Assessment information for centres

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Key dates and deadlines

Each unit in an ABE qualification is assessed by an open-book exam (OBE) an assignment, or in the case of Level 4 a traditional timed exam (see Our Assessment Methods). 

Assessments for our Business Management-based portfolio take place twice a year (second quarter and final quarter), plus there is an additional assignments-only window in March.  There are a series of deadlines for these assessment sessions and accredited centres are supported by regular reminders to ensure there is plenty of time to prepare. New learners can be registered throughout the year but there are closing deadlines if they wish to take assessments in a particular session and existing learners need an active membership in order to book.

Click here for the March 2024 assessment timeline

Click here for the May 2024 assessment timeline

ABE's shorter Awards are assessed by assignment and operate on a rolling six-week turnaround from submission.

Please note:  assignments and OBEs must be received by the deadline.  We will not accept late submissions except unless very exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of ABE, in which case there will be an additional charge to cover our incurred costs.

Link to grade and award information

March 2024 assessments (Assignments only)

Centres' submission deadline: 18 March 2024 - centres must submit all assessments to ABE by this date. Please note: learners CANNOT submit assessments to centres (or ABE) after 11 March

Results day: 30 May 2024 


May 2024 assessments

Bookings open: 15 March 2024 - start booking your May assessments from this date.

Assignment brief release date: 25 March 2024  - assignment briefs will be available on the portal from this date.

Registration deadline: 22 March 2024 - new learners wishing to take May assessments must be registered with ABE by this date (lapsed members also need to re-register by this date).

Booking deadline: 5 April 2024 - all bookings and payments for May assessments must be received by this date.

Open-book exam release date:  29 April 2024 - question papers will be available on the portal from this date.

Learners' submission deadline: 17 May 2024 - all learners' assessments must be submitted to your centre by this date.

Centres' submission deadline: 24 May 2024 - centres must submit all assessments to ABE by this date. Please note: learners CANNOT submit assessments to centres (or ABE) after 17 May

Timed exam dates: 28 & 29 May 2024

Results day: 3 September 2024

Grades and awards


Successful candidates will be awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction in each subject where applicable.

This is the grading for the ABE's RFQ qualifications (the core syllabus):

Mark Grade
 70% +  Distinction
 55% - 69%  Merit
 40% - 54%  Pass
 0% - 39%  Fail


ABE's short awards have a slightly different grading scale as follows:

Mark Grade
 80% +  Distinction
 65% - 79%  Merit
 50% - 64%  Pass
 0% - 49%  Fail


ABE's QCF grades (from the syllabus delivered from 2011 - 2017) were as follows:

 A*   75% - 100%   Higher Distinction 
 A  65% - 74%  Distinction
 B  50% - 64%  Merit
 C  40% - 49%  Pass
 D  30% - 39%  Marginal Fail
 E  15% - 29%  Fail
 F  0% - 14%  Unclassified
 CF         -   Criteria Fail


Top Paper Awards

ABE believes in rewarding success. Twice a year, we honour our highest Distinction achievers in each unit with a special Top Paper Award. Recipients and their tutors get a special certificate and the chance to publicise their achievement. All learners also receive one year's free subscription.

Click here to read the latest Top Paper stories.

Our assessment methods
We use assignments and open-book exams

Our assessments have been judged to be the most up-to-date and relevant available.  They develop skills that help learners become an invaluable asset in the workplace.  Find out all about them.


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