Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments

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YLTE

CaMLA Young Learners Tests of English (YLTE) are a fun and motivating way to test the English of young learners in the primary and middle grades. The tests cover all four language skills and are developed by CaMLA in association with Cambridge English.

The tests provide a clear and transparent assessment from Bronze (beginner) through Silver to Gold (early intermediate). The tests are international, focusing on American English. Of primary importance is that the testing experience have a positive impact on children and on their subsequent language learning.

CaMLA is committed to excellence in its tests, which are developed in accordance with the highest standards in educational measurement. All parts of the examination are written following specified guidelines, and items are pretested to ensure that they function properly. We work closely with test centers to ensure that our tests are administered in a way that is fair and accessible to examinees. The CaMLA YLTE are open to all people who wish to take the exam, regardless of the school they attend.

Preparing for the CaMLA YLTE

CaMLA does not prescribe or endorse any specific course of study to be taken in preparation for the YLTE Bronze, Silver, or Gold exams. The best preparation is through the general study and use of English.

Parents or teachers may find it useful to consult the complete sample tests available on our website.

YLTE Format

The YLTE is a paper-and-pencil test. (Test takers bring colored pencils or pens to the test.) The chart below describes the format and content of the three levels of the YLTE.

Bronze
Listening about 20 minutes 4 parts / 20 questions
Reading & Writing 20 minutes 5 parts / 25 questions
Speaking 3–5 minutes 5 parts

 

Silver
Listening about 25 minutes 5 parts / 25 questions
Reading & Writing 30 minutes 6 parts / 40 questions
Speaking 5–7 minutes 4 parts
Gold
Listening about 25 minutes 5 parts / 25 questions
Reading & Writing 40 minutes 7 parts / 50 questions
Speaking 7–9 minutes 4 parts

The center where the child takes the test sends the completed test booklets to a team of trained raters, who score them very carefully. To make sure that each child gets the fairest possible result, all tests are checked twice. In most parts of the test, spelling has to be correct. Both British and American English spellings are accepted.


Scoring & Results

The speaking examiner scores the speaking test, and then speaking scores—along with the completed listening and reading and writing test booklets—are returned to CaMLA.

YLTE medals

Each test taker will receive a certificate that shows how many medals he or she earned. The maximum score is five medals for each part of the test. A result of one medal means the child can improve significantly in that skill; five medals means that the child did very well in that skill and answered most questions correctly. With a total of 10 medals or more, a test taker should be ready to start preparing for the next CaMLA YLTE exam.

The table below provides a summary of the type of language activity that Young Learners at each of the levels are likely to be able to accomplish.

YLTE Levels and Language Accomplishment

Listening Speaking Reading Writing
Bronze CAN understand simple sentences about things around them CAN respond to personal questions on topics such as age, family and their home CAN recognize the letters of the alphabet CAN write the letters of the alphabet and spell their name and simple words
Silver CAN understand when somebody talks about their family or friends in simple sentences CAN ask somebody about how they are and what they like doing and answer similar questions CAN understand simple stories and shorter texts with the help of pictures and drawings CAN continue a story or text that has been started in English or add words that are missing
Gold CAN understand audio and video clips used in the English lesson CAN talk about a problem in simple terms CAN understand longer texts about everyday topics, even if they do not know all the words CAN write a short message on a postcard or in an email


Test Security

The CaMLA YLTE are secure tests. CaMLA reserves the right to decline to score a YLTE or invalidate YLTE scores under the circumstances listed below. No exam fees will be refunded and the test taker will not be allowed to take the exam again.

  • An examinee is misrepresented; that is, examinee appearance or signature does not match picture or signature on ID.
  • Evidence of examinee misconduct during a YLTE administration, including, but not limited to, copying answers from another examinee, talking with another examinee during the test administration, transferring test information to any external media, referring to previously prepared notes or aids (test preparation books, study guides, dictionaries, etc. are not allowed), creating a disturbance, or neglecting to follow the examiner’s instructions.
  • There is an unusual discrepancy in the examinee’s performance and/or pattern of answers across test sections.


