How to Book an Exam

How to Book an Exam

Where to look

The Oxford Open Learning Trust cannot find an exam centre for you. However, there are many ways of finding exam centres, you just need to be resourceful and sometimes quite persistent in the number of calls you may have to make. The first place you should try is the most convenient school or college for you. Being in their local community may be a key factor in a school’s decision to accept your request. Your local school or college may not be on our exam centre database if none of our students has ever contacted them before. That does not necessarily mean that they will refuse to help you and they should always be where you try first.

  • One of the most successful ways to find an exam centre is to contact your old school, your child’s school, or any school that you have any sort of contact with, however tenuous. Schools will often accept ex-pupils or people who are known to them in some way, even though their policy is not to accept Private Candidates in general.
  • Private tutorial colleges are the most flexible exam centres. They will usually take you for any exam and can often help with Special Needs, but they also tend to be the most expensive. Look on Google for private tutorial colleges in your area.
  • Independent schools, private schools, academies and faith schools are often more helpful than overstretched state-maintained schools and some welcome Private Candidates as a means of contributing towards their budget. They are also likely to be the most familiar with IGCSE exams.
  • Both the AQA and Edexcel exam boards publish lists of centres that may be prepared to accept Private Candidates, but there are no certainties. AQA has a Private Candidate section on their website and Edexcel, who are now part of Pearsons, have an exam centre finder and can be emailed on ; students@pearson.com
  • Oxford Open Learning maintains a very comprehensive database of exam centres that have agreed to help our students in the past. Please remember however that things change from year to year and subject to subject for many reasons which are beyond our control and which we may not have heard about. If a centre declines your request for whatever reason, do not spoil things for other candidates by making a fuss.

Edexcel IGCSE

Oxford Open Learning tries to use IGCSE courses because Edexcel IGCSEs are written exams only without any coursework. As coursework must now be undertaken under conditions of controlled assessment (i.e. in a supervised classroom) it is not practical for distance learning students. An additional benefit of Edexcel IGCSE qualifications is that, unlike AQA exams, they can be taken in many overseas countries, either in international schools or via the British Council. To ask Edexcel about their international exam centres please email students@pearson.com

IGCSEs are mainly used by Private and Independent Schools. They are not Government funded and are therefore not generally offered to students in UK state schools. This means that some exams officers may not be aware that Edexcel has made it possible for any centre which is registered for Edexcel exams to also  offer IGCSEs to our students, if they wish. The IGCSE exams are on every school’s electronic “Base Data” and no special forms or permissions are required to book them.

If the centre that you contact has any questions or doubts, our exam officer here (Jenny Booth; 01865 798022, jenny@ool.co.uk) will be more than happy to contact them and explain.

Armed Forces

Students in the Armed Forces can follow the above procedures or you may be able to sit at your own AEC as long as it is registered with the exam board that you are studying under. Most AEC’s are registered for CIE exams but often not for Edexcel or AQA..

Please make enquiries at your base, but be aware that your AEC must make the entry for you, simply agreeing to host the exam will not work. Always double check with Oxford Open Learning to avoid problems later, especially if you are abroad or are about to be posted.

All Students

Please do not contact any exam centre until you are fully aware of your entry details and exam procedure and have read Very important guidelines for keeping your exam officer happy.

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