Hello Exam Seekers,
How are you today? Well, I am feeling better than yesterday, that’s for sure! Hehe. Thanks for being worried. Still, things are… complicated…
Anyways… Today, I am talking about the Cambridge English Young Learners Exams. Some parents and teachers think about giving their kids the chance to sit for these exams, but they don’t often know how the exams work and how to prepare them for these exams
I decided to start talking about the YLE Starters Reading and Writing Exam.
The Pre A1 Starters Reading and Writing exam has five parts. Each part begins with one or two examples. For all parts of the Reading and Writing, children must spell their answers correctly.
It is a very friendly exam, with colorful pictures, and they are all activity-based. There are 25 questions that must be answered in 20 minutes. The test has to be done in pencil.
Part 1 – Tick or Cross
There are 5 pictures. Next to each picture, there is a sentence beginning with “This is a/an…” or “These are…”. If the sentence matches the picture – if it is correct – children should put a tick in the square. If the sentence is not true, they should put a cross.
This task requires young learners to read short sentences and recognize words. Here is a sample:
Practice tips: Show pictures of objects/animals, and ask learners to say True/False. You can make it a game and change the cards each time faster.
Part 2 – Yes or No
This task follows the same pattern as above, but instead of individual images, there is a big colorful picture. There are some sentences about the picture underneath it. If the sentence is correct, children should write ‘yes’; if the sentence is not true, they should write ‘no’.
This task requires young learners to read sentences and answer with one word. Here is a sample:
Practice tips: Show a big picture for the learners and ask them to tell what they see. Another way of practicing is to ask learners to say Yes/No while you are pointing to something in the image and saying a sentence (correctly and incorrectly).
Part 3 – Spelling
There are 5 pictures of objects. Learners should spell the names of the objects beside them. Next to each picture, there are some dashes (_ _ _), they represent the number of letters of each word. There are also some jumbled letters beside the dashes. They are there to help children to spell correctly by putting the jumbled letters in the right order to make the word.
This task requires young learners to know how to spell the words. Here is a sample:
Practice tips: Ask learners to spell words with and without pictures, or put dashes on a board and jumbled letter beside, then ask learners to unscramble them.
Part 4 – Complete the text
There is a semi-factual text which has some missing words (gaps). Below the text, there is a box with some pictures and words. Children have to choose the right word from the box and copy it into each gap.
This task requires young learners to know how to read a text and understand what is missing. Here is a sample:
Practice tips: Show pictures and write a sentence about it with missing nouns so learners can guess what is missing. You can also offer alternatives for them to choose from.
Part 5 – Answer the questions
There are three pictures telling a story. Each picture has one or two questions. Children have to look at the pictures and write the answer to each question. They only have to write one word for each answer.
This task requires young learners to know how to answer questions about a picture story with one word.
Practice tips: Show pictures and tell them to say what they see. Then ask questions about it.
This exam should be done in 20 minutes, as I mentioned. If children practice this format, they won’t have problems completing the tasks. So make sure you practice with them whenever possible. This will build students’ confidence, and if they get them all correct, they will earn 5 shields for this exam.
I will leave a document offered by Cambridge English Qualifications with classroom activities to download if you want. It will help you prepare your students.
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Have a great week,
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