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Cambridge English: Starters (YLE Starters)

Cambridge English: Starters (YLE Starters) is the first of three Cambridge English: Young Learners (YLE) tests for children. Cambridge English: Young Learners tests introduce children to everyday written and spoken English and are an excellent way for them to gain confidence and improve their English. Cambridge English: 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 and making friends globally.

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

Cambridge English: Starters is for children who are just starting to learn English. When they’re ready they can move on to Cambridge English: Movers (YLE Movers), the second test in the range.

Sample Preparation material  

You can download sample papers (paper based and computer based papers) and other preparation material such as what to expect during the examination here.


There is no pass or fail. All children receive an award which shows how many shields they have received. The maximum score is five shields for each part of the test.

A Cambridge English: Starters award is a great way to:

  • celebrate children’s achievement
  • build their confidence
  • 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.

Children should be ready to start preparing for the next Cambridge English exam – Cambridge English: Movers – if they achieve a total of 10 or 11 shields, or above.