3 Steps To Gaining Your GCSE Equivalency Test Qualification

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions relating to equivalency tests and courses. However, if you cannot find an answer to a specific question, please feel free to contact us via test@astarequivalency.co.uk and please do not forget to add your contact number so we can call you directly. You are also welcome to attend one of our free equivalency exam information sessions where you can meet members of our team.

Step 1: How do I Start the Journey?

Always check with your training provider for their specific requirements and deadlines. Generally for those doing teacher training the following are required before commencement,and those with “conditional acceptance” on a course should check the deadlines.

If you haven’t achieved the required GCSEs, there an option of passing a GCSE Equivalency Test/Exam.

If you studied outside the UK, check the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) website to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A levels and an undergraduate degree.

GCSE Equivalency Tests/ Exams are intended for students who cannot evidence they have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C / Level 4 or above in the GCSE examinations. The equivalency exam result is used as an alternative to completing a GCSE for the purpose of meeting the entry requirements of  post graduate courses including teacher training and nursing programmes. It is not a GCSE qualification.

A* Star Equivalency Testing has been the leader in delivering Equivalency Tests since 2002 and our certificates are accepted by most training providers. However, as there are hundreds of existing providers, new providers and policies can be subject to change. We therefore advise candidates to always check with their proposed provider.

If there appears to be any issues with your training provider, please email test@astarequivalency.co.uk as we can generally assist.

Value for Money

  • Our charges are lower than our major competitors
  • All the home study materials for our exams can be readily purchased online and are inexpensive.
  • High quality, professionally written, exam board GCSE exams which are well supported, professionally administered.
  • Equivalency exams are professionally assessed and results are returned promptly, generally within one or two weeks.
  • We offer our examinees a range of options that provide flexibility on the day, time and location of exams
  • We also offer a broad range of equivalency training options to support equivalency test examinees.

Widely Accepted (*)

  • We have assisted thousands of aspiring teachers achieve course prerequisites for over a decade
  • We have an excellent reputation as a successful, well established, major provider of equivalencies to teacher training providers
  • Our equivalencies are accepted by most teacher training providers.

Our expertise

  • Our equivalency testing team is made up of former teachers, headteachers, university student registration staff and we know how to best assist you through this process
  • We only use experienced successful professionals to support you including professional markers and exam invigilators receive JCQ training.
  • All examinees are ID checked by staff with Safer Recruitment Training/compliance training. Scanned copies are kept secure for auditing purposes for up to 12 months.

Security and Accountability

  • Banks of exams in each subject are regularly rotated to ensure examinees sit fresh exams
  • Completed equivalency tests, marking schemes, profiles of markers, copies of examinees photo ID and evidence of dyslexia (where relevant) are kept secure for 12 months for the purpose of auditing the process before shredding
  • Anti-fraud certificates include a Unique Identification Code linking the certificate to named examinee’s results.

A* Star Equivalency Testing has been the leader in delivering Equivalency Tests since 2002 and this equivalency exam and certificate is accepted by most training providers. However, as there are hundreds of existing providers, new providers and policies can be subject to change. We therefore advise candidates to always check with their proposed provider as we do not offer any refunds.

If any issues arise, please pass your details and the provider’s details to test@astarequivalency.co.uk  as we can generally assist.

Exams charges paid for you

  • A* Star Equivalency testing has a sister company called A* Star Teachers. They supply staff into daily supply, short term, long term and permanent roles in nurseries, primary and secondary (though to A level) schools /colleges throughout London and the South East.
  • They are offering to pay/refund the exam costs for candidates offering referrals of school staff
  • If you are interested in taking advantage of this popular offer please email: test@astarequivalency.co.uk with your contact details.

One hour information/help sessions carried out from 5.00 pm-6.00 pm on Tuesdays in the Angel Office N1 0QH. Our Information and help sessions are designed to provide clear guidance to those with issues surrounding pre requisites for teacher training courses.

Our facilitators have extensive experience working with Initial Teacher Training issues. In addition they are familiar with issues relating to pre requisites for teacher training courses including all aspects (and subjects) of equivalency and skills tests.

These sessions are ideal for students who have already looked these frequently asked questions (FAQ) and emailed for support test@astarequivalency.co.uk but require more assistance as they:

  • have many questions /issues
  • have complex issues
  • need to gain a number pre requisites and need assistance with planning to save time and money
  • they are generally confused about what to do and need to speak to somebody face to face and make a plan ​

Step 2: How do I Prepare for Equivalency Testing?

