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How do I sit exams?

What exams do I need to sit

Exams only need to be sat for iGCSE (usually end of year 11, by the age of 16) and AS & A-level (usually end of year 12 & 13 by the age of 18).

There are no end-of-year exams other than those provided online by the teachers. UK SATs sat at the end of primary school are also not usually sat by students not in mainstream school. SATs are a measurement tool for schools to see their performance more than the schools and it is not a needed qualification for the kids, hence not normally sat by homeschooled students.

iGCSE exams

The first exams you need to sit are iGCSEs, which are usually sat at the end of year 11, but we recommend aiming for a couple of subject exams at the end of year 10 or even year 9 to spread the workload out a bit. Each subject has between 2-4 individual exam papers, so it can add up to a lot of exams if you do them all at once. Great for early sittings are our one-year courses in Business studies, economics and accounting. Many students also do English language a year early or start one of our 2-year courses in year 9 instead of year 10. Generally, exams can be sat in May and October anytime and it really up to you when you want to sit which exams. You can be flexible, something that is harder in face-to-face schools where you need to follow a more rigid plan.

How many iGCSEs should I take?

For most college courses you need at least Maths and English. If you don't have these, you are usually forced to take them parallel to your college course and often start at a lower level. Most apprenticeships and vocational courses you should have at least 5 iGCSEs. If you aim for university, it should normally be at least 8. To be sure, check with your desired college or university. Entry requirements are usually on their websites. If you want to do A-levels to possibly go to university, we recommend to aim for 8 iGCSEs or more to keep your options open. Contact us and we can help you choose subjects and design a personalised plan to get you to achieve the exams and grades you like.

A-level exams

If you have sat iGCSEs or anything equivalent in your country, you can join us for A-level. Most students choose 3 subjects, some may choose 4 if they aim to get into the most competitive universities. The first year of A-level is also called AS level and students can sit the first 2 out of 4 papers to get an AS qualification. It is sufficient for many universities abroad, such as those in South Africa. Students in the UK need the full A-level, so study both years and sit all 4 papers for each subject. Once passed, students can join for university.

So where do I sit my exams?

Exams are not sat with us directly due to location issues. Our students are all over the world, so sitting with us is impractical. Students hence sit exams with their local centres as private candidates. Most of our classes are for Cambridge International Exams. Our website has the Cambridge International exams centre search embedded on our site or you can head to the exam board site directly. Please make sure you find a centre near you that accepts private candidates. We have no control over that and cannot do anything if there is no centre near you. You may have to consider travelling a little further from home or choose a different exam board. Also consider the cost of exams charged by the exam centres. It can be quite substantial if you sit a lot of exams. If you are in the UK, you can try Tutors and Exams, a company that we have partnered with so our students can receive a discount. They have centres all over the UK. Exams cannot be sat online yet.


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