a boy on a skateboard

The more they're engaged, the better they perform

It’s easier to engage younger children when they’re exploring topics that excite and interest them. That’s how we build motivation into the British Council’s Primary English Test for students aged 9 to 12. 

Our Primary English Test is designed to help young children perform with confidence and do their best.

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An innovative approach to testing

Our experienced exam experts have found that children do better outside of rigid exam structures that require a certain score to pass. This allows us to support teachers, parents and students with a clear and accurate picture of their level overall as well as individually across each of the four skills.

What’s more, traditional tests put limits on children and can sometimes cause students to feel unduly stressed or worried.

A test young learners will actually enjoy

The British Council’s Primary English Test encourages students to use their imaginations and excel.  Our compelling narratives and animations engage students keeping their attention as they learn. 

An important milestone 

The Primary English Test is a computer-based English proficiency test for 9 to 12-year-olds. It’s an important milestone which marks the transition from primary to secondary education.

How we test students 

Our Primary-level computer-based test takes students through 60–75 minutes of gamified questions – all on school premises. The Primary English Test adapts its content during the test, depending on each individual student’s level.

This keeps kids engaged with challenges that meet their individual levels. More importantly, it means students never feel out of their depth and are tested in a familiar environment. As a result, students feel less stressed and worried about their performance during the test. 

Why you should choose our Primary English Test

Our tests support students, their teachers and their parents. They paint a clear image of students’ English skills – overall and in each individual skill.

Students don't pass or fail; they receive a score in each of the four key English skills of  listening, reading, speaking and writing.

  • Fast and accurate – Results come quickly with artificial intelligence (AI) scoring.
  • Enjoyable for students – Gamified storylines keep tests fresh and children engaged.
  • Supporting teachers – We give teachers guides, orientation and preparation support.
  • Reliable grades – Tests are graded in line with European standards and mapped to the CEFR. 
  • Familiar and low stress – Our free practice test familiarises students with the test format, and offers listening and reading feedback.

Innovative assessment defining learning paths  

The British Council Primary English Test has been developed by our global experts in English teaching and assessment in collaboration with specialist AI and platform partners, and backed by research and expertise.  

The British Council Primary English Test features reliable machine scoring. As a result, you receive quick, transparent and fair results you can trust. Clear can-do statements also help teachers define students’ current English language level and set future learning goals.

  • Our AI technology was developed in partnership with experts.
  • The score report measures each student's proficiency across four skills. 
  • Results are mapped against the CEFR and Lexile (listening and reading) for clarity.

Flexible and efficient testing

Flexible delivery throughout the year

  • Integrate the test with any type of school and curricula without having to change your teaching methodology.
  • Receive pre- and post-test support from the British Council. 

Technical and preparation support for teachers

  • Leverage computer-based testing which improves administration and delivery.
  • Access technical and administrative guides, including an orientation video and demo.

A history of innovation and excellence

The British Council has promoted innovation in global teaching and assessment for nearly 90 years. Our assessments are designed by the British Council experts in collaboration with specialist AI and platform partners. Our tests are backed by extensive research and recognised for their quality and security.

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