How to find an exam centre to take my exams
It is best to try to register with an exam centre around six months before the exams are due. It is possible to enter much later, even up to a week before the exam, but exam board fees rise sharply for late entries, and you risk not being able to find a convenient exam centre. The fee you will have to pay comprises the exam board entry fee (currently about £28.50 for GCSEs and £38.50 for Edexcel IGCSEs, £48 for CIE IGCSEs for 2015 ) plus an administration fee for the exam centre, to reimburse them for the inconvenience. The admin fee varies hugely, from around £25 at some centres to over £150 at others.
Here is a list of exam centres used by home educators in the past. They may not all still offer exams to private candidates so do contact any that you are interested in to find out the most up to date information. Also note that some only offer courses which are covered by their own students. It is also worth asking on the HE-Exams group in case anyone knows of another centre in your area which has not yet been added to these lists. It is also worth asking local schools even if they are not listed as having taken private candidates before. Often people find that independent schools are more willing to accept private candidates. This list, plus others, can be found on the Home Educators Wiki page.
If you’re aiming for Edexcel IGCSEs then the school does not need to be one which offers IGCSEs to its own students in order to take private candidates. If the school is registered with Edexcel for GCSEs then they can accept candidates for IGCSEs too. They just put in the exam code in their online entry system. It is possible that the school might not be aware of this but you can ask them to contact Edexcel, who will confirm it for them.
If the school does not have any other students sitting the same IGCSE as you want to sit, they may have candidates sitting another exam at the same time, eg a GCSE in another subject. In that case, the private candidate can usually sit in the same room and share an invigilator. If the exam centre does not have anybody else taking an exam on that day then you would normally be asked to pay for an invigilator.
Exam centres are under no obligation to accept private candidates; it creates extra work for them and may involve some disruption to their schedule or difficulties for the school. They are entitled to charge an admin fee which compensates for this to some degree, and that fee varies hugely – from £15 per subject at some schools to over £150 at others.
List of Exam Centres
(In no particular order at the moment – work in progress)
Coventry: Tutors & Exams – Tutors and Exams in Coventry, Bolton and Wimbledon, is a private exam centre for IGCSE, GCSE and A Levels. Tutors & Exams welcomes all learners from the Home Educating community. Close links have been forged with many home educating groups. We are always trying to add more qualifications to our already extensive portfolio. 2017 saw the introduction of Music GCSE and A Level, Art iGCSE, Dutch and many more subjects. They carried out speaking tests in 17 languages including the traditional French, German and Spanish, they assessed Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Urdu, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Italian and Sinhala. They offer Echo students a 10% discount. www.tutorsandexams.uk
Rochester: Rochester Independent College based in Rochester Kent and are able to offer GCSE’s IGCSE’s and A-Level qualifications, as well as STEP exams and Admissions tests, AEA tests. We do all the major boards here at the college (AQA, OCR, Cambridge, WJEC, Edexcel). Address: 35-37 Star Hill, Rochester, Kent. ME1 1XF. Telephone: 01634 828115 Website: www.rochester-college.org
Bristol – 3A Tutors – Can accommodate all boards and all subjects including orals and practicals. Very good reputation amongst home educators, but charge a lot more for exams than the schools do. http://www.igcseexams.co.uk/ . 1A High Street, Staple Hill, Bristol, Avon BS16 5HA, Tel 0117 910 9931
Bristol – St Katherines (Not taking students for 2016 exams – informed by phone 22/1/16). Near J19 of M5
Bath – Monkton Combe School. The exams officer is Gill Newnham, who is very supportive of home educators and is really helpful. Church Lane Monkton Combe, Bath, Avon BA2 7HG, Tel 01225 721 102, contact Gill on [email protected]
Taunton School International https://www.tauntoninternational.co.uk/ – CIE, Summer only.
The Small School, Hartland (North Devon)The school is registered with AQA, EDEXCEL, OCR, Cambridge International and WJEC, and is able to offer examinations at GCSE, iGCSE, and both AS and A2 at GCE. Contact Paul Wilkinson (Exams Officer) by e mail [email protected], or telephone 01237 441 672
Exeter – The Maynard School. (Very organised but want details by Sept prior to summer sittings and payment by December) AQA, OCR or Edexcel, except practicals. Coursework: ‘The staff in school are unable to mark any work from private candidates, so you will need a tutor to mark and authenticate the work. Depending on which board you use the Board may be willing to mark it as long as a professional tutor has authenticated it.’ (email from Exams Officer July 2015)
Ilfracombe Academy, was Ilfracombe Arts College – Edexcel and CIE IGCSEs at cost. Contact Margaret Holman [email protected]
Ilfracombe School – Charge for the paper and £10 admin for the year.
