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Young adults aged 16-17 at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge on August 4, 2023

Maximising Your UCAS Points: Strategies and Tips

We have seen lots of people online asking questions like ‘what grades are 300 UCAS points?’ or ‘how many UCAS points is an A*?’ Therefore, we thought we would share the official A-Level UCAS tariff points table below for you to calculate what grades you have or may need to achieve in order to meet the necessary entry requirements for your chosen university course.

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How Many UCAS Points in an A-Level?

These are the current UCAS points awarded for A-level qualifications. Use them to calculate how many UCAS points you could achieve.

  • A* = 56 UCAS points
  • A = 48 UCAS points
  • B = 40 UCAS points
  • C = 32 UCAS points
  • D = 24 UCAS points
  • E = 16 UCAS points

It is important to note that although A-Levels are some of the most common qualifications to earn in post-sixteen study, there are many ways to earn UCAS points from other qualifications, including BTECs and IB.

UCAS Points Calculator

If you do not wish to do the mental arithmetic to calculate how many UCAS points you have, UCAS has created their own UCAS Points calculator, which can do the calculations for you.

All you have to do is enter all the qualifications you currently hold, or are predicted to hold, along with your grades, and then hit ‘Enter.’ The calculator will then determine how many UCAS points you currently have or are predicted to achieve by the time you finish your A-Levels. It only takes a couple of minutes to do and is very easy to use.

When you use the UCAS points calculator, you even have the option to have the results emailed to you, so you can download and save them in a safe place for when you need them.

Using the UCAS points calculator and understanding what grades you have or are predicted to achieve can be really helpful, so you can see which university choices are available to you. Knowing your UCAS points will also highlight any areas where you may need to try and earn more points to help you achieve the grades you need.

Note: The UCAS points calculator is updated annually, so you can be assured of receiving the most current information.

How Do I Find the UCAS Entry Requirements?

Want to know what the UCAS entry requirements are for the course you are interested in studying at university? Visit the university’s official website and navigate to the course you want to study. Then, click on the “entry requirements” tab to see whether or not they are using the UCAS tariff points system. If they are, you will be able to see how many points you will need to get into that course.

Is There Any Flexibility with Entry Requirements?

Sometimes universities will list a range of entry requirements needed for their courses (e.g., AAB – ABB). This can give you reassurance that even if you don’t reach the top grades, the university may still grant you a place on the course.

Even if you have found a course you are not sure you would get into and it does not offer a flexible range of entry requirements, you could consider contacting their admissions office. If you explain your current predicted grades and offer some information about yourself, they may let you know whether they consider applications from students who are just below the current entry requirements.

If they do, make sure you secure this in writing. This can be very helpful on results day even if you do not quite achieve the grades needed for the course.

A Note on UCAS Points and Subjects

Although UCAS points and grades make up a huge portion of the entry requirements for a university course, it is also important to note that there are usually other conditions you need to meet. For instance, you may be asked to achieve a certain grade in a certain subject, or study an exact match of subjects.

As an example, let’s take a look at Medicine entry requirements. Although many top-ranked universities will ask that you achieve A’s, they will also ask that you achieve these grades in Chemistry and probably one other science subject. You will also need to undertake some pre-university tests, such as the BMAT. (Note: You can learn more about training to become a doctor in the UK in this article).

Always remember to read the small print of any entry requirements, so you can be sure you have everything you need to make a successful application.

How to Get More UCAS Points

If you need or want to boost the number of UCAS points you have, there are a few ways to earn more, including a number of extracurricular activities which will award you points. However, you should always consider your time capacity and what you’ll feasibly be able to do.

Sixth form is a much more in-depth form of studying compared to GCSE and will require lots of studying outside of the classroom in order for you to succeed. You should always speak with your guidance counsellor, teachers, or parents befre making any decisions on what extra things you should be doing to earn UCAS points.

Take an Additional A-Level

The most obvious route to earn yourself a significant number of extra UCAS points is to take an additional A-Level.

Most students will study three A-Levels, however it is common for some high-achieving students to take four or even five to increase their UCAS points and academic strengths.

As we said before, you should always consult your school guidance counsellor or teachers to talk about whether they think you could handle an additional subject. A-Level subjects require a lot of time to excel in, and you want to ensure you will not find yourself struggling to balance your work later down the line. Remember, it is always better to achieve good grades in your three main A-Levels than to do badly across four.

Earn a Qualification Online

Another way to earn additional UCAS points is to consider studying online in your spare time for an additional qualification.

Earning a qualification online can be beneficial in not only helping you to gain more UCAS points, but it may also help you narrow down your future subject options.

You may be able to study for a qualification towards a subject that you have not been able to in school, such as something in the healthcare field, or even marketing. This can give you advanced insight into the subject before university, helping you decide if it is something you would like to pursue in further education.

Additionally, with online qualifications giving you the possibility to earn at least 30 more Tariff points, they also help you get closer to all the important entry requirements.

Study English as a Foreign Language

For international students looking to study in a UK university, earning a Certificate in English prior to your university degree can be beneficial not only for your future endeavors, but for your UCAS points score as well.

Mastering the English language has several advantages; being able to study in a world-leading university is one of the major benefits for international students looking to improve their academic ability.

There are many Certificates in English you can study for, with the Certificate of Advanced English earning you up to 42 additional UCAS points.


There are a few volunteering qualifications, such as the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) which can be taken alongside your A-Levels or Scottish Highers. The CoPE, in particular, can earn you up to 16 UCAS points. Though it is not a huge amount, the qualification will also help you to develop a range of lifelong skills which will benefit you throughout your future. You will study topics such as global awareness, career planning, and active citizenship—many of which can be made up by volunteering and making a difference in the community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are UCAS points and why are they important?

UCAS points are a way of measuring the value of post-16 qualifications in the UK. They are used by universities to assess whether students meet the entry requirements for specific courses. Accumulating enough UCAS points is crucial for gaining admission to your desired university program.

How can I calculate my UCAS points?

You can calculate your UCAS points by using the official UCAS Points calculator. Simply enter your qualifications and grades, and the calculator will provide your total UCAS points.

Are there other ways to earn UCAS points besides A-Levels?

Yes, there are several ways to earn UCAS points besides A-Levels. These include BTECs, International Baccalaureate (IB) diplomas, online qualifications, and certain extracurricular activities that award points.

Can I get into a university course if I don't meet the exact UCAS points requirement?

Some universities offer flexibility with entry requirements and may accept students who are slightly below the required UCAS points if they show strong potential in other areas. Contact the admissions office of the university to discuss your situation.

How can I boost my UCAS points if I'm short of the requirement?

If you're short of the required UCAS points, you can consider taking an additional A-Level, earning a qualification online, participating in extracurricular activities, or obtaining certificates like the Certificate of Advanced English or the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE).


Maximising your UCAS points is essential for gaining admission to your desired university course. By understanding how UCAS points are awarded and exploring various ways to earn additional points, you can improve your chances of meeting the entry requirements. Whether through additional A-Levels, online qualifications, or volunteering, there are multiple strategies to boost your UCAS points. For more information and to start your journey, visit our application form.

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Discover effective strategies to maximise your UCAS points, including taking additional A-Levels, earning online qualifications, and engaging in volunteering opportunities. Prepare for university success with comprehensive guidance from Oxford Summer Courses.

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