As most of you buckle down to study for the trial examinations, you probably already know that your subject ranks affect your HSC marks and ultimately, your ATAR. But why?
Currently, no subjects are compulsory besides English. Students are free to select a number of courses and these differ in a number of ways including cohort size. Given the huge number of courses that are offered for the HSC, it means that rankings across all courses don't necessarily mean the same thing. E.g. placing a high rank in a course where you are competing against students of high academic ability is harder to achieve.
Seeing how difficult it is to compare students' performances across different HSC courses, this is why your marks will be scaled before they are added to provide the aggregate mark that determines your ATAR.
Scaling works by estimating what your cohort's marks would've been if they all took the course and if all courses had the same distribution of marks.
Click through the photos below to see how your subjects scaled for selected percentiles for HSC marks last year:
For more information, take a read of this UAC booklet about scaling: