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Pre A1 Starters (YLE Starters)

Twice a Year

The tests Cambridge English: Young Learners, also known as Young Learners English (YLE), measure how well 7–12 year–olds perform in the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Tests are designed to make learning fun and encourage children to work towards certificates and earning ‘shields’ that record their progress.

Pre A1 Starters exam also known as YLE Starters, is the first of three Cambridge English: Young Learners tests specifically designed for school children aged 7 to 12. The test is designed to be fun and motivating to give candidates the confidence to show what they can do in English. It leads naturally to the next level of the test, A1 Movers, encouraging young learners to make progress and develop their learning.

PAPER 1: Listening

Duration: about 20 minutes

Number of parts: 4 parts

Number of questions: 20 questions in total

Marks: a maximum of five shields

Part 1 (5 questions)

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

Part 2 (5 questions)

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.

Part 3 (5 questions)

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).

Part 4 (5 questions)

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 (black, blue, brown, green, grey, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow) each object using the colour they say in the conversation.     


Duration: 20 minutes

Number of parts: 5 parts

Number of questions: 25 questions in total

Marks: a maximum of five shields

Part 1 (5 questions)

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.

Part 2 (5 questions)

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'.

Part 3 (5 questions)

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.

Part 4 (5 questions)

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 words from the box and copy it into each gap.

Part 5 (5 questions)

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.


Duration: 3-5 minutes

Number of parts: 4 parts

Marks: a maximum of five shields

Part 1

After asking the candidate Whats 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. Wheres 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..

Part 2

The examiner asks questions about two of the people or things in the scene picture, e.g. Whats 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. Whats this?(Answer: (juice/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?’ .

Register online for your exams through ORFEAS, our online registration system. Find an examination center close to home from a choice of 100 locations throughout Greece and abroad, and complete your application online with your debit, pre-paid or credit card.

You will receive all the details for your upcoming exam via email in a single document that you can save, print and take with you on the day of your test. You will also be sent updates on the status of your application and useful support materials. Expect invitations to webinars for tips and strategies that will help you prepare effectively for the exam.

The ORFEAS registration system does away with print application forms and visits to the bank. Start and complete your registration online in a few simple steps. Use your home computer, tablet or smartphone to apply for your exam.

The Pre A1 Starters certificate celebrates children’s achievement, builds their confidence and rewards their ability in the use of the English language.

There is no pass or fail score in the results of Pre A1 Starters. All children receive a certificate which shows how well they performed in each part of the test by the number of shields they have received, out of a maximum of five.

A result of one shield means a child can improve in that skill while five shields mean that most of the questions were answered correctly. Candidates who receive 4 or 5 shields in each skill are ready to start preparing for the next Cambridge English exam, A1 Movers.

The back of the the certificate shows how results align to the CEFR. The following factsheet can be used as a guide to help teachers and candidates understand how Cambridge English scale works. This information is better applied when using official Cambridge English practice tests.

How can I apply?

Use this link to enter the ORFEAS online registration system. From there, follow the steps as suggested. Choose your exam, date and venue and then provide your personal details. In the last step you will be asked to pay with your card of choice. All the information you will need for the day of the exam will arrive in your inbox via email and SMS.

What if I have a question about the procedure?

If you have any questions about the procedure, even as you complete the steps in the process, contact us on 2103680000 for assistance. We have staff available from 9 am - 5 pm on weekdays to help you complete the registration process and answer your questions.

Can I see the status of my registration after I have applied?

Once you complete your registration you will be sent updates on the status of your application. For example, any changes to the date of the examination, if these occur, will be communicated to you via email, SMS or telephone by our support team.

Additional services:


  • Cambridge Assessment English
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