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.

We are also happy to accept those equivalency tests that have been taken and passed through http://www.equivalencytesting.com 

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

How do you take the tests?

The English and Science Equivalency tests will be held at the St Johns campus face to face, whilst the Maths Equivalency tests will be held online.

If we cannot hold a test on campus we will make this decision one week prior to the test date.  We will then inform candidates, stating whether the test is being transferred to an online test or postponed.  We will also give those candidates the option of rescheduling their test date.

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

For tests on campus you will need:

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Calculator (Science only)

For tests online you will need to ensure you have access to:

  • Computer
  • Web browser – Google Chrome or Firefox
  • Microphone (can be built in)
  • Webcam
  • Calculator (Maths and Science only)
  • Camera or scanner (English only)


The dates of each of the tests are given below:



  • Wednesday 10th November 2021  – 14:00 – 16:00
  • Wednesday 8th December 2021 – 14:00 – 16:00
  • Wednesday 23rd March 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00
  • Wednesday 27th April 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00
  • Wednesday 25th May 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00
  • Wednesday 22nd June 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00
  • Wednesday 17th August 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00

Maths - Online


  • Tuesday 7th December  2021 – 10:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesday 1st March 2022 – 10:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesday 26th April  2022 – 10:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesday 17th May  2022 – 10:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesday 21st June 2022 – 10:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesday 5th July 2022 – 10:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesday 2nd August 2022 – 10:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesday 16th August 2022 – 10:00 – 12:00
  • Tuesday 23rd August 2022 – 10:00 – 12:00


  •  Friday 18th March 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00
  •  Thursday 28th April 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00
  •  Thursday 9th June 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00
  •  Thursday 7th July 2022 – 14:00 – 16:00
  •  Thursday 11th August – 14:00 – 16:00
  •  Thursday 1st September – 14:00 – 16:00




 What do the tests consist of?

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 University sends an email confirming whether the test has been passed or not, but does not provide a Certificate.

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 £36 (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