What is BTEC Grading System?

There are different types of exams that you have to take like A-levels. A-levels are one of the toughest exams and many students are not able to cope with the curriculum. Thus they take up other vocational qualifications like BTEC to help themselves. You might have heard about BTEC but may not have the proper knowledge. Thus we will help you to know what is BTEC, and what is BTEC grading system.

Quick Takeaways

  • EPQ is the course in which you will have to do a long research project instead of taking proper exams. 
  • As you are not taking EPQs from the school, you will need to have a tutor outside. Thus you will need to find a mentor for your EPQ.

However, you must read till the end so that you do not miss any of the crucial facts on BTEC qualifications. 

What is BTEC Grading System?

What are the BTEC qualifications?

BTEC is inferior to GCSE and is taken during secondary school or college. They are more practical courses as compared to theoretical courses. BTEC stands for Business and Technology Education Council. They are vocational qualification that helps you to get the required in-hand experience. You can take these courses instead of GCSEs or your A-levels. This is an alternative for you if you are not able to cope with the subjects that have a tough curriculum.  

How does the BTEC grading system work?

When you are giving your A-levels or GCSEs, you will have to take the exams at the end of your final year. But this is not the case for BTEC. During the BTEC, you will need to take up a lot of internal and external assessments during the whole year of your BTECs. They are very much different from GCSEs and A-levels, as they are graded differently. Unlike the current grading system (9-1), BTECs are only graded in terms of Pass, Merit, or Distinction. There is no numeric grading system for BTECs. Thus it is hard to compare BTECs or other vocational qualifications with GCSEs and A-levels. 

What are different BTEC levels?

There are generally three different BTEC levels-

What is BTEC Grading System?

1. BTEC first

This is the lowest level of BTEC that you will take. They are available at levels 1 and 2 level 2 has similar standards to the GCSEs. You may take them along with the GCSEs, especially in English and Maths. The grading system of this course is slightly complex and difficult to understand. During your BTEC first, you can take two levels – levels 1 and 2. If you are in KS4, you can only take up BTEC first at level 1. Though if you are a post-16 student, you will take up exams at level 2. 

2. BTEC nationals

This is one of the exams that you will be taking at level 3. These are the extended certificates, which are equal to doing A-levels. If you are doing this type of BTEC, you will be getting pass, merit, and distinction grade at the end of two years. The grading is done just like A-levels, as you will get a grade for them also after 2 years. Taking this type of BTEC is most helpful for you when you go for admission to a university or a job. 

3. BTEC apprenticeship

They are available in levels 2- 5. You can do a BTEC apprenticeship in 25 different sectors.

What are the different BTEC grades?

As we have already discussed, unlike GCSEs and A-levels, BTEC gets grades like pass, merit, and distinction. Pass means that you are able to score the minimum criteria to clear the BTEC. Whereas merit and distinctions are considered as the positions in your exams.

What is BTEC Grading System?

Merits are generally the lower position level. The merit level means that you have done better than the pass level. The distinction is the highest position and is given to the top scorers. The following table will help you to find out how many UCAS points you get for your BTEC grades-

Starred Distinction56

What is the best grade in BTEC?

When you are doing your BTECs, you are evaluated based on pass, merit, and distinction. Though, as you have already seen in the above table that the highest grade that you get in your BTEC is the starred distinction. 

What is D * in BTEC equivalent to an A-level?

The D* is the highest grade that you will get in your BTECs. Thus if you compare it with A-levels, in the current system, it means that you have scored 9 grades. However, if we consider the old grading system, D* is the A* grade in your A-levels.

What is BTEC Grading System?

Do universities accept BTEC?

Yes, most universities, involving prestigious universities accept BTECs for admissions. BTECs are designed to impart more practical knowledge to the students rather than more theoretical knowledge. At the current time, most universities want students who have good practical knowledge. If you think that you will not get into the universities with BTECs, then you are wrong. Although, you must make sure that you are doing your BTECs in your level 3.

Is BTEC hard?

BTECs are the qualifications that are more practical than your A-levels. Many students who are not able to cope with their A-levels take BTEC. But does this means that doing BTEC is easy? Eventually not. If you are able to handle the theoretical curriculum of your A-levels or GCSEs, you may not find BTEC easy. This is because you may be able to handle the theoretical curriculum but not the practical one.

BTECs are generally taken by students who are good with practical courses. Although 97.9% of students get a pass in their BTECs. The main reason behind it is that the only students who take up BTECs are the ones who can deal with practical knowledge. Therefore does a BTEC is hard or easy, depends upon you. If you are a person who is good at learning the practical curriculum then you may find BTEC easy otherwise you may find them hard.

What is BTEC Grading System?


BTECs are vocational qualifications that are more practical. This means that you will get more in hand experience in it. Unlike the traditional grading system, in the BTEC grading system you are graded by pass, merit, and distinction. You are not graded according to the current and old grading systems. There are three different types of BTECs and BTEC nationals, are the ones that are equal to the A-levels. 

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