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GCSE Equivalency Tests

Government Requirement

There is a government requirement that anyone undertaking primary teacher training must have Grade C/4 or above, in GCSE English, Maths and a Science. For the avoidance of doubt, just because someone has a degree from a UK university, this does in itself not count as you having a GCSE level qualification in English Language.

Equivalency Tests

For those who do not hold an actual GCSE (or equivalent qualification from a school in another country), you can overcome this problem by passing an equivalency test from a provider whose tests are recognised by our university partner on the course you are apply for.  We list these below. 

If you are unsure whether your own qualifications (perhaps from another country) meet this requirement, please see our overseas qualifications tab.

Normally we would always say that it is far better for us, if you take an equivalency test than enrol in an 'actual GCSE', because equivalency tests provide the results within a few days but for a 'actual GCSE' you would not get the results until August when all the schools would already have broken up for the summer.  Your host school would therefore not know whether or not you could start until September when the course commences and this is risky for them.  This advice is tempered slightly if you are applying for an apprenticeship, as you can read in the paragraph below.

Unique Additional Requirements for Salaried Apprenticeships

As a unique separate feature of apprenticeships (and you can ignore this paragraph unless you are applying for one of our salaried primary apprenticeship courses), if you do not have an 'actual' GCSE in either Maths or English, in addition to taking an equivalency test which enables you to start the course, you would additionally need to pass a cost free functional skills test during the course. The functional skills test would not be required during the course if you hold an 'actual' GCSE' and so taking an 'actual GCSE' may have additional advantages for an apprentice. The best plan would be agreed between the trainee and the school at interview, or earlier through WLTTA. The science GCSE requirements still stands and can be fully covered by an equivalency test as necessary.

Do we accept candidates with more than one GCSE outstanding?

We would not shortlist any application with all three GCSEs outstanding and we would normally would prioritise for shortlisting, applicants with only one outstanding, over someone with two GCSEs outstanding.

Which Equivalency Test Providers do we accept tests from?

We accept any equivalency test that is accepted by the university accrediting the WLTTA course. We have separate primary courses accredited by St Mary's University; University of Roehampton; and London Metropolitan University, see details below as a guide, but you may also wish to check the relevant university websites where they show what tests they accept. 

Who pays for the equivalency test?

The applicant pays for the equivalency test and many are over £100 and higher if you also do revision with the organisation. There is a useful cost comparison of different external equivalency test providers on the St Mary's University website link below. Their own tests (available to those applying for WLTTA courses run in partnership with St Marys, are marginally cheaper).


Equivalency Testing (organisation):

Accepted by St Mary's University, Roehampton University and London Metropolitan Universities on our WLTTA courses that they are partnered with.


A-Star Equivalency

Accepted by St Mary's University, Roehampton University and London Metropolitan Universities on our primary WLTTA courses that they are partnered with.


Birmingham City University Equivalency Tests

Accepted by St Mary's University on our WLTTA courses that they partner with.


St Mary's University's own internal equivalency tests

Accepted by St Mary's University on our WLTTA courses that they partner with.