11 Jan 2018

How to do well in Pre-A1 Starters Reading and Writing Part 1

In this post, I’ll be sharing some tips to help students do well in Starters Reading and Writing Part 1.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there has been a slight change to this part in that some of the sentences describe two or more things or animals.  (These are ……….).

Let’s look at some examples from Sample Papers 1:  http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/starters-sample-papers-2018-vol1.pdf

and 2:  http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/153309-cambridge-english-starters-sample-papers-volume-2.pdf

Sentences which are NOT correct for the pictures usually contain words that are either:

from the same topic


(Sample Papers 1)

  (Sample Papers 2)

So, to help students with Part 1:

Practise matching words to pictures from the same topic.

Students can write or say sentences about pictures with This is a or These are. 

You can make this more fun by asking them to cover a large poster with sentences.  Like this, for example:

(You could tell them to write some yes (true) sentences and some no (false) sentences.)

or words that look similar when we write them:


 (Sample Papers 2)

Words that might be tested together because they look similar might be:

kitchen                      chicken

goat                           boat

horse                         house

floor                           door

shirt                           skirt

bat                             cat     mat  hat

monkey                     donkey     monster

lime                           lamp

ball                            wall

chips                         ships

clock                          sock

dog                            frog

food                           foot

lime                           line

Preparing for Pre-A1 Starters Reading and Writing

To prepare for this Part, you could play memory games, like pelmanism. On half the cards, you have pictures and on the other half, sentences.

You can choose cards from one topic set to practise topic-related vocabulary.

Or, you can choose cards from different topics (as would happen in Part 1 of Pre-A1 Starters Reading and Writing).

You could choose pairs with similar spellings (see the list above for suggestions).

The thematic wordlists in the Wordlists for Pre-A1 Starters, A1 Mover and A2 Flyers would be useful to prepare the cards for this game.

And here’s a lovely way of practising saying sentences like these with a chant!

And last (but by no means least), students can download the Word Fun World App to play games and improve their vocabulary:


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