YLTE Bronze

Listening about 20 minutes 4 parts / 20 questions
Reading & Writing 20 minutes 5 parts / 25 questions
Speaking 3–5 minutes 5 parts

Listening

about 20 minutes, 20 questions
There are four parts in the listening test. You hear all the parts of the test twice. In the test, all the parts include an example.

Part 1

5 questions
In Part 1, you see a big picture with seven objects around the outside. You hear five short dialogues between a male and a female voice. You have to draw a line from the object they name in each dialogue to the place they mention in the big picture.

Part 2

5 questions
In Part 2, you hear a conversation between a child and an adult. On the test, there is a picture to set the scene and some questions. You must answer each question with a number or a name. You can write the numbers as digits or as words. The numbers may be anything from 1 to 20. If the answer is a name, then we spell it for you letter by letter and you must write it down correctly.

Part 3

5 questions
In Part 3, you hear five short dialogues between different pairs of people. There is a question about each dialogue and you have to choose which of three pictures gives the answer to the question. You must put a check mark in the box under the correct picture.

Part 4

5 questions
In Part 4, you see a big picture that includes seven examples of the same object—seven balls, or hats, or books, for example. You listen to a dialogue between an adult and a child and color each object named using the color that you hear in the dialogue. You do not need to color the object beautifully as long as you make it clear that you have understood which object to color and you use the correct color.

Reading & Writing

20 minutes 20 questions
There are five parts in the reading and writing test. In the test, all the parts include at least one example. Please be sure to spell all your answers correctly.

Part 1

5 questions
In Part 1, you look at five little pictures of objects and read a sentence about each one. Each sentence begins “This is a . . .” If the sentence is true you put a check mark in the box and if it is not true you put an “X” in the box.

Part 2

5 questions
In Part 2, you look at a big picture and read five sentences about it. Some of the sentences describe the picture correctly and some do not. If the sentence says something true about the picture, then you write “yes.” If what the sentence says about the picture is not true, then you write “no.”

Part 3

5 questions
In Part 3, you show that you know how to spell five words. You look at a picture of an object and at some jumbled letters. There are also blanks that show you how many letters there are in the word. You have to rearrange the letters and write the word for the object in the blanks.

Part 4

5 questions
In Part 4, you read a text that has five gaps in it. All the missing words are nouns. Under the text there is a box with labeled pictures. You choose a word from the box and copy it into each gap.

Part 5

5 questions
In Part 5, you look at three pictures which tell a story. There are questions for each of the pictures. You must write a one-word answer to each of the questions. You may need to write a noun, a verb, or a number.

Speaking

3–5 minutes, 5 parts
In the speaking test, someone, perhaps your own teacher, will explain the test to you in your own language. That person will then take you into the exam room and introduce you to the examiner. The examiner will score your ability to understand what he or she says, to say words or phrases, and to pronounce words correctly. At the Bronze level you are not expected to be able to say more than single words or short phrases in English.

Part 1

First, the examiner will greet you and ask you your name. Then, he or she will show you a picture of a big scene and will ask you to point to some things in the picture. The examiner might ask, “Where is the monkey?” or “Where are the elephants?”

Part 2

In Part 2, the examiner will show you some small pictures of objects. He or she will then name three objects and will ask you to point to them and then to put them in particular places on the big picture that you looked at in Part 1. The examiner might say, for example, “Put the shell under the tree.”

Part 3

In Part 3, the examiner will ask you some questions about the big picture. He or she might, for example, point to the frog and ask, “What is this? What color is it?”

Part 4

In Part 4, the examiner will ask you some questions about the small pictures of objects. He or she might point to the bike and ask, for example, “What is this?” and then, “Do you have a bike?”

Part 5

In Part 5, the examiner will ask you some questions about yourself. He or she might ask you about your age, your family, your school, or your friends.


YLTE Silver

Listening about 25 minutes 5 parts / 25 questions
Reading & Writing 30 minutes 6 parts / 40 questions
Speaking 5–7 minutes 4 parts

Listening

about 25 minutes 20 questions
There are five parts in the listening test. You hear all parts of the test twice. In the test, all the parts include an example.

Part 1

5 questions
In Part 1, you see a big picture that shows different people doing different things. There are seven names around the picture. You hear an adult and a child talking about the people in the picture. You have to draw a line from the name you hear to the correct person in the big picture.

