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UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA)

Contents:

What is the UGAA?

Who sits the UGAA?

When and where is the UGAA?

Invitations

Criteria for Assessment

How do I revise?

Past Papers

Marks

Please also see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information


 What is the UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA)?

The UGAA is used to fairly assess those applicants from non-traditional educational backgrounds. The UGAA gives our Admissions Selectors the opportunity to see a sample of an applicant's original work, produced under examination conditions, and seeks to assess applicants from a variety of backgrounds in a fair and equitable manner.

The assessment is three hours long and will consist of English sections and a Mathematics section. It is designed to test your written and numerical skills. The assessment has three sections: comprehension exercises (Section A); essay questions (Section B); mathematical problems (Section C  or  D) It is not an assessment of general knowledge.

If you have applied for a programme at LSE which has a mathematics requirement, we would ask you to complete Test 1. If your programme does not have a mathematics requirement, you would be asked to sit Test 2. Please see here for confirmation of the test you would be required to complete.

 

Who sits the UGAA?

LSE requires students studying certain qualifications to complete the UGAA before a final decision can be made on their application. You can find a list of qualifications which require the UGAA here.  There are a number of reasons why further assessment is needed for students from these educational backgrounds, some of which include:

  • The qualification contains few formal examinations – as the majority of assessment at LSE is by exam we need to see how you perform under examination conditions.
  • The qualification is not standardised – grades can vary from school to school so we would like an independent assessment of your skills.
  • We are uncertain whether your curriculum offers full coverage of required subject material, especially Maths.
  • The qualification is relatively new or recently reformed, or we have not had many applicants offering that qualification before. The UGAA gives us an independent measure of how well the qualification prepares students for study at LSE.
  • An applicant has taken a break from study or followed a non-standard educational pathway.

Only the most competitive students with these qualifications are invited to sit the assessment. Applicants cannot request to sit the assessment. Invitations will be sent from January.

 

When and where is the UGAA?

The UGAA is usually held in the first week of March each year and may be taken either at LSE or at any approved examination centre in the UK or abroad. The assessment date for 2017 is Tuesday 7 March 2017. We do not host multiple assessment days, nor can we move the date of the assessment under any circumstances. This is due to the strict time constraints which govern our admissions procedures.

We usually suggest European and international candidates sit the assessment at their school, if they are agreeable. Alternatively, you can enquire with your local British Council as to whether they offer invigilation services.

In previous years we are aware that students studying the CBSE/ISC qualification in India have their exam period during March. Students are expected to make every effort to appear for our assessment, even if they have other exams that day. Specific concerns regarding this matter should be sent to the UG Admissions office. 


Invitations

The Undergraduate Admissions office will send invitations from January. Reply slips must be returned promptly to ensure arrangements can be made. The final deadline for response will be stipulated on your invitation. If we have not received a response by the stated deadline, you will no longer be eligible to sit the assessment. Please note the UGAA is a compulsory requirement for all students who are invited. We are unable to further consider students who decide not to sit the assessment, as their application will be considered incomplete.

Applicants taking the assessment at a centre other than LSE should note that the reply slip must carry the signature of the contact and the official stamp of the invigilating centre. Failure to do so could mean that the School is unable to proceed with arrangements for the examination.

 

Criteria for Assessment

The criteria below provide a rough guide as to what the Admissions Selector is looking for from our candidates. These elements will be taken into consideration alongside your overall mark and UCAS application form.

Précis:

Students should be able to identify the key points and arguments outlined in the text provided. A word count will be provided in the assessment paper.

  • Clarity and precision
  • Competent use of vocabulary and good use of English (to demonstrate understanding of context)
  • Word limit NOT exceeded
  • 'Spirit' of text to remain unchanged (i.e. no re-interpretation, additional comment or editorialising)
  • Majority (minimum of 75%) of prose to be in students' own words

Essay:

We are looking for an original essay, which has an interesting 'opening', is interesting to read and not formulaic. There is no word count for this component.

  • Appropriate use of English including clarity, accurate syntax, spelling and punctuation
  • Evidence of a sophisticated vocabulary
  • A logical structure, i.e. in paragraphs with each paragraph raising a different point and with an introduction and clear conclusion
  • Relevance, i.e. only answering the question that has been set
  • A well developed and reasoned argument
  • Ability to present alternative views and assess them
  • Relevant examples
  • Ability to provide evidence from a range of sources to support argument (multi-disciplinary approach)

Mathematics (for all candidates)

  • Ability to manipulate, interpret and analyse data
  • Select and apply appropriate mathematical techniques to solve problems
  • Evidence of logical reasoning
  • Accuracy
  • Numerical and graphical competence
  • Section C: broadly assessed on GCSE syllabus (grades A* to B)
  • Section D: broadly assessed on A level syllabus

Section D (For programmes with a mathematics requirement, please see here)

  • Knowledge of the key techniques of differential and integral calculus of a single variable
  • An understanding of the meanings of the key concepts in calculus (in particular, the derivative and integral)
  • An ability to apply these to solve problems requiring an element of mathematical modelling proficiency in algebra and algebraic manipulation
  • Competence in using algebra and calculus to solve unfamiliar problems (rather than routine problems)

 

How Do I Revise?

The UGAA does not require any specific preparation; it is designed to test generic skills that should be covered in your current programme of study. We make past papers available so that students can see the level of English and Maths that is expected. Past papers can be found below. Note that past papers should be used as a guide for the level of the test, not the exact format of the forthcoming assessment. However, if you are concerned about a particular part of the UGAA and would like to undertake some preparation, our Admissions Selectors have made some suggestions.

  • Read articles from a quality newspaper and discuss the key points with a friend or teacher (in English, if this is not your mother tongue)
  • Practice one or two past essay questions under timed conditions
  • Section C Maths: re-visit your mathematics abilities by using websites such as BBC GCSE Bitesize or National Numeracy Challenge
  • Section D Maths: broadly set at A level Mathematics standard. Most of this should have been covered by your school, but you may find the Further Mathematics Support Programme or Bright Knowledge useful if you wish to practice.

 

Past Papers

The UG Admissions office provides past papers to help candidates understand what was expected of students in previous years. However, our assessment is reviewed on a yearly basis and therefore these should only be used as a guide to the level of testing not the specific format. 

 

2011

2012

2013

Sections A-C 2011

Sections A-B 2012

Sections A-B 2013

Section D 2011

Section C 2012

Section C 2013

 

Section D 2012

Section D 2013

 

2014

2015

2016

Section A 2014

Section B1 2014
Section B2 2014

Sections A - B 2015

Sections A - B 2016

Section C 2014

Section C 2015

Section C 2016

Section D 2014

Section D 2015

Section D 2016

 

Marks

The UGAA has a notional pass mark of 60%, including at least 50% in each section. Students applying to programmes with higher entry requirements will usually be expected to achieve more competitive grades. Results are reviewed in comparison to other similar applicants for your programme, and therefore passing the UGAA does not guarantee an offer will be made.

The Admissions Selector’s final decision is based not only on your test performance, but also on a holistic assessment of your overall application. This includes a full range of information on the UCAS application form (i.e. predicted/achieved grades, personal statement, and reference).

We are unable to provide mark schemes for many of our mathematics past papers. However, we have made the mark scheme from the most recent paper available here.

A copy of the mark scheme for the English section can be found here

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