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Examination Process


Examination Procedure


There are two ways you can sit the exam:

1. At our Canterbury offices here in the UK in the daytime or of an evening, by appointment. Two weeks notice must be given prior to the date you wish to sit your exam.
2. You can sit the exam away from the academy at a location which is convenient to you in any part of the world.

The procedure for point 2 (above) is as follows:

a).   You nominate an adjudicator (i.e. supervisor) to oversee the exam. This must be a reputable person such as a police officer, Justice of the Peace, Minister of religion,
       school principal or your employer. Adjudicators cannot be relatives.

b).   Set a date, time and place for the exam (usually held at the adjudicators office).
c).   Submit your exam application 4 weeks prior to the nominated date.
d).   We will send the exam to the adjudicator.
e).   At the set time you attend the nominated place.

The adjudicator will conduct the exam. On completion of the exam, your work is taken by the adjudicator and sent by him/her directly to the academy.


Exams are usually one and a half hours in duration.
Students should bring pens and a few dozen sheets of foolscap or A4 paper with them. No texts or notes are allowed in the exam.

Exam fees: ADL Exam fee is included in your tuition fee except for public exams, ie., ICB (Instititute of Certified Bookkeepers) and the  RHS Certificates which the student is responsible for paying direct to those organisations.

What are the Exams Like?
See sample exams

Exams designed to see not only what you know, but how you are able to organise and convey your thoughts when placed on the spot.
We always reserve the right to examine you on anything which has been touched on in your course, even if only in a vague way.
Our main concern is that you have a general understanding of the foundations or underlying principles of the subject you have studied. If you demonstrate such an understanding through both the exam and the assignments you have submitted, you will pass the exam.
Getting all answers correct will generally earn you around 75-80%. The final 20% is awarded for going beyond what is required (e.g. showing creativity or innovation, or answering questions in extra detail).

We record a % mark on your exam paper, and keep a note of it in our records.

We will provide sample exams for some subjects, but not all. You should be careful to not give too much importance to the sample exam. The exam you end up sitting might or might not be very, very different. REMEMBER… we are testing you on how you would perform in the real world, where you can be confronted with totally unexpected problems at any point in time. If we were to make you aware of what to expect in an exam, we would be defeating the purpose of the exam.

Prepare for an exam by refreshing your memory. All you need to do is read through your notes and assignments again once or twice, until the information seems fresh again. People who have successfully completed assignments hardly ever fail exams. The process of completing the assignment almost ensures that you retain sufficient information to pass. Where someone else has helped you a lot with your assignments this might not be the case though (an exam, in many ways, simply verifies that the work you have undertaken, was in fact your own).

Standard Modules (100 hrs duration) have assignments (normally one per lesson), and one exam on completion of all assignment. All assignments, plus the exam must be satisfactorily completed, in order to gain a module credit (or pass). Special circumstances including overall interaction with tutors throughout the course are always taken into account for borderline cases. People who fail are given opportunity to reapply and sit a supplementary exam. Exam fees are included in your tuition fees, except for the RHS examinations where students need to pay exam fees direct to RHS.

Project and Research Work:  Non Standard Modules such as Research Projects, Workplace Projects, Workshops and Industry meetings do not have an exam, but adequate and academically sound proof of completion of required work must be produced in order to achieve a pass in such modules.

Non Standard Certificates Courses:  A few courses have different requirements; for example a Certificate in Garden Design involves a set 30 lessons, rather than 6 modules. This certificate has only 4 exams for the entire certificate rather than the usual six.
Exam Registration  - Application Form
To register for an exam please contact the Registrar at:   support@adlhomestudy.co.uk  requesting examination application form and then complete and post to:

The Registrar
ADL - Academy for Distance Learning
18 Lower Bridge Street

Exam fees are included in the tuition fees.  Where a student is sitting for a public Exam such as the ICB or the RHS the student is responsible for paying those exam fees direct to that examination body.


The following  grades are awarded based upon a numerical mark awarded in the final exam:

Distinction:     90%+ 

Merit:             80% - 89%

Pass:             50% - 79%


On completing all required assignments for a subject you are then entitled to sit for an examination in that subject. If you pass the exam, you are awarded a pass in that subject, and an official letter will be sent from the school acknowledging this.

NOTE: To gain an official Statement of Attainment or to be awarded a qualification (i.e. Certificate, Diploma etc) successful completion of the exams is required.

If you find the thought of sitting for an exam daunting, then you may elect to undertake a project instead of sitting an exam.  Projects are usually between 2000 to 3000 words and will be related to the material covered in your course with  three (3) weeks to complete.This option does not apply to the RHS or ICB examinations.

Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.