Part 2

5 questions
In Part 2, you hear a conversation between two speakers. On the test, there is a form or a page on a notepad. You have to write a word or a number in five places on the form or notepad. You do not have to spell words perfectly if they are not spelled out for you.

Part 3

5 questions
In Part 3, you hear a conversation between a child and an adult. The child is telling the adult about what he or she did on different days during one week. You have to draw a line from the day of the week to the picture that shows what the child did on that day.

Part 4

5 questions
In Part 4, you hear five little dialogues. There is a question about each dialogue and you have to choose which of three pictures gives the answer to the question. You must put a check mark under the correct picture.

Part 5

5 questions
In Part 5, you see a big picture. You listen to a dialogue between an adult and a child and must color specific objects using the color that you are instructed to use. You will also be asked to draw a simple object or write a short word somewhere in the picture.

Reading & Writing

30 minutes
There are six parts in the reading and writing test. In the test, all the parts include at least one example. Please be sure to spell all your answers correctly.

Part 1

6 questions
In Part 1, you look at pictures of objects with their names written under them. You then read some definitions and must decide which picture matches each definition. You must copy that word next to its definition.

Part 2

6 questions
In Part 2, you look at a big picture and read six sentences about it. Some of the sentences describe the picture correctly and some do not. If the sentence says something true about the picture, then you write “yes” after that sentence. If what the sentence says about the picture is not true, then you write “no” after the sentence.

Part 3

questions
In Part 3, you read a short conversation between two people. You have to choose what the second speaker says each time from a set of three choices (A, B, or C). There is a picture on the question paper to set the scene. You should put a circle around the correct answer.

Part 4

7 questions
In Part 4, you read a text that has six gaps in it. The missing words may be nouns, adjectives, or verbs. Next to the text there is a box with labeled pictures. You choose the correct word from the box and copy it into each gap. Then you must choose the best title for the text from a choice of three possible titles.

Part 5

10 questions
In Part 5, you read a story that is in three parts. Each part has a picture. There are sentences after each part of the story. You must complete the sentences, using one, two, or three words. The pictures may help you to understand the story but do not give you the answers to the questions.

Part 6

5 questions
In Part 6, you read a factual text that has five gaps. The gaps are for grammar words like prepositions, pronouns, and verbs. You have a choice of three words to fill each gap and must choose the correct word and copy it into the gap.

Speaking

5–7 minutes, 4 parts
In the speaking test, someone, perhaps your own teacher, will explain the test to you in your own language. That person will then take you into the exam room and introduce you to the examiner. The examiner will score your ability to understand what he or she says, to say words or phrases, and to pronounce words correctly.

Part 1

First, the examiner will greet you and will ask you your name. Then, he or she will show you two pictures that are similar but that have some differences. You must tell the examiner about four of the differences.

Part 2

In Part 2, the examiner will show you four pictures that tell a story. The examiner tells you about the first picture and then asks you to continue the story. The examiner might say, for example, “Fred is sad. He can’t play football. His ball is very old. His mom is saying ‘Take the dog to the park.'” You must then talk about the other three pictures.

Part 3

In Part 3, the examiner will show you four sets of four pictures each. You must say which picture is the odd one out in each set and explain why.

Part 4

In Part 4, the examiner will ask you some questions about yourself. He or she might ask you, for example, about school, what you do on the weekends, your hobbies, or your friends.


YLTE Gold

Listening about 25 minutes 5 parts / 25 questions
Reading & Writing 40 minutes 7 parts / 50 questions
Speaking 7–9 minutes 4 parts

Listening

about 20 minutes 20 questions
There are five parts in the listening test. You hear all parts of the test twice. In the test, all the parts include an example.

Part 1

5 questions
In Part 1, you see a big picture that shows different people doing different things. There are seven names around the picture. You hear an adult and a child talking about the people in the picture. You have to draw a line from the name you hear to the correct person in the picture.

Part 2

5 questions
In Part 2, you hear a conversation between two speakers. On the test, there is a form or a page on a notepad. You have to write a word or a number in five places on the form or notepad. You do not have to spell words perfectly if they are not spelled out for you.

