How long is the BEC Vantage certificate valid for? And the BEC Higher, the BEC Preliminary? All your questions answered here!

One common question about the Cambridge English Business Exams – B1 Business Preliminary (BEC Preliminary), B2 Business Vantage (BEC Vantage) and C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher) is how long is the certificate valid for? One of the many advantages of the exams is that the certificate is valid for life – it never officially expires.

What does “valid for life” mean?

This is explained on the website, “the certificates are valid for life, and candidates will never have to take the same Cambridge Assessment English examinations again”. Unlike other English Language exams, there is no requirement to retake or to renew the validity of the Cambridge English Business and General Exam Certificate. This is good news because for most other exams the certificate expires after 2 years. This means that four years after taking the exam, if, for example, you want to use your certificate to apply to an English speaking University, you cannot. The TOEIC exam, for example, must be taken again and of course, paid for again. With the Cambridge English Business and General Exams, this is not the case.

Does it really mean for life?

Realistically, if you do a Cambridge English Business and General Exam when you are 25 but then do not use English in your professional or personal life for 20 years, the Certificate becomes less relevant and should not necessarily appear on your CV. However, if for example, you do the B2 Business Vantage (BEC Vantage) and pass it with a B grade when you are 28, and you find a job in which you use some English, even only a little, then 5 years later if you apply for new jobs, the certificate is still valid and the level and grade are still relevant. This is not the case with an exam like the TOEIC, you could, of course, put it on your CV but most employers are aware that it expires after two years.

Below is a table the BEC Exam Guide has made for you, showing the length of times the Certificate is valid for the 6 most popular types of exam – very useful to know before you start planning to do an exam and preparing for it.


Table - How long English exams are valid for

The BEC Exam guide hopes that you find this article useful and informative,