BCU Equivalency Test

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AS Team August 30, 2021

The BCU equivalency test is designed for people who are applying to Birmingham City University teacher training courses. The BCU equivalency test is not applicable to other Universities or other initial teacher training routes. The BCU is an internally set exam and therefore it has not been externally moderated or standardised, so there is no way of knowing whether the content set is to GCSE level or whether the pass marks correlate to GCSE grade boundaries in any way. A BCU equivalency test result is not equivalent to a GCSE and can’t be used for anything other than gaining entry into BCU specifically for their teacher training PGCE courses. 




Who has to sit the BCU equivalency test? 

Those learners who do not have a GCSE in maths, English or Science may be required to take a BCU equivalency test in order to gain entry onto their PGCE routes. 


Will my training provider accept a BCU equivalency test result? 

No, if you are not applying to BCU then you should select another equivalency test provider. 


What is the cost of a BCU equivalency test? 

The cost varies depending on the subject and how many exams you have to sit. BCU also has a fixed administration fee that has to be paid upfront before booking any examination. 


What is in the BCU maths equivalency test? 

The BCU maths equivalency test covers some of the key GCSE topic areas but is not based on any recognised GCSE specification or exam board. 


What is in the BCU English equivalency test? 

The test covers the GCSE English language specification to some extent but is not aligned or benchmarked to any specific exam board. 


What is in the BCU Science equivalency test? 

A selection of AQA combined science exam topics. It is not understood why certain topics are chosen and the page references provided on the BCU site don’t seem to properly correlate with the subject content stated but it appears the following topics are covered. 

Cell Biology

Transport in Cells



Atomic Structure

Periodic Table


Rates of reaction





Can I sit a BCU Biology test? 

No, BCU do not offer a Biology test, you have to sit the combined science equivalency test. 


Will BCU accept equivalency test results from other providers? 

There is no logic to suggest that they won’t, as external providers offer more robust testing systems with moderation and standardisation which ensures that the tests offered meet the standards that Ofsted expect. However, you must always ask the admissions team directly to ensure they do accept other equivalency test providers before taking an exam. 

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