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I've heard the league table excuse quite a few times and it sounded sincere, for what that's worth.There isn't really much point in arguing with an exams officer.
It's even harder if you need them to deal with practical exams, and coursework is pretty much impossible when they have nothing else of yours to compare against. There used to be a sticky on exam-only A-Levels, but it was wrong and out of date, so here's my list. Taken directly from the syllabus (aka specification) pdfs on the exam board sites. Subjects you can't do at all, at least in England, by just writing a traditional exam paper.
Language oral tests are often possible at schools which teach that language, but they take place well before the written exam season so early registration is essential.
If it's still possible to sit a named A-Level in them, I do apologise.
Some private schools charge a big markup, but so do some state schools.
Your taking exams with a school makes no difference to their league table position; if they say this they either don't know what they are talking about or are just using it as a handy excuse.
The exam board fee varies a bit per subject, but roughly £20-£25 per module, or more like £15 in six-module subjects like Maths.
There are international specifications for Edexcel Biology, Chemistry and Physics that allow you to take extra written exams instead of the practicals.
They aren't normally available in this country, but Pembrokeshire College does them as distance learning courses (and unlike most distance learning schemes, they provide exam sittings at cost if you need them).
Plus whatever the outside invigilators charge, at least £30 per hour, if it's a sitting where the school won't have any other candidates.
Those are the actual costs; some schools just charge that and some add an enormous markup. Also, some centres charge a registration fee of up to £100, before you get the chance to pay to take exams. As far as I can see, both AQA specifications, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC specifications all have 4 exams which suggests they have no coursework (though I haven't bothered to read the specs). As far as I can see, both AQA specifications, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC specifications all have 4 exams which suggests they have no coursework (though I haven't bothered to read the specs).