In January 2016 we introduced an innovative idea called the “Exam Retake Option” (ERO). Looking back 15 months later, we can confidently say, that this idea of ours has been an unprecedented success until now, with a vast majority of candidates and schools taking advantage of this unmatched service. But, what is that makes the the ERO a genuine service and an added value for our candidates?
First and foremost, the purpose of a re-take option should be that the candidate has sufficient time to re-take the exam. If the service offers a retake within 6 or less months, candidates hardly have any chance to find a new date. If you consider the time it takes to get the results, analyse what has happened and what should be done about it, weeks have already passed. In most cases, the candidate and/or the school need to come up with a plan on what to do about passing the next time around, consequently, more weeks have passed. After that, candidates will need to study again, find an exam date, a place and an exam level which fits their schedule filled with other school or work-related responsibilities as well as holidays etc. Therefore, we believe that anything less than a one-year retake option is not a genuine and beneficial service.
Second, offering a re-take for anything less than three points on a Cambridge English exam makes little sense because there are very few candidates which fail the exam by only one point. A genuine retake option should service a significant number of candidates.
Third, if the retake option does not cover any other unforeseen circumstances (e.g. health, death of a family member or friends, breakdown of private or public transportation, etc.), it ignores a whole range of situations candidates may be faced with before or on the exam day. Again, this would not qualify as a valuable service to the candidate. A genuine retake option offers these extensions of coverage.
Fourth, we believe that a genuine retake option needs to be available at an attractive cost which stands in a proper relationship to the exam fee. Hence, a genuine retake option must not cost more than 30.-/exam. To make it even more attractive, we have chosen to charge CHF 20.- while granting all the benefits mentioned above.
In essence, we believe that our “Exam Retake Option” is not only an unprecedented and innovative idea, it is actually an unmatched, genuine service. Anything less is not a service but more of a marketing trap.
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