T levels: distinction will have same Ucas points as 3As

The DfE confirms how T levels will graded – and how many Ucas points each grade will achieve

T levels: a distinction will have the same Ucas points as 3As at A level

Ucas has confirmed that a distinction at T level will be equivalent to three As at A level. 

T levels are designed to lead to direct employment in industry – but in order to also support a route to higher education, the grades have been assigned Ucas points.

A distinction, for example, will earn pupils 144 Ucas tariff points, and a distinction* 168 Ucas points. 


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A T-level pass will either give students 72 or 96 Ucas points. Two students could both achieve a pass in their overall T level, but one could be given 72 Ucas points and the other 96. The difference comes in the core component: if a student has a B or C in the core, they will be assigned 96 Ucas points (which is equivalent to 3Cs at A level). If a student achieves a D or E in the core, they’ll be awarded 72 Ucas points (equivalent to 3Ds at A level). 

T level UCAS pointsThe Department for Education has also confirmed that on their T level certificate, students will receive: 

  • An overall grade, shown as pass, merit, distinction or distinction*.

  • A separate grade for the core component, shown as A* to E.

  • A separate grade for each occupational specialism studied, shown as pass, merit or distinction.

  • Confirmation that the minimum requirements for maths and English qualifications have been met.

  • Confirmation that the industry placement has been successfully completed. 

  • Confirmation that any additional mandatory requirements have been met. 

The overall T-level grades will be based on the grades achieved in the core component and occupational specialism. Students can study more than one occupational specialism – and, if they do, an aggregate across all those specialisms will be used.

Only students who have achieved an A* in the core component and a distinction in their occupational specialism will be awarded a T level distinction*.  

But what happens if students don’t pass? They’ll receive a T level statement of achievement. On this, the elements that the student has completed will be listed, but it won’t include an overall T-level grade. A statement of achievement will not be awarded any Ucas points. 

A DfE spokesperson said: “T levels will be the gold standard technical course of choice for young people post-16 and will carry Ucas points equivalent to three of our world-class A levels. This means young people, parents and employers can be confident T levels will be just as stretching as their academic equivalents, and will offer students the option of progressing to the next level, whether that is a job, higher technical training, a degree or an apprenticeship.

“Last week the education secretary also announced that T-level results will be published on the same day as A levels from 2022, so that all students receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work.”

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