Part 3

5 questions
In Part 3, you have two sets of pictures. On the left hand page of the test there are some pictures of named people or other named places or objects. On the right hand side is a set of pictures with letters but no words. You hear a conversation between two people, and you have to match one of the lettered pictures to one of the named pictures. You write a letter in each box beside the named pictures.

Part 4

5 questions
In Part 4, you hear five connected dialogues. There is a question about each dialogue, and you have to choose which of the three pictures gives the correct answer to the question. You must put a check mark in the box below the correct picture.

Part 5

5 questions
In Part 5, you see a big picture. You listen to a dialogue between an adult and a child, and must color specific objects using the color you are told to use. You will also have to draw and color a simple object and write a short word somewhere in the picture.

Reading & Writing

40 minutes, 67 questions
There are seven parts in the reading and writing test. In the test, all the parts include at least one example. Please be sure to spell all your answers correctly.

Part 1

10 questions
In Part 1, you look at fifteen words and ten definitions. You must find the word that matches each definition and write it beside its definition. There are no pictures to help you in this part.

Part 2

7 questions
In Part 2, you look at a big picture and read seven sentences about it. Some of the sentences describe the picture correctly and some do not. If the sentence says something true about the picture, then you write “yes” beside that sentence. If what the sentence says about the picture is not true, then you write “no” beside the sentence.

Part 3

5 questions
In Part 3, you read a short conversation between two people. Everything that the first speaker says is in the right order. The second speaker’s answers are in a separate box and you have to choose A, B, C, D, or E for each gap.

Part 4

6 questions
In Part 4, you read a text that has five gaps in it. The missing words may be nouns, adjectives, or verbs. Next to the text there is a box with words in it. You choose the correct word from the box and copy it into each gap. For the last question (6), you must choose the best title for the text from a choice of three possible titles.

Part 5

7 questions
In Part 5, you read a story. There is a picture that illustrates the story and seven sentences about it. You must complete the sentences, using one, two, three, or four words. The pictures may help you to understand the story but do not give you the answers to the questions.

Part 6

10 questions
In Part 6, you read a factual text that has ten gaps. The gaps are for grammar words like prepositions, pronouns, adverbs, and verbs. You have a choice of three words to fill each gap and must choose the correct word and copy it into the gap.

Part 7

5 questions
In Part 7, you read a text from a letter or a diary. The text has five gaps. You must write a word in each gap. There is no list of words to help you. There are some pictures that will help you understand the text but they will not give you the answers to the questions. This part of the test tests your knowledge of both grammar and vocabulary.

Speaking

7–9 minutes, 4  parts
In the speaking test, someone, perhaps your own teacher, will explain the test to you in your own language. That person will then take you into the exam room and introduce you to the examiner. The examiner will score your ability to understand what he or she says, to say words or phrases, and to pronounce words correctly.

Part 1

First, the examiner will greet you and will ask you your name. Then the examiner will give you one picture and show you that he or she has a picture that is similar but has some differences. The examiner will read you some sentences about his or her picture and you must look at your picture and explain how it is different. For example, the examiner might say, “In my picture there’s a puppy behind the tree.”

Part 2

In Part 2, you and the examiner take turns to ask and answer questions based on a pair of similar pictures and question prompts. First, the examiner will ask you questions about your picture, and then you must ask similar questions about the examiner’s picture.

Part 3

In Part 3, the examiner will show you five pictures that tell a story. The examiner tells you about the first picture and then asks you to continue the story. The examiner might say, for example, “It’s David’s birthday. He’s very excited. His friends have come to his party. His mother, father and baby sister are there too.” You must then talk about the other four pictures.

Part 4

In Part 4, the examiner will ask you some questions about yourself. He or she might ask you, for example, about your school, your hobbies, your birthday, or your family.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does the test taker need to bring to the test?

Test takers must bring colored pencils or pens (red, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, black, brown, and gray), and an ordinary pen or pencil.

Should the test taker use British or American English?

On the listening tests, both accents are used. The spelling and vocabulary on the printed test booklets is American English. British or American spelling is accepted for the written answers. In the speaking tests, British or American pronunciation and vocabulary are accepted.

How long does it take to receive the certificate?

Certificates will be sent to test centers within 12 business days of receipt of the tests at the scoring center. Test centers will notify test takers when the certificates are ready.