Private Candidate Exam Centre FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

What is the difference between internal candidates and external/private candidates?

If you are currently studying at an educational institution and sit the exams with them you are considered an internal candidate. However you can decide to sit your exam at a centre where you are not currently studying. You will be classified as an external/private candidate in that exam centre. 

For example:

All full time students studying at London Brookes College will be entered as internal candidates for all exams.

Any students not studying full time at London Brookes College and want to sit exams, will be classified as external/private candidates when entered for these exams. The reason London Brookes College is able to enter external/private candidates for exams is because London Brookes College is an accredited examination centre for AQA. Edexcel, OCR, WJEC and CAIE exam boards.

How are private exam fees calculated?

The fee you pay is made up of the exam board entry fee plus an administration fee charged by the exam centre. The administration fee varies from exam to exam because each exam can have different components associated to it e.g. a French language exam will require both a written and oral speaking assessment to be completed and therefore will naturally cost more to sit privately than a maths exam that only has a written component.

Please note any access arrangements have additional costs.

When is the best time to register with an Exam Centre?

We advise students to register around six months before the exams are due for written exams. You can register and enter at a much later date however exam board fees will rise for late entries. Please note the centre reserves the right to not accept a very late entry.

A level practical’s 

The centre requires 8 months prior registration to ensure that a student is allocated a place in the group sessions.

GCSE practicals, Speaking exams and Course work exams

Students should register six months before the exams are due. 

Please note the college reserves the right to set its down deadlines and can refuse very late submissions.

What do I do if I didn't get the grades I wanted at A levels ?

If you didn’t get the grades you were expecting at A levels then don’t worry as there are other options available! A level retakes are a popular choice for many students looking to improve their A level grades. A level retakes can offer students a second change

I am a student with additional needs ?

London Brookes Colleges aims to accommodate private candidates with additional needs as best we can. We have a number of facilities that are commonly requested for by students with additional needs.

For more information please contact us directly with details of your request and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible

Access arrangement request procedure

If you would like to apply for access arrangements for you exams please ensure you follow the following steps:

  1. Tick the box for access arrangements while creating an online account on the London Brookes College examination portal.
  2. Select on the exam portal as well as email us with the required access arrangements together with the below evidence:

         Full signed Educational psychologist report and/or signed medical documentation which must mention the exact need (must not be older than 2 years). OR if the student is full time and the assessment was done at the start of year 9 and the school can confirm (headed paper & signed by SENCo) that both the scores and the access arrangements are still the same.

         Completed signed JCQ Form 8 by a qualified educational psychologist.

         Certificate of the educational psychologist used.

         Completed signed Data protection form (attached).

         SEN form (attached).

After receiving all the necessary documents from you, our internal SENCO will go through all of the above and let you know whether London Brookes College will be able to apply for access arrangements on your behalf to the board. If yes, SENCO will complete their forms as a part of your application before we can apply to the exam boards for the approval.

Once you receive an email from London Brookes College that we are in a position to apply for access arrangements to the board on your behalf you will have to pay the access arrangement fees in full.

After the access arrangement fees have been paid in full we will make the application to the board and then email you with the confirmation of their response.

I want to know more about Exam Guidelines and Regulations?

JCQ is the Joint Council for Qualifications, a collaboration of all the major exam boards.  It oversees exam administration and provides guidelines on things like appeals, transferring credit for units into a different exam board or specification, etc.. They publish guidance for candidates on written exams, controlled assessment, on-screen tests and other situations.  See JCQ Guidance for Candidates

I want to know more about Controlled Classroom Assessment?

London Brookes College is an accredited private exam centre and therefore is able to fulfil the strict examining body’s requirements for controlled assessment. We are able to accept external candidates for qualifications which include Controlled Assessment or other forms of coursework.

There are a small number of GCSEs which do not have a CA component (maths, law, psychology, sociology and a few others) but for other subjects, International GCSEs (IGCSEs) generally offer an alternative without the need for coursework. Thus, most home-educated students often take IGCSEs in English, the sciences, History etc.. Science IGCSE exams do not include a compulsory practical component, but the examination includes written questions on how experiments would be carried out. Candidates can be assured that IGCSEs will be accepted as equivalent to GCSEs by colleges and universities in the UK.

