Cambridge English Support Site

Extended Certification


Helpdesk Training Article


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:

  • Cambridge English: First (FCE) (inc. for Schools)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Cambridge English: Business Vantage (BEC Vantage) and Business Higher (BEC Higher)

or a 'Pass with Distinction' for:

  • Cambridge English: Key (KET) (inc. for Schools)
  • Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET) (inc. for Schools)
  • Cambridge English: 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 Cambridge English: Key (KET) exam, which is designed to test English at CEFR level A2, you would:

  • Receive a certificate stating that you have demonstrated an ability at CEFR level B1 if you achieved a 'Pass with Distinction'. 
  • Receive a certificate stating that you have demonstrated an ability at CEFR level A1 if you narrowly missed out on a 'Pass', but demonstrated that your English was at this level.

Possible certificate outcomes for Cambridge English: Key (KET):

  • Pass with distinction: Cambridge English: Key (KET) certificate stating you demonstrated ability at level B1 on the CEFR.
  • Pass with Merit or Pass: Cambridge English: Key (KET) certificate - level A2 on the CEFR.
  • Level A1: A Cambridge English certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at level A1

Extended certification is demonstrated in this diagram where you'll see that most of our exams span three different CEFR levels:

Click for larger image

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, go to the Results section (on the left-hand menu), click on the Statement of Results tab and then open the PDF at the bottom of this section.


When was extended certification introduced?

Did your exams change when extended certification was introduced?

I achieved a CEFR level above the one the exam was mapped too, will I be awarded a certificate for the exam above?

I achieved a CEFR level below the one the exam was mapped, will I be awarded a certificate for the exam below?

I took my exam before extended certification was introduced, can I get a new certificate showing the level I achieved?

Still need help?

If you have any questions about extended certification please get in touch.

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