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How UCAS Points Work

How UCAS Points Work

June 28, 2019

You are going to need a certain number of UCAS tariff points to get into university, but what are they? How do you get them? What can you do with them?

You must have heard of UCAS points when you were looking through the prospectus, seeing what courses you want to apply for. Some of them are going to talk about grades, some of them are going to talk about points, and some of them are going to talk about a combination of the two.

You can get UCAS points from a range of different things. You can get them through A-Levels, AS-Levels, the Extended Project Qualification, Scottish Highers, Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma, Cambridge Technicals, or the Welsh Baccalaureate International Diploma. I'm not going to go into every single one here, because the UCAS guide on this is 170 pages long. It is thoroughly comprehensive. The reason they've moved towards points instead of grades is to level the playing field for people that are coming in who haven't done A-Levels, or who are coming through a somewhat non-traditional route. This makes it easy for universities to see and compare somebody who has A-Levels, somebody who has NVQs, and somebody who has an International Baccalaureate.

Your offer might say you need 112 points. It might mean you need 112 points from three A-Levels, or it might say you need 112 points from at least two A-Levels. You need to be careful that you understand the specifics when you’re applying to a course. The point system cannot be played, simple as that. You can't just do seven AS-Levels, get your 112 points, and think that you managed to get around not doing full A-Levels. It doesn't work like that. AS-Levels you only get about 40% of the points that you get for a whole A-Level.

  

A-Levels and Highers

Grade

A-Level

AS-Level

EPQ

Advanced Highers

Highers

A*

56

 

28

 

 

A

48

20

24

56

33

B

40

16

20

48

27

C

32

12

16

40

21

D

24

10

12

32

15

E

10

6

8

 

 

 

International Baccalaureate - IBO Certificate 

Grade

Higher Level

Grade

Standard Level

Grade

Extended Essay

H7

56

S7

28

A

12

H6

48

S6

24

B

10

H5

32

S5

16

C

8

H4

24

S4

12

D

6

H3

12

S3

6

E

4

H2

0

S2

0

 

 

H1

0

S1

0

 

 

 

AP (Advanced Placement) Exams

Grade

Points

5

28

4

24

3

20

2

16

1

12

  

Gaokao 

Grade

Points

Top tier

64

Second tier

48

Third tier

40

 

The UCAS guide covers GNVQs, all kinds of baccalaureates, YMCA qualifications, and loads and loads of other qualifications you wouldn't necessarily have thought of.

 

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