Past exam material

Past exam material

Examination hall

The majority of the exam publications in our archives are held as hard copy documents. However, our electronic archive is growing and we have produced electronic examples of question papers, syllabuses and reports from 1950 to the present, of the major subjects for O Level, GCSE and A Level.

Copies of specific past papers may be available for private research - subject to copyright legislation, availability and on payment of a search and copy fee (for details see the 'Access to the archives' page).

If you would like to make a specific request, please send as much information about the item you would like to Archives & Heritage staff at

Tips for making a request

There is no overall guide or list of all the past examination publications held. This is because every session, from the 1870s to the present, is unique with its own archive of syllabuses, question papers, reports etc. For this reason, when making a request for a particular item, please be aware of the following:

  • There may be a number of different syllabuses per subject and there will be several question papers per session (For example, there are 5 GCSE Mathematics syllabuses for 1997).
  • Some so-called 'question papers' may be coursework papers or case studies, so no 'question paper' will be available.
  • Examiners’ reports were not produced for all examinations before 1980.
  • Marking schemes were not widely produced before 2000 and, where they exist, they correspond to each question paper, not subject or syllabus.

Research Matters

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Research Matters is our free biannual publication which allows us to share our assessment research, in a range of fields, with the wider assessment community.