The UK’s Number 1 School.*

*According to the EL Gazette rankings based on
British Council inspectors’ publishable statements.

Read the article which explains what makes ELC Bristol the number 1 ranked UK school.

ELC Bristol is a family-run school, offering intensive General English and examination preparation courses in Bristol, a lively university city in the South West of England.


Cambridge English: First, Advanced and Proficiency Exams

At ELC Bristol, depending on your level, you can prepare for the Cambridge English First (FCE), Advanced (CAE) or Proficiency (CPE) exams.

Students who are preparing for one of the Cambridge exams will follow a course book in the morning classes which will comprehensively cover the Cambridge syllabus as well as developing their General English. The objectives of the course will be based on the syllabus in the course book selected by the teachers and on the needs and requests of the students in the class. The main class teacher makes a programme for the class each week with these objectives in mind, which will enable students to develop the grammar, vocabulary and all the necessary skills and techniques that they need to do well in the exam.  On two afternoons a week, students get additional practice for the writing paper and other parts of the exam and on the other two afternoons they can choose one of the elective classes. 

Mock exams are usually held 2 or 3 weeks before the exams take place.

Cambridge preparation courses are not 'closed', which means that students can join the course at a later date if they are not able to attend the full period. However, the minimum period of enrolment is 4 weeks. For more information about the Cambridge courses, please click here. 

Timetable:  The timetable is the same for all courses at ELC Bristol.  See General English section for timetable. 

How to enter an exam class once you're in the school



Find out how your score measures
up in other exams.








Our students' Cambridge examination results:

2019 Results Students taking exam Number who passed Pass rate A B C CE
Cambridge English: First (FCE) 10 6 60% 0 0 6 4 - CE B1
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) 14 13 93% 1 7 5 1 - CE B2
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) 3 2 67% 0 1 1  1- CE C1


2018 Results Students taking exam Number who passed Pass rate A B C CE
Cambridge English: First (FCE) 52 41 79% 1 4 36 11 - CE B1
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) 61 52 85% 5 23 24 9 - CE B2
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

14 12 86% 4 4 4 2 - CE C1



2017 Results Students taking exam Number who passed Pass rate A B C CE
Cambridge English: First (FCE) 46 33 72% 3 5 25 13 - CE B1
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) 63 48 76% 3 13 32 15 - CE B2
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) 14 13 93% 2 7 4 1 - CE C1


2016 Results Students taking exam Number who passed Pass rate A B C CE
Cambridge English: First (FCE) 47 40 85% 2 7 31 7 - CE B1
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) 54 42 78% 5 11 26 12 - CE B2
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) 25 18 72% 4 8 6 7 - CE C1

If you have dyslexia, you may be able to get extra time in the exam. Please bring with you a recent (last 2 years) certificate translated into English. The exam centre will need to see this when you apply for the exam.

* In June the exams are held in the week after the end of the course, so students should book an extra week's accommodation (if required).

Compare ELC Bristol's exam results with the UK and international averages


Minimum period of enrolment: 4 weeks.

Students should be at least at Intermediate (B1) level before joining the IELTS classes.  We generally run 2 IELTS classes, one at B1 level and the other at B2+ level.

If you wish to join the IELTS course, we can send you a specific IELTS pre-test to make sure you are at the right level.

21 hours per week - for the B2+ level class this includes 18 hours of IELTS preparation/Academic English and 3 hours of elective classes.  For the B1 level IELTS class, this includes 21 hours of IELTS Preparation/Academic English.

Suitable specifically for students preparing for the IELTS exam and also for students going on to study in English in Further Education either in the UK or in their own countries.

This is an intensive, demanding course and students should be aware that they should be fully committed to the study required.  The course includes:

  • Grammar.
  • Preparation and practice in the basic writing skills required to complete academic assignments at university level (IELTS task 2) including vocabulary, planning, logical organisation of ideas as well as the more specialised demands of describing more technical subjects such as charts, graphs, processes or locations (IELTS task 1)
  • Practice in Reading (eg Skimming and Scanning techniques to increase reading speed; inference of meaning) and Listening Skills, necessary for the IELTS exam.
  • Speaking activities to develop both accuracy and fluency as well as preparation for the IELTS speaking Test.
  • Regular timed exam practice and one-to-one tutorials.

Many students come to ELC Bristol before going to study in colleges and universities in the UK. You generally need an IELTS score of 6.5 before going to University or 5.5 if you wish to take a foundation course or a vocational programme.

It is important that you have realistic expectations, so look at the chart and calculate how long it will take you to reach your goal.   It generally takes around 12 weeks to complete each level and improve your IELTS score by one point.

Students usually take the IELTS exam in Armada House, which is conveniently located in the city centre. The test can is arranged by IH London, and can be booked through them. To check on exam dates and availability, click here.

To book the IELTS test

Test dates fill up quickly so it’s best to book as soon as you can.

  • Go to or and choose where you'd like to take the exam - obviously Bristol is the most convenient. 
  • Complete the application form. Please note that at the bottom of page 1 where it says Send results to other institutions ? you should put 'Yes', then choose 'United Kingdom' and then 'Other' where it says 'Name of Recognising Organisation'. You should then, where it says 'If Other, please specify ' put 'The English Language Centre, Bristol' followed by this information in the rest of the spaces: 'Mark Calland', '25 St John's Road', 'Clifton', 'Bristol BS8 2HD'. This is so that they also send us a copy of your results, which is very important to us.
  • The test fee is £175. Please note the test centre doesn’t usually make refunds for test cancellations.

Our students' IELTS examination results:



8.5 8.0 7.5 7.0 6.5 6.0 5.5 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0
2018 35 0 4 4 7 6 6 3 5 0 0 0 0
2017 32 1 3 2 3 4 8 8 3 0 0 0 0
2016 38 0 1 2 5 7 8 8 6 0 0 0 0
2015 29 0 2 1 1 2 9 10 3 1 0 0 0

BULATS (Business Language Testing Service)

ELC Bristol also  offers the BULATS test which can be taken by students at B1 level or above, on request at the school.

BULATS is an on-line, widely recognised, user-friendly English test used by companies and individuals looking for a fast, reliable and cost effective way of assessing language skills.  The computer based test assesses communication skills that are needed in real business situations and working life in general.

BULATS preparation is available for students who are upper-intermediate and above who take our business elective class. The price in 2018 is £70.

Our students' Bulats examination results:

BULATS Students
C2 C1 B2 B1 A2
2018 14 1 5 6 2 0
2017 4 1 0 3 0 0
2016 11 2 3 2 2 2
2015 24 4 9 9 2 0