This suite of exams is made up of 4 different levels: Adult Learner Step 1, Adult Learner Step 2, Adult Learner Step 3 and Adult Learner Step 4 (CEFR A1).

The aim of these Adult Learner Lower Levels is to focus on adult students who have just begun studying English as a foreign language. Therefore, these exams have been designed so that any adult learner can validate their level of English, from the very beginning of the learning process, by taking an exam with a format suitable for their age.

The Adult Learner Lower Levels include the four skills (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) and each level is equivalent in content to our Young Learner Levels as shown in the chart below:

A1 – Breakthrough (CEFR)

Preliminary / Adult Learner Step 4


Primary / Adult Learner Step 3


Junior / Adult Learner Step 2


First Step / Adult Learner Step 1

Overview of Tasks

Reading & Writing:


Adult Learner Step 1

Adult Learner Step 2

Adult Learner Step 3

Adult Learner Step 4

Section A

Match words with pictures (10 marks)

Choose the correct word and write it below picture (20 marks)

Read advertisement

Answer questions on main points e.g. time, price, etc. (10 marks)

R1 (10 marks)

Reading email

4 x True / False

1 x function question

Section B

Vocabulary recognition

Tick or Cross (10 marks)

B1- months

B2- days of the week

Write missing letters (20 marks)

Read 2 postcards and answer ‘Which person..’ type questions (10 marks)

R2 (10 marks)

Reading narrative

Four-option multiple choice

Section C

Days of the week

Choose missing letters from box (10 marks)

Write out numbers in words (5 marks)

Choose the correct answer to the question (10 marks)

R3 (10 marks)

10 x four-option multiple choice- Grammar

Section D

Identify number and object. Tick the correct picture (10 marks)

Four-option multiple choice

Grammar (10 marks)

10 x Four-option multiple choice

Grammar (10 marks)

R4 (10 marks)

Choose and write the opposite from the list

Section E

Write out numbers in words (10 marks)

5 x Four-option multiple choice

Prepositions of place (10 marks)

Cloze passage

Choose words from the box to complete text (10 marks)

R5 (10 marks) Tenses

Put verb into past or present into passage

Section F

Choose the correct colour and write it.

(10 marks)

Identify actions from picture

Tick or cross (5 marks)

Singular to plural (10 marks)

W1 (5 marks)

Singular to plural (irregular)

Section G

Write the word that the picture shows (10 marks)

Read text and label picture with correct colours (10 marks)

Factual reading

Three-option multiple choice (10 marks)

W2 (10 marks)

Forming questions to suit responses given

Section H

Colour, number and object. Write what the picture shows (10 marks)

Write 3 sentences about self (10 marks)

Write the times and dates in words (10 marks)

W3 (10 marks)

Answering questions about self

Section I

Choose the correct answer to the question (10 marks)

Choose the correct answer to the question (10 marks)

Cloze email

Choose words from the box to complete text (10 marks)

W4 (5 marks)

Write 5 sentences on one of the two topics given

Possible Topics: My family, My country, My house, My job

Section J

Topic vocabulary

Add more words (10 marks)


Reading. Three-option multiple choice (10 marks)

W5 (10 marks)

Word order

Re-order words to make a sentence

Changes to syllabus

Numbers 1 – 20

Common questions -

How are you?

What colour is this?

Where do you come from?

Numbers 1 – 30

Clothes – jacket, tie

Common questions – Where do you live? What (job) do you do?


