Notes on completing the Private Candidates’ Exam Registration Form©
This document is not intended to be an exhaustive guide to all the possible issues relating to being a Private Candidate – it is your responsibility to ensure that you register for exams that are available to Private Candidates and that you both understand and follow the exam board’s procedures and regulations for the relevant specification(s).
With this in mind, before registering for any exams as a Private Candidate, you are strongly advised to look at the relevant specification (syllabus) and other related information (exam timetables etc.) on the exam boards’ website(s). Details of their website addresses are at the end of this page.
This guide begins with a summary of the process before moving on to specific issues relating to the completion of the exam registration form. More general information then follows.
A Summary of the Process
Once you have completed the exam registration form with details of the exams you want to sit, we register you for those units with the exam board. They then send us a Statement of Entry showing which exams (and “cash-ins”/ overall subject grades) you are registered for. We then post you the Statement(s) of Entry together with a cover-letter which informs you where to go for the exam(s) and at what time. On the day of the exams, you come to the exam hall with your Statement(s) of Entry and photo ID (Passport or Driving Licence) together with anything you will need for the exam (e.g. calculator for maths exams). We get electronic access to your exam results a day before they are officially published. We print Statements of Results and post them to you that day – so that they should arrive in the post on the day they are officially released to you. Together with this Statement is a cover-letter that informs you which post-results services are available. If you have requested overall subject grades (“cashing in”), the certificates arrive a few months later and have to be collected in person (with photo ID).
“Cashing-in” / Certification
If you are completing a qualification in a particular exam session, you must request that the exam board process a “cash-in” for that subject (that is, add all your unit scores together and issue you with an overall grade for the subject). Some students assume this happens automatically, or that we will know when they are completing the qualification but this is not the case – please ensure that you clearly fill out the section of the form regarding certification. You should also check that the cash-in(s) that you have requested feature on the Statement of Entry when you receive it. Cashed-in grades are what Universities are informed of (through UCAS), so if you miss out a cash-in it can affect your future in a very negative way! If you are cashing-in through another centre, you do not need to cash-in through us (as you can only cash-in through one centre during an exam session). We charge £20 per AS/A2 cash-in/certification request.
Please note that if you are cashing-in an AS/A2 qualification in Further (or Pure) Maths you should re-cash-in any AS/A2 Maths qualifications that you have cashed-in previously (to prevent units that could be used for either qualification being “locked-in” to a previous cash-in and, so, not used in the best possible combination to give the overall subject grades).
The Unique Candidate Identifier (UCI) Number
This number is crucial! The UCI (13 characters in total ~12 digits and a letter on the end) is used to coordinate all of your individual exam marks together so that when you request an overall grade, the exam board can locate all of your previous exam results. If you do not provide your UCI number, or supply an incorrect one, there is a real risk that you won’t get an overall grade once you have completed the qualification(s).
The UCI number is issued whenever you sit an exam, so if you’ve done exams before in the UK you will have been issued a UCI number. The best place to find this number is on your previous Statement of Results (or Statement of Entry). If you bring in a copy of the Statement when you register, that’s the best way to ensure we register you under the correct UCI.
Of course, if you haven’t sat exams before, we will issue you with a new UCI. Again, it’s crucial that you then use this number for all future exams that you register for – here or elsewhere.
Generally, coursework is done as an internal student in a school and is then marked by the teachers within that school. This obviously creates problems if you want to do coursework as a Private Candidate.
If you want to do any units that involve coursework, you must first check with the exam board that they are available to Private Candidates and what the terms of that availability are. You can then enquire with us about registering you for the unit(s). We charge a £20 handling fee per coursework unit.
Please note that we are not allowed to mark any coursework unless it has been completed under the supervision of one of our tutors.
However, for some qualifications (particularly with the AQA exam board) you can do coursework as a Private Candidate as long as you have an “Authenticator”. The Authenticator essentially guarantees that they supervised you doing the coursework and can, therefore, give an undertaking that it is exclusively your work. As long as you submit an AQA “Private Candidate Coursework Information Form” (see link below) when you register for these coursework units, and attach a signed “Private Candidate Coursework Record Form” (see link below) to the completed work, the AQA exam board will mark your coursework.
