Information on our entry fees and other charges.
Where the money goes
We provide market-leading qualifications and first class support services that are excellent value for money.
As an independent charity, any income we make gets invested back into qualifications and assessment. This enables us to offer a broad range of qualifications and to protect the integrity and security of our assessments. It also funds other educational services, such as assessment research that benefits teachers and students.
As well as paying for our assessment services, exam fees enable us to invest in the quality of our examining teams, and to offer a comprehensive support and training package for teachers, including:
- our subject and curriculum experts
- subject resources (Plan, Teach, Assess)
- Enhanced Results Analysis (ERA)
- dedicated support and advice on non-exam assessment (NEA).
We work hard to manage our operational costs because being careful with our money means we can help more students go further, and because of this we are able to subsidise some of our lower volume qualifications. This also means we don’t charge more than we need to for our qualifications and services, and we offer a fixed price list so all schools and colleges pay the same.
Refunds to schools and colleges in 2020
We passed savings of £42 million back to schools and colleges by refunding 26 per cent of entry fees for summer 2020. Also, while we normally review our fees before the start of each new school year, we’re pleased to say that we kept the 2020 entry fees for our qualifications frozen for the autumn series.
Fees for 2021
Because of the events of this year, we’re a little bit later than usual publishing our fees, and we had to publish the January and March fees separately from the summer 2021 fees.
For our summer 2021 fees, we wanted to wait for some clarity on the arrangements for these exams to make sure we could understand the costs involved and then price our qualifications appropriately for our schools and colleges.
The details for summer 2021 are still being confirmed, and the latest developments mean we still don’t know what the summer is going to cost. But we do know that schools need to budget for their entries, so we feel that the simplest option is to set fees at the level we were planning to if exams had gone ahead as usual.
For summer 2021, as with January and March, we’ve applied a fee increase across most of our qualifications. Fees for some subjects are still higher than others, such as subjects with comparatively low entry levels or higher delivery costs.
However, as we’ve said before, we’d never want to profit from the current challenging circumstances. So we’ll make sure we pass any money we don’t need back to schools and colleges, just as we did in summer 2020 when we returned £42 million.
We know that schools continue to face budgetary challenges, so our overall aim is to keep our prices competitive, while taking account of the extraordinary circumstances which are leading to increased costs.
This approach helps us to continue to offer schools and colleges as wide a choice of subjects as possible. It also secures the future of our qualifications by enabling us to invest in in our technology so it’s supported by a strong, modern, cloud-based platform, which will help protect both us and our customers from the growing cyber threat.
As well as ensuring our systems are robust and efficient, this will enable us to continuously improve our processes, respond to customer needs and provide a platform on which we can build the next generation of technology-enabled assessments.