What is a Private Candidate | GCSE/IGCSE | Distance-learning | OBA

What is a Private Candidate?

A private candidate in the British education is a learner who belongs to any of the below categories:

1-   Student who studies through distance learning.

2-   Student who studies by themselves.

3-   Students who taught privately by private teachers or parents.

4-  Students who would like to re-sit or re-take exams

5-   Students studying a course not offered by their own school or college.

Student who attends a full/part time course in school is not consider as private candidate since she/he will have the school arranging in their behalf for the exams. On the other hand, a private candidate is responsible for registering themselves for the formal exams in either any approved examination center or with the British Council the in their country of residence. It is important that private candidate to register for the exams as early as possible from the exams date, we recommend six months earlier from the exam day. Please note that Pearson or Cambridge exams in any subject will be the same for both the private and non-private candidates hence no difference in the exam papers.

For more information about the meaning of “Private Candidate” please visit the Pearson related page by clicking here or Cambridge International related page by clicking here. Alternatively, search on Google for the British Council definition of “Private Candidate” meaning.

Who Awards Your Certificate

Your Formal Exams Process

In most of the world countries, the traditional formal qualifications are issued directly by country’s ministry of education, but this is different in the UK where in order for a qualification to be recognized it must be accredited through one of the United Kingdom awarding bodies that is authorised by regulated by any UK regulatory body/Department for Education. Awarding bodies such as Pearson-Edexcel or Cambridge Assessment International are responsible for developing, implementing and organising all aspects of the specifications and curriculum of every qualifications they offer and to monitor and maintain excellent quality to the qualifications and keep them relevant and contemporary. Add to that, the responsibility of these awarding bodies of issuing the formal examinations, marking the answers of the students’ exam and issuing students qualifications accordingly.

Our courses are designed to be to conform with the curriculum and examinations provided by Pearson-Edexcel. We also offer some subjects follows Cambridge qualification requirements. Pearson-Edexcel is one of UK main examination boards and is wholly owned by Pearson organization, the world's largest education publishing and technology Company. The company is specialised in a variety of academic qualifications including International A-levels and International GCSE’s. Pearson-Edexcel operates Internationally and awards over 1.5 million certificates to students around the world every year. To know more about Pearson-Edexcel visit their page by clicking here. The other awarding body is Cambridge International, the oldest awarding body with over 150 years of practical experience working with schools and governments worldwide and are wholly owned by a world-leading university, the University of Cambridge. Over 160 countries benefit from Cambridge International qualifications which recognised by universities and employers worldwide. To know more visit Cambridge International website by clicking here

Another terms used interchangeable with “awarding body” but still mean the same are “examination body”, “examination board” and “examination council” hence no need to be confused since all refers to the same body.

If your course qualification is awarded by Pearson-Edexcel and you are in the UK, then you would need to be prepared to look for an approved exams center by Pearson-Edexcel nearby you. Approved exams centers are also available outside the UK in many countries, but you may also contact the British Council in your country of residence to find out if you can set for Pearson-Edexcel exams with them as a “Private Candidate”. When contacting the exam centers or the British Council make sure to indicate the exam code of the qualification you want to sit for.

Similarly, if the qualification of your course is awarded by Cambridge then you will follow the same steps described in the previous paragraph with Pearson-Edexcel.

There are thousands of schools across the UK and outside who deliver Pearson-Edexcel or Cambridge courses. Typically, schools arrange for the students exams and provide the venue for the students in its premises where they can sit for their exams but schools are not allowed to issue or mark the exams papers, rather schools receive the examination paper from the examination board and after the exam day the schools send the students answers-papers to the examination board to mark them and to issue the transcripts and qualifications.

As a distance learning student, you would be described as a “Private Candidate” by the approved examination centers or the British Council in your country, they will be like a coordinator between you and the examination board, such that they will provide you with the venue where you can sit for your formal exams then they will send your exams answers to the examiner board who ultimately will mark them and send the transcript of the result to the same place where you sit for the exams for you to collect.


Pearson-Edexcel (Awarding Body)

Cambridage International (Awarding Body)

When Calling the Exams Centres or British Council

Since OBA School is an online school hence it does not work like schools with students attending full-time. Therefore, when contacting Pearson or Cambridge approved exams centres or the British Council in your country of residence to register for exams you have to introduce yourself as a “Private Candidate” in order for them to know which form you will need to fill out for exams registration. Also, you will need to know your exam full name and code and the examiner board of the exam (Pearson or Cambridge) for which all are provided to you by OBA School in each course page in our eLearning platform.

When Calling the Exams Centres or British Council