UCAS points seem like the most important thing in our lives between the ages of 17 and 18. Especially if you’ve not got a lot of them! More and more universities are relying on UCAS points as entry standards, and so tallying up some more of these little mystical tokens is never a bad idea – but how do you get more UCAS points?
1. Participate in a personal development programme
ASDAN offer Personal Development Programmes to help young people develop, record and gain certificates in a wide range of skills. You can choose from any of their Post-16 courses, as all of them carry UCAS points. Some of the options available are:
- Level 2 Employability
- Level 1 or 2 Personal and Social Effectiveness
- Vocational Taster Short Courses
Other courses, like the Lessons From Auschwitz course run by the Holocaust Education Trust, also receive ASDAN credits, which can be translated into 16 UCAS points.
2. Take an extra AS Level
If you are able to, you could take an extra AS Level within your college or sixth form. This would mean another exam, and of course, fewer free periods to focus on the work you have for your other 3 subjects, but it would be a simple way of boosting your UCAS profile. AS Level grades are worth the following UCAS points:
- A Grade – 20 points
- B Grade – 16 points
- C Grade – 12 points
- D grade – 10 points
3. Get graded in a musical instrument
If you can play a musical instrument, it’s worth getting graded professionally. If you’re a Grade 6 or above in any musical instrument, you can get more UCAS points. A pass at Grade 6 is worth 5 UCAS points, but higher up the chain, a Distinction at Grade 8 is worth 75. It’s worth a go!
4. Study for a Level 3 Diploma or Certificate
Evening classes or distance-learning courses would provide an opportunity for you to study for an award, certificate or diploma alongside your current college or sixth form studies. This might seem impossible, and maybe a full diploma might be a big ask, but studying for a certificate or award is certainly doable (maybe in the summer holidays?). And it’s worth it, too! A Level 3 Certificate is worth 60 UCAS points!
5. Get a Mathematics Qualification
Are you good at maths? But maybe it wasn’t an option at A-Level or you just don’t care for it that much? Well, if a maths qualification will help you in your career, it might be worth looking at studying for a freestanding Mathematics Qualification! The content usually sits between GCSE and AS Level maths, and it will show your proficiency in the subject. Plus, an A grade is worth 20 UCAS points.
6. Study for a Pre-U Qualification
Cambridge International Examinations have developed the Cambridge Pre-U qualifications that can replace A-Levels with a full programme of studies, or can supplement your A-Levels. The subjects are similar to A-Level choices but are tailored to prepare you for university. For a full course, you will receive up to 145 UCAS points, or for a shorter supplementary course, you could get up to 60. These could be done in a gap year, or alongside/instead of your studies.
7. Gain a Certificate of Proficiency in English
If you’re looking to show off your English skills, a Certificate of Propensity in English could gain you up to 140 UCAS points and will help you improve your writing and speaking skills for academic and career purposes. The test has writing, reading, listening and speaking sections. Not only will this help with gathering up UCAS points for university, but it will also demonstrate to employers and universities that you take your skills and learning seriously.
There is also the option of taking the Certificate in Advanced English which only offers 70 UCAS points.
8. Do an Extended Project Qualification
An EPQ or Extended Project Qualification is a Level 3 course that you can choose to take on alongside your A-Levels. It requires you to complete a project on any topic of your choosing. This can be an essay, a report or an artefact (a song, drama performance, model), and it is graded at A*-C. Depending on which grade you attain, an EPQ could score you an extra 28 UCAS points.
9. Complete a Speech and Drama Exam
Just like with musical instruments, if you get an official grading in a Speech and Drama exam in Grade 6 or above, it counts towards your UCAS points. Achieving a Distinction at Grade 8 could score you 80 UCAS points, or a LAMDA Level 3 Certificate could bring you as many as 90 UCAS points.
Remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get into your dream university. There are also plenty of other options such as taking a gap year or completing an apprenticeship instead.