How to Prepare for Your Test at the Centre of Excellence

Exams are stressful enough without worrying that you’ve forgotten something important or feeling like you don’t know what to expect. Being properly prepared in advance of your test will allow you to hit the ground running and focus on what’s important – passing your exam!


Booking Your Test

Some of the key preparation for your exam can be done at the time of booking. All exams hosted by the Centre of Excellence must be booked through your exam provider and can’t be scheduled through us directly. You – or the person booking your exam – will be given an option at the time of booking to select our test centre. We are open for Pearson Vue and Kryterion exams on Fridays and the first and last Saturday of every month (excluding some national holiday periods). We have good availability for exam bookings all year round, however there are some periods that are busier than others. For example, we tend to admit a higher number of candidates between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.

If you require special accommodations for your exam, such as extra time or particular test aids, you will need to arrange this at the time of booking. Test centre administrators will not be able to provide accommodations on the day of your test without prior notification.

Before Your Test

Make sure that you read through and retain all of the information you receive when booking. At this stage, you will be informed about what ID you need to bring, which in most cases is one government-issued photographic ID (e.g. passport, driving licence) and one form of ID that includes your name and signature (e.g. a bank card). If you fail to bring the correct forms of ID, you may not be able to sit your test.

If your exam is administered by Kryterion, you will also need to bring your test taker authorisation code. This will normally be in your booking confirmation email and consists of six lower-case letters. Without this code, test centre administrators will not be able to load your exam.

You should also make a note of what you are allowed to bring in to your exam with you. For some tests, you may be allowed to bring a calculator. Some exam sponsors also allow you to bring certain books or dictionaries, however there may be restrictions on annotations or the version of the text that is allowed. Test centre administrators have information about what each candidate is allowed to take in with them.

Your exam sponsor’s website can provide you with a lot of helpful information. If your exam is administered by Pearson Vue, you can take their computer-based testing demo, which gives an overview of the types of questions you may come across and shows you how to navigate their testing software.

To make sure you arrive in time for your exam, please plan your journey in advance. We’re easily accessible by public transport and by car. The test centre is just a five-minute walk from the Oldham Mumps tram and bus stops. We also have a large car park offering free parking across from the Web Applications UK office. Please be advised that parking restrictions are in place, so make sure you park in the allocated visitor spaces. You will need to provide your vehicle details to reception to avoid receiving tickets.

Try to arrive at the test centre 15 minutes before your exam start time so one of our test centre administrators can admit you. As we’re a small centre, we don’t have the space for candidates to spend long periods revising before starting their exams and we don’t allow family members/friends to wait for candidates on site.



There’s no getting around this one. We all learn in different ways and have different strategies for committing material to our memories. Your exam sponsor may be able to provide revision material or indicate the best way to prepare for their test content. Pearson Vue have a webpage dedicated to exam preparation materials for their most popular tests.


The Admissions Process

When you arrive at the test centre, an administrator will ask for your name to check against our schedule. You will be asked for your identification, and if you’re a Kryterion candidate you will need to provide your test taker authorisation code.

You will be asked to fill out our forms in the kitchen area to begin the admissions process. The test centre will need some of this information for our internal processing. We destroy these forms after 90 days. Some information is also required by the exam providers for security and identity verification purposes. Please make sure you fill in all of the forms you are given and carefully read through your exam provider’s rules and regulations. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask a test centre administrator. As part of the identity verification process, Pearson VUE candidates may also need to provide an electronic signature and submit to having their photograph taken.

At this stage, you will need to place your belongings in one of our lockers. All bags, coats, mobile phones, tablets, watches and revision notes will need to be stored securely for the duration of your test. Mobile phones should be switched off or on silent. The administrator will ask you to demonstrate that you don’t have belongings in your pockets. If you have an accommodation to take medication into the exam room, please let the administrator know. Your calculator and any permitted texts will be checked.

Once you have been admitted, an administrator will log you on to a computer. You will be asked to wait in the reception area until the administrator has returned and takes you to your seat. You will be given scratch paper/erasable note boards if applicable and you will find ear plugs on your desk. If you have any concerns or queries during your test, please raise these with the administrator by exiting the exam room, to reduce disruption to other candidates. When you are seated, please make sure that the exam on screen is the one you are expecting. Read through all of the information on how to navigate through your test and begin when you are ready.


Now you know what to expect and how you need to prepare, we hope that you have a positive test experience with us. Good luck!