A guide to the exam, with advice on preparing for the exam, tips for exam day and useful links.
> Download A2 Key information for candidates
A2 Key is made up of three papers developed to test your English skills:
The A2 Key Reading and Writing paper has seven parts and different types of texts and questions. Parts 1–5 are about reading and Parts 6–7 are mainly about writing. This paper accounts for 50% of the total mark.
The A2 Key Listening paper has five parts. For each part you have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. You hear each recording twice.
The A2 Key Speaking test has two parts and is taken with another candidate. There are two examiners: one examiner talks to you and the other examiner listens. Both examiners give marks for your performance.
If you would like to be paired together with a friend/classmate, you can request this when you register for the exam. Please note however that research has shown that there are both advantages and disadvantages in taking the test with someone you know and that in the end it doesn’t matter. What is important is that the test judges you on your own performance.
Almost all A2 Key Speaking Tests are conducted in groups of two candidates. However, if there is an uneven number of candidates at an exam session there will be one test with a group of three candidates, normally at the end of the day or before a long break. The test format is exactly the same but will last a little longer. Please note that you cannot request to take your test in a group of three.
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> Exam day tips – paper-based exams
> Exam day tips – computer-based exams
> Exam day tips – Speaking test
> A2 Key paper based sample tests
Watch this tutorial before you start to help you understand what you need to do.
> Reading & Writing sample test
> Listening sample test
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> Reading & Writing answer key
> Listening answer key
There is no answer key for Reading & Writing Part 9, but there are sample answers and examiner comments in the relevant pages of the A2 Key handbook.
This list gives teachers a guide to the vocabulary needed when preparing students for A2 Key and A2 Key for Schools.
> Download A2 Key vocabulary list