Either you are already home educating your child or maybe you're thinking about it, half excited (about all the possibilities you'll have), half worried (about the million billion things that naturally come to your mind with the unknown territory of home education),...
...and you might be wondering how your child can get their exams sorted.

I have mentioned it many times, and I'll say it again (and probably many times more in the future): while your child doesn't have to take any exams if you electively home educate (EHE - not to be confused with EOTAS), it is certainly helpful for future study and work life to have certain qualifications.
At least most of the time. There are always some people who do incredibly well in life despite having little to no formal education, qualifications, etc.

But for now, let's get back to the usual scenario: you want your child to "get those GCSEs", tick it off your list and carry on with further education or your own plans and goals.
Let me tell you where and how you can get your child to sit their exams if you home educate (or if you're an adult learner). Basically, if you don't have a school to sort it out for you.

There are quite a few options, all have their own advantages and disadvantages. No matter what route you choose, I'd highly recommend asking in your local home ed group about their recommendations. The little things such as processing correctly your specific requirements if your child has, for example, any special learning needs, matter when it comes to a smooth and stress-free exam experience. Which is what everyone aims for, of course. So the most recent experience with any given exam provider from your local home education community will be the most helpful source of advice when you're deciding where to book your child's exams.

But what to even look for when you want to sit the exams as an external candidate?

14-16 colleges

There are 14-16 colleges that home educators often opt for when they want to sort out their exams. Normally it's free, you can also study the subject (so no need for extra tuition or courses), but there can be a limited choice just to maths and English GCSE.

Some colleges only take home educated students after they have been home educating for a specific amount of time (anywhere from a few months to a year).

Your previous school & other local schools

If your child was attending a (secondary) school previously, they might be able to offer them to sit the exams even if your child is not on their roll anymore. If you have not parted in a bad way, it might be an option worth exploring.

Similarly, you can also ask in other local schools whether they take external candidates.

You can sit those exams that the school offers. But some options might not be accessible to you as a home educator if they require coursework etc., unless the school can cover that for you (that means even if you don't attend/not on their roll).

Exams in a secondary school as an external candidate are usually sensibly priced - often around or even below £100 per subject for GCSE/iGCSE.

Independent exam centres

You can opt for an independent exam centre which is a common choice for many home educators. You can find a local one or you can find a centre that caters for your specific needs even if it's a bit further - your location doesn't matter, you can choose any exam centre that you find best for your child.

This option is a bit more costly than the above. You'd need to see a price list for each provider as it varies per each provider and it also changes during the school year. The closer to the exams, the more expensive the booking would usually be. A rule of thumb at the time of writing this article is that you'd pay anywhere from £150 - £250 per subject for either GCSE/iGCSE if you book sensibly in advance (again, best to check booking deadlines with each exam provider).
The main incentive of choosing an independent exam centre is usually a great range of exams and exam boards to choose from, including iGCSE and a lot more options for subjects you might not find in local schools. And even modular options which I can foresee as a soon-to-be the most popular option, once it's properly accessible - I'll be updating information about this in due time.

You may even opt for GSCE/iGCSE maths when home educating in Scotland. Or for National 5 when home educating in England. That's pretty cool!

So many options... which one to choose?

From top to bottom, the prices go from free/low to more expensive but the variability of options (subjects, exams - GCSE vs iGCSE,...) increases.
Therefore, because prices (and the selection of exams) vary for each different pathway, the best is to explore all possible options and decide what suits your situation and needs best.

I speak here about maths only, of course, because after all, I'm a maths specialist. All the above options are suitable for either GCSE or iGCSE maths (depending on what's offered by each exam provider). There are limitations to some other subjects (namely sciences - due to coursework, English - for the speaking part,... where iGCSE usually is the only way, hence this, for example, may not be possible to do in your local school if they only offer GCSE - and won't be able to cover you for the coursework, etc.) - best to speak to specific subject specialists about this.
As for maths, there are many routes for home educators and almost all lead to Rome. If by Rome you mean "getting those GCSEs".

Can Your Maths Tutor help with the exam process?

Yes, I can certainly advise you to my best knowledge, although it would ultimately be up to you which choice would suit you personally best.

What's worth mentioning is that Your Maths Tutor is an Official Learning Partner of a well-known independent exam provider Tutors & Exams. And as such, students studying with me (and any of my courses or programs) can be offered a discount (currently 12.5%) for booking exams with any of their exam centres. All you need to do is to speak to me and I'll guide you through the rest.

If you have more questions about maths exams, why don't you join my Facebook group for home educators - Home Educate Maths?
I'll be happy to meet you there!

Hi, it's Veronika, your little maths helper and content creator of Your Maths Tutor.
I've always had a great relationship with maths so no surprise I got a maths degree and ended up teaching it full time - as an online maths tutor.
If you need help with maths just get in touch =)

See you around and on my social media!