For other qualifications, you may be able to submit work that has been authenticated and marked by a distance-learning organisation (see the links below).
Depending on tutor availability, we are sometimes able to supervise your coursework but there are substantial fees involved – a registration fee of £230 and £59 per hour individual tuition rate (reduced to £50 per hour if you pay for more than 10 hours). You can expect the setting, monitoring, guidance and marking of coursework to be at least 6-8 hours and possibly more.
Another option for coursework is to register and complete the coursework component of a specification with a distance learning organisation that will both make the entries for it with the exam board and submit the coursework directly to them. You can then register for written exams separately with us. For example, for some specifications, students can do the coursework components with the National Extension College and their written exams with us.
If you have done coursework before (with a mark for it recorded at the exam board), and the specification allows it, you can use it again towards the award of a qualification if you carry forward/transfer the previous coursework mark. You would then only re-sit written exams. For the AQA board, you will need to complete a Private Candidate Coursework Information form (see link below) to inform them of where you did the coursework previously.
Please note that we do not retain coursework for long periods after it is returned by the exam board following moderation/marking. If you want your coursework back, please collect it within a month of the publication of results.
As with coursework, controlled assessments are intended to be sat by students within a school, and are not generally available to Private Candidates. However, we are able to offer controlled assessments for a limited range of specifications (e.g. practical assessments for A-level Sciences). Please enquire about whether we can have you sit the Controlled Assessments with us.
A Level Science involves a “practical skills assessment” for Unit 3 and Unit 6 (essentially, coursework/controlled assessment pieces that are based on practical laboratory-based work). We run courses for AS and A2 Biology from the end of January/February and the end of April. AS and A2 Chemistry and Physics courses generally take place during the Easter break – between the end of March and mid-April. These courses are popular so you should try to book early. If you are interested in one of these courses, please e mail us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request more information or a booking form.
It may be possible for you to complete these practical units for other exam board’s specifications on an individual/small group tuition basis – subject to tutor availability. Please enquire.
Language Oral Exams
We are usually able to offer AS/A2 language Oral exams with the Edexcel board (in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, & Russian). Unfortunately, the specifications’ requirements for GCSE languages mean that we are unable to offer orals at GCSE level. However, we do offer oral exams at IGCSE level (with Edexcel) in French, German and Spanish.
Access Arrangements/Special Consideration
If you are eligible for access arrangements (such as 25% extra time or use of a laptop computer), you must supply the original of the Educational Psychologist’s (or Medical Doctor’s) report that entitles you to this arrangement when you register. There is also a Data Protection form that you must complete if we are to request this for you – please collect this when you register. If a medical (or other) issue occurs during the exam period, you can request that “special consideration” be applied if you consider that it disadvantaged your exam performance. Again, you need to supply medical or other evidence that we can forward to the board in support of your application.
Exam Timetable Clash
An exam clash can happen within an exam centre (when you have more than 3 hours of exams in a session) or between different centres (when you are registered for exams at the same time in two different places). It is your responsibility to check the Statement(s) of Entry and ensure that you inform us, in writing, if your exams at Campbell Harris, in any single AM or PM session, are longer than 3 hours duration. If you are eligible for extra time, such that the granting of 25% extra time will lead to more than 3 hours duration in an exam session, you should, again, inform us in writing.
When you have an exam clash at Campbell Harris, you must come to the AM session to sit one of the exams before being supervised (without mobile phone access etc.) and then sitting the other exam in the PM session. You should bring a packed lunch.
If you have an exam clash between centres, you should inform us immediately. The exam boards may allow you to be hosted at the other centre for an exam that you have registered for with us, or vice versa, but this is at their discretion. There is a £35 fee per unit if you want to request this transferred candidate arrangement – please note that this fee is non-refundable.
Transferred candidate arrangement
As detailed above, if agreed by the exam board, this arrangement allows you to sit exams that you have registered for with us at another centre (or vice versa). There is a non-refundable fee of £35 per unit for this service.
