Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about the services we provide? Find answers to our frequently asked questions below

Q. Where is your examination centre based?

A. We are based solely in Bristol (South-West England), although our students travel to us from across the UK. Typically over 60% of our students each year come from outside Bristol, travelling an average of 70 miles to take their examinations.

Q. Do I need to study a course or receive tuition from 3A Tutors Ltd to sit examinations at your centre?

A. You do not need to study a course or receive any tuition from us to sit examinations at our centre; you can simply study independently (either self-study or study through a distance learning provider) and attend at our centre on the relevant examination dates.

Q. I’m interested in having some tuition, how long does it take for you to appoint a tutor?

A. Once you have provided us with your details, we typically appoint a tutor within 48 hours. Thereafter the tutor will contact you directly via phone (or email if preferred) to arrange a time for the first lesson.

Q. Do I need the GCSE to take the A Level?

A. A GCSE pass is not required to sit the A-Level at our centre, but you may wish to consider arranging some focused one-to-one tuition to consolidate the key GCSE skills required for the A-Level.

Q. I wish to take some GCSE/IGCSE qualifications. Which would you recommend?

A. We cannot recommend specific qualifications, although we can advise on the options available. The final decision remains with you, but please remember that access to further and higher education and employment are often dependent on securing specific qualifications. Most notably passes at GCSE in English Language and Maths are often required.

Q. Do you offer GCSE and A-Level Modern Foreign Language oral examinations?

A. We offer oral examinations for a wide range of GCSE, IGCSE and A-Level Modern Foreign Languages, including French, German and Spanish. For a full list of the subjects we can support, please see our GCSE & IGCSE Examination Entry and A-Level Examination Entry pages.

Q. Do you offer Functional Skills English exams?

A. Presently we are only able to offer Functional Skills Maths Level 1 and Level 2 exams, however we can offer IGCSE English Language exams which are available in October/November and May/June.

Q. What is the difference between a ‘course’ and an ‘examination’?

A. We offer both fast track courses and private candidate examination entry.

Courses involve regular group lessons that are structured and teach you the skills and topics you need to take an examination. The examination is then taken at the end of the course. If you want to be taught the material for the examinations, our fast track courses are ideal.

Examinations are the final assessments by which you gain a qualification. If you do not require any teaching and just want to sit the examination, you can do this by registering as a private candidate. Of course, you can still request some one-to-one tuition to help you prepare, if needed. –

Q. Are there any age restrictions for taking examinations at your centre?

A. We support students of all ages. We have supported students as young as 7 with GCSE Maths and Science examinations and individuals in their 80’s with various qualifications that were of interest.

Q. How do I register for examinations?

A. You simply need to complete and return our examination entry form. To request a copy please contact us. Centre staff are available to help at every step in the process.

Q. How do I pay for my examinations?

A. You can pay for your examinations by debit / credit card, cheque, PayPal, cash (if registering in person) or bank transfer. Fees can be paid in full when returning the exam entry form or alternatively over an extended period through one of our interest-free instalment plans.

Q. How many qualifications can I take at once?

A. There is no restriction on how many qualifications you can take in one examination series.

Q. Do you offer any discounts to students that take multiple examinations?

A. We currently offer a discount to GCSE/IGCSE students taking 5 or more subjects in the same exam series and to A-Level students taking 3 or more subjects in the same exam series. 

Q. When can I take my examinations?

A. Exam availability is dependent on the subject, board and level. Please see our Examination Entry Fees & Entry Deadlines page for further details.

Q. Can I choose what day I take my examinations?

A. The examination dates are set by the examination board and must be adhered to by us, the centre. The notable exception is Functional Skills Mathematics, which is available at our centre daily throughout the year.

Q. When will I receive my examination dates?

A. You will receive a Statement of Entry that lists your examination dates, as well as other important examination documents in the months prior to your first examination. Typically, these documents are sent to students sitting examinations in November by late-September and in May/June by mid-March.

Q. Do I need to attend all dates listed on my Statement of Entry?

A. It is vitally important that you attend all the examination dates listed on your Statement of Entry.

Q. What time do exams start?

A. Unless specifically indicated, all morning examinations start at 9.00 AM and afternoon examinations start at 1.30 PM.

Q. What if I have two examinations scheduled for the same time?

A. If you have two or more papers timetabled for the same session and the total time is more than that recommended by the examination board, you will sit an examination in an earlier or later session within the same day. But you will need to remain under invigilation throughout the day until all examinations have been completed.

Q. When do your Modern Foreign Language oral examinations take place?

A. All GCSE, IGCSE and A-Level oral examinations will take place in April (i.e. prior to the written examinations in May/June). Oral exam dates will not be confirmed until the start of March; however, we can confirm that they will not take place on any bank holiday or weekend dates in April.

Students taking Cambridge IGCSE and A-Level Modern Foreign Languages in the October/November examination series will take their oral examinations in October, these dates will be confirmed in late-September.

Q. Are there any hotels near the exam centre?

A. There are many hotels, guest houses and B&Bs local to our examination centre – we can send you an up-to-date list of all accommodation near our centre, if required.

Q. Do you provide predicted grades for a UCAS application?

A. We can provide predicted grades if you have regular lessons with our tutors or complete mock examinations at our Bristol exam centre.

Q. How will I receive my exam results / when will I receive my certificate?

A. GCSE, IGCSE and A-Level results are supplied in the form of a Statement of Results, which is sent via email as an attachment on results publication day. You will be notified of your results publication date at the end of your examination series. Formal certificates are provided by the examining boards 8-12 weeks after the results have been published. We will re-contact you once they are received, to confirm your postal details and preferences.

Discover more about our services for private candidates

If you still have questions regarding our Maths and English fast track courses, private tuition in Bristol, 2024 exam entry or our private examination centre, please fill in the form below and we will get in touch.