It’s easy to apply as a private candidate

Before you send in your application, please ensure that as a private candidate you can  fulfil the following criteria:

1.  Know your subject

Is the subject option available to private candidates?

Are you learning the correct subject content for the option you are entering?

Do you know which papers are involved?

Do you know which tier (GCSE) you are entering for?

Have you found the correct entry code?

Is a subject award (cash-in) code involved?

2. Check the regulations about Controlled Assessments (GCSE)

If you are taking a coursework element for a GCSE subject, at least some of the work must be carried out under controlled supervision, which can be arranged through the College. The details are given in the subject specifications.

3.  Check the 40% Rule (GCSE)

Some GCSE subjects require that at least 40% of the overall assessment is taken during the exam series in which you are expecting to finish the course and gain a qualification. If you are taking all the papers/units/modules in the subject at the same time (for example in the January or in May/June series) then there is nothing to worry about.

If you have already taken some modules, you will need to check that the module you are taking in the current series is worth 40% of the total marks.  If not,  you may have to take two modules, possibly including one which have taken before.

4.  Complete the Private Candidate Application Form

Before you apply to take your exams at Macclesfield Tutorial College, please read carefully the page entitled “Notes for Guidance” under the Applications tab.

5.  Check the Fees

Fees are payable on application.

a) The non-refundable fees are payable to Macclesfield Tutorial College at the time of making your application; this provides you with a Centre at which to take your exams, the exam entry fees (these are passed directly to the examination boards) and the invigilation fee; this helps to provide sufficient invigilation and support staff to run the exams according to the regulations and to ensure that you have the appropriate exam conditions. You will be invoiced once you have submitted your application form, when we know the total cost of your specific examinations.

Fees also cover the cost of providing Science practicals, marking coursework and so forth, for some candidates.

Please refer to the “Scale of Fees for Examination Candidates” and “How and When to pay my Examination Fees” pages under the Applications tab.

6.  Send and pay

Your application form may be posted, e-mailed or delivered by hand to the College. It is advisable to keep a copy. On receipt of application we will send you an invoice, payment can be made by card over the phone or in person.  Please refer to the Payments page under the Applications tab.

Your application will be processed when the fee has been paid and your application form has been completed fully. Please submit your application in good time before the closing dates.

Please note that cheques are not accepted.

How to find the information you need as a private candidate

1. Your tutor or tutorial agency. Please ensure that they give you the complete and correct information.

2. Log on to the examination board websites:



Edexcel –




We may be able to enter you for the exams of other awarding bodies – please ask.

3. If you do not have access to a computer you can arrange to use one at the College for £5 per hour.

Please contact Macclesfield Tutorial College (01625 501440) to arrange an appointment if you require any assistance. Consultations are for 30 minutes and cost £10 and £10 per part half hour there after this consultation can include hep in completing your private candidate application form.