What is extended certification?
Extended certification gives candidates recognition of the language skills they have demonstrated and a clearer picture of how results relate to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages.
How does it work?
Extended certification is designed to give a clear indication of a candidate's true achievements.
Candidates who achieve an 'A' grade for:
- A2 Key (KET) (inc. A2 Key for Schools)
- B1 Preliminary (PET) (inc. B1 Preliminary for Schools)
- B2 First (FCE) (inc. B2 First for Schools)
- C1 Advanced (CAE)
- B2 Business Vantage (BEC Vantage) and C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher)
or a 'Pass with Distinction' for:
- B1 Business Preliminary
will receive a certificate at the CEFR level above the level the exam is mapped to.
Likewise, candidates who do not achieve a passing grade, but who still demonstrate a standard of English at the CEFR level below the level the exam is mapped to, will be awarded a certificate stating that level.
An example of extended certification
If you are taking the A2 Key (KET) exam, which is designed to test English at CEFR level A2, you would:
- Receive an A2 Key (KET) certificate stating that you have demonstrated an ability at CEFR level B1 if you achieved a 'A' grade.
- Receive a certificate stating that you have demonstrated an ability at CEFR level A1 if you narrowly missed out on a 'C' grade, but demonstrated that your English was at this level.
Possible certificate outcomes for A2 Key (KET):
- Grade 'A': A2 Key (KET) certificate stating you demonstrated ability at level B1 on the CEFR.
- Grade 'B' or 'C': A2 Key (KET) certificate - level A2 on the CEFR.
- Level A1: A Cambridge English certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at level A1
Please click below to see what the certificates would look like for these results.*
A2 Key - Grade 'A'
A2 Key - Grade 'B'
A2 Key - narrowly below Grade 'C'
* Images are for illustration only and may be subject to change.
Extended certification is demonstrated in this diagram where you'll see that most of our exams span three different CEFR levels:
Understanding your results
For each exam we have created an Understanding your results document which helps to explain what your results mean.
To access this information, navigate to the Exams section of our website, pick your exam type and level, go to the Results section (on the left-hand menu), scroll to the bottom of the page and open the PDF Find out how to understand your statement of results at the bottom of this section.
When was extended certification introduced?
Extended certification was introduced in 2011. Specific dates for each exam are listed below:
- B2 First (FCE)
- C1 Advanced (CAE)
- C2 Proficiency (CPE)
- B2 Business Vantage
- C1 Business Higher
- A2 (KET)
- B1 Preliminary (PET)
- B1 Business Preliminary
Did your exams change when extended certification was introduced?
Cambridge English made no changes to any of the examinations. They were reclassified by Ofqual (the UK Accreditation body) to allow for extended certification, but the format and difficulty of the exams remained the same.
I achieved a CEFR level above the one the exam was mapped to, will I be awarded a certificate for the exam above?
No. You will be issued with a certificate for the exam that you have taken, stating that you demonstrated ability at the CEFR level above.
For example, if you achieve an 'A' grade in B2 First you will still receive a B2 First certificate, not a C1 Advanced certificate.
I achieved a CEFR level below the one the exam was mapped to, will I be awarded a certificate for the exam below?
No. You will be issued a Cambridge English certificate stating the CEFR level you have achieved. It will not state the name of the exam that you took, as you did not achieve a passing grade for this exam.
For example, if you achieve a Level B2 in the C1 Advanced exam, you will receive a Cambridge English certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at level B2. You will not receive a B2 First certificate or a C1 Advanced certificate.
I took my exam before extended certification was introduced, can I get a new certificate showing the level I achieved?
If you took an exam before extended certification was introduced, you cannot receive a new certificate. Cambridge English is not able to provide retrospective marking of results and grades are awarded based on the exam specification applicable at the time of sitting the exam.