The Most Popular Exam Board in the UK: A Ranking of the Preferred Choices

Choose the exam board you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 16, 2024 06:04
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate platform for hosting and participating in exciting polls and rankings on an array of topics! Your opinion matters and we want to know - What is the most popular exam board in the UK? Join thousands of others in casting your vote for your favorite exam board or take the lead and suggest an option that we might have missed. Be part of a dynamic and informative ranking that not only reflects the preferences of the masses but also sparks engaging discussions and debates. Don't miss out on this opportunity to make your voice heard, have an impact, and stay informed about the UK's educational landscape. Cast your vote now and be a part of the conversation that helps define the nation's academic preferences.

What Is the Most Popular Exam Board in the UK?

  1. 1
    68
    votes
    AQA is the largest exam board in the UK, offering qualifications in a wide range of subjects. It is known for its rigorous marking and emphasis on exam technique.
    AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) is one of the largest examination boards in the United Kingdom. It provides qualifications and assessments for students in secondary schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. AQA was established in 2000 and has since become highly regarded for its rigorous examination standards and comprehensive range of subjects.
    • Established: 2000
    • Subjects Offered: Over 40 subjects ranging from sciences, mathematics, humanities, languages, and more
    • Types of Qualifications: GCSEs, AS levels, A levels, and various vocational qualifications
    • Number of Students: Over 3.5 million students annually
    • Number of Exams: Over 6 million exams administered each year
  2. 2
    37
    votes

    Pearson Edexcel

    Pearson plc
    Pearson Edexcel is another popular exam board, offering qualifications in academic and vocational subjects. It is known for its focus on practical skills and real-world applications.
    Pearson Edexcel is a leading examination board in the UK that offers a wide range of qualifications and assessments for students aged 5 to 19. It is part of Pearson, a global education company based in London, United Kingdom.
    • Age range: 5-19
    • Qualifications offered: GCSE, AS-Level, A-Level, International GCSE, International A-Level, BTEC
    • Subjects covered: Mathematics, Sciences, Languages, Humanities, Arts, Business, Technology, and more
    • Availability: Available in the UK and internationally
    • Assessment formats: Written papers, coursework, practical exams
  3. 3
    18
    votes
    OCR is a leading UK exam board, offering qualifications in academic and vocational subjects. It is known for its innovative approach to assessment and its focus on developing independent thinking and problem-solving skills.
    OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) is an examination board in the United Kingdom that provides qualifications and assessments to schools, colleges, and employers. It is one of the most popular exam boards in the country, offering a wide range of subjects and qualifications for students of all ages.
    • Established: 1988
    • Headquarters: Cambridge, England
    • Qualifications offered: GCSEs, A-levels, Cambridge Nationals, Cambridge Technicals
    • Subject areas: Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Languages, Vocational Education
    • Number of exams and assessments: Over 13,000 per year
  4. 4
    16
    votes
    WJEC is the exam board for Wales, offering qualifications in a range of subjects. It is known for its commitment to bilingual education and its focus on developing skills for the Welsh economy.
    The WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee) is an examination board based in Wales, United Kingdom. It was established in 1948 as a consortium of Welsh local education authorities, with the aim of providing a national examination system for Wales.
    • Year established: 1948
    • Headquarters: Cardiff, Wales
    • Examination offerings: GCSE, AS level, A level, Entry Level, Functional Skills
    • Subjects covered: Arts, humanities, sciences, languages, vocational subjects
    • Accreditation: Accredited by the Qualifications Wales and Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)
  5. 5
    12
    votes
    CCEA is the exam board for Northern Ireland, offering qualifications in academic and vocational subjects. It is known for its emphasis on practical skills and its focus on developing a strong sense of community and social responsibility.
    The CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment) is an exam board in the UK that is responsible for the regulation and administration of various academic and vocational qualifications.
    • 1: CCEA is the statutory body responsible for the curriculum, examinations, and assessment in Northern Ireland.
    • 2: CCEA offers a wide range of qualifications, including GCSEs, A-levels, vocational qualifications, and essential skills.
    • 3: CCEA provides support and resources to teachers, schools, and colleges throughout the academic year.
    • 4: CCEA collaborates with other educational institutions and organizations to develop and maintain high-quality examinations and assessments.
    • 5: CCEA ensures the fairness, reliability, and validity of assessments through rigorous quality assurance procedures.
  6. 6
    13
    votes
    SQA is the exam board for Scotland, offering qualifications in academic and vocational subjects. It is known for its focus on developing critical thinking skills and its commitment to promoting Scottish culture and heritage.
    The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is the national awarding body responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment, and certification of qualifications in Scotland. It was established by an Act of the Scottish Parliament in 1997.
    • Accreditation: Responsible for accrediting qualifications and educational programs in Scotland.
    • Assessment: Conducts assessments and examinations for various qualifications.
    • Certification: Issues certificates to successful candidates.
    • Educational Qualifications: Offers a wide range of educational qualifications, including National Qualifications, Higher National Qualifications, and Scottish Vocational Qualifications.
    • International Qualifications: Provides international qualifications recognized worldwide.
  7. 7
    7
    votes
    NCFE is a leading vocational exam board, offering qualifications in a wide range of subjects. It is known for its flexible approach to assessment and its commitment to providing learners with practical skills and real-world experience.
    The NCFE (Northern Council for Further Education) is an awarding organisation based in the UK that offers a wide range of qualifications for learners of all ages and backgrounds. It was established in 1848 as the Northern Union of Mechanics' Institutes and later evolved to become the NCFE. The NCFE works in collaboration with schools, colleges, training providers, and employers to provide recognized qualifications across various sectors.
    • Established: 1848
    • Type: Awarding Organisation
    • Headquarters: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    • Qualifications: Wide range of qualifications for learners
    • Sectors: Various sectors including education, health and social care, business, and more
  8. 8
    13
    votes
    City & Guilds is a vocational exam board, offering qualifications in a range of industries. It is known for its focus on developing practical skills and providing learners with hands-on experience in their chosen field.
    City & Guilds is a leading provider of vocational qualifications, apprenticeships, and assessments in the United Kingdom. It is highly recognized and respected for its English language proficiency tests.
    • Recognition: Widely recognized in the UK and internationally
    • Variety of tests: Offers a range of English language tests for different purposes
    • Levels: Tests available for beginner to advanced levels
    • Skills assessed: Tests assess reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills
    • Validity period: Test certificates are valid for life
    City & Guilds in other rankings
  9. 9
    7
    votes
    BTEC is a vocational exam board, offering qualifications in a range of industries. It is known for its focus on developing practical skills and providing learners with real-world experience in their chosen field.
    BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) is an exam board in the UK that provides vocational qualifications in various subjects, with a focus on business, engineering, and technology-related fields. It offers a practical and industry-focused alternative to traditional academic qualifications.
    • Qualification Levels: BTEC qualifications are available at different levels, including Entry Level, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 or 5 for Higher National Certificates/Diplomas.
    • Graded and Pass/Fail Options: BTEC qualifications can be achieved through both graded assessments and pass/fail options, providing flexibility for students with different learning abilities.
    • Course Structure: BTEC courses usually consist of a combination of core units, optional units, and externally assessed units, allowing students to tailor their studies to their specific interests and career goals.
    • Practical Focus: BTEC qualifications emphasize practical skills development, with a strong emphasis on work-related scenarios, projects, and real-life industry examples.
    • Recognition: BTEC qualifications are recognized by universities, employers, and professional bodies both in the UK and internationally, providing various progression routes for further education or employment.
  10. 10
    8
    votes
    Cambridge Assessment International Education is a leading provider of international qualifications in academic and vocational subjects. It is known for its rigorous academic standards and its commitment to developing learners' critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
    Cambridge Assessment International Education is a renowned exam board in the UK that provides international qualifications for students worldwide. It is a part of the University of Cambridge and is recognized for its high-quality education standards and global acceptance.
    • Global Recognition: Qualifications widely accepted by universities and employers worldwide.
    • Curriculum: Offers a wide range of subjects and qualifications for students aged 5 to 19.
    • International Exams: Conducts internationally standardized exams.
    • International Perspective: Promotes cultural diversity and global understanding.
    • Assessment Framework: Focuses on developing critical thinking and analytical skills.

