Test Format – A2 Key for schools

A2 Key for Schools is made up of three papers developed to test your English skills. You can see exactly what is in each paper below.

Paper

Content

Marks
(% of total)

Purpose

Reading and Writing
(1 hour)

7 parts/
32 questions

50%

Shows you can understand simple written information such as signs, brochures, newspapers and magazines.

Listening
(30 minutes, including 6 minutes’ transfer time)

5 parts/
25 questions

25%

Requires you to be able to understand announcements and other spoken material when people speak reasonably slowly.

Speaking
(8–10 minutes per pair of candidates)

2 parts

25%

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.

What’s in the Reading and Writing paper?

The A2 Key for Schools 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.

Part 1 (Multiple choice)

What do candidates have to do?

Read six short real-world texts for the main message.

How many questions are there?

6

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer

Part 2 (Multiple matching)

What do candidates have to do?

Read seven questions and three short texts on the same topic, then match the questions to the texts.

How many questions are there?

7

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer

Part 3 (Multiple choice)

What do candidates have to do?

Read one long text for detailed understanding and main ideas.

How many questions are there?

5

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer

Part 4 (Multiple-choice cloze)

What do candidates have to do?

Read a factual text and choose the correct vocabulary items to complete the gaps.

How many questions are there?

6

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer.

Part 5 (Open cloze)

What do candidates have to do?

Complete gaps in an email (and sometimes the reply too) using one word.

How many questions are there?

6

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer

Part 6 (Guided writing)

What do candidates have to do?

Write a short email or note of 25 words or more.

How many questions are there?

1

How many marks are there?

The question has a maximum of 15 marks available

Part 7 (Picture story)

What do candidates have to do?

Write a short story of 35 words or more based on three picture prompts.

How many questions are there?

1

How many marks are there?

The question has a maximum of 15 marks available

What’s in the Listening paper?

The A2 Key for Schools 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.

Part 1 (Multiple choice)

What do candidates have to do?

Identify key information in five short dialogues and choose the correct visual.

How many questions are there?

5

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer.

Part 2 (Gap fill)

What do candidates have to do?

Listen to a monologue and complete gaps in a page of notes.

How many questions are there?

5

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer.

Part 3 (Multiple choice)

What do candidates have to do?

Listen to a dialogue for key information and answer five 3-option questions.

How many questions are there?

5

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer.

Part 4 (Multiple choice)

What do candidates have to do?

Identify the main idea, message, gist or topic in five short monologues or dialogues and answer five 3-option questions.

How many questions are there?

5

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer.

Part 5 (Matching)

What do candidates have to do?

Listen to a dialogue for key information and match five items.

How many questions are there?

5

How many marks are there?

One mark for each correct answer.

What’s in the Speaking paper?

The A2 Key for Schools Speaking test has two parts and you take it with another candidate. There are two examiners. One examiner talks to you and the other examiner listens. Both examiners give marks for your performance.

Part 1 (Interview)

What do candidates have to do?

Respond to questions, giving factual or personal information.

How long do candidates have to speak?

3–4 minutes.

Part 2 (Discussion)

What do candidates have to do?

Candidates discuss likes and dislikes, and give reasons.

How long do candidates have to speak?

5–6 minutes.

 

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