Cambridge Webinar: Changes to Young Learner Exams

If you’re a Cambridge Exam teacher, you probably know that the Young Learner (Starters, Movers and Flyers) exams are changing as of January 2018. To find out more, last Thursday I attended an online webinar run by Cambridge Language Assessment and Cambridge University Press.

It was very informative and I thought some of you may find a summary helpful of what the changes will be.

Why are things changing?

Cambridge Language Assessment want to update the exams in order to keep the relevant (they were last reviewed in 2007), to incorporate new learning approaches and to better align the Young Learner exams with the other suite of Cambridge exams.

What changes will there be?

In general:

  • Speaking exam grade bands will now be from 0 to 5, instead of the current 0 to 3, in order to provide more detailed feedback to students and teachers.


  • Listening exam – There will be a new part 1 which closely replicates listening part 1 in the Movers and Flyers exams, where the child will have to identify a person in an image.
  • Reading & Writing exam –  Part 1 will now include plural nouns as well as singular ones and part 4 will be a semi-factual text rather than a riddle
  • Speaking exam – Students will now be asked their name. Also, part 1 is going to be an amalgamation of parts 1 and 2. There will also be a new question “Tell me about this box”. Though they have stated that one word answers are expected and acceptable and that should a student struggle, additional questions will be asked by the examiner to help them.


  • Listening exam – In part 5 there will be no drawing element anymore and part 3 will be a reflection of part 3 in Flyer’s exams
  • Reading & Writing exam – There will be fewer questions. The present part 2 will no longer be included. The task order has changed so that they will now run from the easiest to the hardest. There is a new part 6 writing task where the student will be asked to ask and answer questions as well as write sentences.


  • Reading & Writing exam – There will be a new writing element at the end of the exam where students will be expected to write a short postcard or email in order to give them ample practice before moving onto the KEY level.

What resources are available to me?

There are new sample tests coming soon in addition to word lists picture books. Classroom posters and activities will be available as of April, with new speaking videos to follow come August.

There will also be more webinars and seminars for teachers running from February 2017 to May 2017. If you’re a Cambridge teacher in Spain, you can find a list of seminars here.

Published by teachernicola

English teacher in the south of Spain.

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