We advise our students to start looking for examination centres as soon as possible. We find that the earlier you book, the cheaper the exams are. So how do you go about booking for your exams?
First things first, you need to get your examination and paper codes, you can get these directly from us if you’re a student enrolled on one of our A-Level courses. Once you have these codes, you need to start approaching examination centres. These are usually your local private secondary school or community college. You can get a list of centres through the Awarding Bodies websites, which will make your life much simpler! Although, do be aware, their lists aren’t always thorough, so you might need a Google search too.
Over the years of helping students achieve their A-Levels, we tend to find that local secondary schools or sixth form colleges are much cheaper when it comes to fees, than private examination centres. This is mostly due to them already running the syllable for their own students. If you are an ex-student of the secondary school, you may well be able to book them for free or at a very reduced cost, so make sure you check in with them too.
If you are taking science subjects, there will also be practical assessments as well as the written exams so you will need use of a laboratory. These practicals don’t have to be taken in the May/June exam season and can be spread out through the duration of your studies, but you will need to register with an examination centre early to ensure you can do this and schedule the assessments with them. You will need to check that you can take your practical examinations at the secondary school or chosen college. Depending on the centre, these practicals can be spread out over a few weeks, or a few days.
If you have English language and literature, English literature or History in your chosen subjects, you will also need to submit coursework as well as attend the final exams. The coursework element can be marked by either the exam centre or by your own tutor if they are qualified to do so (ours at Oxford Learning College are!). Providing you have submitted coursework and assignments, your own tutor (if qualified) can mark and authenticate your work for the exam board.
So, when making your enquiries, the first thing to ask is if the school/college will accept private candidates to sit their exams. Check that they are running your courses (i.e. Pearson Edexcel, AQA or OCR), and check availability and prices. As prices for examinations do vary so greatly, we always advise students to do a bit of shopping around before deciding on their final examination centre. If you are struggling to find a centre, you can contact us regarding our Examination Booking service and we will be happy to help!