As if exams themselves aren’t stressful enough, there are lots of logistical things to consider as well. One of the terms you may hear during exam season is your centre number. This is simply a unique number used to identify each school, college or other institution that holds exams. This article covers the various different ways to find your specific exam centre number.
There are plenty of ways to find your exam centre number. You should be able to find it on various documents, such as past exam certificates, or if your exams are near, on your official confirmation of entry and timetable. Alternatively, send a quick email to your school or college’s exams officer.
If you are a private candidate, emails from your chosen centre should contain the exam centre number, otherwise, the official JCQ website has a search tool to find this information.
Keep reading for plenty more details about the different places you can find your exam centre number, as well as information about what, exactly, you need this number for.
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How do you find your exam centre number?
A quick way to find your exam centre number would be to ask or email the exams officer at your school or college. However, there are plenty of other ways to find this number.
If you have taken any exams at that centre before – for example, GCSEs – the centre number should be on any official documents about those qualifications. This includes exam certificates and statements of entry.
Otherwise, if your exams are closer, you should receive things like entry confirmation and individual timetables. These should also have the centre number printed somewhere on the document.
How do you find your exam centre number as a private candidate?
If you are a private candidate, the first step is to find a suitable exam centre near you. One of the quickest ways to do this is to use the JCQ’s online search tool, which can be found here.
You can type in your postcode, and it will show you the details of nearby centres accepting entries from private candidates. This includes their exam centre number.
Once you have chosen a centre and entered for an exam through them, you should be able to find the centre number in the same ways as mentioned earlier. For example, the centre should send you a Confirmation of Entry Registration, which includes the number. Alternatively, you can email the Exams Officer, who will be the person you communicated with to enter for the exam through that centre.
Why do you need your exam centre number?
Exam centre numbers are mainly used in admin by exam boards and other organisations involved in exams, such as the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications). The numbers are a unique identification for all the exam centres in the UK, even if two schools have the same name. The number also enables schools and colleges to register their students for exams as official centres.
However, the only thing you, as a student, will likely need this number for, is during your exams themselves. You will have to fill out your personal details on the front of each paper. This includes your name, candidate number, and exam centre number. Check out this article from sciencing.com for information about finding your candidate number.
It is also possible that you will need to fill out your exam centre number on other forms, perhaps related to university or apprenticeship applications. However, this is not common, and is more likely for private candidates, as their exam centre is not simply their school.
What if you forget your exam centre number?
Most students do not actually know their exam centre number. As discussed, you will only really need it when you are in the exam room filling in details on the front of the paper. The centre number will be clearly displayed in the exam room.
This means there is no need to memorise your centre number, or panic if you don’t know it. You can simply copy it from the signs or whiteboard in the exam room. In fact, this makes it less likely you will write down the wrong number.
If you realise you have forgotten to write the centre number on your paper after handing it in, it is not something to worry about. The centre will briefly check all the papers before sending them to the exam boards.
If they see the centre number is missing, they will likely fill it in for you, as it is the same for all their students. Even then, your unique candidate number and name should be enough to identify your paper.