Where Can my Home Schooled Child Take Examinations?

Information About Exam Entry for Home Schooled Children

For home schooled children who have studied for a public exam like GCSEs or A levels either independently, through a private tutor, or via a correspondence course, it is usually the pupil’s own responsibility to find an exam centre, register for the exam, find a qualified person to assess coursework, and enter examinations.

Exam boards such as OCR and Edexcel provide ‘guides for private candidates’ that can provide extra information on this topic – this is available by calling the exam board directly or can be downloaded from the exam board’s website. Inside these booklets you will also usually find the required exam and/or coursework entry forms that you may need.

Home Schooled Candidates’ Advice on Examination Officers

Examination Officers do not have to accept private candidates to their exam centre so it is important to know about the systems in place before contacting the officer, that way you will seem organised and he or she will feel more relaxed about accepting your application. Note down your exam board number, syllabus number and unit code numbers before contacting the examining officer, and make sure the information is correct!

Find out closing dates for entering an exam, and speak to an examining centre well in advance of those dates. Find a centre by contacting the exam board for a list of local centres – this information will usually also be available online. Centres will have to be registered by the exam board, and may include schools, colleges, private tuition colleges, sixth form centres, or other adult education centres. Note that not every centre will offer every exam, so you should be prepared to make lots of phone calls to lots of different centres.

Different Types of Exams

Exams which do not have a coursework or oral component will usually be the easiest to arrange, requiring only an exam entry form to be submitted, before then assuring the exam centre of your identity and provide contact details. Applicants for qualifications which involve coursework have to find a way of having the coursework examined. This might be an exam board moderator but will usually not be anyone at the exam centre and this should be made clear to the exam officer.

Exam Entry Paperwork

Students will be provided with paperwork to fill in by their examination centre and should do so before the deadline set by each centre – this might include a visit to the centre for them to check the candidate’s identity. There will also be exam entry fees to be paid, which usually cost around £25 – paid to the examining board – for most GCSEs, and £12 for each single A level module or unit (remember, A levels consist of six units). Others cost more – English GCSE, for example, will usually be charged at between £40 – £50. Many exam centres will also ask for an additional administration fee which will need to be paid to them directly.