What is Tertiary Entrance Rank (Tertiary Admission Rank)

The Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) is a metric used in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to assess the academic performance of Grade 12 students and guide their transition to higher education. It is a percentile score that reflects a student’s standing relative to their peers, providing an overview of their academic achievements.

How is TER calculated?

Unlike a traditional mark or grade, TER is not based solely on examination results. Instead, it considers a broader range of factors, including internal assessments and external exams undertaken throughout Grades 11 and 12. This holistic approach ensures that TER serves as a reliable measure of a student’s overall academic progress.

The Measurement Services Division (MSD) of the PNG Education Department calculates Grade 12 students’ TER and shows it in their online results. These results are accessible to students through MSD’s My PNG Exam Results website. It provides them with valuable insights into their academic standing.

How is TER used in tertiary education selection?

The TER range in PNG is from 0% to 99.999%. A higher TER indicates a stronger academic performance relative to the overall cohort of Grade 12 students. For instance, a TER of 80% indicates that a student performed better than 79.999% of their peers.

While TER is not a direct determinant of university admission, it plays a significant role in shaping selection decisions and tertiary education opportunities.

Selectors from the Higher Education Institutions in PNG may refer to the TER scores when selecting students for their programs, particularly for competitive courses. A higher TER indicates a stronger academic foundation and increases the likelihood of admission.

Grade 12 Selections Lists 2023 - Find out when the DHERST Grade 12 Selection List will be launched and published, and what you need to do during this time.
Click on the image to get more information on the Grade 12 selection

Comparison with ATAR in Australia

To gain a holistic understanding of TER, it’s beneficial to draw parallels with Australia’s ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) system, a widely recognised metric for university entry.

Both TER and ATAR share fundamental principles, utilising rank and percentile to assess a student’s academic standing within a specific cohort.


  • Both TER and ATAR are percentile scores that reflect a student’s standing relative to their peers.
  • Both TER and ATAR consider a broad range of factors, including internal assessments and external exams.


  • TER is specific to PNG, while ATAR is used across Australia.
  • ATAR cut-off scores are set for each course at Australian universities, mirroring how PNG institutions may incorporate TER into their selection processes. (It is not clear what TER value PNG universities and colleges are using as a guide for selection at the time of this article)

Importance for Grade 12 Students in PNG

TER serves as a valuable tool for Grade 12 students in PNG. It provides an overview of their academic achievements. It provides invaluable insight to Grade 12 students to make informed decisions on the NOAS.

By understanding the implications of TER, students can effectively utilise this valuable metric to make the right choices.

Check out the top 20 secondary schools in PNG in 2023 and check your grade 12 results on mypngexamresults.com! Results released on 8th Dec.
Click on the image to get more information on top-performing schools in PNG

Conclusion (What is Tertiary Entrance Rank?)

The Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) is a key indicator of academic performance in PNG. It plays a significant role in shaping tertiary education opportunities.

By understanding the concept of TER and its implications, Grade 12 students can make informed choices about their future education and unlock doors to tertiary institutions.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Rodney Francis

    If I have 4 c in grade 12 result, will I be given a space in teriatary institution, like teachers and Nursing colleges?

  2. Lynn

    Does TER 99% get a student into UPNG?

  3. Paul K

    Does TER 31% give you a placing in any institution?

  4. Hele

    Does TER 77% get a student into uni?


      A tertiary entrance rank of 77% is a great positional rank, but it does not guarantee a university placement. Others factors like your like the choice on the NAOS and the number of students ranked above the top 23% makes a lot of difference.

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