Can You Fail A TEFL Course?

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Undertaking any course of study is a daunting prospect, especially when you consider the time and the money that you will put into it. It’s no wonder many people worry about quitting their jobs and taking a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course in order to begin a new adventure teaching English online or abroad. A question that many of you out there may be asking yourselves, can you fail a TEFL course?

Can you fail a TEFL course?

So let’s put this into perspective. Yes, it is possible to fail the TEFL course. But probably not in the way you are imagining. For some people, the idea of failing a TEFL course conjures up images of hours and hours of impossible coursework and tough exams. There is obviously a strong academic component to TEFL courses but the vast majority of people are able to complete the TEFL course.

Teacher teaching English to refugee students

Dropping out

There are no two ways about it: doing a TEFL course requires a huge commitment in terms of time and effort. It generally takes about four to six weeks when studying the course full time. It can take longer depending on the individual. The majority of TEFL students who “fail” our courses are in fact those who drop out. This may be due to them not having the time available to keep up with the coursework. But if you have the right mindset, there is a very slim chance of not passing the course. Motivation is key to getting your TEFL qualification and having the chance to pick up a really great qualification before setting off on your new life in the world of TEFL is definitely a strong motivation for most!

Schools don’t want you to fail TEFL

Bear in mind that the school or organisation that is offering the course does not want you to fail. They want to keep their pass rates up for advertising and marketing reasons. It doesn’t look good if everyone fails the TEFL course. At the same time, these courses are designed to develop teachers so any school or organisation worth their salt will want to send out adequately qualified teachers. This, again, is an issue of reputation. 

We create our courses with this in mind. We ultimately want our students to get the best jobs possible in the industry. The courses that we offer are highly regarded by the top TEFL language schools and recruiters that pay the highest salaries and have the best working conditions. We are renowned for the quality of our graduates and for this reason we do not want anyone to fail. With our students best interests at heart will do everything possible to make sure that this does not happen. So, help us by letting us help you!

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You will be able to pass

With the high standards that the best school and recruiters look for, a TEFL course is naturally not a walk in the park. We have a full blog article on how hard TEFL is exactly that you can read. That said, if you have the time and the dedication you will definitely be able to pass. You will be required to do a lot of reading and various assignments based on these readings. It is essential that you do these readings and the assignments because this is the way to keep on track for the whole course. Obviously, if you do badly in an assignment, then you know you need to focus on that area again or ask someone for help.

Tutors are there to help you

This is also the reason why there are always tutors to help you through the course. Even if you do an online TEFL course, there will be people you can contact if you need any help. Use them. It can be hard to keep up with all the course requirements if you have a job or haven’t studied in a while. If you have no experience teaching, it can also be a lot of information to digest. Work at your own pace, making sure you work regularly and consistently, and you should be fine.

What is comes down to is commitment. Before embarking on a TEFL course seriously consider whether you have the time to do the course. Be honest with yourself because if you find yourself overwhelmed and struggling, it’s only yourself that will suffer. If you have the time and are prepared for the work and effort that will go into to studying, then you can feel comfortable signing yourself up for a TEFL course.

Time management

As with any course of study, there will be assignments and deadlines to meet. It’s really important that you meet all of them. We understand that many students may be juggling lots of other things in their life like work, college or family commitments. One tech solution that we recommend is Google calendar (or the calendar of any email platform) with reminders enabled. One old school (but in our opinion, very effective) solution is keep a pen and paper diary!

Mood board for classroom decor

Online TEFL course

Completing our online TEFL course is becoming increasingly popular. In many ways it is the  most efficient way of getting TEFL certified. Online fatigue or feeling alienated by completing the course 100% online can happen. At this point disillusionment can kick in and the risk of failing the TEFL course increases. Some people are happy to complete the course online but miss the human contact and camaraderie that a classroom learning environment possesses. Being part of groups where you can chat about what you are doing with peers is often useful to combat this. This can be questions about the course work itself or possibly a bit more casual, like talking about peoples travel plans for when they finish the course!

Our teaching practice course webinar is another great opportunity to engage with fellow students and is often completed as an add on to the online TEFL course. Via webinar you will get to put the things you are learning from the online course into practice to your peers, guided along by one of our expert tutors. 

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We will help you get there

The key to getting through and to allay any fears is to keep reminding yourself of why you wanted to do a TEFL course in the first place. Think of all the amazing places you can travel to and cultures you can experience once you are qualified. 



I need to reattempt my assignment A. Please can you tell me what the maximum grade TEFL Academy awards for a second attempt of an assignment? i.e is it only a maximum of a pass grade awarded for a second attempt?

Archina Sivarajpillai, 19th January 2021

My TEFL course seem to have expired ! I can no longer see any progress, course details or even grades for the lessons I’ve completed so far. If I pay for 90 more days will my previous progress show up, will I be able to continue from where I last was ? Thank you.

R., 11th December 2020

I need help! I miss read the email on when my course was meant to expire and I’ve missed extending it by 1 day!! Now it says that I am not enrolled in a course, is there any way I can still extend it as I got to the 5th module and was busy doing the assignment and I don’t want to have to start the tefl course all over again!!! I really hope someone can help me!!

Georgie Bowen, 1st November 2020

Does your end result appear on the certificate?

Elana Retief, 30th July 2020

Would it be possible for some information on a extentions, I’m finding the assignments hard to complete due to wifi not working properly due to COVID 19

Jamie, 26th April 2020

As per previous comments I am aware that an extension is possible kindly send me any information you may have so as to assist me with the extension application.


Suran Moodley, 25th April 2020


I read about a possible extension for the online course, can I have some more details around extensions?

Sarah Walker, 30th March 2020

Hi, I would like to know how the course extension works. Do you need to apply for another 6 months?

Marica, 8th November 2019

Hi there. Just wanted to enquire, is it possible to get an extension on the course? Is there such an option?

Kuntha, 29th July 2019

Very true. The course is very difficult moreso if the concept of teaching is new to you – like in my case! But with determination it’s possible. I’m currently working and studying at the same time so it’s hectic, however I am learning a lot; still struggling to understand the ‘parts of speech’, but if there is anything I’m not sure of I go back to previous units, as well as make use of Further Reading options. It will take time to get used to shifting my mindset from being a typical native English speaker to being a [potential] ESL/EFL Teacher.

Thandi, 5th June 2019

Hello Nofezile, you will need to get the required grade in the tests in order to move on to the assignments. For each assignment you will have 3 attempts. The tutor will give detailed feedback on the assignment so that you can re-submit based on this feedback. If you have ant academic queries you can contact the tutors through tutor support. The link is in the getting started unit of your course, just under step 4. 🙂

Ed Phillips, 25th March 2019

Hello Vanessa, if you would like to contact the tutors this can be done so through the following link: They would be happy to assist with any academic queries you have.

Ed Phillips, 3rd September 2018

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