What is scaling?

Posted by Studentbox user
on 20/09/2016 at in  Exam resources
Can you please explain the scaling to me? Specifically, if I have similar marks in physics and lit, which is likely to be scaled more?


  • admin
    Studentbox User
    Hey Claire,

    When I was in year 12, I didn't know either but what I always thought scaling was is that after they get the raw score, they would place the data onto a normal distribution curve (basically a theoretical maths curve that shows the distribution of data or results from the average result) where based on that it would determine if your mark was going to scale up or down. So comparing units like physics and lit is hard to do as it depends on the marks of all the students that do physics or lit and how your mark compares to that (maybe not entirely sure that's what it is now).

    Looking up scaling I found this -->
    and it gives a similar explanation with statistical info from the previous years.

    Hope that helps!
  • admin
    Studentbox User
    Hi Claire,
    Scaling is a pretty complicated thing.  Check our post at: to se if that helps you.
    The easy answer is that they take your exam marks and your school marks and work out where you sit in relation to everyone else.  They scale marks to make things fairer across the board - for example your school teacher might be a hard marker, but the school next door might have a teacher that is more lenient and marks are consistently higher.  The long answer is way more complicated!
    Another post that might help is the ATAR calculator post:
    good luck,

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