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How do UCAS points work?

How do UCAS points work?

27.11.2023

So you've already completed all your exams, received your grades and are looking to apply to university. You've followed these tips to manage your stress and are no longer full of fear. Now, you can start looking at the UCAS points or the UCAS tariff points. This is a point system designed to convert your qualifications into points for UK universities. 

Let’s take a closer look into how these work with your grades, what the process is and where to find the UCAS website. 

What do UCAS points count?

UCAS points will typically take all post-16 qualifications into account and assign it a number. You can see below how it takes into account everything from A-levels to Advanced Highers. 



While it’s not in the chart above it will also assess your international baccalaureate and convert it into points. There are 7 grades for the international baccalaureate based on how well you did as well as it having its own point system. 

How can I calculate my points? 

You can go to the official UCAS website which has a built-in calculator. You can then see how many points you have achieved based on your subjects and qualifications. It's an excellent place to start as a prospective student and see what the process is.

You can also use this calculator as an estimator of how many points you need for a specific university. By knowing this, you can plan your academic career better and choose how many qualifications at certain levels are going to be needed. 

Will universities ask me how many UCAS points I have?

The short answer is maybe. Each university has its own criteria for assessment, and that could include what your UCAS points totals are. Yet there are some, such as Cambridge and Oxford, that will simply look at your A-levels and other academic achievements directly. Consider working with a platform that can help you reach the academic level you want. 

Look for a platform that not only gives you strategies and support for your examinations, but includes exam revision

Additional thoughts to consider

Not every qualification you have can be computed by the UCAS tariff. Therefore, you'll want to speak directly with the university to ensure that they will accept it. This is important for a prospective international student who wants to apply to the most prestigious options available in the UK such as Oxford or Cambridge.

The tariffs can also change from year to year so checking the website regularly to see if there are any updates is the wise thing to do. Another area to consider is that UCAS points are just one of the factors UK universities review when evaluating whether to accept you as their student. While it can be important, having a comprehensive and holistic approach for a complete application is also essential.

Author: MyEdSpace
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