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Students who scored below 50 per cent in most of their Year 12 subjects are being offered places to train as teachers, despite a Federal Government push to raise entry standards.

Figures released yesterday by the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre show that more than 16,000 who applied for university this year - almost 85 per cent - have been offered places based on their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank.

TISC also released course cut-off ranks, determined by demand and available places.

At Murdoch University's main campus the cut-off entry rank for primary school teaching was 60.35, which could be achieved by a student averaging 49 per cent across four Year 12 subjects.

The cut-off was 57.3 at Murdoch's Rockingham campus, which required an average of about 47 per cent.

Murdoch's education cut-off has not changed despite education ministers agreeing last year that teaching profession entrants should be in the country's top 30 per cent for literacy and numeracy.

An ATAR of 70 indicates that a student has ranked in WA's top 30 per cent.

A spokeswoman for Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett said options were being developed on how raising entry standards for teachers could work in practice.

"This could include looking at ATAR scores as one way of measuring standards," she said.

"But because large numbers of people enter teaching degrees without a recent ATAR - like mature students - we need to look at other ways of measuring literacy and numeracy proficiency."

She said if people starting education courses did not meet requirements but could demonstrate potential, universities would have to work with them to ensure they reached the standards before graduating.

Murdoch's Education dean Judy MacCallum said it monitored students and those who did not meet high academic standards could not continue.

She said initial research did not find a strong correlation between ATAR scores and achievement. "We have several students who have come in with low ATAR scores and made great strides - and who we believe will go on to become excellent educators in Australian classrooms," she said.

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