What is the TKT? Common questions about this test.

Hello Exam Seekers,

Today I am talking about the Cambridge English Teaching Qualification TKT. But… What is the TKT? Who is the TKT for? Is the TKT a test, an exam, or a course? Is there a certification? How is the TKT assessed? What about the TKT course? So many questions about the TKT, and I am going to answer all of them, now!

Well, to start off, TKT is the acronym for:

Acronym for the TKT - Teaching Knowledge Test
Cambridge English Teaching Qualification TKT – Teaching Knowledge Test

Who is the TKT for?

The TKT is one of the first teaching qualifications that you can go after on your pathway to teaching. According to the Cambridge English Qualifications website, it is for people who:
– already teach English and want formal recognition;
– need a globally recognized certificate;
– want to improve career opportunities;
– want to amplify their teaching abilities.

However, I believe this test is for everyone who wants to know a little more about the teaching world, because it is a flexible series of qualifications in modules, and each module gives you a piece of the teaching puzzle.

On the other hand, it is recommended for teachers with an English level of B1 or above, and teachers who already teach primary, secondary or adult learners.

How many TKTs are there? How is the TKT divided?

As I mentioned, the TKT is a series of modular teaching qualifications which test your knowledge in specific areas of English language teaching. There are 3 core modules, designed by Cambridge to provide a foundation in the practice and principles of language teaching:

TKT: Module 1 — Background to language teaching
TKT: Module 2 — Planning for language teaching
TKT: Module 3 — Classroom management

And there are other 2 modules designed to provide introductions to specialist areas of language teaching:

TKT: CLIL Approach to teaching curriculum subjects
TKT: Young Learners Knowledge related to teaching young learners in the 6–12 age range.

You can choose which module to take and when you want to take them. This means that you don’t need to take them all at once and in order. You don’t even have to take them all at all if you don’t want to! But, you know… the more, the merrier. Moreover, you will receive a certificate for each TKT module that you complete.

TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) Modules 1, 2 and 3

TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) Modules CLIL and YOUNG LEARNERS
TKT – Teaching Knowledge Test
Core Modules 1, 2 and 3 | TKT CLIL, TKT Young Learners

If you want to know more about the TKT Modules – The 3 Core Modules and The Specialist Modules (TKT CLIL and TKT YLE), I wrote a post about them, make sure you check them out!

I have taken the three core modules, and I really enjoyed learning about them. I believe it was a great first step towards the certificate pathway. I wish I had taken the specialist modules as well. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t know about them. Actually, when I started taking these exams, I knew very little about this world, even though I was already a teacher. Actually, I’ll be talking more about my own experiences with the TKT in this blog, so stay tuned!

How is the TKT assessed? How are you graded?

The first thing you need to know is that there is no Pass or Fail. So if you are worried about spending your money and “fail”, this is not a problem. The results are reported in Bands 1–4:

  • Band 1 represents limited knowledge of the content areas tested;
  • Band 2 – represents basic but systematic knowledge;
  • Band 3 – shows a breadth and depth of knowledge;
  • Band 4 – shows extensive knowledge.

If you want to know more about The Bands, I wrote a post specifically about this topic.

As I mentioned, you will receive a certificate for each TKT module that you complete. Here is a sample of a certificate. Actually, this is my TKT Certificate Module 2 – Lesson Planning and use of resources for language teaching.

TKT Module 2 Certificate Sample
Cambridge English Qualification TKT Teaching Knowledge Test Module 2 Certificate Sample

This is the old Cambridge English logo, because I took the TKT back in 2011.

In front of the certificate, there is the name of the TKT Module, your name, the number of your certificate, the date and the place of issue, and the band you got. At the back, there is an explanation about the bands.

What about the TKT format?

The TKT, as I mentioned, stands for Teaching Knowledge Test, which means that you schedule a day at an authorized center, and sit for the test.

There is no computer-based version. All of the TKT modules are taken on paper and they consist of 80 questions per module. You will have 120 minutes to take each module.

There are multiple-choice and matching questions, and each question is worth one mark.

How can I prepare for the TKT Cambridge English?

As I mentioned, the TKT is a test, so you can prepare for it by self-studying, by going to a local course preparation center, or via online preparation.

You can find official Cambridge English support materials from Cambridge Assessment English and Cambridge University Press. Support materials include coursebooks, practice tests, and materials in both print and digital formats

The links above are the links for the TKT 3 Core Modules Book for you to buy if you want (link for the book in Brazil here):

How to register for the TKT?

If you are taking an online or in-person course at an authorized center, you probably can register for the tests there. However, if you decided to study by yourself, you can register for any module at one of Cambridge English-approved centers.

These were some common questions about the TKT, just general information, but if you want to know a little bit more about the Teaching Knowledge Test and its modules, download the TKT pdf handbooks for teachers that Cambridge offers that I collected and am sharing here with you:


That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura


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