Btec Level 3 students can pool their qualifications and grades to gain Ucas points for university

What is a distinction equivalent to? How Btec results 2022 compare to A-levels and what a merit means

Students receive their A-level results on August 10, 2021 in London, United Kingdom (Image: Getty)

By Lucy AplinDeputy SEO Editor

Btec students around the UK will be collecting their grades after two years of study and practicals.

The qualification, which includes diplomas, certificates, awards and Btec nationals can be equivalent to one, two or even three A-levels.

The qualification is both flexible and focused, offering students the chance to combine Btecs with A-levels, whilst also honing more specific practical skills you wouldn’t otherwise get on a purely academic course.

Btec Level 3 students can pool their qualifications and grades to gain Ucas points for university. However the grading system is slightly different to the traditional courses.

What is a distinction at Btec?

A distinction* (D*) at Btec is equivalent in the Ucas tariff to an A*, whereas a distinction (D) is the same as an A.

An A* at A-level is worth 56 Ucas points, while an A will get you 48 points.

What is a merit at Btec?

A Btec merit is slightly lower than a distinction, and is worth a C at A-level. This will afford you roughly 32 points on Ucas.

The remaining grades are a D or below:

  • Pass (P) – equivalent to an E;
  • Near pass (N) – this grade is available on most Btec Nationals. It means that you may still be able to pass the overall course without having passed every individual unit.

How do Ucas points work?

Ucas Tariff points translate your qualifications and grades into a numerical value.

Many qualifications (but not all) have a Ucas Tariff value, which will vary dependent on the qualification size, and the grade you achieved.

This numerical value is used by higher education course providers to assess whether you meet their entry requirements for a particular course.​

Can I get into university with Btecs Nationals?

Most universities accept Btec Nationals. They are equivalent to A-levels and will be worth Ucas points. You can find out more about this here.

How are the grades worked out?

It is done on a points basis where students are given points for each unit they complete. Students will have been taking units throughout the course.

Once they have finished all their units, all the points are added together and the student is awarded a final grade.

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