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GCSE equivalency tests

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 to undertake a teacher training programme.

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.

Exams will be sat under exam conditions. Examiners decisions are final and no appeals will be considered.

We offer equivalence tests in:

  • English: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Maths: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Science - Combined science: 1 hour 30 minutes

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 re-sit 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.

Please Note:

Due to demand we offer equivalence tests to internal applicants ONLY in the month of August.

If you wish to take a GCSE equivalence tests with one of our recommended providers this must be done prior to sitting the test through St Mary’s University. Once you have taken a St Mary’s test twice you are unable to sit an external test.

We will accept equivalence test from the following companies:

Birmingham City University

These charges include support sessions and a test.

  • Admin fee - £25
  • English language - £90
  • Maths - £75
  • Science £75

Equivalence testing company

  • Course fees - £320
  • Test fee - £175

A star Equivalence

  • Online test: £180
  • Tuition: Kick start (three 2 hour tuition sessions) - £230. Exam - £180. exam
  • One-to-one: 2 hour session - £120.00. Exam - £180.00.
  • Face-to-face: 2 hour session - £130.00. Exam - £180.

Please note that equivalence testing company and A star offer maths at foundation level and English and science at higher level only.

International qualifications equivalent to GCSEs will be assessed by St Mary’s using the National Academic Recognition Centre (NARIC). You will be advised if your result does or does not meet the entry requirement.

How much are the tests?

For St Mary’s university applicants’, the cost is £85.00

If you're not applying to study at St Mary's the cost of our GCSE equivalence test is £100. Your result will be emailed to you within three weeks of taking your test.

How many times can I take the 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. St Mary’s applicants will be asked to sit a full GCSE and reapply for the following year. You are unable to sit and fail the test twice through St Mary’s and then take a test with one of our approved providers.

Is the St Mary’s test recognised across the UK?

No, 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. The St Mary’s test is written by our academic staff and is for applicants to St Marys university or one of our partner schools

How long is the St Mary’s test valid for?

The St Mary’s tests are valid for any programme you undertake at St Mary’s.

Do you offer support to take the test?

We only offer the test at St Mary’s. Some of our recognised providers will offer tuition as well as the test.

Can I sit a test even if I am studying for my GCSE(s)?

Yes - but we would like to emphasise that your GCSE(s) are important as they are recognised throughout the UK by academic institutions and employers so it is important for you to focus on these.

Can I sit more than one test on any of the dates?

No - you are only able to sit one test on any one date.

Are questions from a specific exam board?

No - the papers are written by our subject specialist academic staff.

Will I need to provide identification?

You will be asked to bring along photographic ID when you attend your test. We accept the following forms of ID:

  • Driving Licence
  • Passport
  • National Identity card

Is the test based on specific exam boards?

Our tests are written by our academics. They do not relate to any specific exam board.

What are the pass marks for each test?

  • English Language – 50%
  • Maths – 64%
  • Science – 48%

When will I receive my results?

The results of your test will be emailed to you within three weeks of sitting the test.

The equivalence test costs £85 per exam for St Mary's Applicants, £100 for all other applicants. One Resit is allowed, but will require another exam payment. All fees are non-refundable and payable in advance.

Parking will be available on campus from 4pm Monday to Friday.

Session Dates and Times

  • Thursday 14th January 2021 - 17:00
  • Saturday 30th January 2021 - 10:30
  • Thursday 11th February 2021 - 17:00
  • Saturday 27th February 2021 - 10:30
  • Thursday 11th March 2021 - 17:00
  • Saturday 27th March 2021 - 10:30
  • Thursday 15th April 2021 - 17:00
  • Saturday 24th April 2021 - 10:30
  • Thursday 13th May 2021 - 17:00
  • Saturday 22nd May 2021 - 10:30
  • Thursday 10th June 2021 - 17:00
  • Saturday 26th June 2021 - 10:30
  • Thursday 8th July 2021 - 10:30
  • Saturday 31st July 2021 - 10:30
  • Saturday 21st August 2021 - 10:30

To book, please go to our e-store

For any further information please contact Lizzy Jackson at elizabeth.jackson@stmarys.ac.uk.

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. We are only able to offer extra time for tests. Should you require more in-depth support please apply to one of our recognised providers. 

Please note

Due to demand we offer equivalence tests to internal applicants ONLY in the month of August.

If you wish to take a GCSE equivalence tests with one of our recommended providers this must be done prior to sitting the test through St Mary’s University. Once you have taken a St Mary’s test twice you are unable to sit an external test.


Find out more

For further information about equivalence tests please contact elizabeth.jackson@stmarys.ac.uk.

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