How do I make an exam entry?

Register and Login on LBC exam portal, entering the exam code and the exam series (i.e. June series, November series or January series), candidate’s full name and date of birth.  If you have already taken any UK public exams before then you should have a UCI (Universal Candidate Identification) number, which you can quote.  If not, one will be allocated to you by the exam board.

London Brookes College requires that all private candidates provide a copy of the current passport. If you don’t have this then please contact us before proceeding as we will need some form of official photo ID.

Please fill out the rest of the form and contact us if you have any questions

Payment is required at the time of making the entry.  Once London Brookes College has made the entry on your behalf, we have incurred costs such as exam board fees and administration costs, so if you later decide to withdraw from the exam, you will still need to pay some or all of these costs. Failing to do so may lead London Brookes College to refuse to let you sit the exam or any other exams as a private candidate in future with us.

If you have any special needs for extra time, a scribe, a prompt, or access to a keyboard, you will need to discuss this us before making your entries as we need to confirm that we can accommodate you first.

Frequently Asked Questions Private Exam Centre

Private exam centre for AQA, OCR, EDEXCEL WJEC and CIE

answers that will save you hours of research time

  • London Brookes College is an approved exam centre for all exam boards for GCSE, IGCSE and A-Levels (Edexcel, AQA, OCR, WJEC, CIE).
  • We offer all that an examination candidate needs and our high level of provision has been acknowledged by JCQ during their inspection of our examination arrangements.
  • We also cater for University Admission Tests (e.g. STEP and BMAT).
  • Easy 6 step online registration system process and free help with all your questions and concerns
  • Private Examination Candidates are always welcomed
  • Exam facilities include a larger hall and fully equipped laboratory for science practical exams
  • Easy and convenient links to public transport
  • We are able to offer ‘most’ subjects, however please check with the Exams Office if you need confirmation for a specific exam unit.

You can also do GCSE/IGCSE and A-Level Exams including science practical exams’s at our College for AQA, OCR, EDEXCEL, WJEC and CIE boards

1.1 We do help private candidates as much as possible, but it is your responsibility, not ours, to see that all administrative and coursework requirements are met. Courses and examination boards differ in their requirements and you know your own personal requirements better than we do.

1.2 Some things to look out for:

  • make sure that you know the starting date for new specifications and when old specifications cease to be available.
  • make sure that the exam you want to take (including practicals and coursework units) is available to private candidates.
  • make sure that the exam you want to take is available at the time you want to take it.
  • make sure that you are able to satisfy the regulations for the supervision of controlled assessment tests and practicals.

1.3 As a private candidate, it is your responsibility to ensure that your entries are filled in correctly. London Brookes College cannot be held responsible for the entries you submit. We recommend that you check your statement of entries to ensure that they reflect accurately the exams you want to be entered for. Failure to notify us about errors in your statement of entries one week following receipt of the state of entry may incur an additional charge for amendments.

1.4 LBC cannot be held responsible for the provision of any equipment which the candidate is expected to bring with them for the examination (e.g. Caulcuators, Pens, Pencils etc). Please read exam board guidelines for more details.

1.5 It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that the examination that they are sitting matches the one they are entered for.

1.6 A candidate may withdraw from an examination by giving notice in writing to us on or before the deadline for the exam entries. If requested before the first stage deadline, refunds will be paid after a deduction of £30.00 per unit for administrative costs. There are no refunds available for late entries or for withdrawals after the deadlines are closed.

1.7 It is the responsibility of the candidate to arrive for their examination on time. Candidates arriving late for an examination may be allowed to sit the examination at the discretion of the senior invigilator or the examinations officer. Depending on individual circumstances, Late Arrivals may need to be reported to the exam boards and the final decision on acceptance of exam scripts lies with the exam boards.

