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If a candidate believes that their exam result is not fair, they must contact their examination centre immediately. Their centre can then ask Cambridge English for an Enquiry or an Appeal. This page tells you more about both processes.
Results Enquiries must be submitted by the examination centre on behalf of the candidate. The following Results Enquiry stages are available:
What is the
does it take?
To request a Stage 2 enquiry, a candidate must have completed Stage 1 and received their results.
Should a result enquiry lead to a grade change, Cambridge English will request the return of the original certificate if applicable. These should be returned to the address shown in the submission notes and proof of posting is strongly recommended.
Each exam has two deadline dates for receiving Result Enquiries:
We would advise all candidates considering making an enquiry to contact their examination centre within 14 days of the result release date to discuss the Results Enquiry procedure.
Where an enquiry leads to a change of result, any Result Enquiry fee will be refunded.
If candidates are not satisfied with the outcome of the Result Enquiry process, they are entitled to request a formal appeal against their result.
Cambridge English provides a service to enable examination centres and candidates to appeal against decisions that affect grades awarded to candidates (e.g. decisions relating to centre closures, results outcomes, malpractice, special consideration and administration).
In the case of IELTS, candidates who have taken the test at centres authorised by the British Council make their appeal via the test centre. Candidates who have taken the test at centres authorised by IDP Education Ltd make their appeal by contacting email@example.com. Appeals are then taken forward by Cambridge English.
The appeals procedure focuses on whether, in the course of reaching decisions, Cambridge English (and, in the case of IELTS, British Council and IDP Education Ltd):
The appeals procedure is not concerned with making judgements about candidates' work in the examination; an appeal will not involve re-marking or re-assessment of a candidate's work, although further re-marking might be commissioned as a result of an appeal if it is found that procedures have not been satisfactorily followed.
Where the outcome of an appeal brings into question the accuracy of grades awarded in an assessment, Cambridge English (and, in the case of IELTS, British Council and IDP Education Ltd) will take all reasonable steps to identify any other candidate who may have been affected and wherever possible correct or mitigate the error.
Where the outcome of an appeal results in the discovery of a failure in one of our processes or systems, we will review the relevant process or system and take all reasonable steps to ensure that the failure does not happen again.
Cambridge English will consider an appeal only if the following conditions are met:
For Cambridge English Qualifications, an appeal against a result may not be submitted unless both stages 1 and 2 of the Results Enquiry process have taken place first. For IELTS, an appeal against a result may not be submitted until an Enquiry on Results has been processed. (This condition does not apply to appeals against decisions relating to malpractice.)
There will be a charge for the submission of an appeal at both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the procedure. This charge will be refunded in full if the appeal is upheld. Refer to your centre for information about fees (or, in the case of IELTS tests taken at centres authorised by IDP Education Ltd, contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
The written evidence relating to the case will be reviewed by senior staff from Cambridge English. The purpose of the initial consideration is to decide whether any further actions relating to the appeal should be authorised (e.g. re-marking of additional exam materials; gathering of additional evidence).
Should this review result in a decision to uphold the appeal the centre/candidate will be notified.
For all other cases the appeal will proceed to Stage 1 of the procedure.
The written evidence relating to the case will be considered by an independent authority.
Appellants will be notified in writing of the outcome of stage 1, including the outcome of any further work authorised, within 10 weeks of submission.
Appellants remaining dissatisfied may have their case considered in full by the Cambridge English Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee includes the Chief Executive of Cambridge English or senior staff nominated by them and at least one member who is not and has not been a member of the board or committees for UCLES/Cambridge English, or an UCLES/Cambridge English employee or examiner at any time during the previous seven years.
Formal applications for an appeal to be considered by the Appeals Committee should be made by the Centre Exams Manager/IELTS Administrator within 14 calendar days of the receipt of the outcome of the first stage appeal. (In the case of IELTS, the application is made by the Test Centre Administrator at British Council authorised centres, or by IDP Education Ltd.)
Appellants have the right to present their case in person to the Appeals Committee. If a candidate is under the age of 18 the parent or guardian will need to be present or can present the case on their behalf. The outcome of their appeal will be notified in writing within 10 weeks of submission of the Stage Two appeal request.
Consideration of an appeal by the Appeals Committee concludes the Cambridge English appeals procedure.
The outcome of an appeal may be a confirmation of the original decision or an overturning of this decision which may, in turn, lead to the award of a higher grade, a lower grade, or no grade change, or to the award of a grade where no previous grade was awarded.
Where an appeal leads to a change of syllabus grade or the award of a grade where no grade was previously awarded, any Results Enquiry and Appeals fees will be refunded in full, and an amended Statement of Results and Certificate, or Test Report Form in the case of IELTS, (where awarded) will be issued.
If you would like information or advice, please contact your nearest centre (or in the case of an IELTS test taken at a centre authorised by IDP Education Ltd, contact email@example.com).