Missing your favorite exam board?

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Discussion

Ranking factors for popular exam board

  1. Number of schools and colleges using the exam board
    The more institutions using a particular exam board, the higher its popularity. Find out how many schools and colleges in the UK are using each exam board to determine their popularity.
  2. Exam performance and pass rates
    Examine the average pass rates and overall performance of students in each exam board. A higher pass rate and more successful students might indicate that the content and structure of the exams are accessible and well-organised.
  3. Accessibility and support
    Evaluate the extent of support resources and materials provided by each exam board, such as study guides, past papers, and additional learning materials. This can help determine how user-friendly and supportive each exam board is for students and educators.
  4. Reputation
    Assess the general perception of each exam board among students, educators, and institutions. Make note of any awards or accolades earned by each exam board, as this can contribute to their popularity and credibility.
  5. Market share
    Investigate the market share of each exam board, or the percentage of total exams taken that belong to each board. A higher market share typically indicates a more popular exam board.
  6. Official statistics
    Consult official statistics and reports by educational organisations and government bodies that rank exam boards based on their performance, size, and other relevant factors.
  7. Stakeholder opinions
    Gather input from students, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders to gain a better understanding of their experiences and preferences regarding different exam boards.
  8. Compatibility with national curriculum
    Examine to what extent each exam board's content and structure align with the national curriculum and learning objectives. An exam board that is closely aligned with the national curriculum may be more popular and widely used.
  9. Level of difficulty
    Consider the perceived difficulty level of each exam board's exams relative to others. Some stakeholders may prefer exam boards that are seen to be more challenging, while others may opt for those perceived as more accessible.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular exam board in the UK. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or board is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1751 views
  • 198 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each board once every 24 hours. The rank of each board is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular exam board in the uk

In the UK, there are several exam boards that offer qualifications to students. These exam boards are responsible for creating and administering exams, as well as marking and awarding grades. The most popular exam boards in the UK include AQA, OCR, Edexcel, and WJEC. AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) is the largest exam board in the UK, with over 50% of students taking AQA exams. AQA offers a wide range of qualifications, including GCSEs, A-levels, and vocational qualifications. OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) is another popular exam board in the UK. OCR offers a range of qualifications, including GCSEs, A-levels, and vocational qualifications. OCR is known for its rigorous exams and innovative assessment methods. Edexcel is a subsidiary of Pearson, one of the largest education companies in the world. Edexcel offers a range of qualifications, including GCSEs, A-levels, and vocational qualifications. Edexcel is known for its focus on skills development and its use of technology in assessment. WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee) is the exam board responsible for qualifications in Wales. WJEC offers a range of qualifications, including GCSEs, A-levels, and vocational qualifications. WJEC is known for its focus on Welsh language and culture. Overall, the most popular exam board in the UK varies depending on the subject and level of qualification. However, AQA is generally the most popular exam board across all subjects and levels.

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