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What about exams?

You may be considering the possibility of your child taking GCSE examinations.


Many GCSEs that are taken in schools and colleges include coursework or assessments which have to be marked by teachers or assessors. For this reason many home educating children take iGCSE (i=international) examinations. This type of GCSE is exam based only and does not include any course work or assessments.

It is important to decide what examinations your child will be taking and this may be based on your child’s future aspirations. For example:

  • Does your child wish to go onto college and if so what course would they like to do?
  • What do they want to do beyond statutory school age?

If you are able to identify the path that your child is wishing to take, then you will be able to determine what examinations they will require.

Where can your child sit examinations?

It is also important that you identify where your child can sit their examinations. You may like to approach your local high school or college; however, as part of our work to support home education families, we have located some exam centres who are able to accept external candidates. Be aware that you will be charged for examinations and you may also be charged an admin fee by the exam centre. These centres accept external candidates at the discretion of the headteacher or principal:

Exam specifications and exam boards

Once you have identified the examinations your child will be taking you may find it useful to look at the specifications for each subject. The specification will tell you what your child needs to learn in order to pass the examination. Specifications can be found on the exam board websites. Here are a few exam boards that offer iGCSEs:

Be aware that many schools and colleges do not appear to be affiliated or registered with the Cambridge (CIE and OCR) boards. They are therefore unable to offer examinations with these boards.

Study aids

There are many textbooks and workbooks available on the market which compliment particular exam boards. These can be purchased through reputable bookshops or online.

You can also download and print off past exam papers with mark schemes from many of the exam board websites. These may be useful for exam practice or to consolidate learning and understanding.

Further information

You may also find the links below helpful for support:

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