UCAS has today received the grades from the four largest awarding bodies for the 160,000 students who received upgraded A level grades in England.
Posted Wed 19 August 2020 - 19:00

Our initial analysis shows approximately 15,000 of these students who were originally rejected by their original firm choice university with their moderated grades, will now meet the A level conditions of their offer with their centre assessed grades (CAGs).

Approximately 100,000 students who had their grades upgraded were already placed at their first choice university on A level results day last Thursday.

Of the remaining 60,000 students with higher grades from CAGs, around one in four (approximately 15,000) will now meet the A level offer conditions of their original first choice university. 90% of these students made their original firm choice at a higher tariff provider.

UCAS has conducted further analysis into these 15,000 students, and found 7% of this group are from disadvantaged backgrounds (POLAR4 Q1). This follows a record breaking year for disadvantaged students gaining places at high tariff providers, which at this point in the admissions cycle stands at 6,090 (compared with 5,290 at the same point last year for UK 18 year olds).

Clare Marchant, UCAS Chief Executive, said: ‘We have rapidly produced this initial analysis to provide the education sector with insight into the overall picture and to enable support to be directed quickly to the students who need it the most.

‘It’s clear from this data that universities have already exercised flexibility when making their original Confirmation decisions and have looked closely at the backgrounds of students.

‘We are all focused on supporting the 15,000 students who now meet their conditions of entry and may want to make a different decision and take up a place at their original first choice university.  

‘We will be providing advice and guidance for teachers and advisers through webinars tomorrow, and a Facebook Live for students on Friday.

‘For students holding other qualifications, such as BTECs, from across the UK, UCAS is working closely with awarding bodies to process these results to ensure they can make decisions as soon as possible.’

Update: 28/08/2020

As a follow up to the above, we’d like to provide the following information regarding Scotland:

In Scotland, 10,500 applicants holding SQA qualifications and a firm choice offer as of 30 June received an upgraded result as a result of the change to centre assessed grades. Of these, 8,800 have now secured a place at their first-choice university or college.

Please note in Scotland, there is a substantial proportion of higher education that is not included in UCAS’ figures. This is accounted for mostly by full-time higher education provided in further education colleges. These students represent around one third of young full-time undergraduate study in Scotland – this proportion varies by geography and background within Scotland. Accordingly, these figures reflect only those applying for full-time undergraduate study through UCAS.

Data as of 27 August 2020.


UCAS Press Office

01242 545 469



Notes for editors

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is an independent charity, and the UK's shared admissions service for higher education. We manage almost three million applications, from around 700,000 people each year, for full-time undergraduate courses at over 380 universities and colleges across the UK.

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