A Star Equivalency has worked with senior GCSE examiners to help devise specifications that closely follow the current GCSE curriculum with alterations that make the exams more accessible to those who may not have studied academic subjects for a while and need to gain the qualifications in a shorter time frame. The following, details what is included in each examination series:
About A Star Equivalency
The following key areas detail our GCSE equivalency testing service. This enables training and course providers to understand our exam process and procedure and demonstrates how we maintain a high level of service for all of the people we work with.
- The Equivalency Examinations
- The Support
- The Compliance and Security
- A sample of the ITT providers we currently serve.
- Independent senior examiners benchmark our equivalency exams and marking schemes covering the assessment objectives set out in recognised UK exam board GCSE specifications.
- All current Combined Science board specifications are double award while students for primary teaching courses require single award. We therefore benchmark against the newest Internationally Combined Science Single award GCSE from Edexcel.
- Exams are written, released and refreshed in batches throughout the year.
- Our exam system logs exams used and prevents a resit of the same paper.
English Language GCSE (9-1 tier)
This is benchmarked to this specification: AQA 8700 GCSE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (For teaching from September 2015 onwards for exams in May/June 2017 onwards) (Single tier 1-9)
Mathematics GCSE (separate Foundation and higher tiers)
This is benchmarked to this specification: Pearson Edexcel GCSE Maths Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) (1MA1) (2015 first certification 2017). (Foundation 1-5 and Higher 4-9)
- Foundation & Higher specifications
- Foundation Question Paper
- Foundation Mark Scheme
- Higher Question Paper
- Higher Mark Scheme
Combined Science Single award GCSE
This is benchmarked to this specification: Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Science (Single Award) (4SS0) (from April 2021) (First teaching from September 2017 and the first certification from June 2019) (Single Tier 1-9).
This is benchmarked to this specification: Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Biology (4BI1)) (For first teaching September 2017 First examination June 2019 Issue 2) (Single Tier 1-9)
To assist candidates to meet the required standards to pass the GCSE equivalencies we include the following with every exam booking:
- A clear, detailed curriculum outline and assessment objectives.
- Samples exam papers and access to free resources to help revision.
- Free weekly live, subject specific coaching webinars to support learners.
- A dedicated course for those who require additional support and input.
- A 6 day a week; phone, live chat and email support service so learners can easily communicate with our service.
- Multiple weekly examinations slots including evening and weekend times to offer as much flexibility to learners as possible.
- Results are released promptly and in some cases are returned within 48 hours.
- Support to examinees with disabilities through complying with JCQ policy Adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties (also used by Edexcel and AQA)
Our own Compliance
- UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) is: 10087881.
- ICO (Information Commission Certificate) registration certificate Reference: Z9900794
- Terms of service – from website click this link
- Public liability — Superscript Policy Number DAV112463
Equivalency Exam Compliance
- High quality, professional GCSE examinations, accurately benchmarked to the latest UK recognised GCSE board specifications.
- Professional administration of exams under JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) regulations using trained invigilators who have experience of invigilating Ofqual regulated examinations.
- Marking is carried out by a team of independent markers who have/or currently mark for the exam boards.
- As new exam papers are released, they are standardized before pass marks are set to ensure each cohort of learners is fairly and consistently assessed.
- Pre-March 18th, 2021 certificates include a verification code this code can be checked by calling 0203 488 0960
- Post-March 18th, 2021 new E-certificates have a verification code that can be checked online here
We do not keep an active register of the Initial Teacher Training Providers currently using our services. Instead, we ask candidates to check with their providers before taking any exam and we have focused on providing the very best equivalency service. However, we have been doing this for almost 20 years and most ITT providers use our service and there are too many to list so the following is simply a sample of providers who actively encourage their prospective trainees to use our service.
Below is a sample of Universities using our service:
- Bath Spa University
- Bishop Grosseteste University
- Cardiff University
- Goldsmiths, University of London
- Kings College London
- Kingston University
- Liverpool Hope University
- Liverpool John Moores University
- London Metropolitan University
- London Southbank University
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- Middlesex University London
- Mid Essex ITT
- Nottingham Trent University
- Northumbria University
- Newman University
- Sheffield Hallam University
- Stranmillis University College
- St Mary’s University, Twickenham (UCL)
- Oxford Brookes University
- University College London
- University of Bedfordshire
- University of East London
- University of Chester
- University of Chichester
- University of Cumbria
- University of Derby
- University of Gloucester
- University of Greenwich
- University of Hertfordshire
- University of Hull
- University of Northampton
- University of Plymouth
- University of Reading
- University of Roehampton
- University of Strathclyde
- University of St Mark & St John
- University of Sussex
- University of South Wales
- University of Sunderland
- University of Warwick
- University of Westminister
- University of Worcester
- West London University
- Winchester University
- York St John University
Below is a sample of SCITTs using our service:
- Academies Enterprise Trust Teaching School Alliance
- Cornwall School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
- East Sussex Teacher Training Partnership School Direct Salaried TH
- Hillingdon SCITT
- Suffolk and Norfolk Primary SCITT
- School direct training – London
- The West London Teaching Schools Alliance
- Wildern Partnership (SCITT)
- Lampton LWA SCITT
- Harris Federation
- Mid Essex SCITT Consortium
- The Bedfordshire Schools Training Partnership
- Teaching London: LDBS SCITT
- Teacher Training UK
- Essex Teacher Training
More information about our services can be viewed on our website https://astarequivalency.co.uk.
Read our malpractice information here
How the course and exams work
A Star Equivalency Guarantees
We guarantee the following to learners taking our exams and to training providers recommending our service:
- We offer free tutorials to all candidates using our service.
- Our examinations are overseen by qualified and experienced GCSE examiners.
- Our courses and examinations will help learners to establish a fundamental understanding of the core subjects, that is required to go onto further education.
- Our exams will always offer the most cost effective and convenient option for learners to achieve a GCSE equivalency qualification.
- Our phone lines are always open, 6 days a week up to 7pm, to provide support and guidance.
- Learners are able to book in at short notice and get their results returned faster than any other provider, without compromising on the quality or fairness of the examination.
A Star Equivalency Partners
We work with many Universities and SCITTs all around the country to help their prospective trainee teachers, nurses and other professions meet the required standards in maths, English and science. We have some partners who recommend the service with learners coming to us directly, where other Universities go for a support package that enables them to offer a paper based exam on their campus.
The key thing that our service offers to training providers is an independent way for their applicants to demonstrate the required competency in the core subjects, that will stand up to Ofsted inspection. We also have a dedicated support service for learners to take the pressure of University administration teams.
Dave Dennis B Sc, Dip Ed, NPQH
Professional Development Team