TKT - Teaching Knowledge Test. Cambridge ESOL. For EFL teachers...



TKT is the Teaching Knowledge Test. It is set by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. It aims to give teachers a strong foundation in the core areas of teaching knowledge needed in the classroom. It consists of three core modules. You can take each test individually and decide how and when you take the tests.  Each test lasts for 80 minutes and has 80 questions. The tests may be taken together or separately, in any order.

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The “practical” module is observed teaching (40 minutes). The other tests are written. The “Knowledge About Language” (KAL) is a higher-level qualification in one aspect of the TKT. Cambridge recommends at least an Upper-intermediate level of English to take it. The “Content and Language Integrated Learning” (CLIL) is specific to teaching other subjects through English. Each of these two has just a single 80-minute test.

TKT is offered by Cambridge ESOL, probably the world’s most well-known and well-respected provider of qualifications in EFL and TEFL. However, the TKT is not at the same level as a TEFL certificate course or Cambridge ICELT, and if you have the time, money and level of English to take one of those instead, you probably should.


To prove your actual teaching skills, you will need to take the “practical” or a course with an observation. TEFL certificate courses are designed for people with no teaching experience. It is worth taking the  TKT if you are unsure whether you want to do a TEFL. A  CELTA has at least six hours of observed and graded teaching practice. The TKT only has 40 minutes in the practical and this is not essential. The CELTA also involves at least 100 hours of training, The TKT test can be taken after self-study. The English language level for entering the CELTA is higher. So a CELTA or TEFL qualification is considered to be at a higher level than the TKT

It is suitable for people who have few or no qualifications in teaching English as a foreign language or people whose training did not include more up-to-date methodologies.  There is no pass and fail. All candidates get a band between 1 and 4 for each of the exams that they take.

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