Understanding historical entry grades data

What is the entry grades data?

The entry grades data uses up to five years of historical data (2019– 2023 application cycles) to show you information about the grades students held when accepted on to a course – whether they applied during Clearing or at any point in the application cycle. This is historical data so doesn’t tell you what a university or college will accept this year – but it’s there to give an indication of the grade profiles they previously accepted.

The tool is a beta – it’s the first time we’ve made this data available – and the reason we’ve done so is to support students in understanding more about the grades universities and colleges have accepted previously. It currently shows the data for 18 year old students (or younger) who were holding three UK A levels or three BTEC Extended Diplomas in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. We will continue to add more qualifications and consider how we can represent mix grade profiles – so students studying different qualifications can use it too. 

You can add your grades and see what percentage of students with matching grades were accepted onto the course historically – but as the data is based on previous years it shouldn’t be used as an indication of how likely you are to get a place on a course now. 

Important things to note:

  • We only display individual course data when at least 50 students have been placed on a course. Where this isn't possible, for example, because a course accepts fewer than 50 students, we group the data with that of similar courses to provide an indication of students accepted based on similar courses. If this occurs, we confirm it in the opening sentence on the tool. To make sure we group courses effectively we use the Common Aggregation Hierarchy.
  • We remove the top/bottom 5% of students from our course data before making our calculations on course data. This is to exclude any extraordinary circumstances that we cannot represent within the data. As such the data is based on 90% of the 18 year old student (or younger) population in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the relevant qualifications.
  • Providers can make contextual offers to students who have faced any circumstances or challenges that may have impacted education or qualifications. These types of offers are not flagged into the tool. More on contextual offers
  • The data should not be used for prediction purposes because there are lots of other things considered by admissions teams e.g. interviews, subject requirements, and changing population sizes making courses more competitive. Always review the entry requirements before applying, especially if you are a mature student or applying from outside of the UK. 
  • Where universities and colleges accept applications from students outside of UCAS and do not share the data with us, it is not included in our dataset.
  • Students should always check the entry requirements for courses they are applying to.

The pieces that make up the data

There are four key pieces of information on the feature.

1. Data explainer

The first box provides an overview of the data that makes up the entry grades feature – it indicates whether you are looking at UK A level or BTEC Extended Diploma data, whether the data is specific to the course you are interested in, or if it is an aggregation of several courses. If it's an aggregation, it tells you how many courses and which types of courses have been aggregated. Finally, you can also see how many cycles the data spans. 

2. Grade range

This shows the range of grades held by students who were accepted on to the course for the defined data range. You can see the highest, lowest, and most common grades to give you a feel for the profile of grades students held when they were accepted previously.

To check the grades needed and admissions criteria for the current application cycle, check the entry requirements which sit directly above the tool.

3. The offer rate

This shows data relating to the number of applicants who have been offered a place versus the total number of students who applied. It is displayed as '1 in 20' or similar. 

4. How do you compare section

This shows the percentage of applicants accepted onto the course(s) who achieved the grades you enter. It reflects the proportion of students who held a firm offer (before 30 June) or an insurance offer (if not placed at their firm choice) and were accepted onto the course during the application cycle. Data is displayed only if at least 10 students held the grade profile to ensure anonymity. If this condition isn’t met, or if your grades are outside the range of historical data, a message will indicate that no comparison can be shown. However, you can still apply for the course.

Once you’ve entered your grades, the percentage will be visible in the course search grid view.

Note: this data is based on previous years and should not be used to gauge your current chances of securing a place. 

Add your grades

  1. Select your qualification 

    To begin with, the entry grades data uses A level data. Click the 'Add your grades’ link and select either UK A levels or BTEC Extended Diplomas from the list. We will be looking to add more qualifications in the future. 

  2. Add three grades 
    You might have more grades, or be studying more qualifications, but our tool is currently based on the most common number of UK A levels or BTEC Extended Diploma qualifications taken. If you're studying more than three A levels or BTECs, pick your top three grades.

What the entry grades data doesn't mean

You’ll get a place on the course if you have a high percentage.
You’ll get an offer if your grades are the same as the most common grades.
You can’t apply if your grades are at the lower end of the data.

The different circumstances behind the data

There are instances when certain pieces of information cannot be displayed. This section is aimed at explaining those times.

Outside of accepted range

You might come across a course where your predicted grades fall outside of the range of grades we have data for. This doesn’t mean you can’t apply for the course – universities and colleges use more than just your grades to decide whether to make you an offer.


Not enough data

Occasionally you might be looking at a course where we can’t show you any data. There could be a number of reasons behind this, including it being a new course.

Give us your feedback

As the tool is in beta, we're keen to receive feedback to improve it. If you've added your grades to the tool, you may be asked to complete a short survey, which will help us understand how you found your experience. Alternatively, you can use the Feedback tab, located on each page of our website, to share your views.

Terms and conditions

Entry grade data

UCAS website terms and conditions apply to your use of the entry grade data. The entry grade data has been designed for A level students wishing to apply to universities and colleges, providing them with historic information based on historical data from 2019 – 2023. It is not a likelihood of success in applying to particular universities or colleges for admission to particular courses of study.

Universities offers are not solely based on A level achievement, but also include other factors which are not taken into account in the entry grade data. The results returned by the entry grade data can therefore only ever be a guide and we offer no guarantee that the likelihood of you receiving an offer will be the likelihood predicted by the entry grade data and do not constitute any form of advice or recommendation upon which a specific decision should be made.