Many students wish to continue with further study after Stage 2 at a tertiary institution. In South Australia these institutions are University of Adelaide, Flinders University, The University of South Australia and TAFE SA. The South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) manages the application and offer process for tertiary entry. Students also have the opportunity to apply for admission to the many other independent and interstate Tertiary Institutions.

TAFE Admission

TAFE SA courses offered through SATAC have Minimum Entry Requirements (MER) which all applicants must meet in order to be eligible for selection. The MER differ according to the level of the TAFE SA course concerned.

Minimum Entry Requirements for SACE students for Certificate I level courses

  • There are not MER for Certificate 1 level courses.

Minimum Entry Requirements for SACE students for Certificate II level courses
Students must -

  • Meet the literacy standard by the successful completion of 20 credits of Stage 1 English, or the equivalent
  • Meet the numeracy standard by the successful completion of 10 credits of Stage 1 Mathematics, or the equivalent
  • Completion of a related Certificate I course

Minimum Entry Requirements for SACE students for Certificate III level courses
Students are required to -

  • Qualify for the SACE
  • Obtain a TAFE SA Selection Score by -
    • Completing 60 credits of Tertiary Admissions Subjects (TAS), or 40 credits of TAS and 20 credits of recognised Studie
    • Comply with the rules regarding precluded combinations
  • Completion of a related Certificate II course 

TAFE SA selection processes are based on merit and recognise the SACE as meeting the minimum entry requirements for most courses. For some courses satisfactory achievement in English and Mathematics at SACE Stage 1 meets the MER. TAFE SA also considers a variety of other qualifications and experiences in its entry and selection processes.

University Admission

Selection into university courses/programs
Selection is based on both eligibility and rank. To apply for university entrance you must -

  • Complete your SACE
  • Obtain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)
  • Meet any prescribed and/ or prerequisite subject requirements for the course.


In order to be considered for tertiary admission in 2017, Stage 2 students must -

  • complete the SACE
  • comply with the rules regarding precluded combinations and counting restrictions
  • complete at least 90 credits of study in Tertiary Admissions Subjects (TAS) and Recognised Studies at Stage 2 (of which 60 credits of study are full-year subjects)
  • apply for admission through the South Australian Tertiary Entrance Centre (SATAC)


Calculating the university aggregate

The university aggregate is calculated from your best scaled scores from three 20 credit TAS plus the best outcome from the flexible option, which is the best 30 credits of scaled scores or scaled score equivalents from -

  • the scaled score of a 20 credit TAS
  • half the scaled score of one or more 20 credit TAS
  • the scaled score of one or more 10 credit TAS
  • scaled score equivalents for Recognised Studies to the value of 10 or the maximum of 20 credits


subject to precluded combination and counting restriction rules. Subjects with scaled scores of 0.0 can be used in the calculation of the university aggregate. The subjects used in the calculation can only come from a maximum of three attempts which need not be in consecutive years. 


This score is then converted to an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank called your ATAR (a score out of 100), which is considered an indicator of a student’s performance relative to other students who have also qualified for tertiary education in the same year. Students are selected for courses based on their ATAR.


As the ATAR and university entry requirements are subject to change each year, it is strongly recommended that students refer to SATAC information available before selecting Stage 1 and 2 subjects. Full details of university and TAFE entry requirements for each year will be included in the Tertiary Entrance Booklet published in July by the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre. Go to the SATAC website for more information


Pre-Requisite Subjects

Some tertiary courses require candidates to have achieved a score of 10 or more (SA) in specific subjects. Students are encouraged to research course requirements prior to subject selection.


Assumed Knowledge

Some courses specify SACE subject(s) which will be assumed all students will have studied and understood. Assumed knowledge is not compulsory and is not used in the selection process for entry to university courses. Statements of assumed knowledge are intended purely to assist students in understanding course content and to allow them to make subject choices that may be of benefit to them in their future studies.


Precluded Subject Combinations

There are many precluded subject combinations (which means they cannot BOTH be counted towards the ATAR) listed at the end of the SATAC Tertiary Entrance Guide.


Bonus ATAR Points Scheme

Please follow the link below for information about University Bonus Schemes.



Each year, all Universities offer a range of scholarships to prospective students, many of which go un-awarded. Please go to each University’s website to investigate the range of opportunities available. The school will assist students in the application process.
Relevant Publications


Tertiary Education Institution Guides

The following publications are made available to senior students at school during Transition Planning to help in the course counselling process and applying for SATAC admission. This information changes each year and it is important for students to research and access current documents. Most information can also be found on the web sites listed below.


Career Guidance Resources

We suggest that students utilise the following websites to explore different career pathways.