A2 Key (KET)

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What is the A2 Key?

A2 Key, also known as Key English Test (KET), is the first step in the Cambridge English exams. It proves your ability to use English to communicate in simple situations, and that you now have a solid foundation to build on. It is aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference

At A2, you should be able to:

  • understand and use everyday expressions and basic phrases
  • introduce yourself and answer basic questions about personal details
  • interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly
  • write short, simple notes

Cambridge English: Key (KET) adopted by ADVETI – Sharjah Institute of Science and Technology

A2 Key helps children around the world learn English

Is A2 Key for me?

In Portugal A2 is aligned with the and 8º ano according to the Metas Curriculares de Inglês. In some cases, strong 2º cíclo students with the necessary background take A2 Key. However, they should opt for the “for Schools” version of the test.

Read more about the difference between the for Schools (fS) and standard versions of the exams.

Adults decide to prepare for and take A2 Key mainly if they did not acquire any English language skills during their school time or career. It should give you the confidence to go on and study for higher-level exams such as  B1 Preliminary and B2 First.

Are not sure if this exam is for you? Test current English level.

What is the structure of the exam?

There are three parts:

Reading and Use of English

  • Duration: 70 minutes
  • Content: 9 parts with 56 questions
  • Percentage of total marks: 50%
  • Purpose: Shows you can understand simple written information such as signs, brochures, newspapers and magazines.


  • Duration: 30 minutes including 8 minutes transfer time for paper based exams
  • Content: 5 parts with 25 questions
  • Percentage of total marks: 25%
  • Purpose: Requires you to be able to understand announcements and other spoken material when people speak reasonably slowly.


  • Duration: 8 to 10 minutes per pair of candidates
  • Content: 2 parts
  • Percentage of total marks: 25%
  • Purpose: Shows you can take part in a conversation by answering and asking simple questions. Your Speaking test will be conducted face-to-face with one or two other candidates and two examiners. This makes your test more realistic and more reliable.

This last part is done with two examiners and another candidate.

Depending on the date and format you choose it may be on a computer or on paper.

Preparation material

Feel free to browse our range of official preparation materials and also the Cambridge English free resources and samples.

More information

Computer Vs Paper. What’s the difference?

Computer based testing

A2 Key – Basic level English language exam | Cambridge English

Next exam sessions

Enrolment open
Paper Based
Exam date - Saturday, 23 November 2024
Estoril, Lisboa, Portugal
Enrolment Deadline - Thursday, 17 October 2024, late enrolment deadline - Saturday, 16 November 2024 (+55.00 €)
Paper Based
Exam date - Thursday, 5 December 2024
Estoril, Lisboa, Portugal
Enrolment Deadline - Thursday, 31 October 2024, late enrolment deadline - Thursday, 28 November 2024 (+55.00 €)
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Enrolment open

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