The TKT Qualification Overview

Getting qualified in Cambridge TKT provides non-native speakers with the most cost-effective, yet solid entrance to the world of teaching English. But what exactly is this TKT qualification? Is it necessary to follow a prep course? How will you be assessed? And what does it offer for me? We’ll address all these concerns and more in this lesson.

What is Cambridge TKT qualification?

The Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test, commonly known as TKT, is an initial-level English Language Teaching (ELT) qualification developed by Cambridge English Assessment. This teacher training program is highly regarded for its cost-effectiveness and widespread recognition worldwide, making it a top choice for those aspiring to enter the field of ELT. Here are some key features of this ELT qualification:

TKT qualification is recognized in over 60 countries​.
The program is offered in a modular format​.
TKT consists of objective exams​.
There is no practical component in TKT qualification​.
Candidates have flexibility in choosing the order of modules and exams​.
Successful candidates receive a certificate with a band score for each test.​
TKT qualification emphasizes core teaching concepts relevant to English language teaching​.

For English teachers seeking to validate their teaching knowledge, TKT qualification offers a flexible and internationally recognized pathway to achieve that goal.

Source: Cambridge English Language Assessment

Who is this TKT qualification for?

TKT assesses the skills needed to be successful in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Whether you’re a new teacher or have years of experience, TKT qualification is ideal for demonstrating your teaching knowledge with a globally recognized certificate.

Suitable for both new and experienced teachers​
Recommended for teachers with an English level of B1 or above​
Applicable to teachers who teach primary, secondary, or adult learners​
Ideal for those who need a globally recognized certificate.​

How is TKT qualification structured?

TKT qualification consists of five modules that can be taken in any order or combination. The five modules can be categorised into Core Modules and Specialist Modules. The Core Modules  include:

Module 1: Background to language learning and teaching
Module 2: Lesson planning and use of resources for language teaching
Module 3: Managing the teaching and learning process

TKT CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning
KT YL: Young Learners

How can I follow this course?

Ideally, you should have English proficiency at CEFR Level B1 or above. Although you are not required to prove your language proficiency prior to following a prep course or taking the tests, this level of minimum proficiency is important for a smooth experience in this course. After all, your dream is to be an English teacher with global recognition!

You can either self-study (using this website) or enroll in a TKT prep course (if necessary)Work through the lessons, complete the exercises, and test yourself with mock exams (note that the available past papers are now somewhat outdated, but attempting them won’t hurt). We recommend the following learning materials.

Our course materials are quite comprehensive and provide you with all the essential knowledge and exam skills. You can follow them at any pace, any time, from anywhere on the planet!

How much does it cost?

If you have chosen the self-study option, it will cost you only the exam fees. The exam fee varies from country to country, and there could be slight variations in the fee from center to center within the same country. However, at the end of the day, the self-study option will save you a considerable amount of money. The exam fee charged by a Cambridge-approved exam center will include:

Please note that some centers might mention their administrative costs separately, while others include them in the exam fee as an all-inclusive fee. It’s advisable to verify this prior to exam registration.

How will you be assessed?

TKT is taken as a series of objective tests. Each test consists of 80 questions, which are 3-option multiple choice and matching questionsCompleting each module earns you a certificate with a Band.

Band indicates your performance in the test. There are four Bands, ranging from Band 1 to Band 4, with Band 1 being the lowest and Band 4 the highest. Here are the four Bands along with the number of correct answers required:

Although you are awarded a certificate regardless of the Band you have obtained, from an employability perspective, Band 3 is considered the minimum. Any Band lower than Band 3 carries very insignificant recognition.

How can I take this TKT qualification?

If you follow a prep course at a language institute, they will usually take care of exam registration. If you study on your own, you will need to register for the tests at a Cambridge-approved exam center. Don’t worry; it’s a straightforward process.

The procedure may vary slightly from country to country and from center to center, but in general, it is similar to the one described above.

How recognized is TKT qualification?

TKT is an entry-level qualification that offers absolute beginners a solid foundation in English Language Teaching (ELT). Additionally, TKT raises awareness of ELT in a global context, which is particularly advantageous for teachers trained for the local classroomHowever, it is essential to recognize that obtaining a teaching position solely with a TKT certification is highly unlikely, as it does not include any practical component. Here are some ways in which TKT can benefit you.

As we observe, the benefit of TKT qualification interacts with various other factors, such as your work experience in English Language Teaching (ELT), your academic qualifications, and your English language proficiency level. All of these factors significantly influence your prospects of pursuing a career in teaching English.

A message from the trainer

Congratulations, TKTier!

You have made it to the end and I guess now you have a better understanding of Cambridge TKT exams. Good job, TKTier!
Noel Perera
Noel Perera
Admin & trainer