We offer equivalency tests if you don’t have the required GCSE grade to apply for our courses.

 We have equivalency tests for:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science

If you successfully complete these tests they can be used to meet our GCSE entry requirements when submitting an application.

How do you take the tests?

All tests will be held on the St Johns Campus unless otherwise stated as online 

What do I need to be able to access the tests?

In order to be able to take these tests online you will need to ensure you have access to;

  • Computer
  • Web browser – Google Chrome or Firefox
  • Microphone
  • Webcam
  • Camera or scanner (English only)
  • PDF reader  (Science only)
  • *Calculator – (Maths and Science - if on a device such as a phone you will need to use a preloaded App and disable internet access for the duration of the test)
*also needed for the tests held on campus. 

 The dates of each of the tests are given below.



  • Monday 9th November 2020  – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Monday 7th December 2020 – 02:00 – 04:00pm 

  • Monday 22nd March 2021 – 02:00 – 04:00pm 

  • Monday 26th April 2021  –  02:00 – 04:00pm 

  • Monday 24th May 2021 – 02:00 – 04:00pm 

  • Monday 21st June 2021 – 02:00 – 04:00pm 

  • Monday 5th July 2021 – 02:00 – 04:00pm 

  • Monday 16th August 2021 – 02:00 – 04:00pm 


  • Wednesday 28th October – 10:00am – 12:00pm (online)

  • Wednesday 11th November – 10:00am – 12:00pm (online)

  • Monday 23rd November – 10:00am – 12:00pm 

  • Monday 8th December 2020  – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Monday 2nd March 2021  – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Monday 20th April 2021  – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Monday 11th May 2021  – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Monday 8th June 2021  – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Monday 6th July 2021  – 02:00 – 04:00pm  
  • Monday 3rd August 2021  – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Monday 24th August 2021  – 02:00 – 04:00pm



  • Thursday 19th November 2020  –  10:00am – 12:00pm (online)
  • Friday 19th March 2021 – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Thursday 29th April 2021 – 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Thursday 10th June 2021– 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Thursday 8th July 2021– 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Thursday 5th Aug 2021– 02:00 – 04:00pm
  • Thursday 2nd Sept 2021– 02:00 – 04:00pm


English Language

The English GCSE equivalency test consists of two sections.

Section A: Reading (1 hour)

Candidates must answer all questions in this section.  There will be an extract from a novel to read at the start of the test. This will be one A4 side of text.  After reading, you will answer a series of questions to show your understanding of the extract.  This will assess comprehension and inference skills.

Section B:Writing (1 hour)

Candidates choose just one task from this section.  There will be non-fiction and fiction choices .  You will be required to complete an extended piece of writing; we recommend you write about 2 sides of A4.  You will have 1 hour to choose, plan, write and edit the task. We strongly recommend that candidates plan before beginning the main task and leave at least 10 minutes for proof-reading and editing.


Written practice papers are available (see the links below) and prior to the test, candidates will be emailed the link to the online practice materials and information about the conduct of the tests.

The test is in two parts:

  • Part 1 – a 20 minute numerical reasoning test. No calculator allowed.
  • Part 2 – a 1 hour test similar in style and content to GCSE papers. A calculator may be used.

Each test is completed online and submitted electronically within an allotted time period. 

You may sit this on campus in a University IT room.


The science test last two hours and contains GCSE standard questions from areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

More information about the science tests and examples of past questions can be found in pdf form at the document link Notes for Science Test candidates.


The tests are not GCSEs

These tests are not subject to national validation in the same way as GCSEs so they may not be acceptable outside of the University of Worcester. If you pass the tests you are not entitled to claim you have a GCSE in these subjects.

The tests are ideal for EU or international applicants whose school qualifications are not of an equivalent level to GCSE. Please check that the course you wish to apply for with us accepts these equivalency tests before booking.

Booking process

The University does not provide tuition or test guidance, this is the candidate’s responsibility. We recommend that you revise sufficiently before sitting the test, especially if you have not attempted GCSE style questions for a while.

Practice test papers are provided below but if you need further practice GCSE exam papers can be downloaded from the internet (e.g. BBC Bitesize website, www.corbettmaths.com). We also recommend you purchase of a suitable GCSE revision guide (e.g. the Letts Study Guide) and that you look for tuition where necessary. Please allow a minimum of 2 weeks for the test to be marked and for the results to be announced. This can take longer for July / August tests due to availability of tutors.

  • Each test costs £30 (non-refundable)
  • You will only be permitted to take an equivalency test if you have applied for a course at the University of Worcester
  • Each test is at an intermediate difficulty and features some questions from both higher and lower papers.
  • Please note that candidates are allowed a maximum of 2 attempts at each test. If you are unsuccessful after 2 attempts candidates are advised to enrol on a GCSE course.
  • Please ensure you book early (and no later than 4 working days before the test date) as places are limited per test session.

1)    Check that the course you wish to apply for with us accepts these equivalency tests before booking

2)    Apply for a course at the University of Worcester

Please note you are not permitted to take our equivalency tests if you have not applied for a course at the University of Worcester

3)    Complete the online booking and payment form

Sample papers and preparation

English sample question paper

English sample extract

Maths sample paper (part 1)

Maths sample paper (part 2)

Maths test preparation

Science test preparation