Starters Format and Content

As of January 1, 2018, changes have been applied to the YLE Starters. In the following table, changes have been marked in bold. 

Section Time Description # of items
Listening about 20 minutes Part 1
A big picture which shows people doing different things. Above and below the picture are some names. Candidates have to listen carefully to a conversation between an adult and a child and draw a line from each name to the correct person on the big picture.
5 questions
Part 2
A short conversation between a child and an adult and some questions. Candidates will listen to the recording and write the correct answer (a name or a number) after each question.
5 questions
Part 3
Five short conversations between different pairs of people. For each conversation there is a question and three pictures. Candidates need to listen carefully to each conversation and choose the right answer (A, B or C).
5 questions
Part 4
A big picture which has seven examples of the same object (for example seven balls or seven books). Candidates need to listen carefully to a conversation between an adult and a child and colour each object using the colour they say in the conversation.
5 questions
Reading & Writing About 20 minutes Part 1
Five pictures of objects. Under each picture there is a sentence which begins 'This is a …' or ’These are…’.  If the sentence is correct, candidates should put a tick next to the picture. If the sentence is not true, candidates should put a cross.
5 questions
Part 2
A big picture and some sentences about it. If the sentence is correct, candidates should write 'yes'; if the sentence is not true, candidates should write 'no'.
5 questions
Part 3
Five pictures of objects. Candidates have to find the right word in English for the object. After each picture there are some dashes (- - -) to show how many letters are in the word, and some jumbled letters. Candidates have to put the jumbled letters in the right order to make the word.
5 questions
Part 4
A semi-factual text which has some missing words (gaps). Below the text there is a box with some pictures and words. Candidates have to choose the right word from the box and copy it into each gap.
5 questions
Part 5
Three pictures which tell a story. Each picture has one or two questions. Candidates have to look at the pictures and write the answer to each question. Candidates only have to write one word for each answer.
5 questions
Speaking 3-5 minutes Part 1
After asking the candidate ‘What’s your name?’, the examiner familiarises the candidate with the picture first and then asks the candidate to point out certain items on the scene picture, e.g. ‘Where’s the door?’ The examiner then asks the candidate to put two object cards in various locations on the scene picture, e.g. ‘Put the robot on the red chair.’
4 parts
Part 2
The examiner asks questions about two of the people or things in the scene picture, e.g. ‘What’s this?’ (Answer: banana) or ‘What colour is it?’ (Answer: yellow). The
examiner also asks the candidate to describe an object from the scene, e.g. ‘Tell me about this box.’
Part 3
The examiner asks questions about four object cards, e.g. ‘What’s this?’ (Answer: (orange) juice) and ‘What do you drink for lunch?’
Part 4
The examiner asks questions about the candidate, e.g. ‘Which sport do you like?’ 
Last Update At: 2018/01/22 - 13:47:57

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