How can exams help children with their language learning?
Assessment and learning go hand in hand. Our exams test all four skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). This encourages teachers and learners to take a balanced approach to language learning.
All our exams focus on real-life communication skills. By preparing for a Cambridge English Qualification, we hope your child will develop their communication skills in English, not just for the exam but for life.
Our level-based exams are also really useful because they help you to find out:
- where your child is on their learning journey
- where your child is going on their learning journey
- what your child will do next.
Where your child is on their learning journey – why is this useful to know?
Your child will make the best progress when learning activities are at the right level – not too difficult and not too easy. They will be more motivated if they have the right amount of challenge.
Cambridge English Qualifications are available at different levels. They clearly show the skills that need to be mastered at each level. Our research suggests that level-based exams are motivating and children enjoy moving up the language learning ladder one step at a time.
We have lots of free learning activities available at each level:
To help you choose the right activities, encourage your child to find their level with our:
Of course, tests are only one way of finding out where your child is in their learning. It’s also important to encourage them to check, assess and reflect on their own work, as they become independent learners and more involved in the learning process.
After an activity, take some time to think about the results. Did your child find anything difficult? Is there anything they need more help with? If the whole activity was too easy or too hard, ask your child to try an activity at the next level up or down.
Where your child is going on their learning journey – why is this useful to know?
It’s hard to move forward with learning if you don’t know where your child is going. Exams give your child something to aim for.
Our level-based exams provide a clear path for developing English language skills, step by step. At each level, your child can work towards getting a Cambridge English Qualification. It’s a great way to reward achievement and build confidence for the next step in their learning journey. Our research suggests that learners feel less test anxiety if they have taken an exam at the previous level.
It’s also helpful to talk to your child about why they are learning English. Why do they want to improve their English? It’s good to have reasons for learning English, other than test results. This will help drive your child forward and is very important for motivation.
What your child will do next – what information do our exams provide?
Our exams test all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), giving you detailed information on how to move your child forward in the next stage of the learning journey.
Your child is probably stronger in some skills than others – that’s normal. Discuss the results with your child’s teacher. What do they show about your child’s strengths and needs, and what can you work on at home?
Doing well in an exam can be hugely satisfying – the hard work has paid off. Remember, it is important to recognise what has been achieved, as well as how your child can improve.