The university entrance mark is the weapon that will allow you to compete with other students to enter the university degree you want. In this figure, both the qualifications of the selectivity and the baccalaureate will have a leading role.
The cut-off mark, which should not be confused with the university entrance mark, is the filter put in by educational institutions based on the number of places that exist and the number of students who request them. Therefore, they can vary from year to year.
Universities accept as many candidates as possible starting with those with the highest grades. In this way, the student who is left with the last place indicates the cut-off mark for that university and career, used in the following year as an orientation.
All you need to know
Cut-off marks exist only for public universities. In general they do not have any other criteria, but in certain degrees, such as Fine Arts or Physical Education Sciences, they do specific exams.
Many grades have a cut-off grade of 5 because they do not receive enough applications to cover all the places it offers. In these cases, it is enough to have a 5 to enter, which is the minimum required by law to be able to enroll in an official degree.
Cut notes change every year: the grades vary annually, and although it is not normal, some races can suffer sudden ups and downs.
The cut-off mark of a race has nothing to do with its difficulty. The grade is established according to the places in the university and the demand of the students. For example, there are many places where you can enter with a 5 in Physics, one of the most difficult races.
Cut notes are for guidance only. The notes from the last year are only for your reference. It is important that you do not stop opting for a career that interests you because you believe that you will not reach the cut-off mark of the last year.
How to calculate my university entrance mark?
To calculate our university entrance mark we must do several calculations and take into account some determining factors: the Compulsory Selectivity Phase, the Voluntary Selectivity Phase and the Baccalaureate grade.
Compulsory Selectivity Phase: 40%
In the first place, to access a university degree it is essential to obtain, at least, a 4 in this phase. The mark for this phase is the average of the marks obtained in each of the subjects in this phase, rounded to the nearest thousandth.
Example: 6.30 (exam 1) + 4.70 (exam 2) + 8.40 (exam 3) + 7.50 (exam 4) = 26.90 / 4 = 6.725.
In the compulsory phase of the selectivity you will have to take 4 subjects. If your autonomous community has a co-official language, you will have to add one more subject. This happens in Galicia, Valencia, the Basque Country and Catalonia.
The common subjects in all the communities are the following: Spanish Language and Literature, History of Spain, Foreign Language (English, French, German, Italian or Portuguese) and a subject that you have taken in your high school modality (for example, Latin if you’ve done the humanistic).
This phase accounts for 40% of the university entrance mark, so it is very important to secure these subjects on the day of selectivity.
High school mark: 60%
The total mark for the Baccalaureate represents 60% of the university entrance mark. Therefore, it is very important to work hard from the first quarter of high school to score a high grade.
With this note, a weighted average is made with the mark of the Compulsory Phase of the Selectivity. This is the note that will be used to access the university if you do not apply to the Voluntary Phase.
Operation: 0.4 * average mark of the compulsory phase exams + 0.6 * average mark of high school = entrance mark
Example: 0.4 * 6.725 (compulsory phase) + 0.6 * 7.6 (high school) = 7.2
Voluntary Phase of Selectivity
If you want to extend your university entrance mark, it is highly recommended to take the voluntary phase. In this case, for an exam to count, it is necessary to score at least a 5.
This is when the weights come into play. It depends on the career we want to access, each subject will weigh 0.1 or 0.2, it depends on whether the university has designated it as a priority subject for the degree.
In this voluntary phase, you will be able to examine up to a maximum of 4 subjects, although in some Autonomous Communities the number of subjects is limited to 3 (Catalonia, Navarra and the Balearic Islands).
Operation: 0.4 * Compulsory phase + 0.6 * Baccalaureate + weighting (0.1 or 0.2) * optional 1 + weighting (0.1 or 0.2) * optional 2 = Access mark
Example: 0.4 * 6.725 (compulsory phase) + 0.6 * 7.6 (high school) + 0.1 * 7.1 (elective) + 0.2 * 6.8 (elective) = 9.32
What majors and colleges have the highest cut-off marks?
Dual degrees and careers related to science and health, as well as computer engineering and mathematics, record the highest cut-off marks this year.
At the moment, the Double Degree in Physics and Mathematics at the Complutense University of Madrid has the highest cut-off mark for the 2020-2021 academic year, with 13,875.
The second highest cut-off grade registered so far corresponds to another Double Degree in Physics and Mathematics, but from the University of Granada. The grade for this degree is 13,829.
Although science and technology majors have been those that register cut-off marks above 13, there are exceptions: the Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages and Translation at the University of Alcalá (Madrid) has the third highest cut-off mark in Spain, with a 13,828. However, this high score is due to the fact that only 5 places have been offered this year for these studies.
On the other hand, the Degree in Medicine is the career that presents a higher score than the rest of the degrees, following the trend of other years.
These studies are not only the most demanded, but they are demanding and long. The average cut-off grade for Spanish medical schools was 12,529 out of 14 last year.