It's easy to apply as a private candidate

Before you send in your application, please ensure that as a Private Candidate you can fulfil the following criteria:

1) Know your subject

Is the subject option available to private candidates ?

Are you learning the correct subject content for the option you are entering ?

Do you know which papers are involved ?

Do you know which tier (GCSE) you are entering for ?

Have you found the correct entry code ?

Is a subject award (cash-in) code involved ?

2) Check the regulations about Controlled Assessments (GCSE)

If you are taking a coursework element for a GCSE subject, at least some of the work must be carried out under controlled supervision, which can be arranged through the College. The details are given in the subject specifications.

3) Check the 40% rule (GCSE)

Some GCSE subjects require that at least 40% of the overall assessment is taken during the exam series in which you are expecting to finish the course an gain a qualification. If you are taking all the papers/units/modules in the subject at the same time (for example in the January or in May/June series) then there is nothing to worry about.

If you have already taken some modules, you will need to check that the module in the current series is worth the 40% of the total marks. If not, you may have to take two modules, possibly including one which you have taken before.

4) Complete the Private Candidate Application Form

Before you apply to take your exams at Manchester Exam Centre, please read carefully the page entitled "Notes For Guidance" under the Applications tab.

5) Check the Fees

Fees are payable in 3 parts.

a) The non-refundable administration fee payable to Manchester Exam Centre at the time of making your application; this provides you with a centre at which to take your exams.

b) The exam enrty fees; these are passed directly straight to the examination boards.

c) The invigilation fee; this helps provide sufficent invigilation and support staff to run the exams according to the regulations and to ensure that you have the appropriate exam conditions. You will be invoiced in due course, after you have submitted your application form, when we know the total length of time involved.

d) Extra fees cover the cost of providing Science practicals, marking coursework and so forth, for some candidates.

6) Send and Pay

Your application may be filled in online, posted, emailed or delivered by hand to the centre. It is advisable to keep a copy. The administration fee is payable at the same time, by card over the phone or in person (no charge is added) or through bank transfer.

Your application will be processed when the administration fee has been paid and your application form has been completed fully. Please submit your application in good time before the closing dates.

How to find the information you need as a private candidate

1. Your tutor or tutorial agency. You may have to pester them to give you the complete and correct information.

2. Log on to the examination board websites.

3. If you do not have access to a computer you can arrange to use one at the Centre for £5 per hour.

Please contact Manchester Exam Centre (OptimalTutors) (0161 790 2635) to arrange an appointment if you require any assistance. Consultations are for 30 minutes and cost £5 refundable deposit after this consultation we can help in completing your private candidate application form.