There are very few, if any, private exam centres in the UK with such a long history of success in helping private candidates achieve their exam goals. We feel immensely proud of this, especially given the upheaval we have faced over the last 18 months.

With this in mind we wanted to share with you the story of our journey to becoming a thriving Bristol based exam centre.


How it all began

Our founder Dr Monks was a research scientist in Physics at the Universities of Bristol and Reading and had provided Maths and Science tuition at all levels on a one-to-one basis since he was a PhD student.

It became obvious to him that there was a demand and need for high-quality one-to-one tuition in all subjects and at all levels, from Key Stage 1 through to A-Level and above. This knowledge led him to form 3A Tutors Ltd in 1999, to fill this gap in tuition services.

Initially the business acted solely as a tuition agency, matching students with suitably qualified one-to-one tutors. Starting with a couple of tutors, we rapidly expanded to around 20, confirming that the demand for expert one-to-one tuition was certainly there.


Expanding into fast-track courses

With the success of the one-to-one tuition service, Dr Monks decided to look at other ways to help students on their educational journeys. He began to run A-Level and GCSE fast track courses in Maths for private candidates, enabling them to complete these qualifications in one year.


Becoming a private exam centre

The next logical step in 2000 was for 3A Tutors to provide students with a venue for their GCSE and A-Level exams. Dr Monks contacted OCR to enquire about the procedures and facilities required for accreditation as an exam centre. OCR sent an inspector in to meet Dr Monks at our Redland address. After much work, OCR concluded that 3A Tutors Ltd was suitable to act as an OCR accredited Exam Centre. 3A Tutors was given the Centre Number 50538.

In the first year of being an accredited exam centre, Dr Monks ran a fast-track GCSE Maths course for two students, holding the exams at our original address in Redland. We moved to our current address at 1A High Street, Staple Hill around 2000/2001. The move gave us more space to grow. In the first year at our new home, 5 students sat exams through us while many more received tuition from our tutors.

As time passed, more exam boards were approached and appointed us as one of their accredited exam centres and we gradually started offering exams to an ever-increasing number of students.

Within five years we were offering GCSE & A-Level exams in a wide range of languages and providing university admissions tests, including the BMAT for admission to Oxford and Cambridge universities.


Introducing lab based practicals and tuition

3a tutors logoIn 2008 we began offering practical (lab-based) tuition and formal in-lab practical examinations at AS and A-Level for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Human Biology at laboratories we hired at UWE. These practical examinations were the precursor to the A-Level Practical Endorsements in Physics, Chemistry and Biology that students now complete. Since 2018 we have utilised the laboratories at the University of Bristol, offering our students incredible facilities in which to undertake their practical endorsements. This service certainly sets us apart from other private exam centres.

Find out more here.


Building on our success

From that small beginning of a couple of tutors and a few students taking exams, we have grown to be an organisation working with more than 100 subject specialist tutors and supporting over 750 students every year, with private candidate examination entry, one-to-one tuition, mock exams and fast-track small-group courses. Dr Monks is still our Head of Centre and brings his commitment and experience to everything we do.

The experience we have gained over the past 20+ years means we can be trusted to provide the best services to all students. We use our acquired knowledge to guide our candidates through the, sometimes stressful, exam process, helping them achieve the results they need to continue their educational journeys.

Being an established centre certainly helped us over the last two summers when all exams were cancelled which required us to adapt and change our usual procedures quickly. During this time, we continued to support our students, using our resources to help them achieve grades where possible, or advising them on their options moving forward. This has shown that we have the experience, resources and professionalism to adapt to sudden change quickly and efficiently. We are committed to always helping our students reach their full potential.


Can we help you?

If you want to take an exam or need one to one tuition, Get in Touch to find out more.