The Australian University Admission Exam (ATAR) Have Arrived in Thailand



On 26 August 2021, the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Thailand held an educational webinar to inform the Thai public of the arrival of the Australian Universities Admission Exams (the ATAR) in Thailand. During this webinar, the Australian Trades and Investment Commission (Ms. Karen Surmon) together with the Manager of the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) (Mr. Roshan Perera), Study Perth Australia (represented by Mr. Phil Payne) and St. Mark’s Australian International School (represented by Mr. Michael Everingham), worked together to promote our school as the first Australian-partnered school in Thailand to deliver the Australian curriculum and the Australian Year 11 and 12 Matriculation Programs, starting from August 2021. The ATAR is an internationally recognised qualification and is a new approach for admission to universities around the world.


Below is a summary of this webinar content which parents may find useful:

While most international schools in Thailand offer curriculum and certificates endorsed by non-government agencies, such as the A-Level, the IB, and the AP program, St. Mark’s Australian International School is very different from other international schools in this very important aspect.

St. Mark’s is one of only a few international schools in Thailand to be licensed by a government body from another country outside Thailand, in our case the Government of Western Australia (represented by SCSA).

SCSA focuses on the quality of its partner schools in delivering the Australian curriculum as opposed to quantity of schools, and St. Mark’s has been chosen based on a number of important key elements which are needed for successful delivery of this Australian curriculum. 

Based on the quality of our teaching staff and our understanding of the different aspects of pedagogy, which are necessary for students to learn a different range of skills, SCSA has entrusted our school with the successful implementation of their curriculum and program. Also, in becoming a licensed representative of an Australian education institute physically in Thailand, St. Mark’s went through rigorous processes of quality assurance, which have demonstrated our capabilities in ensuring that our students entering the Australian matriculation program will be given the learning opportunities which they deserve to demonstrate their capabilities. With all that we went through, St. Mark’s has become the only Western Australian Government’s approved international school in Thailand to run the Australian curriculum and the ATAR course.

With the focus on students’ outcomes and their learning experiences, there is a strong collaboration between our school and SCSA, where our teachers have been working closely with SCSA curriculum advisors to ensure that our students receive the highest standard of education, endorsed by this education authority. This close collaboration directly translates into a range of benefits that our students will enjoy while studying at St. Mark’s. These include the assurance of the quality of our educational program, which is endorsed by an Australian government body. 

Students who complete our Year 11 and Year 12 matriculation program (ATAR Course) will receive the ATAR qualification and certification which is internationally recognised and enables them to gain admissions into universities worldwide, not just in Thailand and Australia. For students who wish to pursue their tertiary education in Australia, St. Mark’s students will be “streamlined” which leads directly to gaining admissions to all Australian universities, known for their high educational standard, and bypassing the need to take any additional standardised aptitude or general aptitude tests for admission. 

Other benefits of the ATAR program which our students will receive include:

  1. A shorter period of Year 11 and Year 12 course completion – only one and a half years in duration, as opposed to the usual 2-year period for other qualifications, such as the A-Level, the IB or the AP program. This is a significant advantage as students save both time and money, yet receive a high qualification standard recognized by universities in Australia and around the world.  


  1. A time saving of up to one year on university admission due to the fact that the ATAR examination results are released in December each year, just in time for university admissions, which usually takes place in January. In comparison, students who are taking the A-level, the IB or the AP program will receive their results 8 months later than students who are taking the ATAR, which means students will enter university one year later than students who are taking the ATAR course.