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UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA)

The purpose of the UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA)

The UG Admissions Assessment (formerly known as the Entrance Exam) is used in order to fairly assess those applicants from non-traditional educational backgrounds, such as those following Access or Foundation courses, or those whose qualifications are not as rigorous or well known as others.

The UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA) test gives the Admissions Tutor the opportunity to see a sample of the applicant's original work, produced under examination conditions, and seeks to assess applicants from a variety of backgrounds in a fair and equitable manner.

What is the UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA) test?

The UGAA test is a three-hour paper comprising of English comprehension exercises, essay questions and mathematical problems. No specific preparation is required, although those asked to sit the test may view a copy of previous year's papers below. It is held in March each year and may be taken either at LSE, or at any approved examination centre in the UK or abroad, for example at your nearest British Council.

If an Admissions Selector wants an applicant to sit the test, the Undergraduate Admissions Office will contact the applicant directly between early-mid February 2016. Please note that applicants cannot request to sit this test.

Criteria for assessment

The criteria below are those that Admissions Tutors are looking for from candidates, and these elements will be considered in combination with the overall marks achieved by each candidate. These criteria are seen to reflect the qualities we look for in potential students.

Précis

  • Clarity and precision
  • Able to identify key points
  • 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

  • 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)

  • Range of 'techniques' can be applied (depends upon the question)
  • Ability to manipulate, interpret and analyse data
  • Evidence of logical application (processes)
  • Accuracy
  • Numerical and graphical competence
  • Ability in calculus

Section D (Maths section for degrees requiring Maths: F9L1, FK84, G0N0, G1L1, GL11, G3N3, L0V0, L101, L140, L1V3, L7L1, LL12, LLK1, LV15, N200, N300, N321, V3L1 and VL31)

  • 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)
Applicants invited to sit the UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA) test

The Undergraduate Admissions Office will begin to send invitations to sit the UG Admissions Assessment test between mid-December 2015 and early February 2016. Reply slips must be received by Friday 12 February 2016. The date for the UG Admissions Assessment has not yet been confirmed and shall be published in late 2016.

You can either sit the test here at the LSE, elsewhere in the UK or in an approved overseas exam centre. Overseas students may, in certain countries, make these arrangements through their nearest British Embassy, Consulate or office of a representative of the British Council. Students in the United States of America may get in touch with their nearest Educational Testing Service Office. Alternatively, educational institutions (e.g. a school or University) may be able to arrange invigilation for you.

The response form attached to the UGAA test invitation email should be returned to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Applicants taking the examination at a centre other than the LSE should note that the reply form must carry the signature of the contact and the official stamp of the invigilating centre. Failure to do this could mean that the School is unable to proceed with arrangements for the examination.

Sample Papers

Cover sheet and sections A-C

All UGAA test applicants must complete Section A and either Section B1 or Section B2, depending on the course applied for.

Please read the instructions on the cover sheet carefully. Candidates who complete the wrong sections cannot be compensated.

Cover Sheet Example

Sections A-C 2010
Sections A-C 2011
Sections A-B 2012 
Section A 2014
Section B1 2014
Section B2 2014
Section C 2012
Sections A-B 2013
Section C 2013
Section C 2014
Sections A - B 2015
Section C 2015


Section D

This paper should only be answered by applicants who are taking one of the courses listed on the cover-sheet.

Section D 2010
Section D 2011
Section D 2012
Section D2013
Section D 2014
Section D 2015


Marking Scheme

The UGAA test has a notional pass mark of 60%. However, the Admissions Tutor's decision as to whether to make an offer is based not only on test performance, but also on a holistic assessment of the overall application, including the full range of information on the UCAS form (i.e. predicted/achieved grades, personal statement and reference). The document below aims to give applicants an idea of what is required by the examiners from the essay section of the test.

Marking Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions on the UGAA test:

(please click the relevant questions below for answers) 

Pre-Assessment

What is the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA)?

What if I can’t sit the test? Will I automatically be rejected?

If I cannot attend the UGAA on the scheduled day, can I take it at another time?

I haven’t been invited to sit the assessment; does this mean my application is automatically unsuccessful?

How can I revise?

Can I sit the UGAA test somewhere other than LSE?

I’m currently travelling, where do you recommend I sit the UGAA?

I’m experiencing delays at my chosen test location and don’t think I can send my certified form before the deadline, can you extend the date of response?

If I’m taking the assessment outside of LSE, will the test paper be sent by courier, registered delivery or by regular post?

I’m taking my test abroad and we’re a few hours ahead/behind. Do I still have to take the assessment at 10am UK time?

Assessment Day

Will I have to pay to sit the UGAA?

I’m due to take the UGAA test, but I’m not sure which sections I’m supposed to complete?

Will I be eligible for any additional time if I suffer from a disability?

Can I take a calculator into the assessment?

Why do I have to complete a maths section, when the programme I have applied for does not have a mathematics requirement?

Post-Assessment

How many people take the UGAA test? What is the likelihood of being made an offer?

What is the pass grade for the UGAA?

Will I be informed of my results following completion of the assessment?

Will my application be judged solely on the UGAA test?

 

What is the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA)?

The Admissions Assessment is used to fairly assess those applicants from non-traditional educational backgrounds. The UGAA gives Admissions Tutors the opportunity to see a sample of the 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 an English section 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). The purpose is to assess candidate’s English Language and Mathematics abilities. It is not an assessment of general knowledge.

Past assessment papers are available on this webpage for further information.

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What if I can’t sit the test? Will I automatically be rejected?

No, although we will then assess your application based solely upon the information provided on the UCAS application form. It is school policy to invite applicants who are studying, or have completed certain qualifications, to the UGAA as the qualifications on their own are not sufficient for an offer to be made. If you do not complete the UGAA, your application will be less competitive in comparison to other similar applicants.


