UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


LSE undergraduate admissions test preparation

If you're aiming to study at the London School of Economics (LSE), you’ll need to take their LSE Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA) exam. Find out about the support we offer.

What is the LSE UGAA exam?

The LSE UGAA is used to assess applicants from non-traditional academic backgrounds. This means students without A levels or the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Naturally, this also includes UPC students. It’s a core part of the LSE undergraduate admissions process. 

The assessment is a three-hour written exam. Its English section consists of Section A, a summary, and Section B, an essay. Its mathematics section, Section C, tests your written and numerical skills. The exam does not assess your general knowledge.

The examiners assess the clarity, precision and complexity of your language and vocabulary. They’re looking for a logical structure and argument that show you understand key concepts. They’ll also be checking your mathematical accuracy and techniques.

There are two separate tests, depending on which department you have applied to. All students do the same 150-word summary task. The essay questions are different for test one and test two. Section C in test one is only for courses which don't require A level Maths, such as Law or History. This section uses GCSE standard (grades A*/A) but focuses on important social science skills.

If you haven't applied your maths skills lately, please refer to BBC Bitesize or the National Numeracy Challenge to help you prepare.

In test two, mathematics Section C is for programmes that require A level Maths or equivalent (UPC Maths). It is broadly set at A level standard (Grades A*/A).

When does the exam take place?

After submitting your UCAS application and personal statement, you might be invited to take the LSE exam. It takes place in March. Remember that LSE undergraduate admissions are highly competitive.

In 2021, only three UPC students received invitations for the exam. Invitations arrive only two weeks before the exam date.

Why is preparation support needed for this exam?

Section A is usually a 150-word summary of a non-academic source. For example, this could be the ‘New York Times’ newspaper. You’ll need to become familiar with non-academic and informal vocabulary and phrases. We provide previous examples and feedback on your attempts. Like the Section B essay, you can use past papers for discussion and practice.

What’s involved in a preparation class?

Two or three dedicated two-hour classes will take place after you receive an invitation. These classes focus on summary writing and practicing previous exam essay questions. You can find past papers on the LSE UGAA web page.