South Molton – West Buckland School – Only charge for the paper (£36 per subject)
Truro High School for Girls. Contact Jean Rice on [email protected]
Wareham – Purbeck School Edexcel GCSE and IGCSE but not CIE. Contact Mark Taylor – [email protected] Costs about £50 per exam, including invigilation.
Wimborne , East Dorset – Queen Elizabeth School. Accept external candidates for some exams.
Weymouth – Weymouth College offers all major exam boards, exam-only subjects, will do on-screen tests. Admin fee of £80 for first subject, £50 for subsequent subjects.
Gloucester – Brockworth Enterprise School. The exam officer is Phil Vaughan. They do at least ICT IGCSE (including practical). Mill Lane Gloucester GL3 4QF. 01452 863 372 www.bes.gloucs.sch.uk
Gloucester – Mill brook Academy
Wokingham – The Emmbrook School.
Faregos Home Education group has established its own exam centre in Fareham, Hampshire. Currently registered with CIE, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC and AQA. Will accept candidates for Edexcel IGCSE French, German and Spanish,including orals. Offers most IGCSEs and GCSEs without controlled assessments although can offer OCR GCSE classical civilisation with controlled assessment. Also some GCE A levels ( no practicals). We are a “not for profit group” run by home educators for the benefit of all. We always try to help! Contact Diane Dyer on [email protected]
North Hampshire Home Ed group has a contact with a state school in Farnborough. ALL enquiries must go through [email protected] as the school will only accept candidates via this route.
Wessex Tutors is an examination centre for AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC and IGCSE. IGCSE costs £150 PER SUBJECT. We accept private candidates for Edexcel A level modern language orals. We cannot accept private candidates for science practical exams.
Arabesque School of Performing Arts Quarry Lane Chichester West Sussex PO19 8NY Tel. no 01243 531144 Email [email protected] Contact Cynthia Ryder. Registered with AQA, Edexcel, Cambridge, OCR and WJEC.
London. Campbell Harris W6 – a private tutorial college and independent exam centre in W6. Written exams, any board. Speaking and Listening assessments for IGCSE languages. Also offers courses and practical assessment for A-level sciences. Has been used by many home-educating families over the years and is highly recommended.
Ealing Independent College W5 – GCSE, IGCSE. Written exams and foreign language speaking tests from Edexcel, AQA, OCR and WJEC. No controlled assessment or practicals.
Duff Miller Private tutorial college in South Kensington SW7. GCSE and IGCSE written exams and language speaking assessments. £130 per GCSE, £160 per IGCSE, additional £80 for language orals. A-levels including science practicals.
David Game college W11. Private tutorial college. Written exams only
Oak Heights, Hounslow TW3 – independent school offering written exams and science practicals.
The Learning Hub, Vale Farm – Wembley HA0 Tel 0208 908 123 . Private tuition centre and exam centre for Edexcel, OCR and CIE
The Marine Society 202 Lambeth Rd SE1 7JW Accepts private candidates at their premises in Lambeth. They administer exams for Royal Navy, Mercant Navy, and Cadets, although you don’t have to be affiliated in any way with these or other armed services to enter as a private candidate. Written exams only for AQA, CIE, Edexcel and OCR. Contact: The Education and At Seas Programme Co-ordinator Tel. 020 765 7050
Pascal’s College Beckenham, BR3 (South London)- all boards, IGCSEs and GCSEs including Controlled Assessments and language Speaking and Listening Tests, A-level science practicals, GCSE science practicals, and half-day science practical courses.
The After School Club, Catford, SE6 – Small tutorial centre. E-mail: [email protected] club.co.uk, Phone number is 020 3651 2032 Or 07825268833
Wimbledon – Southfields Academy – SW18 5JU – formerly Southfields Community College
London Brookes College Hendon NW4 – Private tuition and exam centre. Centre for all major boards
Excel Education Centre – Stratford, E15. – Edexcel approved centre , private tutorial college, will take external candidates for Edexcel IGCSEs or GCSEs. 0208 503 1133 Excel is a professional testing centre based in East London. They offer a varied range of tests such as: GCSE, IGCSE, A Level, Functional Skills, AAT, Pearson VUE and more. They are registered with all five main UK examination boards ensuring that our candidates can have all of their academic requirements met at our inclusive centre.