1.8 If a candidate has a clash on their exam timetable with another examination (either at London Brookes College or another exam centre) appropriate measures have to be implemented to retain the ‘security’ of the examination. Ask the Exams Office for more information.

1.9 Normally all exams will be held at London Brookes College, 42 The Burroughs, Hendon, London NW4 4AP. However, on occasion we may use an alternative site for examinations. If unsure, please check with the Exams Office.

2.0 It is the candidates responsibility to collect their certificates (after giving at least 3 working days notice to us) which are usually available three months following the results. We will only post the certificates if an email is sent to the Exams Office confirming the postal address. London Brookes College will not assume responsibility for certificates which have been posted and subsequently get lost in the post.

2.1 School/college candidates have a lot of the exam administration carried out for them. Private candidates must find out about controlled tests, ISAs, oral tests, pre-release material, exam timetables, dates for submission of coursework, candidate authentication forms and so on. The exam boards’ websites have a lot of useful information which you are strongly advised to read. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with guidelines for each of the relevant exam boards (please see relevant links below):

http://www.aqa.org.uk/student-support/private-candidates

http://www.edexcel.com/iwantto/Pages/entering-private-candidates.aspx

http://www.ocr.org.uk/ocr-for/learners-and-parents/private-candidates/

http://www.cie.org.uk/cambridge-for/learners-and-parents/exams-and-certificates/private-candidates/

http://jcq.org.uk

Candidates are required to complete their tasts. There are different requirements for different boards and specifications so please discuss directly with LBC Exams Office.

As the name suggests, Controlled Assessment Tasks are carried out under various levels of supervision arranged by London Brookes College. The College will provide

  • all elementsof Controlled Assessment Task Taking and Task Marking, including any elements of preparation and analysis prior to the Task Taking;
  • authentication of Controlled Assessment Tasks;
  • secure storage of your work securely between sessions.

You must be available on the dates and times specified by London Brookes College to undertake all elements of controlled assessment. This can include the writing-up sessions as well as any research and analysis sessions. All elements which require the ‘high’ or ‘medium’ levels of control must be undertaken at the College. The lengths of these sessions will vary according to the subject and the college will advise the hours.

If, as a private candidate, you wish to be entered for an examination which includes a Controlled Assessment Task, you must be willing to accept these conditions as specified by the examination boards. Inevitably, these arrangements will involve additional costs. Please refer to the ‘Fees and Deadlines’ page on the exams portal.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has produced a document about Controlled Assessment Tasks. You are required to read and understand this document:

You can start a GCSE home study course at any time but you can only sit your examination in an appropriate examination window (May/June). All AQA specificationGCSE examinations have to be sat in the UK as a private candidate. We don’t recommend students study more than 5 courses at any one time.

Prices vary depending on the board and type of exam you want to sit. For example, exams that require verbal assessments or practicals as well coursework will cost more than those that simply require you to sit a written paper.

private candidate, also known as an external candidate, in the UK examination system is a person who enters an examination but is not enrolled as a student at the centre (school or college) where he or she sits the exam. They may have trained themselves for the exam, been taught privately, or studied at an institution which is not a registered examination centre. Centres are not compelled to accept private candidates, and many do not.

The main English examination boards – AQAOCR, and Edexcel – all accept private candidates. CAIE also accepts private candidates. AQA does not allow private candidates to sit their examinations outside the UK.

The Welsh examination board WJEC allows private candidates. The Northern Irish CCEA uses the term “external candidate” to refer to people in the same situation.

External candidates are students who are not enrolled at the exam centre where they take exams or participate in controlled assessments. The term “ private candidate” applies to any student who is entering themselves for an exam rather than being entered by their educational institution – it can include your own enrolled students. External candidates are a subset of private candidates who are not enrolled students

School/college candidates have a lot of the exam administration carried out for them. Private candidates must find out about controlled tests, ISAs, oral tests, pre-release material, exam timetables, dates for submission of coursework, candidate authentication forms and so on. The exam boards’ websites have a lot of useful information which you are strongly advised to read. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with guidelines for each of the relevant exam boards (please see relevant links below in the Advice for Private Candidates section)

What’s the UCI number?

