Cambridge A2 Key 1 with answers – Authentic practice tests

1. Introduction

This collection of four complete practice tests contains papers from the Cambridge English Qualifications A2 Key examination. Students can practise these tests on their own or with the help of a teacher.

The A2 Key examination is part of a series of Cambridge English Qualifications for general and higher education. This series consists of five qualifications that have similar characteristics but are designed for different levels of English language ability. The A2 Key certificate is recognised around the world as a basic qualification in English.

2. Further information

The information contained in this practice book is designed to be an overview of the exam. For a full description of all of the above exams, including information about task types, testing focus and preparation, please see the relevant handbooks which can be obtained from the Cambridge Assessment English website at:

3. The structure of 42 Key: an overview

The Cambridge English Qualifications A2 Key examination consists of three papers:

Reading and Writing: 60 minutes

Candidates need to be able to understand simple written information such as signs and newspapers, and produce simple written English.

Listening: 30 minutes approximately

Candidates need to show they can follow and understand a range of spoken materials such as announcements, when people speak reasonably slowly.


Speaking: 8-10 minutes

Candidates take the Speaking test with another candidate or in a group of three. They are tested on their ability to take part in different types of interaction: with the examiner, with the other candidate and by themselves.

4. Grading

All candidates receive a Statement of Results and candidates whose performance ranges between CEFR Levels A1 and B1 (Cambridge English Scale scores of 100-150) also receive a certificate.

– Candidates who achieve Grade A (Cambridge English Scale scores of 140-150) receive the Key English Test certificate stating that they demonstrated ability at Level B1.

– Candidates who achieve Grade B or C (Cambridge English Scale scores of 120-139) receive the Key English Test certificate at Level A2.

– Candidates whose performance is below A2 level, but falls within Level A1 (Cambridge English Scale scores of 100-119), receive a Cambridge English certificate stating that they have demonstrated ability at Level A1.

For further information on grading and results, go to the website (see page 5 for details).

5. Speaking: an overview for candidates

The Speaking test lasts 8-10 minutes. You will take the test with another candidate. There are two examiners but only one of them will talk to you. The examiner will ask you questions and ask you to talk to the other candidate.

Part 1 (3-4 minutes)

The examiner will ask you and your partner some questions. These questions will be about your daily life, interests, likes and dislikes. For example, you may have to speak about school, hobbies or home town.

Part 2 (5-6 minutes)

You and your partner will speak to each other. The examiner will give you a card with some illustrations on it. You will then discuss the activities, things or places illustrated on the card with your partner. The examiner will then ask you and your partner some individual questions about the illustrations on the card.