The perfect score of 99.95 for IB students drops by half after overhauling the conversion process

Students used to be given a final grade as a whole number, but starting this year they were given that number with two decimal places. For example, a student with a score of 45.00 would convert to an ATAR equivalent rank of 99.85, while a grade of 45.25 would convert to 99.90. A student with a score of 45.50 to 99.95 and a grade of 45.75 would also translate 99.95.

Research conducted by UAC found that the new conversion system would mean that 15 percent of students would see their ATAR-equivalent rank drop, 60 percent of students would receive the same rank, while 25 percent would receive a higher rank.

18-year-old Trinity Grammar School students George and John Dedousis received a perfect score of 45 out of 45, which translated into an International Baccalaureate admissions score of 45.75 and an ATAR equivalent grade of 99.95 for both. George said he supports the changes.

“Honestly I didn’t understand how it works until yesterday, the system is really good, it gives you a more accurate representation because it rewards students and differentiates them more,” George said.

At Cranbrook in Bellevue Hill, which offered the IB for the first time this year, 24 students graduated and 21 percent of them received an ATAR equivalent grade of 98, while 63 percent achieved an ATAR above 90.


At Redlands in Cremorne, 21 of the 67 – almost a third of all students – received a university grade of 99 or higher.

Redlands student Shaun Patrick, 17, received the same IB grade of 44 out of 45 as one of his classmates, but his ATAR equivalent ranking of 99.75 was slightly lower.

“I wasn’t too worried about it, I was just focusing on myself,” he said.

His classmate Jessica Wei, who was also rated 44, received a grade of 99.80.

“In the end, the number I get doesn’t define me, the activities at school gave me transferrable skills,” she said.

These activities included the school’s math club, an organization she founded that hosts activities such as Pi Day, where students would recite pi to as many decimal places as possible in front of their classmates. The winner made it to 100 places.

“I thought our school needed a place where people who enjoy doing math could have a community,” she said.

Lauren Zhang’s score of 45 was converted to the perfect ATAR equivalent rank of 99.95.
“I was over the moon that I did well in the IB,” said Zhang, 18.

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Callan Tansill

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