When taking your A-Level Exams as a Private Candidate, it will be down to you to find and book yourself into a local examination centre in order to actually sit the examinations and complete your qualification. Now although this sounds quite daunting, it’s actually a very easy and simple process to do.
Finding where to take your A-Level exams starts with the Awarding Body that you are studying the A-Levels with. It doesn’t matter if your choice of subjects are with different bodies as usually exam centres can sit students for several boards and not just one particular body. Once you know whether your subjects are with AQA, CIE, Pearson Edexcel or OCR, then your search can begin.
The first and best place to start your search is on the Awarding Body’s website, usually, they have a section for Private Candidates where you can see what centres there are nearby and get in touch with them directly to book yourself in for the exams. If you can’t find any centres close to your location, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any, it just means they haven’t been listed and you will have to widen your search.
If you have recently left school, then it is definitely worth checking with the Exams Officer at the school to see if there is a possibility of you sitting your A-Level exams with the school again. More often than not, they will find a way to squeeze you in for the exams and the fees for doing this is usually much less than going to an entirely new centre.
If you haven’t recently left school, or your old school are unable to help and assist you, then it’s time to start searching on Google. A good search term to use when on Google is ‘Exam centre + private candidate + [your location]’, this should produce a list of possible places where you can enquire regarding sitting your exams.
When Should I Start Looking for an A-Level Exam Centre?
Open College advise you start your search for an A-Level exam centre in the January before the exam period you want to sit for. So for example, if you were thinking of sitting your examinations in 2021, then you should start looking for a centre in January 2021. Basically, the earlier you book yourself in for your examinations the cheaper the fees will be for you and who doesn’t like to save money?