Common Questions about Cambridge Examinations
Cambridge qualifications enjoy a very high level of international recognition both by universities and employers as evidence of proficiency in English. Questions and tasks are based on meaningful and real-life activities so the language studied is useful outside the classroom. All written papers are returned to the UK for marking to ensure worldwide standardization and reliability. The four language skills are tested separately, as is Use of English (Grammar and Vocabulary), but averaged across the papers allowing strengths to balance weaknesses.. All speaking exams involve an interview in pairs (or in some cases a group of three candidates) with two examiners, all of whom are trained, standardized and experienced. There is an extensive range of publications, handbooks and exam preparation texts to support either the classroom teacher or candidates who are not studying at a school.
• Am I eligible?
Cambridge Examinations may be taken by people of any age, race or nationality but are specifically designed for speakers of languages other than English. Young candidates (under 16) should seek advice from our Centre Exams Manager on 9281 5211
• Do I have to attend a course to be able to sit a Cambridge Examination?
No. However, it is a good idea to prepare thoroughly for the examinations and this may best be achieved by attending a preparation course. Go to the NEAS or English Australia (EA) websites to see which schools offer Cambridge Preparation courses. If preparing on your own, textbooks with practice tests and other materials are available from good language bookshops. Advice and sample Cambridge papers can be found on the Cambridge English webpage.
• Which examination should I take?
The best way to decide is to talk to a language teacher at a school about your level of English. You can try doing some practice tests to see how you go. Go to the Cambridge English webpage for more information about each of the examinations.
You can also check this site to test yourself and decide which test is best to take:
• Can I enrol for a Preparation Course at your Centre?
Yes. You can enrol on a preparation course at our school, which offers all the Cambridge main suite of exams. Check our website www.sce.edu.au and follow the links to Cambridge Preparation courses.
• Can I enrol now and pay later?
No. Payment is required at the time of enrolment. We do not accept or process enrolments without proof of payment.
• Can I enter for more than one exam at the same time?
Yes. However, you must complete a separate entry form for each exam and pay a separate fee. Note: The FCE and CAE are held on the same day sometimes so please check our website to see when these occasions occur. In such cases, you cannot sit for both exams if they are offered on the same day.
• Can I transfer my entry from one session to a later one or to a different level, or to a different city in Australia?
No, this is not possible except for extremely rare circumstances which must be negotiated with CELA in the UK.
• Can I withdraw or cancel my enrolment and receive a refund?
There are no refunds once enrolment is complete and a receipt has been issued, as your examination papers will be sent from Cambridge and back again even if you do not sit the examination. All similar matters are to be discussed further with our Centre Manager. Please check the Terms and Conditions that apply to our centre on the website.
• Can I give my place to someone else?
No, no candidate can be substituted for another.
• Will all the examinations offered run every session?
If there are not enough candidates entered for an examination after the closing date for enrolments, that examination may not run. If that is the case, our Centre Manager will inform you, and a full refund will be given.
• If I do not pass can I sit the examination at another time?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of times you can sit the same examination.
• How long do I have to wait for my results and certificate?
Candidates can access their results online approximately 6 weeks after the examinations, and the certificates are dispatched about 4 weeks after the results are published. We send the certificates to the language schools for their candidates, and to home addresses for privately enrolled candidates.
• What if I am leaving Australia before I receive my certificate?
If you would like your certificate to be delivered to an overseas address, please give your details to your teacher, Cambridge coordinator or school administration. If you are a privately enrolled candidate, you will have to pay an extra small fee to cover the cost of secure overseas delivery. You can do this through our office when you are enrolling for an examination.
• What do I do if I do not receive my certificate?
If you do not receive your certificate within 2 months of receiving your results, please contact the school you were studying at, as they are responsible for sending them to you and should do so by some means of secure mail.
For private candidates, please contact us at the Cambridge Test Centre Office at SCE.
• What do I do if I lose my certificate?
If you lose your certificate after you have received it, please contact Cambridge in the UK directly. We can assist you with the details through our office. You must pay a fee if you want it replaced. If it has been more than 12 months since you sat the exam, you may not receive a certificate. In this case, you can apply for a certifying statement of your grade.