Exams News

Considering Exams for Next Year?

Our main exam page is hereThe best place to start your proper research is reading the Home Ed Wiki. This is only a brief overview of where we are and what you might need to think about.

It can feel a bit overwhelming when you start looking into this but essentially you need to pick a subject and an Exam Board which your Exam Centre can offer.

That may mean choosing an iGCSE in order to avoid coursework (which home educators can’t generally get marked).

Then work out how best to approach the syllabus- this may be to study independently with textbooks or online resources and YouTube, you may use a DLP (distance learning provider) or you may sign up with a tutor or class.

Then you do the work and book the exam probably before January or February for a June sitting but check your Centre’s deadlines.

The situation in NI is a little up in the air. We were promised a new central exam centre (Antrim probably) in 2020 but with the exam cancellations it has never really got off the ground and the new centre didn’t help anyone get Centre Assessed Grades in 2021 sadly (possibly not in 2020 either but that was before my family entered into the whole exams chaos!).

The main Exam Board here in schools is CCEA but they’ve been hopeless this year with private candidates through the exam cancellations so it may be best to consider other providers if you definitely don’t want to defer in the case of further disruption. The proposed centre was going to offer CCEA, AQA and Edexel (also called Pearson who also offer igcses) but not Cambridge (also called CIE- who are the other igcse board) sadly.

We do believe that the EA intend to make the Centre happen but we don’t have much faith that it’s going to happen before the whole coronavirus thing passes or that any bookings will be honoured in the event of exam cancellations. To find out if the EA’s new centre will be able to help you can use this email-  to

There are schools who have historically offered private candidates the opportunity to sit but we don’t know yet which will still be doing so once this is all over or even next year. The disruption has been hard on schools and we don’t know how many will feel that they can continue to offer support to private candidates.

If you are able to travel, it may be worth considering an English or Welsh Centre as a back up option. Many candidates here have been able to use such Centres remotely this year to get an Assessed Grade, such as Faregos or Tutors and Exams.  We are told that a Tutors and Exams centre will open soon in Belfast, which would certainly be cheaper than travelling!