The Unique Candidate Identifier (UCI number) is a 12-digit number followed by one capital letter. Its purpose is to enable all of your exam results, which you have taken throughout your exam careers, at any centre through any awarding body to be accumulated together, accurately and fully, under your name.

If you have not taken any examinations since 1998 you may not have a UCI number.If you do not have a UCI number we will allocate one for you.

Where will I find my UCI number?

The number will be shown on previous statements of entry or statement of results issued by an examination board. You can recognise the number because it will probably start with the 5-digit Centre Number where you first took your exams.

If you are unsure, please contact your previous centre.

What do I do if I discover that I have two UCI numbers?

Just let us know, as soon as you find out, and we will contact the examination boards for you. Usually, the UCI number which was issued first will be the one which you keep. There will be an additional charge for merging UCI numbers. You can apply for this service through your account on the Exam Portal.

Exam Entries:

  1. Create new user account on exam portal (i.e. Name, Address, UCI etc)
  2. Add your exam entries (i.e. Unit Code, Subject Name etc)
  3. LBC will then validate your entries and generate a payment amount
  4. Once a candidate has made the payment, their entries will be processed with the Exam Boards
  5. Closer to the exam, each candidate will be sent their individual Statement of Entries and Exam Timetables
  6. Please be aware that Late Entry fees will apply (see Fees & Deadline page for details)

During Exam:

  1. Candidates need to arrive 30mins before the start time (i.e. 9am for AM and 1pm for PM)
  2. Candidates must bring their Statement of Entries and Photo IDs

Results:

  1. Results will be made available online on the day of results
  2. Certificates arrive after 2-3months from results day and can be collected or posted as required
  3. Access to Post-Result Services are dependent on exam board deadlines and fees

Please be advised that coursework requirements differ from subject to subject and from examination board to examination board. You are advised to check carefully the coursework requirements for the unit code you are taking.

The code entered on the Exam Portal may depend on which type of coursework option applies to you.

  • Some examination boards do not allow private candidates to enter the coursework option in some subjects. If this is the case, an extra written paper or a practical examination may be taken instead.
  • Some coursework has to be marked by the examination board, and some by the tutor. London Brookes College may be able to provide tutors (at an additional charge) to support your coursework submission.

Private Candidates taking AQA subjects which have a coursework component must fill a Private Candidate Coursework Information Form and send it to the College at the same time as you make your entry on the Exams Portal and the administration fee is submitted. Your entry will not be processed until the Form is received.

Externally Assessed Coursework

All externally assessed coursework is marked by the examination boards. All coursework must be handed in to London Brookes College at the latest deadline (check Fees and Deadlines page). However, we recommend that you submit your coursework as early as possible. The coursework submission must be accompanied by the completed and signed Authentication or Private Candidate Record Form.

London Brookes College will then post the coursework accompanied by the form to the examination board.

Internally Assessed Coursework

Please note there is an additional cost for one of our tutors to support your coursework submission and to mark it prior to moderation.

Work handed in later than the coursework submission deadline will incur a £40.00 late fee.

Please retain a copy of all your coursework.

You must read the following JCQ guidelines for Coursework

Candidates for Science subjects (GCSE and GCE) should enter for the correct practicals as per the specification. Most practical components and written parts will take place at London Brookes College, supervised under exam conditions, on a date arranged by us. All practical endorsements will be conducted in a group setting.

For CIE Science Practicals, a group practice session will be provided.

Once the practical session dates are finalised there cannot be any changes made. For more information please contact the Exams Office on 0208 202 2007.

The only essential requirement for taking A-levels is having somewhere to do theexams. Alternatively, there are lots of centres where you can request to sit your exams as a private student, although not every centre will offer every subject. You can find more about these on exam board websites: AQA, OCR, EDEXCEL, WJEC and CIE

If the A-level you are studying includes coursework, this will need to be submitted to the exam centre you are using. In some cases, you may not be able to submit coursework as part of your course.

