Monday 13 May 2013


The first global computer-based Starters exam will be held at the British Council

With the rapidly advancing technology, learning is no longer limited to traditional classroom teaching nowadays.  Many children have already mastered computer literacy skills and are familiar with e-learning format at a very young age.  In view of this, Cambridge English Language Assessment has developed a computer-based Cambridge English: Young Learners (YLE) examination which is being launched in Hong Kong.  As an official examination centre, the British Council will organise the first global computer-based Starters examination in September this year.

Similar to the existing paper-based test, the new computer-based examination will assess the communicative ability of children in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The computer-based test is specially designed to motivate young learners with vivid colour and attractive illustrations.  Developed with the latest child-friendly technology – the examinations will be available on tablets and PCs - children can answer questions by simply using a mouse or track pad.  In the speaking examination, candidates will interact with a computer-generated character directly, saving the time in waiting to meet the examiner in person in the traditional paper-based test. What’s more, test results are available approximately two weeks after completion of the computer-based test, quicker by half the time than with the paper-based test.   

Steven Miller, Assessment Group Manager, Cambridge English Language Assessment, said, “In response to the growing number of candidates over the world, Cambridge English Language Assessment decided to launch the computer-based test to provide a more convenient examination channel.  Hong Kong has used Cambridge English: Young Learners Examinations for many years and is recognized for rewarding children’s achievements in English and encouraging and motivating them to continue their studies.  We are glad to have received support from the British Council Hong Kong in offering the new test in the city.”

Nadeem Hussain, Director, Examinations Services, British Council Hong Kong, said, “The popular Cambridge English: Young Learners examinations are widely recognized internationally. Many parents use the examination results in applications for primary and secondary school places for their children.  The new computer-based test will run alongside the existing paper-based test, which we believe will bring greater flexibility to parents and candidates in choosing the format that most suits their needs. ”

Jim So, Regional Development Manager, East Asia, said, “we are extremely delighted to continue our long-standing, successful co-operation with the British Council by working together to introduce Hong Kong’s children to the latest assessment technologies, thus providing a full series of computer-based exams to complement the KET, PET and FCE that are available in computer-based versions.”

British Council Hong Kong will hold the first computer-based Cambridge English: Movers and Cambridge English: Flyers test in July, and the first computer-based Cambridge English: Starters test in September.  Computer-based test will be available once a month.  To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Cambridge English examinations, those who register for computer-based Cambridge English: Young Learners held from July to September 2013 will receive a HK$100 discount on the examination fee.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide. Established in Hong Kong in 1948, the British Council strives to connect the UK with the rest of the world through education, arts, science, governance and much more.  In 2011-12, we delivered 227 Arts, Education and Science events and provided extensive English language support with online learning, excellent English teaching and examination services;46,653 students took exams with us; and 22,309 learners were engaged inEnglish learning services.