GCSE Maths Equivalency exams are a type of exam that are aimed at those who may have not been in the education system for a while or may not quite have the exact grades in order to have a career change that they want to pursue. This tends to be the case for those who are looking to gain entry on higher education courses like QTS teacher training programmes, nursing and midwifery programmes. These courses all tend to have a minimum required GCSE grade which a lot of people tend to not have, and for that reason: GCSE Maths Equivalency exams are an option. 


This is where we come in. The team here at Leeds Maths Tutor, have been working closely together with A Star Equivalency. A Star offers GCSE Maths Equivalency exams and all the coursework and studying content needed prior. They are an extremely reputable company who have been a leading provider for GCSE Maths Equivalency exams for nearly 20 years now. A Star is also accepted by most major course providers with their GCSE Equivalents (always check with your provider before booking though!). 

We recommend A Star to you due to the options provided: whether you want to simply sit the exam with them or you’d also like to access all the covered course content (including revision guides/flashcards/mock exams) for an extra £99. Unlike other equivalency exam providers who just offer you everything at the same set price, you also have the opportunity to choose your date based on the price : the further in advance, the cheaper. 


The GCSE Maths Equivalency Exam has been based on the Edexcel GCSE Maths specification. There have been a few tweaks as that one has been aimed at full time school students. This is in order to make the grading more fair and accessible to those who haven’t been in education for a while. Our tutors here at Leeds Maths Tutor, are all more than certified and qualified to help you with any bits that you feel as if you may need any extra help in too. 


When it comes to taking your GCSE Maths Equivalency Exam, there are a couple of things to be aware of before booking. You will get the option to sit your exam in either higher or foundation tier. Generally, it is recommended to take the foundation tier GCSE Maths Equivalency exam, just because there is a much higher success rate and there is less course content to learn. However, we do recommend checking with your course provider what their minimum required grade is for your prospective training programme. For example, in Wales for teaching programmes: the minimum is level 6 – which is only attainable by taking a higher tier exam! 


We have attached the grade boundaries for each tier below, so you can gage which you think you will be most successful at : 


Foundation Tier Maths Equivalency Exam Grade Boundaries 

  • Grade 4 (low C) (55% to 74%) Grade 5 (75% to 100%)


Higher Tier Maths Equivalency Grade Boundaries are as follows:

  • Grade 4 (25 to 34%)   9 mark band 25 to 34 marks inclusive
  • Grade 5 (35 to 43%)   9 mark band 35 to 43 marks inclusive
  • Grade 6 (44 to 54%) 11 mark band 44 to 54 marks inclusive
  • Grade 7 (55 to 68%) 14 mark band 55 to 68 marks inclusive
  • Grade 8 (69 to 82%) 14 mark band 69 to 82 marks inclusive
  • Grade 9 (83 to 100%) 18 mark band 83 to 100 marks inclusive


On your exam day, you will be expected to take your two GCSE Maths Equivalency exams back to back in the space of two hours. Your two papers will be a non-calculator, followed by a calculator exam where you will be allowed to use a scientific calculator. Both exams are marked out of 50, in order to determine your final grade out of 100. Now that the exams are being taken from the comfort of your own home, all you will need for the exam day is a computer/laptop with a webcam and strong internet connection and your exam essentials : pen & paper for working out and scientific calculator! Once the exam has been sat, you will receive your results within 10 working days, unless you have paid extra for the fast track option and you will get them within 24-72 hours after sitting the exam. 

GCSE Maths Equivalency exams are the perfect option for you if you’re wanting to enrol on any higher education training programmes. If you feel like this is an option that you’d like to consider, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Leeds Maths Tutor as we would like to help you get the ball rolling from booking your exam all the way to getting those required GCSE Maths Equivalency grades!