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If I cannot attend the UGAA on the scheduled day, can I take it at another time?

No. We cannot change the date of the examination. If you have concerns regarding timing, please email the UG Admissions Office and we will speak with you directly about your situation, but we will not be able to schedule another assessment day.



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I haven’t been invited to sit the assessment; does this mean my application is automatically unsuccessful?

Invites to the UGAA are sent continuously during the admissions cycle and the final date for issuing invitations will be Friday 5February 2016. If you have not received an invitation, this may mean the Admissions Selector felt there was sufficient information on your UCAS application form to make a final decision.



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How can I revise?

The UGAA does not require any specific preparation or revision. However, we have made past papers available for those who wish to practice, or understand what was expected of students in previous years.  These can be found on this webpage and may be of use for anyone wishing to understand the level of English and Maths that will be expected from students.



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Can I sit the UGAA test somewhere other than LSE?

Yes. You can sit the assessment at an approved test location, which can include your school, a university, or your local British Council/Embassy/Consulate. Students will usually find it easiest to make arrangements at their current place of study, with many schools happy to organise individual invigilation for their pupils. If you have any questions about a test location, please email us and we will investigate whether it is an appropriate venue to complete the assessment.


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I’m currently travelling, where do you recommend I sit the UGAA?

We usually recommend you look for the nearest British Council, as they should offer invigilation services. However, where this is not possible, it is best to look for universities, international schools, or language schools that may offer similar services. If you have any questions about a test location, please email us and we will investigate whether it is an appropriate venue to complete the assessment.



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I’m experiencing delays at my chosen test location and don’t think I can send my certified form before the deadline, can you extend the date of response?

Applicants are expected to respond to the UGAA invite no later than Friday 12 February 2016. We can accept scanned copies of documentation to help speed up the process. If you are unable to make arrangements for the assessment, we will then have to assess your application on the information already provided on the UCAS form.


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If I’m taking the assessment outside of LSE, will the test paper be sent by courier, registered delivery or by regular post?

The Undergraduate Admissions Office will send your assessment papers to the examining institution by DHL (courier) and must be returned as soon as possible following the exam by the same method. Applicants will need to arrange payment for returning the examination papers with their test centre.

 
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I’m taking my test abroad and we’re a few hours ahead/behind. Do I still have to take the assessment at 10am UK time?

Your assessment should be taken as close to 10am UK time as possible. However, if this is an issue, please contact the UG Admissions Office and we will confirm the most suitable time for you to sit the assessment.



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Will I have to pay to sit the UGAA?

You do not need to pay to sit the UGAA. However, if you are sitting the assessment at an alternative test location, you are responsible for all local costs. These should be discussed with the examining centre prior to the assessment, so that you are aware of what you will be required to pay. This may include invigilation services, room hire, and DHL courier services. 

 

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I’m due to take the UGAA test, but I’m not sure which sections I’m supposed to complete?

You can find a list of which test you will complete on this webpage. If you are due to sit Test 1, you will complete sections A, B1 and D. If you are due to sit Test 2, you will complete sections A, B2 and C. 

 
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Will I be eligible for any additional time if I suffer from a disability?

 

We will need to be made aware of any disability you feel may affect your performance in the test in order to make suitable arrangements. Please provide a note from your doctor/ school or for students suffering from dyslexia as an example, any previous testing you may have undergone. This information will need to be assessed by our disabilities office before any arrangements can be made. This information will need to be provided as soon as possible, in writing.

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Can I take a calculator into the assessment?

Yes. You are permitted to bring a compact, hand-held calculator, which is quiet in operation and has its own power supply. It is very important to note that this must be a simple scientific calculator. We will note any use of graphic calculators for the attention of the markers, to ensure this is taken into consideration. Calculators that do not comply with these regulations may be confiscated and a note will be recorded on your assessment paper.

 

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Why do I have to complete a maths section, when the programme I have applied for does not have a mathematics requirement?

All applicants to the School are usually expected to have at least a grade B in GCSE English language and Mathematics, or equivalent.  Applicants for non-quantitative subjects, such as Law or Government, are asked to complete a mathematics paper as part of the UGAA, to fairly compare them to applicants who do not sit the UGAA.  As you have applied for a non-mathematically based programme, your marks in the English section will carry more weight.   Alternatively, for applicants to quantitative based programmes, such as Economics, the mathematics section will carry more weight than the English section.

 

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How many people take the UGAA test? What is the likelihood of being made an offer?

The number of students who sit the UGAA will vary each year, as it is the discretion of the Admissions Selector as to who they invite. However, as a rough guide, close to 200 students were invited to sit the UGAA in 2015 and approximately 15% were made an offer.

 

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What is the pass grade for the UGAA?

As a general rule, we would look for applicants to achieve around 60% overall to be eligible for consideration, with the average mark taken from the three sections of the examination. However, for those sitting Tests 1 and 3, the mathematics section will carry more weight when considered by the Admissions Selector. Please note that passing the UGAA does not guarantee an offer will be made. Your results are compared to other similar applicants for your programme on a competitive basis, as well as being considered alongside the rest of your application.

 

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Will I be informed of my results following completion of the assessment?

No. It is not LSE policy to release individual results as part of our feedback. Results are contextualised against all applicants sitting the assessment and are therefore reviewed comparatively by the Admissions Selector. Therefore, individual results can be misleading and give an incomplete picture of the admissions process.

 

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Will my application be judged solely on the UGAA test?

No. Once you have completed the UGAA, the Admissions Selector will review your results in conjunction with the rest of your application form. They will then review this information in its entirety and compare you to other similar students, before making their final decision.

 

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