This page will help explain how to calculate the overall grade for older BTEC qualifications started before September 2010 and accredited to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
If you started your BTEC after September 2010 it is likely your qualification was accredited to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and you can find information on how to calculate your overall grade here.
My BTEC certificate doesn't tell me what my overall grade is - should it?
Before 2004 all BTECs were pass/fail qualifications. This means that if you started your BTEC before 2004, you may have been awarded merits or distinctions for individual units but the highest overall grade you could receive was a Pass (P).
We began introducing the additional overall grades of Merit (M) and Distinction (D) for specifications written after 2004.
||Additional overall grades introduced from...|
|BTEC Higher Nationals
||September 2010 (QCF specifications)|
It is not possible to convert unit achievements into Merit (M) or Distinction (D) grades if these grades were not available on the specification you completed.
If you completed a BTEC and have received a certificate that does not indicate an overall grade, you received a Pass (P). Your Notification of Performance (issued with the certificate) will show how you performed in individual units.
My BTEC certificate shows an overall grade. How was it calculated?
To calculate your BTEC overall grade we:
- Convert all of the unit grades you received into points score.
- Add together the points you scored for all of the core units and select your best scores from any specialist units.
- Compare your total points score to the grade boundaries.
If you have completed two units with similar content we may not be able to use points from both units when calculating your overall grade. You can find more information on 'forbidden combinations' in the specification for your course.
How do I convert my unit grade into a points score?
To convert your unit grade into a points scores you'll need to know:
- the grade you received for the unit (i.e. Pass, Merit or Distinction)
- the size of the unit in Guided Learning Hours (GLH)
- the number of points available for differently sized units
Guided Learning Hours (GLH)
At the beginning of every BTEC specification is a table that tells you the size of each unit in Guided Learning Hours (GLH) and the unit level.
In the example below both of the core units for the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 National Award in Applied Science (Applied Biology) are 60 GLH but some of the specialist units are smaller and only consist of 30 GLH. All of the units are Level 3, with the exception of Application of Numbers for Science Technicians, which is Level 2.
The table below shows how many points each grade is worth for units of different sizes.
Therefore, if you were given a Merit for Unit 1 (a unit of 60 GLH), you scored 12 points.
The overall grade
Once you have calculated your points scores for each unit, you can add the points together and compare your total to the grade boundaries.
Towards the end of every BTEC specification there is a section called 'Calculation of the qualification grade'. This section contains a series of tables that show you the final grade you will receive, depending on the size of the BTEC qualification you took (Certificate, Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma) and the total number of points you scored.
The example below shows that you must score between 60-83 points to achieve an overall Merit grade for a BTEC level 3 National Award in Applied Science (Applied Biology).