PTE Young Learners: Preparing for Quickmarch (Level 3)

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Preparing for PTE YL Quickmarch

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Young Learners is designed for students aged between 6 and 13, and assesses their understanding and use of real-life, practical English. There are four different exam levels (Firstwords, Springboard, Quickmarch and Breakthrough) which integrate listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills, with an emphasis on completing fun, communicative tasks in age-appropriate contexts.  

For further information, read An Introduction to Pearson Test of English Young Learners or visit the PTE Young Learners website.  

Quickmarch (Level 3)

  • Exam time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Equivalent CEFR level: Pre-A2

Download Guide to PTE Young Learners – Quickmarch (Level 3)

Who is it for?

PTE Young Learners Quickmarch is the third highest qualification of the four on offer by Pearson for young learners, and is aimed at those with a CEFR Level of Pre-A2. The test gives young students an opportunity to talk and write about their likes and dislikes; along with future plans and past events. In addition, it is suitable for test takers who can find important information in listening and reading activities in familiar contexts.

How is it structured?

The test is divided into two papers; a written part which lasts an hour, and a separate spoken part which lasts 20 minutes.

The initial written paper is divided into six sections, which are designed to test the students listening, reading, and writing skills. The spoken paper contains two tasks where the students engage in conversation with the examiner, and four other test takers.

Download the guide to PTE YL – Quickmarch for a more in-depth look at the exam format, a description of the task types and an overview of the scoring.

Four low preparation activities to do in class

1. Listening

For the second task of the written paper, students have to answer questions about a conversation they hear twice. This activity will help them to get used to listening to a story, and answering short questions about it.

Prior to the class write a very short story about yourself with a context which will be familiar to your students (such as your last holiday) and include eight comprehension questions about it. Try and vary your grammatical structures in the story, and have questions in the present, past, and future tenses.

Divide your students up into mixed ability groups of three or four, and read out the story to the class twice.

Next, read out the first question to them. Tell them to write their answers down on a piece of paper or handheld whiteboard.

When every group has finished, they hold them up for the class to see, and points are given for correct answers.

Repeat this for the remaining questions, and read out the story again halfway through if they are having problems remembering the details.

2. Reading

In task four of the written paper, learners are required to match five different utterances with representative pictures.

This part of the exam is designed to test their ability to understand functional language in social situations which they might be familiar with. This activity will help them recognize question structures in similar contexts.

Prior to the class, print out five photographs of people having conversations in different social situations, such as in a shop, on a bus, or a teacher in front of a class.

Put students in pairs and ask them to think about what the people might be saying, and write down some of their ideas.

Next give out flashcards which contain suitable answers for the pictures, along with some extra ones as distractions which don’t match any of the pictures.

For example, for a picture of a person holding a dress talking to a shop assistant, the utterance might be: Have you got this one in pink, please?

Ask your students to match up the correct sentences with the pictures. Once they have the answers, take the flashcards away and ask them to write down the utterances from memory. This will help them with their sentence construction and use of functional language.

3. Writing

In the final task of the written paper, students need to complete sentences about themselves which have been started for them, such as about their school holidays. This activity will encourage your students to write extended and accurate responses to similar contexts.

Prior to the class prepare at least five sentences about yourself, for example: I like holidays because… (I don’t have to work and I can travel the world with my best friends).

Put your students into pairs or small groups, and read out the first part of each sentence to them.

They need to work together to guess what your answer might be in each case, and write down their ideas in complete sentences.

Points are awarded for accurate sentence structures, good use of vocabulary, and also for having the closest idea to what you originally wrote.

4. Speaking

In the first part of the speaking exam, the students play a board game with the examiner and the other test takers. Each square of the board contains a question, which they ask to another student, and the game continues until everyone has answered at least two questions. This activity is designed to help your students get used to asking and answering different questions about themselves.

Prior to the class, cut up large strips of paper, enough for at least three per student.

Distribute the paper strips and ask the students to write an opinion question on each one. For example: Who is the best teacher at your school?

Encourage them to vary their tenses and to include the present, past, perfect, or future.

Tell them to scrunch up their questions into a ball. When they’re ready they should throw them around the room at each other in a big “snowball” fight.

After the chaos has calmed down, each student needs to pick up three pieces of paper that they can find, and in turns unfold one and choose a student to ask the question to.

If you want to add a competitive element, divide the class up into teams and each team can get points for accurate answers which include extended information.

Note: If you feel the snowball fight aspect of this activity might pose classroom management issues, have students fold their paper strips and put them in a box. They should then take turns to select three at random.

Discover practice tests and other resources on the PTE Young Learners website.

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