Cambridge English FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions from past candidates which may help answer your query.

Q.How do I enrol for a Cambridge ESOL exam?

Please click here to visit our 'Apply now - Dates and Fees' page and click on 'Enrol Now' next to the exam that you want to take.
Once you have filled in all your details, click on the 'Add to Bookings' button. On the next My Bookings List page, press the 'Complete Booking'
button to complete your application. Please follow the on-screen instructions.

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Q.How do I pay for a Cambridge ESOL exam?

Our website accepts payment online by Visa, Mastercard and Maestro.

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Q.What do I do if I can't pay by card or my card isn't accepted by the website?

Please do the following:

  1. Create a user account on our booking website by clicking here (this step is not needed if you already have a user account on our booking website).
  2. Send an email to exams@ihbristol.com, requesting that your user login (please include the email address) is enabled for 'other payment methods'
  3. We will send you an email once we have enabled 'other payment methods' for your login.
  4. Go back to our website and apply for the exam. When you get to the 'Complete Bookings' page:

    fill in your email address and password. In the 'Payment Information' section, use payment method
    'Bank Transfer or PaytoStudy payment' or 'Cheque or Cash' and complete the booking.
  5. Please remember that your booking is not confirmed until IH Bristol have received your payment. There will be a £5.00 administration charge for cash payments.

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Q.When will I receive the exact dates?

We will email you your confirmation of entry (CoE) containing the exact dates, times and venues and important information for candidates at least 10 days before the first part of the exam. If you have not received your CoE by that time, please contact us immediately by email at exams@ihbristol.com. Also, please make sure you read your CoE and the attached information carefully.

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Q.Do I need to follow a course to take the exam?

No. Although most candidates do follow a course before taking the exam, it is not a requirement.

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Q.What is a late entry fee?

If you enrol after the closing entry date (provided we have places available), a late entry fee of £25 may apply.

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Q.What is a CoE?

CoE means confirmation of entry. It is a document that you have to bring to each part of the exam. The document contains the details of each part of your exam (dates, times and venues) and the secret information to access your results.

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Q.How much does an examination cost?

Please click here to visit our 'Exam timetable and prices' page.

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Q.Can I enrol for more than one examination in one session?

Yes, but you must complete a separate entry form for each examination and pay the appropriate fee. Also, please ensure that the examinations do not take place at the same time.

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Q.If my name is not spelled correctly on my CoE, what should I do?

Contact  IH Bristol by email at exams@ihbristol.com immediately after receiving your CoE. Your name will then be changed and it will be printed correctly on your certificate.

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Q.Can I use a dictionary or spell-checker during the examination?

No.

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Q.What happens if I am ill and unable to take the examination?

If you miss the examination because of illness or withdraw on medical grounds, International House Bristol Open Centre will make a full refund. A written request for refund must be received by our office within seven days of the exam. 

You must email exams@ihbristol.com:
- Your personal details (full name, address, email address, candidate number)
- A cover letter
- A medical statement in English giving the medical reasons why you were unable to sit the examination
- Details of when, how and how much you paid for the exam

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Q.If I cannot take the examination, will I get a refund?

No, except in the case of illness and if you can provide official documentation such as a doctor's certificate. Please see the note above.

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Q.Is it possible to transfer the examination fee to a later session or to a different exam?

No, as preparations will have been made for the candidate to sit a specific exam at a specific session.

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Q.Am I allowed to bring my mobile phone or pager into the examination?

 No.

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Q.Can I take my bag and coat into the examination?

You will be asked by the supervisor to leave them in the designated area, but they will not be allowed to be left next to you in the examination hall. The only things you can keep with you during the examination are: pens, pencils, erasers, CoE, ID/passport, medicine and still water in a closed transparent bottle.

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Q.How can I check my result?

You can download your statement of results on the Cambridge website at https://cambridgeesol-results.org/Members/Login.aspx. Your ID and secret number are on your confirmation of entry (CoE).
Remember, you have to register first! All candidates will receive their statement of results five to seven weeks after sitting the exam.

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Q.I did not attend a part of the exam. Can I still pass?

In order to pass a Cambridge ESOL examination, you must attend each part (paper) of the exam. If you miss a paper, you will not receive any results and therefore will not be able to pass the exam.

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Q.I received my result but believe there is a mistake with my grade. Can Cambridge recheck it?

Cambridge ESOL has a system in place to check the accuracy of results should there be a query. Such checks rarely reveal an inaccuracy in the original result and do not provide feedback on the performance of candidates in particular papers.

Here is what we can do for you:
Stage 1 (full clerical recheck of papers): Cambridge will count all your points again. The cost of stage 1 is £25. The outcome will be advised within five to 10 working days.
Stage 2 (remark of papers): After there has been no change in results after stage 1, it is possible to request Cambridge to remark all exam papers (except speaking). The cost of stage 2 is £110. The outcome will be advised within approximately four weeks.

Enquiries for all exams must be received within three weeks of the result release date (for certain exams the request might be made later; please contact us for more information). All candidates wishing to request stage 2 must have completed and received their results for stage 1.

If you would like your results to be rechecked, please contact us by email at exams@ihbristol.com.

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Q.I passed a Cambridge exam but I have not yet received my certificate. What can I do?

As soon as we receive your certificate from Cambridge (approximately four to six weeks after the results have been published), we will forward it to the address you gave us on your application form. This can either be an address within the UK or abroad. If you have moved recently and would like to change your address, please email us your new address at exams@ihbristol.com.

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Q.Although enough time has passed, I have still not received my certificate. What can I do?

Please contact us by email at exams@ihbristol.com explaining the problem and stating your full name, candidate number, the exam you took and the month you took the exam in. We will then be able to help you.

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Q.There is a spelling mistake in my certificate. What can I do?

Please send us your certificate immediately, along with a cover letter which should include your correct name, your full address and your email address. We will then send it to Cambridge, which will replace it for you free of charge.

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