How to fill out G.C.E. Advanced level (A/L) applications for private candidates : A step by step guide


We could simply ask you to click on the following link and go through the instructions yourself and fill it up, but we’re not going to do that. Why? Because here at GuruPaara, we believe in making your life smarter. The instructions in the application are unabridged and even intimidating to a certain extent. We’ve simplified it for you.  Here is a step by step guide how to fill out G.C.E. Advanced level (A/L) applications for private candidates.

The application can be downloaded from here:

Before we begin walking you through the actual application, let us give you a brief introduction about a few of the application related rules and regulations.

General  rules & regulations

  • It should be noted that only candidates with a school-leaving certificate are considered as private candidates. Any attempt to face the exam as a private candidate whilst being in school is punishable by up to a lifetime ban from taking government certified examinations.
  • Each candidate needs to pass the “Common General Test” along with the three major subjects if he/she (the pronoun ‘he’ is employed from this point onwards for the ease of use) seeks entrance to a state university.
  • Sitting for the General English paper is not a must if the candidate has passed it in one of his previous attempts. But he can do it if he wishes to, although, the result of it will not be taken into account for university entrance. General English can be attempted as a single subject as well.
  • The application should be printed on a 28 cm x 21 cm paper (standard letter size), in a way that topics (cages) 1 – 11 of the application are printed on the first page, and topics 12 – 14 are printed on the second page.
  • If applications aren’t posted on or before the deadline (23rd of February, 2018) and/or if the payment is done in a way which is not encouraged by the Department of Examinations, the application will be rejected.
  • Candidates who are applying through schools and pirivenas need not pay the examination fees for the second attempt.
  • Special needs applicants should state so on the top left corner of the first page of the application.
  • Have another person recheck your application for errors before posting it because that would decrease the margin for error.
  • Fill it out with your own handwriting and use block (capital) letters for the parts which require writing in English.
  • Candidates should produce their national identity card at the exam. If the candidate does not have an NIC, he can produce his passport as well. It should valid at the time of the examination. However, we encourage you to have your NIC remade, if it’s not in your possession.
  • The details on this application are considered to be final, and no amends will be made regarding, subject combinations, exam centers, medium of the exam and whatnot. So make sure you go through the following section thoroughly before filling out your application.
  • Do not post more than one application under any circumstances. Legal action will be taken against you if do so. We know it feels tempting to do so because it adds a sense of security to send another copy, but please don’t.

Filling out the application

These numbers are in synchronization with those of the actual application.

  1. State the name and the District in letters, and locate your town from the list of towns given in the following link and write down the relevant number on your application. Double check this number because your exam centre is decided using it.

  2. State your name as it is mentioned on the birth certificate. And yes, you should use block letters.
  3. Make sure you write your home address (permanent address) in this part. Addresses of boarding and hostels should not be given as they are not considered to be permanent addresses. Make sure you state a functioning and reachable number as the telephone number.
  4. Jot down your date of birth as it appears on the birth certificate for 4 (i). For 4 (ii), do the calculation properly.
    g, if your birthday is the 15th of November, 1996, you would be 21 years, 1 month and 16 days old as of 01st of January, 2018.
  5. Cross out the medium of your choice clearly, and leave the other boxes intact.
  6. Write down your subject names and their relevant subject numbers by referring to the list of subjects given on the 6th page of the application. As it was mentioned before, sitting for the common general test is a must if a candidate wishes to seek entrance to a state university.
  7. Mention the total number of subjects you’ve applied for. General English and the common general test should be taken into account as well.
  8. State your NIC number correctly.
  9. The amount of fees you paid to the post office as it is stated on the receipt should be mentioned here, both in letters as well as figures.
  10. Cross out the gender you belong to, while leaving the other box intact.
  11. If this is your second attempt, write “2” in the box, and likewise.
  12. This part should be signed in the presence of your grama niladhari. He will then fill out the part which asks for his details.
  13. The examination fee should be paid to the post office, and the rates are given on the application. Once you make the payment, you’ll receive a receipt. Make sure you get a photocopy and store it in a safe place in case it’s required in the future. You should then paste the original receipt on the given cage. Fill out the blanks as per the details mentioned in your receipt.
  14. Write your name in full after “I”, and your permanent address (which you’ve used in section 3) after “of”. Write the date of the day you filled out the application on and place your signature after going through the terms.

Things to consider after posting application

Seems like a redundant thing to say, right? Because once the application is posted, it’s all over, right? That’s not necessarily the case. Bear with us and give the following two instructions a read too.

  • Once you get the admission, check it and recheck it for errors. If the details on the application have even the slightest of mismatches of the details you entered in your application, go to the School Examinations Organization Branch of Department of Examinations and initiate and inquiry as soon as possible. They will fix the errors for you. And make sure you carry your admission with you when you go to the department.
  • If you do not sit for any of the exams you’ve applied for, it will be considered as non-appearance. In that case, your attempt won’t be considered as an attempt as an entrance exam for state universities. Which means that the number of attempts that affect your entitlement to enter the University will not be affected.

We know this is a lot to take in in one sitting. But we made this article as conclusive as possible to save you from any future exam related surprises. This is a simplified guide on how to fill out the application for private candidates. If you want the unabridged one, we highly encourage you to go through the guideline given in the application provided by the Department itself. It should also be noted that this article is not legally binding. We hope this was of help to you.

Life is all about second chances, or even third chances in some cases. Things almost never go as planned on the very first try, this is true to all aspects in life. Weren’t you able to achieve your goal on the first attempt? There’s no reason to panic and feel discouraged. Just take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust your shoulders and work relentlessly towards your goal. Capitalize on that second chance. We at GuruPaara got your back.

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