Where can I find past exam papers? Edit
Go to the exam board page for each qualification, and you will usually see past papers, mark schemes and examiner reports available for free download. You can also find some sets of past papers for specific subjects on this wiki - go to the subject page you're interested in and see if there is a link.
The papers I want are locked on the exam board site! Edit
The most recent set of papers and marks for each qualification will generally be locked by the exam board and only available for secure download by exam centres. This is so schools can use the most recent set of exam papers for mock exams and not worry that anyone has seen them beforehand. Sometimes this is important; if a candidate is unable to complete their exams due to illness or other circumstances, the school might use their mock exam result as evidence to support final grade allocation.
There isn't any reason why home educators can't get hold of the most recent paper though - we are 'allowed' to see them, it's just that the exam boards are only set up to distribute them either through their secure downloads for exam centres, or selling paper copies. They may sell you the most recent set if you phone up and explain you are a home educator, but often you can obtain them by asking on the HE-Exams group or searching free download sites.
Should I ask the exam board to unlock them for me? Edit
Many people have tried, and failed, to persuade the exam boards to give home-ed parents access to secure downloads; don't worry, as you can always obtain them another way.
If you can't find the most recent papers online, please ask on the HE-Exams Yahoogroup or Home Education UK Exams & Alternatives facebook group first.
If you still can't locate them, you can ask your exam centre to download them and email them to you.
Although these papers are copyrighted, we know the exam boards will make them freely available to all online as soon as the next lot of exams are out so most of us don't have any concerns about sharing them amongst known home educators. At meetings with exam board senior staff it has been explained that they don't have any objection to us using them, but their system is set up to only allow downloads via a registered exam centre.
Download sites for past exam papers Edit
Older exam papers from superseded qualifications can often be downloaded from free exam paper download sites. You can sometimes also find the most recent exam papers on these sites - the ones which the exam boards have not released to the public yet.
Ensure you have antivirus/internet security in place before using download sites, and note that you may need to allow popups to download. If you have trouble making the download work, each site will usually have a help page to explain what settings you need.
Edexcel Summer 2018 papers for IGCSE and International A-levels - Bilal Ahmed's blog
Download sites may provide files in compressed format such as .zip or .rar . If so, when you have downloaded the file, right-click and see if your computer offers you the option to 'extract files'. If not then you can download a free extraction utility which will do this - 7-zip is very popular.
Shawon Notes has IGCSE papers for a few subjects, mostly Edexcel specification, going back to around 2005.