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Whilst the examination process, Registration to Certification, is well known to arc exams staff, it is likely to be unfamiliar to many of you seeking to sit formal examinations for the very first time. We hope to demystify the process somewhat by presenting the infographic below. It highlights the key stages in the examination process, guiding you from your initial enquiry/application to certification. If, at any time, you have questions relating to the process feel free, in the first instance, to visit our FAQ page. Failing that, pick up the phone and give is a call.

Application form

The first step in the process is to complete our online application form. We require personal details of the person sitting the exams (full name, address, gender, date of birth, photo id etc) along with details of the subject examination(s) they wish to sit with us (Awarding Organisation, subject and specification code, including tier/option where applicable). The applicant will also have to opportunity to specify any Access Arrangements they wish to apply for.

Upon receipt of your application, we will check it and contact you in the event of a query. Within 24 hours of form submission you will receive an invoice, via email, requesting payment for all examination entries you have applied to sit with us. Payment is required within 30 days or sooner if your application is close to entry deadlines.  Please note, no entries will be made with the Awarding Organisation(s) until payment has been received in full.


Timetable & Joining Instructions

Examination timetables and joining instructions will be issued to you no earlier than six weeks prior to sitting your first examination, unless you make ‘late’ entries after our specified entry deadline date. Given that scenario, examination timetables and joining instructions will be issued to you as soon as practically possible.

All communications regarding examination entries, including examination timetables and joining instructions, will be sent to you via the email address(es) you have supplied on your online application form.


On the day of each exam you are sitting, as specified on the timetable issued to you, arrive at the designated exam venue at least 30 minutes prior to the schedules examination start time. Note that the ‘exam venue’ might not necessarily be our examination centre, but an approved alternate site we use where candidate volumes dictate.

Please ensure you bring along an acceptable form of ID, allowing us to confirm your identity. Arrangements for any exam ‘clashes’ you may have (where exams for different subjects occur on the same day and overlap) will be in place on the day. You will be notified of any ‘clashes’ via email.

What's the next step?

Shortly after the final examination of the exam series has taken place, we will send you a pdf document, via email, explaining the Post Results Service (JCQ) / Enquiry About Results service (Cambridge International) offered by Awarding Organisations. These explain the results and appeals process in the event you are dissatisfied with the grade/mark you have been awarded.

Examination Results

Awarding Organisations issue results for each examination series on prescribed dates, typically two months after the final examination has taken place. During this time papers are marked, moderated and grades awarded. Upon receipt of results arc exams will notify you of your grades, electronically via email, by 09:00 on the stipulated date for results release.  Please note we are unable to disclose results/grades over the telephone due to GDPR compliance.

Certificate Issue

Certificates are usually issued by Awarding Organisations, to examination centres, some 12 weeks or so after results/grades have been finalised. Unless you have notified us otherwise, your certificates will be despatched to the address specified on your exam application form, via Royal Mail’s Tracked 48 Service (not signed for).

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