W4 Topics

My family

My country

My house

My job



Adult Learner Step 1

Adult Learner Step 2

Adult Learner Step 3

Adult Learner Step 4

Section L1

Listen to the words

Tick the box (10 marks)

Listen to the words

Put a tick in the box (10 marks)

Listen to the sentences

Tick the correct box (10 marks)

Listen to the conversations

Tick the correct box (10 marks)

Section L2

Listen and tick the correct box (20 marks)

Listen to the sentences

Write the missing word (20 marks)

Listen to the story

Write one word in each gap (10 marks)

Listen to the passage

Write the missing words (20 marks)

Section L3



Look at the list

Listen and write the words (10 marks)

Listen to the passage

True or false

(20 marks)



Adult Learner Step 1

Adult Learner Step 2

Adult Learner Step 3

Adult Learner Step 4

Section S1

 (Task 1)

Introduction – Warm up (1-2 min)

Introduction – Warm up (1-2 min)

Introduction – Warm up (1-2 min)

Introduction – Warm up (2-3 min)

Section S2

 (Task 2)

Naming objects

Naming pictures

Answering YES/NO questions (2-3 min)

Identifying actions and objects

Answering questions

Picture prompts

(3-4 min)

Name and explain

Find the odd one out

(3-4 min)

Narrative and sequencing
Past simple 
Tell a story - picture prompts(3-4 min)

Section S3

 (Task 3)

Understanding word groups

Finding multiple pictures (2-3 min)

Describing pictures

Naming objects

Answering questions

Picture prompts

(3-4 min)

Answering questions 
Picture prompts

(3-4 min)

Giving information
Information gap 
Spot the difference - picture prompts (3-4 min)

Syllabus and Specifications:


Performance Indicators

The student:

Has a basic vocabulary recognition of about 400 words.
Can communicate present and past events, recently completed actions and life experiences.
Can communicate where things are and when things happen.
Can express opposites, comparisons and ownership.
Can ask questions, answer questions, and write full sentences.


Grammar and Structures

What are they used for?

Some examples




Past Simple
including common irregular past forms as well as regular forms, interrogative and negative

Talking about past events

We watched a football match on TV last night.
I drove to the hotel.
Did John drink all the orange juice?

Present Perfect Simple
interrogative and negative only

Talking about experiences only

Have you ever been to London?
I have never seen a dolphin.


Following single-step instructions in a familiar context

Take a piece of paper.
Stand near the door.


ADJECTIVES (All adjectives as tested in Section R4)


Basic adjectives

For descriptive purposes, including expressing opposites

My father bought a new car yesterday.

Comparatives and superlatives

Talking about comparisons between people and things

John isn't as tall as Jane.
Sue is the tallest/ the most beautiful girl in our class.
My rabbit is older than/more beautiful than my friend's rabbit.




The possessive form

Expressing ownership

That sandwich is Jane's.

Mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs

Talking about ownership, possessions, who things belong to

My bicycle is newer than yours.
That book is mine.




Much, many, a lot, a lot of

Talking about amounts of things which can and cannot be counted

How much money have you got? I've got a lot of it!
It rains a lot in England.
How many brothers has she got?

Some, any

Talking about things which can and cannot be counted, in the positive and negative

There is some bread.
There isn't any butter.




By, with, next to

Talking about where things are

The children are standing next to the clock.




Ever, never, ago, yet, just

Talking about when things happen

I went to Paris six years ago.





fox, frog, spider, hippo, giraffe, horse, sheep, cows, pets
kitten, puppy, donkey, camel, butterfly, fly, goat, pig, dinosaur


hen, chicken
peacock, flamingo, owl, seagull

Cardinal Numbers   

twenty-one to sixty
sixty-one to one hundred


jeans, jacket, tie, coat
shorts, scarf, swimming costume, swimming shorts, glasses, suit, pyjamas, raincoat, jewellery – necklace, ring, bracelet, earrings


