A good number of UK higher education institutions continue to accept Cambridge IGCSE First Language English (syllabus 0500 and 0522) and Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language (syllabus 0510 and 0511) as evidence of English language competency for university study, even though these qualifications do not appear on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Secure English Language Tests (SELT) list. You may be required to show the university evidence of your proficiency in all four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Should you be required to provide this evidence, you can apply to Cambridge for a Certifying Statement for CEFR.
There are some UK universities or colleges which will only accept English language tests from the UKVI list as part of their English language requirements policy. Universities with these requirements will not accept Cambridge IGCSE English or other Cambridge qualifications as proof of an applicant's English language proficiency. We strongly advise students to check which English language tests their selected higher education institutions accept for visa purposes.
The details of English language requirements can be found on each university's website. These requirements may vary depending upon the course and the university. It is essential that you check your chosen institutions' requirements before making your UCAS university application.
Please note: Students applying to study in the UK at below degree level will be required to provide a UKVI- approved English language test as proof of their English language competence.
We offer two support options for Cambridge students who need to provide evidence of their English language proficiency on their university applications:
- You can apply for a Certifying Statement for CEFR. This statement gives students a breakdown of their Cambridge IGCSE English Language results into component grades and corresponding CEFR levels according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The Statement costs £41.69. To apply for this service, please complete a Certifying Statement Application form. For more information please see the section below.
- You can download free PDF documents from our website that give the CEFR levels by grade and skill for each of our Cambridge IGCSE English Language qualifications. You can use the relevant document, alongside your final certificate of results and a copy of your component grades (provided by your school on request), if required by a university.
If you have obtained either Cambridge IGCSE First Language English or Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language and require evidence of your competence in English as part of your university application, you must first apply to Cambridge International Examinations for a Certifying Statement for CEFR.
Please note we will continue to offer the Certifying Statement for CEFR service even though Cambridge IGCSE First Language English (Syllabus 0500 and 0522) and Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0510 and 0511) no longer appear on the UKVI's approved list of English language tests.
What is a Certifying Statement for CEFR?
The grade you achieved in your Cambridge IGCSE English language examination does not provide sufficient evidence of your English language proficiency for visa purposes in the UK. Evidence of your proficiency in all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) according to the CEFR scale is also required. For study at undergraduate degree level, you must have a minimum of CEFR Level B2 in all four language skills. The Certifying Statement for CEFR is a document which gives a breakdown of your Cambridge IGCSE English Language results into component grades and CEFR levels. The document provides:
- the Cambridge IGCSE grade achieved for each component (exam paper within the syllabus)
- a CEFR level for each of the four skills
- a generic CEFR table showing the associated CEFR levels for the Cambridge IGCSE grades for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) on the reverse of the statement
Please note: Cambridge candidates applying for a Certifying Statement for CEFR must have included the Speaking & Listening component if applying with Cambridge IGCSE First Language English Syllabus (0500), or the Oral component if applying with Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language Syllabus (0510).
In order to process your application, you must have been issued with your final Certificate of results within the past five years. Cambridge cannot issue the Certifying Statement for CEFR if you submit your provisional Statement of Results with your application.
You can also use a Certifying Statement for CEFR if you are applying to universities outside the UK which require a breakdown of English language results into CEFR levels for each of the four skills.
To apply for a Certifying Statement for CEFR, please complete the application form. The cost of this service is £41.69.
- Go to the UKVI website for more information about the documents required for studying in the UK.
- Go to the UCAS website to learn more about the English proficiency tests accepted by UK universities.
- Go to the Cambridge IGCSE recognition section of our website to download documents which you can use to show evidence of your English language proficiency for university applications. These documents are an alternative to a Certifying Statement for CEFR.
Are there any alternatives to the Certifying Statement for CEFR?
You can download the documents below which give the CEFR levels by grade and skill for each of our Cambridge IGCSE English Language qualifications. You can use the relevant document, alongside your final certificate of results and a copy of your component grades (available on request from your school), to support your university application.