  • From step 1 you have confirmed specifically what you require and when you will require it and have confirmed your training provider accepts A* Star Equivalency Testing
  • Preferably focus on passing one equivalency test/exam at a time. Studying for more than one equivalency test/exam at a time can be counterproductive
  • Generally, it is best to begin with the equivalency exam/skills test that you find most difficult. We often start with enthusiasm and succeeding in the subject you find most difficult will enable you to maintain your momentum. Also, if for any reason you fail to succeed in this exam/test and decide to pause or stop you will have minimised the time and money spent
  • How much time do I need to study for my test?  It depends on how much previous study you have done, your aptitude for the subject and most of all, how effectively you study; this will vary from individual to individual. The best advice is to look through the revision materials and assess how much time and how much support you think you need
  • When creating your timeline, try to allow some time at the end in case things do not go quite according to plan
  • Make a weekly schedule for your study. Note: All revision materials are inexpensive and readily available online, as well as on this website. (See step 4 subject by subject)
  • Beyond this, there are a number of options you could choose from to assist your preparation for your test:
  1. Study with a friend, if you know anyone who is preparing for the same test
  2. Ask one of your friends/colleagues for some help. Do you know a teacher?
  3. Get private tuition using the course outline from this website
  4. Choose one of the recommended support options offered by A* Star Teachers and outlined in Step 3 below
  1. Now have a plan with a timeline, purchase the recommended revision materials online by copying the ISBN number and pasting it into your search browser. These materials are inexpensive and are essential to your preparation.
  2. Preparation for Equivalency tests
  3. Equivalency Test Course options
    • Kick-start programme consisting of three consecutive two-hour sessions covering equivalency exam programme over three consecutive weeks.
    • Booster Class which is a 1×2 hour session designed to prepare candidates who have thoroughly studied the recommended equivalency revision material.
    • One to One classes 1x 2 hour “One to One ” personal revision classes.
    • Online interactive 1×2 hour online is a One to One using the latest technology to enable to be tutored in your own home.
    • Professional Skills Test Coaching Classes 1x 2 hour “One to One ” personal revision classes (NB not required after April 2020)
  4. Equivalency Test options
    • Mock Equivalency Tests Students sit a standard scheduled 2 hour exam. The paper is marked as using GCSE marking scheme and results used as a diagnostic tool in your training.
    • Scheduled Equivalency Tests Results are generally returned in max of 12 working days. An official equivalency certificate with an anti –fraud Unique Security Code will be sent to the address you used when you made the booking. The exam and certificate are accepted by most training providers, however it is the candidate’s responsibility to check with their provider.
    • You Choose When Equivalency Tests This option suits those who need greater flexibility in the date, day and time of their exam. You choose you own day and time during office working hours.
    • You Choose Where This option suits those with a busy schedule, who can provide an appropriate assessment environment and need the exam to come to them
    • Fast Track with 24 -48 hour results This service is best suited for candidates who have tight deadlines and require a guarantee that results are back quickly

NB. A* Star Equivalency Testing’s sister company A* Star Teachers that recruits staff to supply, short , long term and permanent roles from institutions from Nursery though to A levels in London and its surrounds. They will pay the costs of exams for referrals for school staff looking for work and/or schools or nurseries.

There is a range of course options designed to support your preparation:

  • Kick-start programme consisting of three consecutive two-hour sessions covering programme over three consecutive weeks. Parallel to this, your tutor will set a home study programme to complete your preparation.  You also receive a free GCSE mock equivalency exam which is marked and results used to inform your training plan. In addition you have the option reserved to sit the scheduled exam the week following course completion.
  • Booster Class which is a 1 x 2 hour session designed to prepare candidates who have thoroughly studied the recommended revision material and /or recently completed a Kick Start and want a top up. .

These courses are designed to deliver maximum impact and accelerate candidates with basic skills and experience through well -structured revision material.

  • Online Interactive classes 1×2 hour personal interactive session using latest home tutoring technology with flexible times offered in the comfort of your own home.
  • One to One classes 1x 2 hour “One to One ” personal face to face revision classes
  • Professional Skills Test Coaching Classes 1x 2 hour “One to One ” personal revision classes (NB not required after April 2020)

How do these options benefit you?

  • Specialist coaching delivered by experienced successful trainers
  • Guidance regarding best strategies to successfully sit the exam
  • Support materials including workbooks with questions and answers and example exam questions with answers

Equivalency Test options: There is a range of test options designed to meet your needs:

  • Mock Equivalency Tests  Students sit a standard scheduled 2 hour exam. The paper is marked as per standard exams. Exam provides practice and results are used to inform study plan.
  • Scheduled Equivalency Tests – You benefit from
    • All home study materials for our exams are readily purchased online and inexpensive.
    • High quality, professionally written, exam board GCSE exams which are well supported and professionally invigilated.
    • Exams are professionally assessed and results are returned promptly, generally within one or two weeks.
    • We also offer a broad range of training options to support examinees.
    • Certificates have an anti-fraud Unique Identification Code linking the certificate to named examinee’s results and grade
    • We offer our examinees a range of optional extras that provide flexibility on the day, time,  location and turnaround time of results

All candidates must arrive by 5.30 pm to the centre. Photo ID is required prior to entering the equivalency exam room.

Optional Extras:

You choose when  (Select scheduled equivalency test and check this  optional extra)

This option suits candidates

  • who need greater flexibility in date, day and time of Equivalency Test
  • wishing to use the “equivalency test” as a prerequisite for gaining Qualified teachers Status with teacher training providers

You choose when to sit your Equivalency Tests?

