Cambridge Assessment English: A2 Key
A great first step in learning English
A2 Key is a basic level qualification that shows you can use English to communicate in simple situations and have achieved a good foundation in learning English.

 Cambridge English: A2 Key FAQs
COVID-19: Exams Catalunya implements all the measures required to guarantee the health and safety of our candidates and our exam day staff and fully complies with the recomendations set out by the health authorities.
COVID-19 preventive measures
  • Overview
  • The exam
  • Results
  • Support
  • Registration

Real-life language skills

General and
higher education leaflet

A2 Key is set at Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Preparing for A2 Key will give you the practical English skills to:
  • understand simple written English
  • communicate in familiar situations.
  • understand short notices and simple spoken directions.
It shows that you are able to communicate at a basic level in English. For example, at A2 level, you can expect to:
  • understand and use basic phrases and expressions
  • introduce yourself and answer basic questions about your personal details
  • interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly write short, simple notes.
Backed by the largest research programme of its kind, Cambridge English exams provide the most reliable reflection of your language skills.

Choose when and how you take your exam - A2 Key is available as either a paper-based or computer-based exam, allowing you even more choice over how you take your test.

Cambridge English exams cover all major varieties of English and are designed to be fair to users of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds.

Globally Accepted
More than 3,000 employers, universities and colleges, government departments and other organisations around the world rely on A2 Key.

Fast results
Get your results in just two weeks with our computer-based exams.

A Cambridge English qualification
Once you have earned a Cambridge English certificate, you hold one of the most valuable English qualifications in the world.

What does A2 Key involve?
A2 Key is an elementary level assessment of English. It consists of three papers: Reading & Writing, Listening and Speaking. The Speaking test uses a face-to-face test with two candidates and two assessors. This creates a more realistic and reliable measure of your ability to use English to communicate.

A2 Key has three papers:

Reading & Writing: 1 hour
The A2 Key Reading & Writing paper has seven parts and different types of texts and questions. Parts 1-5 are about reading and Parts 6 and 7 are mainly about writing. Candidates are required to show that they can understand simple written information such as signs, brochures, newspapers and magazines. This paper accounts for 50% of the total mark.

 Nunber of parts:
 Number of questions:32
 Type of questions - Reading tasks:

  • Part 1: Multiple choice short texts
    Read six short real-world texts for the main message.
  • Part 2: Multiple matching
    Read seven questions and three short texts on the same topic, then match the questions to the texts.
  • Part 3: Multiple choice long text
    Read one long text for detailed understanding and main ideas.
  • Part 4: Multiple-choice cloze
    Read a factual text and choose the correct vocabulary items to complete the gaps.
  • Part 5: Open cloze
    Complete gaps in an email (and sometimes the reply too) using one word.
  • Part 6: Guided writing
    Write a short email or note of 25 words or more.
  • Part 7: Pictures story
    Write a short story of 35 words or more based on three picture prompts.

Listening: about 30 minutes (+ 6 minutes transfer time)
The A2 Key Listening paper has five parts (25 questions). For each part candidates have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. Each part of the recording is heard twice. Candidates are required to be able to understand announcements and other spoken material when people speak reasonably slowly. There are some regional British accents and occasionally Irish, American or Australian speakers and recordings are delivered clearly at slightly slower than natural speed. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

 Number of parts:
 Number of questions:25
 Type of tasks:

  • Part 1: Multiple choice short texts
    Identify key information in five short dialogues and choose the correct visual.
  • Part 2: Gap fill
    Listen to a monologue and complete gaps in a page of notes.
  • Part 3: Multiple choice long text
    Listen to a dialogue for key information and answer five 3-option questions.
  • Part 4: Multiple choice
    Identify the main idea, message, gist or topic in five short monologues or dialogues and answer five 3-option questions.
  • Part 5: Matching
    Listen to a dialogue for key information and match five items.

Speaking: 8-10 minutes per pair of candidates
The A2 Key Speaking has two parts and will be conducted face-to-face with one or two other candidates. This makes your test more realistic and more reliable. There are two examiners. One examiner talks to you and the other examiner just listens. Both examiners decide your grade. The Speaking test accounts for 25% of the total mark.