If you are requesting a cash-in/certificate but have changed specifications, or exam boards, between AS and A2, you must complete a JCQ Transfer of AS Award form (see link below). Please note that this form must be submitted each time you cash-in and you must have a cashed-in/certified AS award to be able to request that it is used towards the overall A-Level grade. If you are re-sitting AS units, or do not have a previous AS award, you must, therefore, cash-in at both AS & A2 level.
Please note that not all transfers are permitted – a list of those specifications that can be combined is available on the JCQ website (see link below).
Some units have pre-release/case-study material that you will need to receive before the exam so that you are able to properly prepare. For some units, the relevant material becomes available on the board’s website at a specified time-period before the exam. For others, we receive paper copies which we then distribute to you. Please inform us, when you register, if one or more of the exams you wish to take require such material.
Before the day of your first scheduled exam, you should receive your Statement(s) of Entry, in one of the self-addressed envelopes you provided, by post. Enclosed with the Statement(s) will be a cover-letter that gives details of both the location of the exam hall and the time at which you must attend for AM and PM sessions. Please note that if you are late for an exam, you may not be able to sit it!
If you have registered very late for an exam, or have registered late for an exam with WJEC (who do not send us Statements of Entry for late registering candidates), you should make absolutely sure that you know the date and time that each exam is scheduled and where our exam hall is. This is because we cannot be sure to get this information to you in time for your exams!
In rare instances, when the number of registrations for exams in a particular session exceeds the capacity of the exam hall, we may need to split the exam session. In such cases, we will contact you beforehand to ask you to come in to be supervised (with no mobile phone access etc.) before sitting the exam when the first session has finished. You must arrive at the time specified by us or the security of the exam will be considered to have been compromised and you will not be able to sit the exam. In case we need to split the exam session, you should allow for 3 hour duration of each exam session.
You must bring your Statement of Entry and Photo ID (Passport, Driving Licence, or National ID card) to each exam. Please note that some forms of photo ID (Oyster cards, Student ID cards) are not acceptable and that you will only be permitted to sit the exam if you have valid photo ID Passport, Driving Licence or National Photo ID card).
Before entering the exam hall, all mobile phones, MP3/MP4 players, Ipods etc must be turned off and placed in your coat or bag (you are not permitted to have these items on your person during the exam, even if they are turned off). When you enter the exam hall you will be instructed on where to place any coats, bags etc. While we endeavour to maintain security, these items are left at your own risk.
We get electronic access to your Statement of Results the day before they are due to be distributed to you. We print them and send them to you in the post – so, if the self-addressed envelopes you provide have first class stamps, you should receive them in the post on publication day. Together with the Statement(s) of Results will be a cover-letter that outlines the post-results services that are available (enquiries about results, script access requests, and late cash-ins) and the charges for them.
Because of the large numbers of students taking exams with us, we strongly discourage students from coming to collect their results in person on publication day. If, however, you do not receive your results in the post on publication day, you can e mail us (email@example.com) to request them. You need to supply full details in your e mail: Your full name, date of birth, and the board(s) you took exams with. In response, we will e mail you your results as soon as possible that day but you will have to be patient as it’s an extremely busy time.
The cover-letter that comes with your Statement(s) of Results indicates which post-results services are available. If you have not yet requested cashing-in/certification you may request a Late Cash-Into obtain an overall grade for the subject(s). If you want to query a result you must complete and return the form printed on the back of the cover-letter. You can request either a Clerical Checkto ensure that the board’s procedures were correctly followed, an Enquiry about Results where the exam is re-marked, or a Priority Enquiry about Results service where your place in higher education is dependent on a successful re-mark (this service is available for A-Level only). If you would like to have access to your exam script(s), you can request either a priority copy (so that you can review it before deciding whether you want to request an Enquiry about Results) or the original script.
Where applicable, Campbell Harris should receive your certificate(s) by June (for the January session) or November (for the May/June session). Please telephone to make arrangements for collection in person (with photo ID). Uncollected certificates may be returned to the Board(s).
