University of Cambridge

UCAS tariff confirmed for Cambridge Pre-U

17/12/2008

At its meeting on 12 December, the UCAS Board agreed tariff recommendations for Cambridge Pre-U, the new alternative to A Level, which is being offered by schools in both the state maintained and independent sector. The qualification has been developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).

The tariff is used by universities in making offers to applicants, and is a way of comparing different qualifications using a common scale.

Unlike A Levels, the Cambridge Pre-U grading scale is divided into three bands: Distinction, Merit and Pass, each sub-divided into three grades (Distinction 1, Distinction 2, Distinction 3 and so on). The top grade, Distinction 1, reports achievement above the new A Level A* grade; Distinction 2 is putatively aligned to the A* at A Level, and Distinction 3 is aligned to the current Grade A. The lowest pass grade, Pass 3, is aligned to the border between E and U at A Level.

The Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects will be awarded 145 points for Distinction 2 and a Pass 3 is worth 46 points. The tariff points awarded reflect HE’s views of the size and structure of the qualification. The tariff for exceptional candidates who achieve a Distinction 1 pass will be announced after the first Cambridge Pre-U examination entries have been assessed in 2010.

Dr Kevin Stannard, CIE Director, International Curriculum Development, says: ‘The intention is to differentiate more finely amongst students who would achieve an A grade at A Level, while ensuring that a pass at Cambridge Pre-U is accessible to the full range of students currently achieving an E or above at A Level. For all students, across the ability range, Cambridge Pre-U was designed specifically to develop the skills and dispositions that will secure success in higher education.’

Sixth Form students take Cambridge Principal Subjects or a combination of Cambridge Pre-U subjects and A Levels, adding in the GPR (Global Perspectives and Independent Research) component if they wish to complete the full Cambridge Pre-U Diploma. The tariff for the Cambridge Pre-U GPR component at Distinction 2 is 140 points and Pass 3 is 42 points.

The tariff for the full Cambridge Pre-U Diploma is calculated by adding together the tariff scores of the four components: three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects plus GPR. For example, students who achieve a Distinction 2 pass for the four components will score a total of 575 points.

The UCAS tariff value for Cambridge Pre-U is as follows:

Cambridge Pre-U
Band

Cambridge Pre-U
Grade

Cambridge Pre-U
Principal
Subject
Tariff

A Level Equivalent Grade

Cambridge Pre-U
GPR Tariff

Distinction

D1

tbc

n/a

tbc

D2

145

(A*)

140

D3

130

A

126

Merit

M1

115

112

M2

101

98

M3

87

84

Pass

P1

73

70

P2

59

56

P3

46

E

42

Notes to Editors:

About CIE

University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is the world’s largest provider of international qualifications for 14-19 year olds. CIE offers the Cambridge International Curriculum for 5 – 19 year olds, professional qualifications for teachers and vocational qualifications for adult learners. CIE qualifications are taken in 150 countries and recognised by universities, educational providers and employers across the world.

CIE is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group, a not-for-profit organization and part of the University of Cambridge. CIE has a strong pedigree in development and research and offers unrivalled support to its network of registered centres.

Media Enquiries

Caroline Gavine
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Telephone: +44 (0) 1223 558632
Email: gavine.c@cie.org.uk

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