Cambridge English: Pre A1 Starters is the first of three Cambridge English Qualifications designed for young learners.

The tests are written around familiar topics and focus on the skills needed to communicate effectively in English through listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Reasons to choose Pre A1 Starters

Pre A1 Starters can help your child take their first step towards:

  • understanding basic English content on the internet
  • enjoying books, songs, television and films in English
  • making friends globally.

There’s no pass or fail – every child gets a Cambridge English certificate which celebrates their achievements.

The test uses realistic everyday situations to bring learning to life.

The test covers all major varieties of English (e.g. British English, American English).

Test format

Pre A1 Starters is made up of three papers developed to encourage and motivate young learners. You can see exactly what’s in each paper below.

Paper Content Marks
(about 20 minutes)
4 parts/ 20 questions a maximum of five shields
Reading and Writing
(20 minutes)
5 parts/ 25 questions a maximum of five shields
(3–5 minutes)
4 parts a maximum of five shields



There is no pass or fail and all children receive a certificate which shows how many shields they have received (out of a maximum of five) for each part of the test.

A Pre A1 Starters certificate is a great way to celebrate children’s achievement, build their confidence and reward their own individual ability.

A result of one shield means a child can improve a lot in that skill. Five shields mean that a child did very well in that skill and answered most questions correctly.

The back of the certificate shows how results align to the CEFR. If a child has achieved 4 or 5 shields in each skill, they are ready to start preparing for the next Cambridge English exam – A1 movers.

Register now for Cambridge English: Pre A1 Starters


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