The new way of converting A-level results into a point score (being used for the first time Summer 2002) the UCAS tariff is a system that has caused much confusion in its short lifetime. The tariff is used by universities as a requirement for entry - for instance you could be offered a place on a course that required 220 points from up to 18 units.

Your score is calculated based on the grade and the level of qualification. The main ways to score points are:-
A-level - A=120 points, B=100, C=80, D=60, E=40
AS-level - A=60, B=50, C=40, D=30, E=20
Key skills - Level 4=40, 3=30, 2=20

Generally target scores are set by Universities from a maximum number of units. An A-level is 6 units and an AS-level 3.

The new system was introduced as it is "more representative of achievement" and "so it can include Scottish and more vocational qualifications" (from

For reference purposes, the old system was 10 points for an 'A' at A-level, 8=B, 6=C, 4=D and 2=E. At AS-level, these scores were halved (A=5, B=4,.... E=1)

What is the UCAS tariff

The UCAS tariff is a points system used for reporting acheivement for entry onto UK Higher Education courses such as Degrees and Foundation Degrees. The main use of the tariff is to make it easier to compare different types of qualifications at level three solving the problem when comparing applicants who have taken different routes (vocational or academic) through Further Education. If you are looking to apply for such a course the qualification requirements are likely to be stated as a tariff score with possible extra requirements such as qualifications in a particular subject.

How do I calculate my tariff score?

You need to add up the numbers for each of the qualifications you have. You can't count the same one twice (if you retake, for instance), and you can't count two levels in the same subject; you can't count an AS and an A2 in the same subject.

GCE Qualifications

These are your standard AS and A2s. If you took full A levels, back in the day, use the A2 score. AVCEs are vocational qualifications worth two A-levels.

Score   AS   A2   AVCE
 240               AA
 220               AB
 200               BB
 180               BC
 160               CC
 140               CD
 120         A     DD
 100         B     DE
  80         C     EE
  60    A    D     
  50    B    
  40    C    E
  30    D    
  20    E  

BTEC Nationals

BTEC National Awards, Certificates and Diplomas are regarded as roughly equivalent to one, two and three A levels respectively. Instead of letter grades they are rated as Distinction, Merit or Pass.

Score   Award   Cert    Diploma
 360                     DDD
 320                     DDM
 280                     DMM
 240             DD      MMM
 200             DM      MMP
 160             MM      MPP
 120      D      MP      PPP
  80      M      PP      
  40      P

CACHE Diploma

The CACHE Diploma is a qualification offered at HE institutions for study in Childcare and Education courses. It is seen to be equivalent to three A levels split between the theory and practical components.

Score Pract  Theory
 240           A
 200           B
 160           C
 120    A      D
 100    B      
  80    C      E
  60    D     
  40    E

Diploma in Foundation Studies

This is a course in Art and Design designed for continuation on to HE courses.

Score Grade
 285  Distinction
 225  Merit
 165  Pass

Irish leaving certificate

Score   Higher   Ordinary
 90      A1
 77      A2
 71      B1
 64      B2
 58      B3
 52      C1
 45      C2
 39      C3       A1
 33      D1
 26      D2       A2
 20      D3       B1
 14               B2
  7               B3

Scottish Qualifications

The Advanced Higher Scottish qualification is worth roughly the same as an A level.

Score Adv-Higher   Higher   Inter   Standard
 120      A
 100      B
  80      C
  72      D          A
  60                 B
  48                 C
  42                 D        A
  38                                 Band One
  35                          B
  28                          C      Band Two

Welsh Baccalaureate Core

A passing grade fot the core of the new Welsh Baccalaureate is considered to be equivalent to an english A level at 120 points.

Key Skills

Key Skills run alongside FE courses and teach broader literacy, numeracy and ITC skills to students. They are worth 30 points at level four, 20 points at level three and 10 points at level two.

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