Special Notice to Private Candidates about Pearson’s May/June 2021 exam series – updated information

We would like to explain the current situation to you, and share the latest information on arrangements for private candidates – this replaces our previous communication on this.  

As you may know, Pearson will not run their International GCSE and International AS/A Level exams in the May/June 2021 series. Instead, they will offer an alternative assessment approach. More information can be found here. We encourage you to visit Pearson’s website for further updates about these alternative arrangements.

British Council runs Pearson exams around the world. We are working closely with Pearson to understand these alternative arrangements and whether they mean the British Council can help private candidates receive grades. Once decisions have been made on this, we will write to you with information on whether we can support you. We will provide regular updates to registered candidates over the next few weeks. We are waiting for final details on how the alternative assessment arrangements will work, but it is possible that the British Council may not be able to administer these arrangements. Should this be the case, we will help you understand the reasons and the next steps you’ll need to take. 

What should I do now?

If you wish to receive grades for International GCSE and International AS/A Levels in May/June 2021:

  • You can choose to make your entry with the British Council. If you have already made your entry, you do not need to take any further action at this stage and do not need to withdraw. Once full details of the alternative arrangement have been decided and depending on whether the British Council can help private candidates receive grades, we will advise you about what next steps you should take. 
  • We will only request payment if the British Council can help private candidates receive grades. This means you won’t be charged if you have to withdraw your entry before the entry deadline.  
  • You can also consider making an exam entry with a registered Pearson school. Please note they are also waiting to hear whether they can help private candidates receive grades. A list of Pearson schools can be found by searching on the internet. 

Pearson has announced an additional exam series for International GCSE later this year and has confirmed their International AS/A Level October exam series will go ahead as planned. The British Council will support all private candidates to sit these exams. 

We will accept the registrations for Pearson Edexcel May/June 2021 till 12 March 2021. Please kindly contact to enquiries@mm.britishcouncil.org for further enquiries.