2021 exam changes

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Supporting private candidates – how to find a school, college or exam centre this summer

Published:Wednesday 31 Mar 2021

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has published a list of schools, colleges and exam centres in England who will accept GCSE and AS and A-level private candidate entries this summer. Private candidates should use this list to find a school, college or exam centre and make arrangements before the entry deadline of Monday 26 April.

Private candidates will be assessed in a similar way to other students this year. Schools and colleges will have considerable flexibility to determine the appropriate range of evidence any private candidates they accept. Any schools or colleges that assess private candidates will need to use this flexibility to select evidence which reflects the student’s particular circumstances, including the content they’ve covered in their studies.

Private candidates, including home-educated students and adult learners, can search using the JCQ’s online list of available exam centres according to their postcode, qualification type and awarding organisation of choice. The list will also account for a centre’s capability to offer assessments remotely, and whether they are willing to consider private candidates’ pre-existing evidence.

The list only includes schools, colleges and exam centres accepting GCSE, AS, and A-level entries. For other general, vocational, and technical qualifications, private candidates should approach their relevant exam board directly for help.

To search for an exam centre accepting private candidates this summer, please visit the JCQ website.

For information on how arrangements will work for private candidates this summer, please download this guidance from the summer 2021 arrangements page.

See all 2021 exam changes

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