Class of 2020 waking up to new score
More than 40,000 Queensland students will make history today as the first cohort to graduate with a Year 12 Certificate under the new senior school curriculum with thousands to receive the state's first ATARs.
The Class of 2020 were the first full cohort of Prep, the first Year 7 students in high schools and the first Queenslanders to receive the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, which Education Minister Grace Grace said made them "educational pioneers".
It's the first cohort of school leavers not to receive an Overall Position or OP, with graduates able to log into the ATAR portal account and see their ranking at 9am today.
With a 2000-point scale between 99.95 and 0, with increments of 0.05, it's estimated approximately 20 to 30 students will receive the highest ATAR of 99.95.
The school-leavers have also conquered a hellish year, hurled into chaos with the COVID-19 pandemic closing classrooms for Year 12 students, with up to five weeks of homeschooling.
It was a final year like no other, with rites of passage cancelled, an internal assessment cancelled, some exams postponed, hoax bomb threats during final exams, and an embarrassing blunder that saw 24,000 students falsely emailed that they were ineligible for ATARs, causing pupils unnecessary stress and panic just a week ago.
But education authorities say this history-making cohort has become more resilient and capable, having risen to the challenges.
This year more than 49,600 students graduated school, with 89 per cent of those or 44,295 achieving a Queensland Certificate of Education today, and 983 pupils set to receive a Certificate of Academic Commendation for A grades in at least six general subjects.
Of the graduates, 31,548 achieved a vocational education and training qualification, making Queensland the leader in VET qualifications achieved at school, and 1193 students passing university subjects.
Ms Grace congratulated the cohort on their academic and personal achievements, saying they could stand up proudly for the rest of their lives and say: "I was one of the Class of 2020".
"They are the resilient young people who soldiered on through the disruptions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic," she said.
"And I remind them: one number does not define you, because there are many pathways to achieving your own vision of success."
Education Department director-general Tony Cook said Queensland state school students could feel proud of their achievements and wished all students well ahead of the ATAR release and reminded those that were disappointed to remember there were many paths to achieving their goals.
High-achieving Brisbane Girls Grammar Students Matina Samios, Mia Li, Matisse Black and Sally Hallahan are among the thousands of school-leavers waking up in anticipation of their ATAR.
Dux of the school Miss Samios, 18, is hoping to get a 99 or above to study medicine at Griffith University next year.
Miss Hallahan is hoping for a 90 and above and gained early entry into Griffith University's Film and Media production.
Miss Li, 17 is also hoping for a rank above 90 and is weighing up studying degrees in law, politics, philosophy and economics or engineering.
And Miss Black, 18, said she was hoping to get an ATAR above 95, and was still torn between studying a Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics or Medicine at Bond.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said Catholic schools were enormously proud of their Year 12 pupils and reminded them the ATAR was just a number, and not reflective of the person they are or their potential.
Originally published as Class of 2020 waking up to new score