Why do people fail CELTA?

There may only be a small number of people who fail CELTA but don’t let yourself be one of the minority. Read on to find out some of the reasons for people failing the course so that you can avoid these pitfalls.

In our centre in Munich our fail rate is particularly low but, as with many centres, we do have our share of fail candidates. But why?

Source: Munich Volkhochschule, Germany

You can see from the pie chart above that there are more withdrawals than there are fail candidates, this however, is perhaps a little misleading. Some of those withdrawals may well have been candidates who were in danger of failing the course.

The main reason for such a low fail rate is that all centres have a duty to their candidates as well as to Cambridge and themselves to ensure that anyone offered a place on the course has a very good chance of passing. We are not in the business of taking people’s money for the sake of it. It is in noone’s interests to have a failing candidate.

So who actually fails CELTA?

  • someone who is unable to react positively to feedback
  • someone who is resistant to feedback
  • someone who does not work on the points given by tutors
  • someone who cannot keep on top of the workload
  • someone who cannot recognise what good teaching is and therefore is unable to integrate it into their own teaching
  • someone who has failed two or more of the four written assignments (usually due to one or more of the above mentioned points)

Interestingly, the number of male candidates who fail CELTA in our centre proportionately outweighs the number of female candidates. Any ideas why that might be? 😉


Author: Emma Jones

A CELTA Tutor based in Munich and co-author of The Ultimate Guide to CELTA

3 thoughts on “Why do people fail CELTA?”

  1. If a Student voluntary leaves a CELTA course for personal reasons – are there any time restrictions before they can apply again to take the course? Thank you.


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