Calculated grades – what do they mean for your UCAS application?

Thursday 30 April 2020, UCAS advice


Calculated grades – what do they mean for your UCAS application?


Thousands of BTEC, A level, GCSE, and other examinations and assessments have now been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

If you’re affected, you probably have lots of questions about what this means for your uni, college or conservatoire application. Peter Derrick, UCAS’ Head of Service Delivery, shared what we know about the new grading system, and what this means for students hoping to start their studies this year, with BBC Bitesize. 

If you have applied for a course starting in 2020, please make sure your email address is up-to-date in Track, as we will email you if there are any changes which may impact your application. 

I’ve heard lots about offers – what’s going on? 

The government has asked universities in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales to stop making unconditional offers or amending existing offers until 4 May (1 May in Wales). This pause has been put in place because they’re worried you’ll feel pressured to accept these offers over others that might suit you better. 

When do I need to decide which offer I want to accept? 

UCAS has extended some decision deadlines to give applicants more time to consider their offers. These changes are explained here, and you can find your reply deadline in Track

I am worried about my qualifications being viewed differently because I won’t be doing exams. 

These worries are understandable, but the process outlined by qualification regulators demonstrates the rigorousness of grading. The Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has also emphasised that any calculated grades will have equal status to qualifications taken in other years. 

What will happen if everything is not back to normal by September? 

Unis are already offering online lectures, tutorials, and support for their students. They still want to welcome you and get you started on your course – whether it’s on campus or through distance learning. 

What about private candidates? 

If you’re a private candidate, in the first instance, contact the university you want to accept as your firm choice to get more information. You can find further information here for private candidates

What will be the effect on Access students? 

The admissions process for Access students will be the same as previous years. 

You can read the full article on BBC Bitesize. For more information about how coronavirus is affecting applications, or for the latest advice about qualifications, please head to our dedicated pages.