Private candidates | Pearson qualifications
Private Candidates

A private candidate is a candidate who is entered for exams at a centre but is not enrolled there. Examples include home-schooled learners, learners taught by an organisation that is not approved to host Edexcel exams and learners taking resits after leaving school. A candidate cannot be an internal candidate and external candidate in the same exam series. 

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A centre is not obliged to accept private candidates, and may have legitimate reasons for not doing so. A learner wishing to enter for exams as a private candidate should aim to make arrangements with a local centre that is willing to accept them.

The following pages contain all relevant information regarding private candidates:

Information for learners

Information for centres


You will need to pay your centre any fees associated with your exams. Our UK fees are published on our centre administration fees page, however, your centre may charge additional administration fees. Pearson has no control over the administration fees charged by your centre, any queries about fees need to be directed to your centre.

Distance-learning providers

Some distance-learning providers (such as the National Extension College) are approved centres and will be able to make the entry and arrange for you to complete all the necessary assessments, including the NEA.

Before you commit to a distance-learning course, make sure that you understand what arrangements will be in place to enable you to complete the required NEA and examinations, and are clear about any fees that may be attached.

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