Calculation of the university entry grade (PCE score)

If you have a high school degree from a system that is not the Spanish Bachillerato, you will have to take the PCE exam in order to get Admission to the Public University System in Spain (Link article). The exam is also called UNEDassis Selectivity, which is the public institution in Spain that creates these tests.

In this article, we will explain what the cut-off grade in Spanish Universities is and how your PCE score is calculated so you get access to all top ranking Spanish universities.

    Which PCE electives should I choose?

    Choosing the subjects in which you will take the exam depends on two variables.

    Firstly, the rules for different universities depend on the state department in which the university is located. In Barcelona (Catalonia) you need 6 PCE subjects in order to pass, while in other state departments like Andalusia or Madrid you need fewer subjects.

    Secondly, you have to choose the study path you want to take as this decision will determine the subsequent process and electives you will choose.

    Here is an example with a few potential configurations to study different careers in the state department of Madrid:

    • SCIENCE: 
    1. Mathematics II 
    2. Chemistry 
    3. Language/History of Spain/English (choose one among the three)

    1. Mathematics CCSS 
    2. Economics 
    3. Language/History of Spain/English (choose one among the three)

    • Arts: 
    1. History of Art I
    2. History of Art II

    1. English 
    2. History of Art 
    3. History of Spain

      What is the Spanish university cut-off grade?

      The cut-off grade at a particular Spanish university is the lowest possible university entry score for a student to access a specific course. 

      Your university entry score consists out of two elements, 60% are based on your high school transcripts of the senior schools years. The remaining 40% you can obtain by taking the PCE exams. It is essential to score as well as possible in both sections to keep many options open.

      The maximum score you can achieve is 14 points. Depending on the study path you choose, the cut-off grade varies. If you want to Study Medicine in Spain for instance, the Cut-Off grade is typically between 12-13 points. 

        How to calculate your PCE Score and final university entry grade to study in Spain?

        Take a look at the formula to calculate your final university entry grade, which will be indicated in your UNED Credential.

        Final Grade = (0.2 x NMB + 4) + (0.1 x E1) + (0.1 x E2) + (0.1 x E3) + (0.1 x E4)

        NMB = average grade of your senior high school transcript.

        Ex = Grade obtained in each Specific Competence Test (PCE) provided it obtains at least a grade of 5 out of 10.

        This calculation provides a maximum of 10 points. To calculate the grade over 14, the maximum score for university entrance, you have to multiply the two subjects in which you scored highest in the PCE test by 0.2. Core subjects such as Language, English or Spanish History are not taken into consideration.

          Here is an example:

          Our student David has legalized his high school degrees from Ghana and scored a NMB of 8 points. He wants to follow a study path in Science in Madrid and has taken the UNEDassis Selectivity exams.

          He scored the following grades:

          • Mathematics II – 7
          • Biology – 9
          • Chemistry – 6
          • English – 8

          The Calculation
          (0.2 x 8 + 4) + (0.1 x 7) + (0.1 x 9) + (0.1 x 6) + (0.1 x 8) = 5.6 + 0.7 + 0.9 + 0.6 + 0.8 = 8.6

          Add the weightings of the two highest PCE scores that are not core subjects
          Mathematics II              7 x 0.2= 1.4
          Biology                         8 x 0.2= 1.6

          Final Admission Grade
          8.6 + 1.4 + 1.6 = 11.6

          The cut-off grade for the Bachelor’s in Biology at the University Complutense de Madrid was 10.87 last year, so David was able to get the admission

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