Can you explain the Access grading system to me?

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roomtobreathe
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#1
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#1
Hi! I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but can anyone explain the Access grading system to me? I know things are rated on a Pass / Merit / Distinction scale, and I know you need sixty credits to qualify for the diploma, but other than that, I have no idea what universities are talking about when they ask for so many points at certain levels.

Is there a set amount of points assigned to each module? Like, every module is worth fifteen points or the like?

I'm sorry, for some reason, this hadn't been explained to me on my Pre-Access programme at all, and I'm having a hard time making sense of university entry requirements because of it.
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Schadenfreude65
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#2
Report 6 years ago
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Access courses consist of 45 credits at level 3 (A level standard) which can be graded at pass, merit or distinction. There are another 15 credits which can be level 2 or level 3, but which are not graded - just pass or fail. Generally, the 45 credits are subject specific (e.g. psychology, biology, etc) and the 15 credits are usually in areas like study skills, or English for Academic purposes.

Each subject consists of modules, which are worth 3, 6 or 9 credits. For each module, you get the average score. So if, for example, you got 2 distinctions and 1 merit for a given module, that would earn you 3 distinctions overall.
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roomtobreathe
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Schadenfreude65)
Access courses consist of 45 credits at level 3 (A level standard) which can be graded at pass, merit or distinction. There are another 15 credits which can be level 2 or level 3, but which are not graded - just pass or fail. Generally, the 45 credits are subject specific (e.g. psychology, biology, etc) and the 15 credits are usually in areas like study skills, or English for Academic purposes.

Each subject consists of modules, which are worth 3, 6 or 9 credits. For each module, you get the average score. So if, for example, you got 2 distinctions and 1 merit for a given module, that would earn you 3 distinctions overall.
Thank you so much for that! That makes it so much clearer.

Also, I'm sorry to keep bugging you, but do you know anything about additional units? The Access course I want to get onto has the three main units (sociology, psychology, criminology) but also offers 'additional units in mental health'. Where would these additional units come in in terms of the scoring system?

Again, thank you so much for the information you've already given. It's so helpful!
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Schadenfreude65
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#4
Report 6 years ago
#4
No Problem. The exam boards won't award you more than the 45/15 credits, but your college may issue a certificate detailing extra modules you have taken. You would need to check with your college whether you are able to pick your highest grades for your award if you have taken extra credits.

Taking the additional units will look good on your UCAS application, and may be useful for whatever degree you are intending to do. However, bear in mind that the workload can be heavy, and you shouldn't compromise on your main area of study, if taking extra units could mean you risk getting lower scores elsewhere.

Just editing to add, that the "additional units" may be part of the 15 ungraded units I mentioned in my first post. Why not drop the college an email to enquire about it?
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bibliboo
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#5
Report 6 years ago
#5
It's exactly as the above post says.
I'll be honest, I had no idea how it worked until I got my first few assignments back.
I tried very hard to understand it by reading this forum/ asking former access students etc. They even explained it clearly at the interview. I even asked my tutor when I started. But it only made sense after my first few assignments were graded and the tutors explained then how the system worked lol.

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jimmy_looks_2ice
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#6
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#6
Like the previous poster, I didn't fully grasp how the points system works until I got my first few assignments back. So don't worry if you haven't got the hang of it yet.

My course was structured as 20 assignments each worth 3 credits. The year was broken down into 5 modules, each taking half a term to cover. Each module had 1 graded assignment (see explanations above) for each of my three academic assignments, plus one ungraded study skills assignment. So that meant grafting at the three academic assignments, and banging out the study skills assignment (not worth expending much effort on it), in about 6-7 weeks, and repeating that process another 4 times. The structure of your course may differ, but that gives you an overview. Hope that helps your understanding. If not, refer to my first paragraph
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Seiza
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#7
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(Original post by roomtobreathe)
Hi! I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but can anyone explain the Access grading system to me? I know things are rated on a Pass / Merit / Distinction scale, and I know you need sixty credits to qualify for the diploma, but other than that, I have no idea what universities are talking about when they ask for so many points at certain levels.

Is there a set amount of points assigned to each module? Like, every module is worth fifteen points or the like?

I'm sorry, for some reason, this hadn't been explained to me on my Pre-Access programme at all, and I'm having a hard time making sense of university entry requirements because of it.
Hello

There is a lot of confusion surrounding this topic so don't feel you are the only one confused.

Firstly, the access course has undertaken numerous changes over the years in how the credit system works. For instance if you speak to someone who completed the access course last year they will give you a different answer to someone who completed the course numerous years ago. Even this years system is different to last years.

Here comes more confusion - it would appear from conversations with other students at other institutions that there are further slight differences. The mention of averages has never been my personal experience (currently I am on the course). Other differences lay in the 15 credits considerd 'non graded' they are graded in as much as they are pass/fail just not graded at pass/merit/distinction but are still vital to achieving the final certification. You can not pass the course if you don't complete them. Some institutions still grade these 15 credits at level 2 equivalent to gcse level. However others grade them at level 3. Level 3 will become the normal.

Some of these differences lay in the fact that the access course covers such a wide area of subjects humanities to science to medicine.

Therefore any information you receive will only be a rough guideline and only your institution can give you the full and exact details for your course.

Remember to match the information up with what the university course requirements your interested in progressing onto ask for.
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