Cambridge ESOL FAQs

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Cambridge ESOL - FAQs

Yes: well be happy to make the necessary arrangements.  Please tell us your nearest exam centre:

  • the exam you wish to take,
  • the date and location.

Some exams are available in Braille, large print and special audio format. We also have services for candidates with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

Please be sure to provide the appropriate certification when you enrol.

First off: don’t leave your exam study to the night before! It’s important to plan your studies carefully, making sure you are familiar with the exam format and the level of the exam tasks. It helps to learn the exam techniques and get used to the time limits by doing past papers.

You’ll find more information in the ‘preparation’ page for each Cambridge ESOL exam on this website.

Results are available around eight weeks after the exam. If you haven’t received your results after ten weeks, please contact your British Council centre:

  • If you enrolled through your teaching or language centre, the certificates will be sent there.
  • If you enrolled as a private candidate, we will send them to the address you gave when you registered. 

Your exam is marked by at least two independent professional examiners, and sometimes by to four. Still, if you feel there is a problem, ask for feedback from your teacher. If you’re still unhappy with your grade, contact your British Council exam centre: they’ll explain what you can do.

Please note: examining boards retain the right to decide whether a revision is applicable or not.

You will receive a Statement of Results, which contains:

  • your grade: pass marks are graded A, B or C are pass marks, D represents a narrow fail, and E a fail,
  • a graphic with your performance by paper,
  • a mark out of a 100 of your result.

Your certificate contains the following information:

  • your UK National Qualifications Framework level,
  • your Council of Europe (CEF) level and an explanation of what this level means in terms of your language ability.

A Cambridge ESOL certificate doesn’t ‘expire’, as it simply records your English competence on the date you took the exam. In practice, academic institutions, professional bodies and employers will all have their own rules on how long an ESOL certificate remains valid – a ten year old certificate will not say much about your current level of English! As a general rule, it is not possible to guarantee the validity of a certificate that’s more than two years old; you may be required to take another ESOL exam to demonstrate your English competence after this time.

Each Cambridge ESOL examination session has a specific cancellation period. Refunds due to medical circumstances are accepted at any time, as long as you provide a medical certificate. If your request is accepted, the British Council will refund you the full fee less an administration charge. Please contact your examining centre for more information.