 Number of parts:
 Type of tasks:

  • Part 1: Interview (3-4 minutes)
    Respond to questions, giving factual or personal information.
  • Part 2: Discussion (5-6 minutes)
    Candidates discuss likes and dislikes, and give reasons.
Choosing your Speaking Test partner
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.
Paper and pencil tests
Try a paper-based sample Key exam paper
 Download the A2 Key sample test
 Download A2 Key vocabulary list

Computer based exams
Watch thisTutorial before to start to help you understand what you need to do.
Try a Reading & Writing sample test
Try a Listening sample test

Answer keys
Reading & Writing answer key
Listening answer key
There is no answer key for Reading and Writing Part 9, but there are sample answers and examiner comments

Information for Candidates

A guide to the exam, with an overview of what’s involved and examples of papers.
 Download Information for Candidates

Guide to exam day tips

Practical information about the session.
 Paper-based exams
 Computer-based exams

Summary Regulations for Candidates
All the important information you need to know when taking the exam.
 Download Summary regulations for candidates

Cheating warning
Cheating is treated very seriously by Cambridge English and if you cheat you will not get a result or a certificate.
 Please view this poster and make sure that you understand what it says.

Official support site of Exams Catalunya,Exams Madrid and Exams Balears for Preparation Centres, Teachers and Candidates

Exams Owl is our new support site for candidates, schools and teachers. The site provides comprehensive information on exam structure and content as well as support to help you or your students prepare for their exam and understand their results:

- Exam results - Statement of Results
- Checking and verifying results
- Certificates
- Enquiries and appeals  - Lost certificates

Useful resources to help you to prepare for your A2 Key exam
Official support site of Exams Catalunya, Exams Madrid and Exams Balears for Preparation Centres, Teachers and Candidates

Exams Owl is our new support site for candidates, schools and teachers. The site provides comprehensive information on the A2 Key exam structure and content as well as support to help you or your students prepare for their exam and understand their results:

- Sample tests - Speaking test videos
- Candidate information
- Preparation resources
- Exam day tips

Are you a private candidate?
It’s easy to register for A2 Key
in just three steps:
Step 1  Find an exam date

You can take the Cambridge English exams most months of the year.
Use our online search to find an exam date.

Step 2  Complete the registration form

You can complete the exam registration form online or come to our offices to register for an exam.

Step 3  Make payment

Payment for the exam must be made before the registration deadline. If you register after the deadline a late fee of 40 Euros will be applied.
You can choose to pay for your exam via the following payment methods:

  1. By credit/debit card

    Preparation Centres may also make payments by credit card through the Exams Catalunya Online portal.

  2. By bank transfer to any of the following accounts:
    Banco Santander
    Account holder: Assessment and Certification Services, S.L.
    Account number: 0049 4754 89 2516056032
    IBAN: ES9400494754892516056032
    Banco Sabadell
    Account holder: Assessment and Certification Services, S.L.
    Account number: 0081 0053 54 0001180228
    IBAN: ES7300810053540001180228

    IMPORTANT: If you pay for your exam by bank transfer you should clearly state the name and surname/s of the candidate and the level and date of the exam session. All transfers must reach us free of bank charges or interest. Exams Catalunya will not be responsible for these charges. You must send us the payment receipt by email to so that we may trace your payment with the bank. Your place on the exam will not be confirmed until we receive a payment receipt for the exam fee.

  3. At our offices:
    Registration and payment for exams may also be made at our offices. If candidates choose this option payment should be made on registering. Payment may be made in cash, by bank transfer or credit/debit card.

    C/ Freixa, 5-9
    08021 Barcelona
    Tel: 934 111 333
    Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
    The candidate may register directly or send someone to register in his/her name.
IMPORTANT: After we receive the exam registration form a confirmation of receipt will be sent to the candidate. Once the exam fees have been settled the candidate will receive confirmation that he/she is registered to take the exam.
If you do not receive confirmation of your exam registration within 3 working days please phone us on tel.: 934 111 333. You should also check that our email has not been sent to your junk/spam mail folder.