spec maths and go to either economics or bio? Or should i stick with it?

RuiAce

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Re: QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2019, 10:51:21 pm »
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I REALLY NEED HELP MAKING A DECISION!

I just completed unit 2 for spec maths and we did our unit 1 and 2 exam. I do well at school and usually am getting top marks. However, spec maths no matter how hard I study isn't going too well. I get 100% on my assignments but my exam is around 65%. I am doing the QCE atar system and I am unsure whether to stick with spec. I am striving for a 99 atar! I know spec scales high but I am not sure if it will scale my potential 65 to the 95 that I really need to get a 99 atar. However, no one seems to know the scaling and I am stuck with what to do. Spec causes me a lot of stress and I feel like maybe in order to do better it might bring down my other marks.  I really need help with making a decision!
Do i drop out of spec maths and go to either economics or bio? Or should i stick with it?
If spec maths is causing you a lot of stress then I would consider ignoring the scaling. The course does scale well, but scaling can only build - the higher your actual mark is, the more you'd get scaled altogether. (65 to 95 is also a bit of a stretch...)

Make sure that you can justify your stress well. If you've genuinely gave it your all and still things don't go your way, dropping it would be a safe option.  Basically if the cause is something along the lines of laziness, I would be questioning study ethic. But from what you're saying, I think you tried your hardest.

As a general rule of thumb, keep the courses you actually enjoy learning about. Those are the ones you'd be more inclined to study for, and honestly even with lesser scaling courses, getting something like 95 in all of them would still be an insane push towards your ATAR. (And I mean, usually people don't enjoy courses that give them stress right? :))

Joseph41

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Re: QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 08:42:53 am »
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Just to add to the above, we don't even know at this stage which subjects will scale up, and which subjects will scale down (although we can make educated guesses).

If you're not sure where to go with Specialist study, I'd recommend asking any questions you have about content/general maths strategy etc. in our Specialist Maths section. :)

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Bri MT

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Re: QCE Questions: New ATAR System
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 10:25:03 am »
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I'm a bit curious about the gap between your assignment & exam scores - do you have any idea why your performance tends to be lower on exams?  What do you do to prepare for an exam? 

No one can know yet if 65% is an ok, good, bad, great etc. exam mark as this will depend on the performance of the rest of the state.  You're probably a bit sick of there being so many unknowns with the new system but one good thing about that is that it encourages people not to game the system.

Whatever decision you make I would highly encourage you to do it off the basis of what you will enjoy,  potentially use in future (e.g. prereqs for courses) & have aptitude for.  This approach tends to produce better results than thinking about scaling etc.

What other subjects are you studying?

If you're thinking about picking up bio you might find it useful to go to one of the free bio lectures I'm presenting in a couple of weeks so you can get an idea of Unit 3 & if you're interested in it.  I would also recommend looking at the syllabuses for bio & economics before making your decision.

Good luck!