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GCSE equivalency tests

COVID-19 update

Thank you for your interest in our GCSE equivalence tests. Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak we offering tests to St Mary’s applicants only. For St Mary’s applicants that wish to book a test please contact

As a provider of Initial Teacher Education, we understand that not everyone who wants to become a teacher has the qualifications required. This is particularly true when it comes to GCSEs.

GCSE equivalencies are required regardless of any higher qualification in a related subject. An individual with an A Level or Undergraduate degree in Mathematics, English or Science also requires the appropriate GCSEs.

The Institute of Education offers GCSE equivalency tests in Eng­lish, Mathematics and Science. A pass in one of these equivalency tests is considered to be of the same standard as a GCSE C grade or Level 4 in the revised GCSE structure.

The exams are designed to be at least the equivalent to a GCSE ‘C’/ level 4 and will be sat under exam conditions. Examiners decisions are final and no appeals will be considered.

Our equivalence tests do not count as a qualification in their own right and are only appropriate for those who have accepted a conditional offer to train with St Mary’s University or one of our partner schools.

We offer equivalence tests in:

  • English: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Maths: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Science: 1 hour 30 minutes

Please note: The St Mary’s test is specific to St Mary’s and is not an exam from any exam board. 

If you are applying to study at St Mary's the cost of our GCSE equivalency test for is £85. This is payable when you book your test. A second payment is required if you need to resit the test.

Your result will be emailed to you within three weeks of taking your test.

We allow one resit for a failed test. Should you fail both tests you will be required to undertake a full GCSE qualification. We will not accept an equivalence test from another company should you have failed the St Mary’s test twice.

If you are interviewed in August you will only be able to have one attempt at the equivalence tests as the PGCE courses begin at the start of September.

It is expected that you will sit your equivalence test within three months of you receiving your condition of offer. Once your booking has been made a check will be carried out on when you received your condition of offer. If it is over the three month period you will be deemed to have not met your conditions of offer. There are no exceptions to this.

Equivalence Testing Company

We will accept an equivalence test from Equivalence Testing Company. We will not accept an equivalence test from Equivalence Testing Company should applicants have failed the St Mary’s test twice. We accept these equivalency tests for both the Primary and Secondary PGCE programmes.

International qualifications

International qualifications equivalent to GCSEs will be assessed by St Mary’s using the National Academic Recognition Centre (NARIC).

If you're not applying to study at St Mary's the cost of our GCSE equivalence test is £100. A second payment is required if you need to resit the test.

Your result will be emailed to you within three weeks of taking your test.

You are only permitted to sit the test twice at St Mary’s University. Should you fail the test both times we will not be in a position to offer you a third test.

We strongly recommend that you confirm with your provider that they will accept an equivalence test result from St Mary’s University prior to booking your test.

Please note: due to high demand we are unable to offer any equivalence tests to external applicants in the month of August.

If you have a disability or learning difficulties that may affect your exam performance you may be eligible for extra exam time.

Written evidence of your disability or learning difficulty is required to ensure appropriate support is given. This information must be provided a minimum of one month prior to your test date.

Find out more

For further information about equivalence tests please contact

Please note: all fees are non-refundable and payable in advance.