England, France, America, Greece, China

Family members and people

aunt, uncle, cousin, grandmother, grandfather, Mum, Dad, man, woman, friend
husband, wife, son, daughter, lady, neighbour, boss


goldfish, jellyfish

Food, meals and drink

bread, tea, coffee, water, lemonade, egg, chicken, sandwich, sugar, ketchup, chips, cheese, sweets, butter
crisps, cola, pancake, spaghetti, soup, popcorn, pasta, rice, also - a packet of, a can of, a bottle of


cherry, strawberry, melon, pineapple, apricot, grape, coconut


lawn, plant, rose, tulip, leaf, ground


mirror, sofa, armchair, shower, wardrobe
carpet, rug, dressing table, plant, shelf, washing machine, towel, chimney, roof, wall, floor, curtains, stairs, balcony
also - upstairs, downstairs (adj/adv)


teacher, doctor, farmer, secretary, businessman/woman, policeman/woman, shop assistant, in the army, student
dentist, vet, fireman/fighter, postman, artist, nurse, professor, air hostess, clown, (football) player, manager, waiter/waitress, chef, President, thief, zoo keeper, train/taxi driver, fisherman, actor


saucepan, frying pan, mug, saucer, fridge, dish, cooker, oven


film, newspaper, magazine, star, moon, thing
ticket, camera, fun, card/postcard/letter, swing, slide, box, adventure, snowman, fairy, sand, sandcastle, shell, pocket, purse, handbag, ghost, trip, present/gift, key, hobby, programme, accident, comic, invitation, decorations, tunnel, blanket, email, text, Ow! Wow!

Musical Instruments

guitar, piano, drum
violin, flute, saxophone

Ordinal Numbers

first, second, third, etc

Parts of the body

fingers, knees, toes, tooth/teeth, stomach, shoulder, beard, moustache
also – headache, stomach-ache, earache, toothache


living room, zoo, farm, supermarket, office, cinema, cafe, restaurant, car park, flat, swimming pool, town centre, beach, sea, mountains, town, city, village, fields, country (e.g. England), countryside, theatre, hotel, station, circus, lake, river, sports centre, island, factory, campsite, hills, pizzeria, shopping centre, fair, airport, prison, castle, tent, jungle, library, market, playground


teacher, homework, work, test, exam, student, lesson
dictionary, subject, class, spelling, head teacher


spring, summer, autumn, winter


baseball, fishing, football match, tennis racket, running
skiing, snow-boarding, sailing, cricket, golf, (ice)hockey, (ice)skating, goal, team, competition, club

Time expressions

four fifteen, [a] quarter past/to four, half past four, ten past four, four ten, ten to four, etc. / morning, evening, today
yesterday, tomorrow, afternoon, tonight, last night, last week, next Monday, etc


ball, kite, castle, soldiers, paint, paintbrush, puppet, drum, gun
doll, teddy, robot, balloon, game, puzzle


taxi, bike, motor bicycle, motorbike, tractor, lorry (Brit), truck (Am)


onion, spinach, pea, bean


sun, rain, wind, snow, hot, cold
fog, clouds, hurricane, sky, rainbow, umbrella, sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy, foggy, storm



angry, tired, sick, bored, ill, scared,/frightened, excited, lonely, thirsty, hungry


very, really, quite


clever, nice, good, friendly, exciting, interesting, great, wonderful, brilliant, terrible, funny, lucky, scary, warm, comfortable, kind, naughty


little, large, fat, thin


Live, work, walk, run, sleep, ride, drive, make, do, understand, want, like, can, swim, look, have/has got, get up, go, start, sit, talk, buy, tell, clean, wash, love, hate, begin, finish, come, give, arrive, try, take, feel, spend, teach, pay, hold, catch, stop, fly, throw, steal, fall, chase, paint, lose, win, find, stay, pass, fail, share, send, hurt, speak, answer, climb, pick, meet, move, call, deliver, sing, dance, sail, enjoy, invite, leave, escape, put, push, carry, wear, borrow, see, open, close, show, shout, frighten, shine, keep, drop, break, kick, build, blow, pass, scream, laugh, practice, park, sweep, hide, travel, visit, jump, also – put on, pick up, break down, throw away, try on, take off, come on!

Grade Boundaries:

Grades are calculated by weighting the Listening % by 0.2 and the Written % by 0.8 - adding the results together and then using the information above. 

Relevant Documents

Sample Papers

Further Practice

Central Exams Office

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Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires,
República Argentina
Tel.: +54 11 4305-7913

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