Exam Centres for IGCSE Exams.
The following list of centres is provided by CIE.
Cambridge: Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies, 1 Salisbury Villas, Station Rd, Cambridge, CB1 2JF 01223 716890
Bristol: 3A Tutors Ltd,1a High St, Staple Hill, Bristol BS16 5HA Tel 01179109931
Loughborough: Loughborough Grammar School, 6 Burton Walks, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 2DU. Contact Mr Peter Sergeant 01509 283723
Oxford: Oxford Tutorial College, 12 King Edward Street, Oxford, OX1 4HT
Contact Carolyn Sanders 01865 793333
Somerset: Sidcot School, Oakridge Lane, Sidcot, Winscombe, North Somerset, BS25 1PD Contact Ms Lynda Redding 01934 843102
Devon: Trinity School Devon, Buckeridge Rd, Teignmouth, Devon, TQ14 8LY
Contact Mr Ray Elliott 01626 774138
Edinburgh: Basil Paterson College, 66 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4NA
Contact Mr Enrique Santos-Albarran – no phone number provided. We understand
that this centre has been most helpful in allowing Edexcel candidates to sit IGCSE
Subjects. We have no information as to whether this extends to CIE IGCSE
We are always pleased to hear from parents who can update our list or from centres able to offer facilities.
Although these centres are good last resorts, if you do not live near by, it is always well worth approaching local schools and colleges. Ask to speak to their examination officer. In the case of IGCSEs, you can explain that you will not need coursework to be moderated but are taking an exam-only option. This makes life easier for them. We can also supply you with syllabus codes and details. Many of our students have found that schools not listed with CIE are, nevertheless, prepared to accept private (external) candidates.
Exam dates are, as indicated, spread over a four week period. This applies to all exam boards. It is important, therefore, to take this into account when planning exams and considering where to take them. The rule has got to be the more local, the better. On the other hand, finding exam centres willing to accept private candidates continues to be difficult and so you should be prepared to travel. Consider centres that are situated near family or friends who may be able to let you or your child stay for the exam period.
It is important to remember that centres are not obliged to take private candidates. It means a lot of extra hassle for the examinations officer and although the centre fees may appear expensive, you need to remember that the administrative work involved in registering a student and then providing invigilators etc is far from cheap. CIE do not want to hear from private candidates. All negotiation must be done through exam centres so, if you have a query, it is to your exam centre that you must go.
Exam centres do not set exam dates. These are set internationally by the examination boards. Sometimes, you may find that the papers for a particular subject may be spaced out over a period of weeks. There is nothing an exam centre can do about this so do not complain to the examinations officer or ask them to condense the exam period – it is not within their power.
In the past, schools and colleges have been prepared to accept private candidates but now refuse to do so. This is partly because the extra paperwork needed is involved and complicated and also because they find private candidates ( or, more particularly, their parents) over demanding or, on occasions, actually abusive. This said, many students have written to us commending the centres they have attended and praising them as helpful and efficient. One parent, after congratulating the Cambridge and Loughborough centres, commented that their son had been accommodated by a particular college which had decided to stop taking private candidates because of a bad experience. She writes:
“That organisation is no longer available to private candidates. It is worth asking people to make an effort to stay on the right side of exam centres and be as easy as possible for them to work with. We need them; they don’t need us.”
We echo this sentiment entirely. Among exams officers, private candidates do have a poor reputation for not turning up, demanding remarks of exam papers, or wanting special treatment. If your child has particular problems that make it hard for them to sit an exam, you will need a medical report and also a report from an educational psychologist or similar, to state, not only what the problem is but, as important, what provision it would be fair to make to put that student on an equal footing with others. A parental statement that a child is dyslexic will not get you special treatment. Also, such special treatment needs to be applied for many months in advance and involves a lot of form filling for the exam centre. So, again, do not go down this avenue unless you are serious in wanting to sit the exams.
Finally, do check all the data you are sent regarding your exam entry. Exam entry codes are getting extremely complicated and it is easy for mistakes to occur. Check that your child has been entered for the correct papers and do make sure that you read the candidate instructions. Make sure you know what you are allowed to take into the exam with you; that you know where the exam is and the times for it. You cannot turn up a day late and be allowed to sit the exam – this is entirely against all exam regulations. If you are not known personally to the centre, you may well be asked for proof of identity – remember to take some.
Follow the instructions you are given, check the information with which you are provided and go well prepared into the exam and you should have a trouble free exam period.
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