The short answer is: Yes.
There’s a reason why we put your through such a rigorous application process – there’s the initial application, the pre-interview task and then the interview with the CELTA course tutor. After this, there is of course the pre-course study. There’s a good reason for all of this. We want to make sure that you’re the right kind of candidate for a CELTA course so that you won’t waste your time and, of course, your hard-earned money.
The thoroughness of the application process pays dividends. The Florence location, whose CELTA courses have a success rate of 100% since beginning of starting offering courses back in May 2021, are an example of this. It’s a good preliminary selection process, followed by a friendly but probing interview with the course tutor, meaning that trainees accepted onto the course are strong enough to succeed. Of course the ever-helpful and attentive CELTA tutors throughout the course too!
So, how exactly can one fail the CELTA?
There are a number of reasons; the first, and most common is attendance. The CELTA is an extraordinarily intense course, with classes covering content-heavy subjects in just a few hours. It’s for this reason that you’ll need to score 100% on class attendance, especially to all the teaching practices and feedback sessions.
Another really common reason why people fail is stress. Not getting enough sleep, poor health (not eating properly, drinking too much), and other commitments outside the course (family, love life, work, social life) contribute negatively to the course. When taken intensively, the CELTA is a full-time commitment for 4 weeks. Evenings and weekends are devoted to completing assignments and preparing lessons for teaching practice. Even when taken as a part-time option, there is still a lot of work to do, especially if you have other commitments to consider.
Furthermore, some people fail due to poor time management skills (if you’re up till 4am every day you’ll end up a wreck by the halfway stage of the course). Time management skills are very important to success on this course. Furthermore, assessment is continuous. Each day there is a two-hour teaching practice with real students drawn from the community (either online or face-to-face). During that time, you have to put into practice what you have learned.
Preparation is key
Taking the online CELTA preparation course by ELT Campus will put you in good stead to make sure you don’t fail the CELTA. The course introduces you to all the different EFL teaching methodology and terminology that you will need and gives you a great head start before the CELTA, therefore improving your chasing of passing.
Another reason, for candidates who already have teaching experience, is having what the CELTA syllabus considers to be “bad teaching habits” that candidates find difficult to change.
The teacher trainers expect your teaching to show a gradual improvement over the duration of the CELTA course as you gradually incorporate the material from the morning input sessions into your classroom teaching. Not showing this in your classroom teaching may mean that you will not achieve a pass standard by the end of the course. The teaching practice is assessed by one of the course tutors and you are given written and oral feedback from your tutors and peers. If you are asked to resubmit an assignment during the CELTA, don’t worry either. It’s normal and many, many successful CELTA candidates will have had to do the same!
You’re not just being marked on your teaching, either – tutors will be observing you to see if you turn up to class on time, participate, and have a generally professional attitude.
Any quick search of ‘I failed the CELTA’ will bring you to a few articles and forum posts about people who haven’t been so lucky on their CELTA endeavours.
Will I fail the CELTA?
Don’t let this scare you: the failure rate is actually, very, very low. Of the 10,000 plus people who undertake a CELTA each year, only around three to four per cent actually fail (or don’t complete a course).
Make sure you have the decks clear of work and other study. You’ll be dedicating several hours of free time to studying the course outside of class time. So, forget the chores. Make sure you have the emotional and practical support from friends and family at home.
Make sure you are in a good state of physical and emotional health to endure long days of work for a month, daily teaching and teaching feedback which may not always be positive. Having said that, Trainers are very supportive on the CELTA course, but they also have to tell you when you haven’t done something well!
Remember, the CELTA is an intense course, with lots of information, practice and guidance packed into it. For those that need a breather between this intensity, choosing a part time option could be a good idea. This will also allow you to pace yourself if needed and adapt to the fast-paced learning environment.
Think about the format that will suit you best too. An online CELTA course could be right for you if your personality and learning style is more suited to this. Other trainees may thrive better in the face-to-face CELTA learning environment. Choosing the right type of CELTA for you will reduce your chances of failing the CELTA. Don’t forget that the CELTA certificate does not show the format you took the course in. It won’t state whether the course you took was online, face-to-face, mixed, full-time or part-time
If you are doing a full-time CELTA course, forget nightlife. Put your social life on hold for a bit. If people care about you, they’ll understand.
But, above all, don’t be afraid! Yes, it’s an intensive course, but it’s undertaken in a nurturing, supportive environment, where all your fellow trainees are in the same boat.
Am I eligible to take the CELTA? Is it right for me?
Don’t forget, if you are unsure if you qualify to apply for a CELTA, you can take our CELTA eligibility test. You can also take our take our quick English language test to find out if your English is suitable to apply for a CELTA course!