Are GCSEs worth UCAS Points and do Universities look at your Grades? 


With all this work going towards GCSEs and A Levels, the majority of students and parents want to know how GCSEs contribute to the university application process in the UK.. Here, I will provide you with a simple explanation. 


What Are GCSE Grades?

GCSEs (General-Certificate of Secondary Education) are subject-based academic qualifications. English and Welsh students study for GCSEs usually in year 10 or 11. GCSE grades usually are predictive results for the university application committee you are applying to, mainly for indication of how well you are predicted to do in A-level or other advanced studies in their schools. 

For example, five B grades and five C grades at GCSE would translate to a predictive CCD grade at A-level studies. Meanwhile, straight A grades in GCSEs could translate as a suggestion that AAA at A-level.   Some universities require at least one A grade in a particular subject at GCSE for you to be able to attend A-level or other advanced studies. If your GCSE results are lower than a C you may not be able to continue that subject at A Level. For this reason, it is best to be aware of your GCSE grades while applying for specific A-levels.  A lot of universities want to see at least a C grade in English if you wish to study there, no matter what course you're applying to do. Some universities are asking for certain GCSE grades in specific subjects. However, if you are disappointed at your GCSE grades, you may still be accepted to a university you wish to attend. Some committees look for an excellent AS-level performance and may accept the student with one even if he or she has disappointing GCSE grades. Don’t forget to explain the context in your personal statement when applying, if this is the situation.  

Please note, since the reforms in 2014 AS Levels are stand-alone qualifications and do NOT contribute to the A-Level grades. This means that many schools don’t offer AS Level qualifications, and they prefer to stick to the A Level curriculum and have one final exam at the end of year 12.

 What Are UCAS Points?

UCAS points allow universities to be able to compare points that are indicating different qualifications set by UCAS points tariff. Around a third of the courses are known to make reference to the tariff. It is noteworthy to include that not all of your qualifications gain UCAS points. In fact, in a lot of the cases, only the top level achievements are counted.  The general scope of qualifications that attract UCAS points is quite vast. For this reason, a student’s UCAS points will depend on a lot of variables and are highly contextual. With this in mind, it is essential to check UCAS’ list to learn precisely what your score is.  


So What Is the Relation Between Them?

Both GCSE grades and UCAS points are valuable things to consider for selection committees. However, there is hardly any relation between them. GCSE grades are not worth any UCAS points. And UCAS points do not affect GCSE grades. A-level, AS Level exams and IB diplomas are the essential for UCAS points as well as case dependent qualifications.  GCSE grades, on the other hand, are useful for you to eliminate courses and select where to apply to with better knowledge. Selection committees use GCSE grades as predictive scores that give suggestions on your potential in A-level or other advanced studies.  So for that reason, you should be aware of your GCSE grades and where you can apply, while also checking UCAS to see if your qualifications attract UCAS points or not and to what degree.

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