Information for students
Past papers are a handy way to check the level of the questions you’ll need to answer in an exam - making them a great revision tool. Learn more about past papers here.
Which past papers are available?
Question papers and mark schemes more than nine months old for most qualifications.
However, please note that, due to the cancellation of the May and June exam series in 2020, we're aware that teachers may wish to use the 2019 summer exam papers for mock exams. Therefore, we'll not be releasing the 2019 summer exam papers at this time, but we'll make them freely available for students to download at a later date.
Why can’t I see the most recent exam papers?
Only teachers at Pearson-approved schools and colleges have access to the most recent exam papers. This is to ensure that there is at least one exam paper that can be used for a mock exam.
Using past papers to prepare for exams
It's sensible to look at past papers as part of your exam practice. They won't help you predict the questions or topics that are likely to come up in the exam, but you can use them to check whether you've learnt the material and identify gaps in your knowledge.
Tips on using past papers to revise
If you practise under exam conditions you can use past papers as a trial run and see if you know the answers under pressure. You'll also get a feeling for how long you can spend on each question and how much detail you can write in the time.
Some students find it useful to look at questions on past papers for old specifications. If a topic was also covered in an old specification it can be useful to test your knowledge and understanding by tackling these questions as well.
Other exam materials
Some subjects, such as geography and history, have case studies, source booklets or pre-release materials that you need to answer the questions in the paper. If you need one of these documents and it isn't at the back of the question paper, it will be attached to the pdf with a paper clip icon.
How to open documents attached to a question paper
Step 1 - Open the relevant question paper.
Step 2 - Double click the paperclip icon on the front cover of the question paper.
Note: Sometimes the paperclip doesn't show if you are using Google Chrome. If you can't see a paperclip icon you may need to download another pdf viewer, such as Adobe Reader.
Most languages have a listening unit, where you have to listen to an MP3 and answer questions about what you've heard.