Full details are required!
Please ensure you provide all the requested information clearly when completing the form – missing out your date of birth or not using BLOCK CAPITALS so that we misspell your name, for example,can cause problems of identification at the exam board. Missing out your UCI number or a cash-in/certification request, as detailed below, can have more serious consequences! Please also include all contact information as we may need to contact you by phone, e mail, or post.
Whose responsibility is it to make sure you are registered for the correct exams?
In a word: Yours! You need to ensure that the details you provide on the form are clearly stated and correct! This means, in particular, that the entry codes for the units must be correct (including the option code if relevant) as we won’t know which exams you want to do! When you get your Statement of Entry, you must check it very carefully to make sure that you are registered for the correct units (and any “cash-ins” that you have requested). If we need to make an amendment to your unit entry details, this can lead to you being charged again for the unit – usually at the late or very late registration fee!
Is there an Administration fee?
Yes – we have to charge a fee on top of the fee the exam board charges us (so that we can hire an exam hall, invigilators etc.!). Unlike some of the (very few) other colleges that offer exams to Private Candidates, we do not charge a separate administration fee – it’s included in the fees we charge for each exam.
Why are exams more expensive when it’s a late registration?
The exam boards increase their fees substantially when we register you late so we have to pass this additional cost on to you. Our deadlines for late registration have to be before the board’s deadlines so that we can register you in time.
Why is my candidate number different from last time and different between boards?
Your candidate number on the Statement(s) of Entry/Results is arbitrary and is generated when we register you – your candidate number will change between exam sessions, your UCI number shouldn’t! If you have registered for exams with more than one board, you will have different candidate numbers for each (as shown on the Statements) – you must use the correct candidate number on the exam script, when you sit that board’s exams.
Why so many self-addressed envelopes?
We ask for 5 self-sealing A5 (also known as C5) envelopes (they are half the A4 size). They should clearly state your full name and address, and should have the correct (first-class) postage stamps applied. We need 5 envelopes to cover the many possibilities of what we may need to send you (Statements of Entry, Statements of Results, amended copies of these Statements, pre-release/case study material, Edexcel results-access slips, requested exam scripts, and letters regarding the scheduling of practical or oral assessments). The A5/C5 size is necessary, so that we can send more bulky items such as exam scripts or pre-release/case study material.
The necessity of coming in for ID
All Private Candidates need to come in to be formally identified (with photo ID – either Passport, Driving Licence or National photo ID card) when they register. If you are registering without coming to see us, you must come in for ID purposes at least a month before the day of your first exam.
Are refunds available if I don’t want to sit the exam anymore?
Generally, we are unable to refund you for exams that you have registered for, as the exam board will still charge us for making the entries. If you provide a written request to be withdrawn, that allows us enough time for us to withdraw the entry without being charged, we may be able to offer you a partial refund – please enquire.
Distance Learning Organisations:
Oxford Open Learning,
4 Kings Meadow,
Ferry Hinksey Rd,
Oxford OX2 0DP
Tel: 01865 798022
International Correspondence Schools (ICS), National Extension College,
Breckenridge House The Michael Young Centre,
274 Sauchiehall Street Purbeck Road,
Glasgow, G2 3EH Cambridge, CB2 8HN
Tel: 0808 115 5165 Tel: 0800 389 2839 / 01223 400 200
Wolsey Hall Oxford,
Tel: 0800 622 6599
Exam boards’ website links for private candidates:
For Edexcel (http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/home.html):
For AQA (http://www.aqa.org.uk/):
“Private Candidate Coursework Information Form”:
“Private Candidate Coursework Record Form”:
For OCR (http://www.ocr.org.uk/):
For WJEC (http://www.wjec.co.uk/):
Other Useful Links:
For JCQ (http://www.jcq.org.uk/) – Regulations about which AS & A2 Qualifications can be combined (AS transfer):
– Form “Application for transfer of GCE AS Award between specifications/exam boards” :
Searchable Exam timetable for all boards: