What Does It Cost To Take I/GCSEs and A Levels in the UAE?

If you have a child who is sitting their I/GCSEs or A Levels next year, have you considered the cost of these exams?
What Does It Cost To Take I/GCSEs and A Levels in the UAE?
By Carli Allan
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If you have a child who is sitting their GCSEs or A Levels next year, have you considered the cost of these exams?

Examination fees are charged separately to your annual tuition fees, and you will be charged by subject; whether a subject has one or three exam papers (or includes coursework or a practical exam), you will pay one set fee for that subject. 

Exam fees are standard fees set by each individual exam board; in UAE schools this will be either Oxford AQA, Cambridge International, or Pearson EdExcel. These fees are charged by the examination boards – not your school – and they set individual prices for the many different GCSE and A Level subjects they offer.

Your school will share the costs in a schedule of exam fees, normally between September-December, once they have been released by the exam boards.

In the UK's state schools, exam fees for GCSEs and A Levels are paid by the school; if your child attends a fee-paying independent school, parents are normally charged the exam fees, although there are some schools that include this in their tuition fees.

What are the exam fees for 2024?

In 2023, the average GCSE cost £48 (AED 220), up from £43.91 in 2021; the average A Level cost £114 (AED 530), up from £105 in 2021. 

GCSEs and IGCSEs range from AED 200-800, so if your child is taking nine subjects you can expect to pay at least AED 2,000. 

A Levels and International A Levels range from AED 460-1,000; exam fees can be as much as AED 860 for dance or drama and AED 1,000 for product design. If your child is taking three A Level subjects you can expect to pay around AED 2,000. 

What else can I expect to pay?

Schools may charge you an admin fee to cover their invigilation costs, which is typically around AED 450.

An additional fee of around AED 100 may be charged for Art, Drama & PE exam fees to cover the cost of a visiting moderator from the UK.

When do I pay?

You can expect to be invoiced for exam fees in mid February/mid-March, ahead of the exams being taken in May-June of the same year.

If you miss the deadline for exam fees (which is set by the exam boards), you will pay late entry or even very late fees, which are considerably more expensive (fees can be doubled or trebled). There are also amendment fees if your child’s changes their mind about a subject entry.

How many GCSEs should you do? When do you select which subjects? When should you start revising?  Read our guide to GCSEs here.

What happens if I am an online student or private candidate?

Students who take I/GCSE and A Level exams without attending a physical school are known as a private candidates; this applies to students who attend an online school, are home-schooling, or learning GCSEs or A Levels independently.

As well as the exam fees, you may changed an admin fee by the school, college or private candidate centre where you to choose to sit your exams.

Online schools such as King’s InterHigh will help their students to find a local exam centre, but you are then responsible for registering with the centre of choice and paying the exam fees to the centre directly.

The information in this feature is a guide. Always check with your school or the relevant exam board for the most accurate and up-to-date information on GCSE and A Level exam fees.

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