  • Tick this option before selecting dates
  • Not currently available on weekends or evenings however candidates who need further assistance please email test@astarequivalency.co.uk
  • These exams are generally held at Islington Arts and Media School Turle Road N4 3LS see contact us page

You choose where

  1. Before booking download, complete and email test@astarequivalency.co.uk
    1. Authorisation Form (signed by headteacher)
    2. Joint Council for Qualifications exam accommodation checklist (signed by Headteacher/ nursery manager or deputy head teacher or exams officer)
  2. Receive confirmation to go ahead by A* Star Equivalency’s reply to email
  3. Book scheduled exam and this optional extra online

NB Discounts apply for multiple equivalency examinees at the same school test@astarequivalency.co.uk

This Equivalency Tests suits those who

  • have a busy schedule making attendance at scheduled exams difficult
  • have a tight deadline for results
  • need the greater control over the time and place of their exam
  • could save time and money by sitting the exam through school day
  • have the support of a school

You benefit from

  1. The Equivalency Tests
    • All home study materials for our exams are readily purchased online and inexpensive.
    • High quality, professionally written, exam board GCSE equivalency exams which are well supported and professionally invigilated.
    • Equivalency Tests  are professionally assessed and results are returned promptly, generally within max 12 working days.
    • We offer our examinees a range of options that provide flexibility on the day, time and location of exams
    • We also offer a broad range of training options to support examinees.
    • Certificates have an anti-fraud Unique Security Code linking the certificate to named examinee’s results and grade.

Fast Track with 24 -48 hour results Select scheduled exam and then check this optional extra.

50% Discount applies when this option is selected with the You choose when option

This service is best suited for candidates who

  • Have tight deadlines and require a guarantee that results are back quickly.
  • Need exam results are guaranteed to be returned to you between 24-48 hours. NB Results are usually returned within 24 hours however the guarantee is 48 hours. These hours apply to work days of the week.

Step 3: Booking Online Courses & Equivalency Tests

Please ensure you need to do the equivalency exam courses as payments are non-refundable

What are the Exam and Course Dates?  We have a scheduled exam once per month, exam dates can be found in exam booking section. Exams must be booked online in advance.

What are the Equivalency Test times? Equivalency Tests start 5.50 pm. Candidates MUST arrive at 5.30 pm on the day of the exam, Please do not attend earlier as we can only hire premises from 5.30 pm. Late candidates will be refused entry to the exam room. If times and / or dates do not suit your needs please use “Your Choice When” option. Once booked, it is the candidate’s responsibility to attend at the correct time and date. PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM/ JUNK FOLDER FOR CONFIRMATION EMAIL

What do I need to bring to the Equivalency Tests? You will need to bring Photo ID in the form of your passport or photo card driver’s license to enable an identity check to be made. If you do not bring the valid ID you will not be able to sit the test. Student cards, paper licenses etc are not sufficient.

Can I sit Equivalency Tests in more than one subject? You can complete more than one exam BUT you can only complete one exam per scheduled booking date. However, it is possible to sit multiple equivalency exams through the “you choose when” option. If you have a genuine problem regarding an application deadline, please outline the issue to test@astarequivalency.co.uk with a contact number.

Where are the Equivalency Tests and tuition classes held? All revision classes and “Your Choice When” exams are held at the Business Design Centre 52 Upper Street N1 0QH

Scheduled GCSE Equivalency Tests in London are held at the Islington Arts and Media College on Turle Road, Islington  N4 3LS .

Can I sit my GCSE Mathematics Equivalency Test in Birmingham?  The YOU CHOOSE WHERE option to sit your Equivalency Test has been offered to candidates in London since 2002. The opportunity to sit English GCSE, Combined Science GCSE, Biology GCSE and Mathematics GCSE Equivalency Tests has arrived in Birmingham.

We also offer inexpensive Equivalency Testing revision materials to Birmingham GCSE Equivalency Test candidates. If you are in Birmingham and would like to pass GCSE Equivalency Test in Birmingham please email test@astarequivalency.co.uk

What is an equivalency test and does my training provider accept A*Star Teachers equivalency tests?  An equivalency test certificate is not a GCSE. It is a GCSE equivalency for the purpose of meeting the pre-requisites for certain teacher training and tertiary education programmes. It is your responsibility to check if your training provider accepts A*Star Teacher equivalency testing.

When do I get the Equivalency Test results? Results usually take a maximum of 12 working days after you sit the Equivalency Test. Candidates are sent official notification via email. A certificate is sent to the postal address provided on your booking. If you require a quick turnaround of results (24 -48 hrs) we offer an equivalency results fast track service. Please select this option when making a booking.

What if I need to re-sit? Candidates can re-sit Equivalency Test by rebooking an Equivalency Test. The Equivalency Test will be similar but will be a different test.

How do I book an Equivalency Test or course? Click Book Now and follow directions. Once you have made a booking you will receive a confirmation email.
If you do not receive this email, please check your spam folder.

I need to change my Equivalency Test date. How do I do this?A change of exam date can be done by clicking the option in bookings and will incur a change of booking charge to enable the details and security code changes.
At least 48 hours notice must be given when changing your exam date. If less than 48 hours notice the change cannot be made and fees are not refundable

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