UCAS Tariff Points by International Qualifications

Are you looking for information about UCAS Tariff Points for international qualifications? Check out our guide for more info on Malaysia, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, USA, and more. Here’s the latest guide to understanding UCAS Tariff Points for international students where we go into detail about how grade conversions work.

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UCAS Tariff Points by International Qualifications

What are UCAS Tariff Points?

Those applying to UK universities will notice that there is often a grade requirement (AAB, BBB, etc.) and a UCAS Tariff point requirement (80 points, 120 points, etc.). The grade displayed is an A-Levels requirement. 

Essentially, the higher grades you have, the more points you are given. When applying for UK universities, as long as you reach the minimum points with whatever qualifications you have, you are eligible to apply for the course you desire.

You could calculate how many UCAS Tariff points you have using the official calculator here. The question then is – how are international qualifications such as the Malaysian STPM converted to UCAS Tariff Points or to A-Level grades?

While some international qualifications are included in UCAS’ official calculator, our guide will go through the most popular qualifications in Asia and around the world.

A-Levels to UCAS Tariff Points Conversion

The following table shows how UCAS Tariff points convert to A Levels grades.

ucas tariff points a levels table

UCAS Tariff Points Grade Conversion Table

Here are some common UCAS Tariff Point requirements along with its rough grade conversion. Do note that some university courses require three A Level subjects in its entry requirements instead of the minimum of two subjects.

ucas tariff point a levels grade conversion

UCAS Tariff Points - Malaysia

stpm a levels grade conversion

According to the UCAS guide for international qualifications, Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results are equivalent to GCSEs. SPM results between grades A+ to C are accepted as equivalents of GCSE grades on a subject for subject basis. This means that some subjects may not be accepted.

While GCSE and SPM are not calculated as part of the UCAS Tariff Score, some programmes such as foundation programmes and medical undergraduate programmes may require certain GCSE grades for admission.

Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) is recognised as equivalent to Scottish Highers, with grades 1-6 accepted on a subject for subject basis. UEC English is not accepted.

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) grades are accepted between A-C as equivalent to A-Levels on a subject for subject basis.

To calculate your UCAS Tariff Points based on your STPM or UEC results, you can enter your equivalent grades in A-Levels or Scottish Highers in the official calculator here. For a more in-depth discussion about how many points and which grades you need, be sure to read our guide Understanding the UCAS Tariff Point Calculator.

UCAS Tariff Points - India

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) may be accepted from grades 1-6 as equivalent to GCSE on a subject for subject basis.

The Indian School Certificate (ISC) is acceptable at grades 1–3 as equivalent to Scottish Highers on a subject for subject basis.

For other qualifications such as the All India Senior School Certificate Examination (SSC), Higher Secondary School Certificate, All India Senior Secondary School Certificate, Indian School Certificate (ISC), scores of 75% and above at Standard XII may satisfy entry requirements, however, this is conditional based on the level of English attained by the student.

As there are many types of post-secondary qualifications in India, it is best for students to check if their qualifications are accepted at their university of choice by contacting the admissions department.

UCAS Tariff Points - IB Diploma

The table below shows how IB grades convert to UCAS Tariff points.

ucas tariff points IB

UCAS Tariff Points - USA

The High School Graduation Diploma may be accepted as equivalent to GCSE for grades C and above. Only subjects that are also offered in the GCSE syllabus are accepted.

The College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) also known as the SATs and the ACT may be accepted in entrance requirements if minimum scores are met which are a minimum of 600 in the SATs and a score of 26 or higher in the ACT. This is also based on a subject for subject basis.

Advanced Placement (AP) subjects may be accepted with grades of 3 and above in at least two subjects.

As it is unclear how American qualifications convert to UK qualifications on a grade-to-grade basis, we recommend that you check with universities to check their entry requirements.

UCAS Tariff Points - Spain

The Graduado en Educación Secundaria (GES) is accepted as equivalent to GCSEs on a subject for subject basis. GES English is not accepted.

Students holding a Título de Bachiller may still need to take the common university entrance examination (PAU) for entry into undergraduate programmes.

UCAS Tariff Points - Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) is accepted for entry into British universities. We recommend that you check with the university for specific grade requirements for the HKDSE.

UCAS Tariff Points - Singapore

The Singapore/Cambridge GCE Ordinary Level is accepted from grades A1-C6 as the equivalent to GCSEs.

The Singapore/Cambridge GCE Advanced Level is accepted from grades Distinction and A-E as the equivalent to GCE A-Levels.

UCAS Tariff Points - ABRSM

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) qualifications for Grades 6-8 are accepted and may be calculated as part of your UCAS Tariff Points, depending on your course and university.

For more information about how your ABRSM grades are calculated, check out the official guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions

The number one state secondary school in England is the Henrietta Barnett School located in London.

Most international qualifications can be translated to UCAS Tariff Points. For more information about Malaysia, India, USA, Spain, Hong Kong and Singapore, check out Britannia StudyLink’s guide.

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