Scola Sutton 0208 405 7010/1 for further information”
Southborough School, Surbiton, Surrey Peter Stainton [email protected]
City of London Freemen’s School, Ashtead Park, Surrey. Nicketa Williams [email protected]
Sir William Perkins’s School, Chertsey, Surrey. (Louise) [email protected]
Cornerstone School, Epsom – £120 per exam (not sure if this is per paper or per qualification)
Lancing College – Shoreham- By- Sea. They cover all the examining bodies
Newhaven, East Sussex, Tideway School 01273 517601.
Crowborough – Beacon Community College. They are signed up with Edexcel and CIE but say that Edexcel is easier for them.
Horsham, West Sussex – Farlington Girls School
Steyning, West Sussex – Steyning Grammar School – Edexcel and AQA GCSEs or IGCSEs . Patricia Cobley – [email protected]
Hove – Varndean College – Can do Edexcel or AQA GCSE/IGCSE but are not registered for CIE. Alan Ball – [email protected]
Kent College, Canterbury – Independent school. Registered with CIE and all major boards.
King’s School, Canterbury – Independent school. Accepts externals for CIE and (presumably) all major boards if space available.
Tonbridge – Hayesbrook School – Some exams available to external candidates. Contact Barbara Dunn
Paddock Wood – Mascalls Academy : Edexcel, AQA, OCR, WJEC.
Faversham – Queen Elizabeth Grammar School – IGCSEs (including ICT practical)
The Bromfords School in Wickford, SS12 – will take candidates for all written exams, for AQA, Edexcel, OCR and CIE, for GCSEs, IGCSEs and A-levels – generally written papers only, although sometimes other things can be arranged. Please contact Sharon Pomford on [email protected] or phone 01268 471201 ext 246 .
Palmer’s College in Grays, Essex, RM17 5TD. – accepts external candidates at low cost, but ONLY for the following exams:Edexcel GCSE Maths 1MA0 (ie linear maths), Edexcel IGCSE English Specification B (4EB0) They will not accept external candidates for any other IGCSEs, even if they’re written exams only [email protected] .
Clacton and Colchester -ACE Learning. They will accept external candidates for Edexcel written-only exams, GCSE and IGCSE ICT practicals.
Greene’s Tutorial College in central Oxford £130 per IGCSE subject. Plus £60 yearly admin charge) This works out best if you are sitting several exams with them as you only pay the admin charge once. http://www.greenes.org.uk/
Abacus College Oxford Language Centre in Headington stated £100 per subject back in July. http://www.abacuscollege.co.uk/ Discounts available for more than 5 students in a group for the same exam
Sibford School has a subject fee of approximately £60 PLUS £20 administration fee per PAPER. http://www.sibfordschool.co.uk/
Oxford International College is another option but charge £75 per PAPER. Remember that EM has 3 papers. http://www.oxcoll.com/
The Highfield School, Letchworth [email protected] Only accept exams for Edexcel examining board.
Aylesbury Grammar School
St Albans Tutors – AQA ,Edexcel ,OCR, WJEC. GCSE and IGCSE and A-level. Will do access arrangements including word processor. http://www.stalbanstutors.com/contact.php
Aylesbury Maple Education Centre- formerly Aylesbury Kip McGrath centre.
Steiner School Kings Langley http://rsskl.org/
Norwich Hellesdon High School
Attleborough Academy Norfolk.Tel. 01953 452335 (main switchboard)- ask for extension 225; email: [email protected]; website www.aan.norfolk.sch.uk
Hills Road Sixth Form College All boards. http://www.hrsfc.ac.uk/privateCandidates.aspx
Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies – CSS £175 per subject.http://www.ccss.co.uk/exam-centre.htm
Abbey College, Ramsey. Accepts private candidates as long as they are at least 16 years old. http://www.abbeycollege.cambs.sch.uk
Ely – The Kings School
Birmingham – EMST Tuition and Exam Centre
Bishop’s Castle – The Community College – Shropshire SY9 . CIE exam centre (may do other boards too). Contact Shona Glover, Examinations Officer on 01588 63825
Norton College, Worcester “01905 359257
Leicester – Leicester Montessori grammar School- LE1 7PA
www.montessorigroup.com – Leicester Montessori Grammar school is a private school based in Leicester. They accept private candidates for the Edexcel, OCR, AQA boards. They also do the orals in French for IGCSE and A level + the science practicals for A levels. Contact the exams officer Amanda Miles on 0116 255 4441.