If you are re-taking an A-level, you may be able to reuse coursework you have already done. If a module was made up entirely of coursework, you are likely to be able to carry the mark for that coursework forwards. Otherwise, whether you can re-use your mark will depend on the subject.

You might also want to get extra help studying to make sure you get the most out of your learning.

Private tutors at London Brookes College can teach you on a one-on-one, which means you can focus on the areas you need the most help with. This can be a particularly good option if you are re-taking an A-level after a disappointing result, as you can concentrate on the things that caught you out. Our Private tutors generally charge by the hour, with prices depending on the experience and education level of the tutor you hire. 

You can also enrol in our Sixth Form college to study A-levels. This will give you a full classroom-based course. London Brookes college also offers part-time or evening classes, allowing you to fit study around a job. 

It is usually more straightforward for external candidates to take alternative qualifications which do not involve Controlled Assessment (CA), because of the expense and administration involved. 

There are a small number of GCSEs which do not have a CA component (maths, law, psychology, sociology and a few others) but for other subjects, International GCSEs (IGCSEs) generally offer an alternative without the need for coursework. 

It is the candidate’s own responsibility to ensure that they obtain sufficient experience in practical science skills to take the subject further if they wish. 

“Cash-in” means that you are ready to amalgamate all the exam components or units that you have taken in a subject into one final grade if you do not expect to re-take any of the components again, and you want to receive a final result and certificate. You can only “cash-in” a subject if you have gained a result in all of the components stipulated in the specifications.

If you wish to “cash-in” your results at the end of the series you are currently entered for, an additional cash-in code, called the subject award code, may be required for the entry. Please let us know, if possible at the time of application, if you want to ‘cash in’ the results that you receive.“Cashing-in” does not apply to all subjects.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to apply for Cash-Ins when they make their exam entries. Failure to apply for Cash-Ins will mean that you will not receive your overall grade (which may influence your conditional offer for university). Late Cash-Ins will incur an additional charge (see Fees and Deadlines).

You may find Syllabus/unit Code/Option Code on each subject specification from the following Examination Board sites. Give the exact title of each module/unit and its entry code, as shown in the specifications. Please note that it is your responsibility to give us the correct codes. Please show the tier (Higher or Foundation) for GCSE/IGCSE exams if applicable to your subject.

AQA

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects

EDEXCEL

http://www.edexcel.com/subjects/Pages/default.aspx

WJEC

http://www.wjec.co.uk/

CIE

http://www.cie.org.uk/i-want-to/resource-centre/

OCR

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/

ADMISSION TESTING SERVICE (STEP/BMAT etc)

http://www.admissionstestingservice.org/

Access arrangement request procedure

If you would like to apply for special consideration for you exams please ensure you follow the following steps:

  1. Tick the box for access arrangements while creating an online account on the London Brookes College examination portal.
  2. Email us the access arrangements required together with the below evidence:
  • Full signed psychologist report and/or signed medical documentation (must not be older then 2 years).
  • Completed signed Form 8 (download from JCQ website) by a qualified education psychologist.
  • Certificate of the educational psychologist used.
  • Completed signed Data protection form (download from JCQ website)

Our internal SENCO will go through all of the above and let you know whether London Brookes College will be able to apply for access arrangements on your behalf to the board.

Once you receive an email from London Brookes College that we are in a position to apply for access arrangements to the board on your behalf you will have to pay the access arrangement fees in full.

After the access arrangement fees have been paid in full we will make the application to the board and then email you with the confirmation of their response.

Your exam results will be available to download online via the LBC Exams Portal website.

We request that you collect your certificate in person, and inform us of the date you will come to collect it (please provide at least 3 working days notice). Please bring photo-identification with you when you make the collection.

If you want the certificates posted to an address, please let us know in writing.

London Brookes College accepts no responsibility for posting certificates to an incorrect address.

Examination certificates are legal documents. If you lose them, the awarding bodies will be extremely reluctant to replace them, and may decline to do so. If they do agree to issue a replacement, they will charge you a considerable fee.

Need more information about our AQA, WJEC, EDEXCEL, CIE and OCR Exam Centre in London?

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