Here's how to calculate how many points your A level or Btec exam grades are worth for uni applications

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 12:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th August 2020, 12:51 pm
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You'd think finding out whether you got into your chosen university would be a simple affair: three good A Levels and you're in.

But it's not so straightforward. 

Different institutions use different metrics to work out who they'll accept onto courses come the new academic year.

Some students will be lucky enough to know exactly which grades they need to secure a place at their chosen college or university.

But others will have been hoping to secure enough UCAS points to make up the total their further education establishment asks of them.

Here's how it all breaks down.

How do UCAS Tariff points work?

Ucas Tariff points are allocated to qualifications, and the main purpose of them is to allow universities to report data to government bodies.

But some further education institutions also use them as part of their entry requirements, assigning points to certain grades and levels.

However, not all places of study use the system, and those that do might only use it to narrow down higher scoring A levels.

Not all qualifications attract UCAS Tariff points; around one third of courses in the UCAS search tool have a Tariff entry requirement at the moment.

The Tariff rarely applies to international qualifications.

Here's how the points break down for some of the most common qualifications.

A-levels and AS levels points explained

A level and Advanced VCE Official title: Advanced GCE and Advanced VCE

Grade Tariff points

  • A* – 56
  • A – 48
  • B – 40
  • C – 32
  • D – 24
  • E – 16

Size band: 4

Grade bands: 4-14

Offered by AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson Edexcel and WJEC

AS and AS VCE Official title: Advanced Subsidiary GCE and Advanced Subsidiary VCE

Grade Tariff points

  • A – 20
  • B – 16
  • C – 12
  • D – 10
  • E – 6

Size band: 2

Grade bands: 3-10

Offered by AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson Edexcel and WJEC

A level (Double Award) and Advanced VCE (Double Award)

Official title: Advanced GCE (Double Award) and Advanced VCE (Double Award)

Grade Tariff points

  • A*A* – 112
  • A*A – 104
  • AA – 96
  • AB – 88
  • BB – 80
  • BC – 72
  • CC – 64
  • CD – 56
  • DD – 48
  • DE – 40
  • EE – 32

Size band: 4+4 = 8

Grade bands: 4-14

Offered by AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson Edexcel and WJEC

A level with AS (additional) Official title: Advanced GCE with Advanced Subsidiary GCE (Additional)

Grade Tariff points

  • A*A – 76
  • AA – 68
  • AB – 64
  • BB – 56
  • BC – 52
  • CC – 44
  • CD – 42
  • DD – 34
  • DE – 30
  • EE – 22

Size band: 4+2 = 6

Grade bands: 4-14 (GCE) and 3-10 (AS)

AS (Double Award) Official title: Advanced Subsidiary GCE (Double Award)

Grade Tariff points

  • AA – 40
  • AB – 36
  • BB – 32
  • BC – 28
  • CC – 24
  • CD – 22
  • DD – 20
  • DE – 16
  • EE – 12

Size band: 2+2 = 4

Grade bands: 3-10

Offered by AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson Edexcel and WJEC

BTEC points explained

Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)

Grade Tariff points

  • D*D*D* – 168
  • D*D*D – 160
  • D*DD – 152
  • DDD – 144
  • DDM – 128
  • DMM – 112
  • MMM – 96
  • MMP – 80
  • MPP – 64
  • PPP – 48

Size band: 4+4+4 = 12

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)

Grade Tariff points

  • D*D* – 112
  • D*D – 104
  • DD – 96
  • DM – 80
  • MM – 64
  • MP – 48
  • PP – 32

Size band: 4+4 = 8

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF)

Grade Tariff points

  • D*D* – 84
  • D*D – 78
  • DD – 72
  • DM – 60
  • MM – 48
  • MP – 36
  • PP – 24

Size band: 3+3 = 6

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

Grade Tariff points

  • D* – 56
  • D – 48
  • M – 32
  • P – 16

Size band: 4

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC Certificate (QCF)

Grade Tariff points

  • D* – 28
  • D – 24
  • M – 16
  • P – 8

Size band: 2

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Grade Tariff points

  • D*D*D* – 168
  • D*D*D – 160
  • D*DD – 152
  • DDD – 144
  • DDM – 128
  • DMM – 112
  • MMM – 96
  • MMP – 80
  • MPP – 64
  • PPP – 48

Size band: 4+4+4 = 12

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

Grade Tariff points

  • D*D* – 112
  • D*D – 104
  • DD – 96
  • DM – 80
  • MM – 64
  • MP – 48
  • PP – 32

Size band: 4+4 = 8

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma (510-540 GLH)

Grade Tariff points

  • D* – 84
  • D – 72
  • M – 48
  • P – 24

Size band: 3+3 = 6

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate

Grade Tariff points

  • D* – 56
  • D – 48
  • M – 32
  • P – 16

Size band: 4

Grade bands: 4-14

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate

Grade Tariff points

  • D* – 28
  • D – 24
  • M – 16
  • P – 8

Size band: 2

Grade bands: 4-14

For more information, head to Ucas’ website here.