Dronfield, Derbyshire – NorthStarWorldwide – CIE exam centre Also able to undertake Access Arrangement assessments at very reasonable rates.
Lincoln – The Priory Witham Academy – Tel: 01522 871 390 or Email: [email protected]
Worksop College – Tel: 01909 537100 or Email: [email protected]
Mansfield – Queen Elizabeth’s Academy
Ashbourne– Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School – says they accept external candidates only for those living within the catchment area, and for only the exact syllabuses they are doing themselves.
Derby College has a page of information for external candidates and an online contact form for you to ask about the exams you wish to take. Boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC – but apparently only subjects their own students take.
Chorley – Jay-Em Dance Studios – can do AQA and Edexcel -contact through www.jayemstudio.com
Ormskirk School – special page for private candidates. Contact Jane Covey, Telephone 01695 583040, email [email protected]
Fleetwood – Rossall School – Mr Asher – 01253 774258
Blackpool – Arnold School – this has now turned into The Arnold KEQMS. Contact Dr Treharne
Oldham Hulme Grammar School written OCR, Edexcel, AQA for GCSE and Edexcel for IGCSE. Do not do CIE. Contacts: Christine Whitworth (Examinations Officer), Jemma Mulhall (Exams Assistant) – Email address: [email protected]
Liverpool – Clarendon College Montessori School – AQA
Wirrall – Birkenhead 6th form not CIE IGCSEs, and recommended that we use Edexcel IGCSEs.
Macclesfield Tutorial College – dedicated site for external candidates. All boards including CIE and November exams. Allows private candidates to sit GCSE practical and science exams, and language Speaking Assessments.
Manchester – The Nexus Education Centre. A medical Pupil Referral Unit. Very small unit so not too much like a school. Contact Judy Cuppello.
Manchester – Trinity High School – special info page for external candidates. Written exams only, AQA and Edexcel. Contact [email protected]
Cheadle College – have accepted HE candidates for 2016.
Urmston – Flixton school, M41 Mainstream boards, no longer does CIE.
Beacon Hill, Aspatria CA7 Will accept private candidates for exam-based subjects only [email protected] Tel: 016973 20509
Woodhouse Grove School, Apperley Bridge, between Leeds and Bradford, offer a good range of boards, reasonably priced and really helpful. http://www.woodhousegrove.co.uk/exam-results/External-Candidates/
York Learning – “We are an authorised centre for the following exam boards: OCR; Pearson (formally Edexcel) & AQA. [email protected] or telephone 01904 554277.”
Doncaster: Sir Thomas Wharton Community College
Adwick: Outwood Academy
Balby Carr Academy
Halifax – Rastrick Independent College. – will do controlled assessments and science practicals, GCSEs, IGCSEs.
Skipton – Craven College
Skipton -South Craven School. Holme Ln, Cross Hills, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD20 7RL, 01535 632861.
Sheffield – Hillsborough College.
Leeds – Ralph Thoresby School East Yorkshire – Pocklington School. At least Edexcel and CIE
Pembrokeshire College – Westhaverford http://online.pembrokeshire.ac.uk/
West Monmouth School – Pontypool. External candidates can sit WJEC, AQA and Edexcel. 01495 762080
Newtown – Coleg Powys http://www.coleg-powys.ac.uk/
Ruthin School, Ruthin. Take a small number of IGCSE candidates yearly and happy to accommodate various papers
Coleg Cambria, Wrexham, accept external students as long as exams are self contained and do not require a controlled assessment or coursework etc.
Conway – Conway Education Centre. Do at least IGCSE Eng Lang spec A
Craigavon – Brownlow College – Kieran McKernan, Examinations Officer – tel 028 3834 2121, [email protected] They do Edexcel and CCEA but not CIE
Newtownabbey: The Free Presbyterian School will accept home-educated children. It is a CCEA centre and is currently applying to be an Edexcel centre for IGCSEs.
Belfast – Conway Education Centre
Dublin – The Tutorial Centre
Edinburgh – Wallace College offer all boards
Basil Patterson College offer Edexcel & AQA GCSE/IGCSE.
Fettes College, in Edinburgh, can accommodate some exam takers. It’s also worth contacting the exam officers at Merchiston Castle School and St Leonards in St Andrews. All these schools offer GCSEs, which may now be difficult to take as an independent candidate. Fettes also offers some IGCSEs.
Aberdeen – Albyn School. Only offers summer series each year.. Boards offered are Edexcel, CIE, OCR, AQA, SQA and from 2017 WJEC.