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arc exams are delighted to announce they and BioGrad Education have formed a unique collaboration, to offer all private candidates the opportunity to undertake their A Level Science Practical work in Birmingham, fully approved by JCQ. As pioneers of A Level Science Practical Endorsement (PE) related teaching and assessment for candidates outside of mainstream education, BioGrad Education have delivered elite and intensive courses since 2014. This collaboration melds arc exams assessment expertise and BioGrad Education’s unparalleled CPAC know-how for the benefit of all candidates.


Practical Endorsement - The Benefits and Additional Information

Whilst the subject grade awarded is based on 100% written examination, a minimum of 15% of all available marks are dedicated to the assessment of practical skills and so the experience of carrying out practical work using specified apparatus and techniques will support access to those written examination questions. Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC), required for the Practical Endorsement, will be assessed through the practical work completed and the outcome from that will be printed on the examination board subject certificate, alongside the overall grade.

arc exams dedicated laboratory, situated here (near to Birmingham city centre), will host a total of 13 courses enabling candidates to undertake the minimum 12 practicals required for the Practical Endorsement (PE). Five Biology, six Chemistry and two Physics PE courses will be held between January and April 2024.

All learners participating in our CPAC courses will be given access to a series of videos, produced ‘in-house’ by BioGrad Education, demonstrating the 12 subject practical’s you will carry out during the five-day practical’s course.  

The benefit of these videos is clear. For any candidate with little or no experience in a laboratory setting or, for anyone unsure of what to expect during the course, these videos provide a fabulous introduction and insight to the practical’s you will be carrying out under the close supervision of BioGrad Education tutors. We’re confident that viewing these videos, prior to attending your course, will immeasurably enhance your A Level Science Practical’s experience

To register for any of our Practical Endorsement courses you will need to complete our online application form.

Each course will be delivered over five days, Monday to Friday (09:00 -16:00), the final day is usually reserved for writing up a full and contemporaneous record of all practical work completed; a requirement of the Practical Endorsement Pass outcome.  The exception to this is Chemistry where the final practical is delivered on the morning of Day 5 with the write up completed thereafter. .

arc exams caters for both written exams and Practical Endorsements. Candidates can elect to do either, or both, to achieve their academic aims.  If you already hold a Practical Endorsement ‘Pass’ but wish to resit your A Level Science examination(s) we are able to ‘carry forward’ your PE.

If you intend to sit your exams at an examination centre other than arc exams, but they are unable to provide CPAC assessment,  we will be pleased to assist you. Just inform your exam centre you’re sitting your Practical Endorsement with us.  Once you have completed your CPAC we will liaise with your examination centre, furnishing them with all relevant documentation required for endorsement purposes.

Why should you sit your Practical Endorsements with us?

BioGrad Education scientist lecturers will deliver each course in arc exams fully equipped teaching laboratory, enabling students to undertake a minimum of 12 practical work activities, providing numerous opportunities for students to meet the required standard in each of the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) routinely and consistently.

The courses are designed not only for the assessment of these criteria, but also for students to enjoy their practical work, and to learn good laboratory practice. Furthermore, under the supervision of BioGrad Education’s experienced and knowledgeable staff, students are made to feel welcome and supported as they explore the practical aspects of topics they may have met only in the classroom.

Each course supports all the requirements of the Biology, Chemistry and Physics assessed practicals for AQA, Pearson Edexcel, OCR & Eduqas.

The programmes have been developed by real research scientists and others with extensive experience of assessment, to fulfil the A-level practical endorsement requirements. Unlike many other providers, catering for up to 16 candidates per CPAC, our courses are typically limited to 10 candidate’s per course only. This provides you with ample opportunity to spend quality time with the scientists and have time to make (safe) mistakes, learn and try again until you are confident in your work.

Academic Year 2023/24 Practical Endorsement Course Dates

CPAC Course Code




Bio 6
Che 4
Che 5
1 Place
Bio 7
1 Place
Bio 8
1 Place

Fees for Science based practicals can be viewed here

To register for any of our Practical Endorsement courses you will need to complete our online application form.  After doing so we will contact you to agree the date of your subject course(s).  Please note your place will only be confirmed once full payment is received (at least four weeks prior to the CPAC course(s) commencing).

At least four weeks prior to your course(s) commencing, BioGrad Education will issue joining instructions and a welcome pack to you, via email.

Notice for Candidates


Wear layered clothing to regulate body temperature.  Windows may be opened to maximise room ventilation.


Please bring:


Your own lab coat if you wish (lab coats will be available on the day)

Laptop/tablet – to make notes

Pencil case with stationery.