A2 Key preparation | Cambridge English (2024)

Resources for teachers and learners

Here you can find links to all of our free resources to help prepare for A2 Key exams, whether you are a teacher or a learner.

On this page:

Exam essentials

Essential reading for teachers and learners wanting to find out about the exam.

Teacher essentials

Resources to help you prepare learners for A2 Key exams.

Learner essentials

Information for candidates and resources that can be used at home or in the classroom for self-study.

On-the-go practice with Test & Train

A2 Key preparation | Cambridge English (4)

Test & Train is an easy-to-use practice tool to help you get ready for your A2 Key for Schools exam through short, sharp workouts. With over 300 practice questions, you can use it anytime, anywhere and as many times as you like!

Get started today

Exam essentials

Official Cambridge English preparation materials

You can find a wide range of materials in both print and digital formats.

Vocabulary list

This list gives teachers a guide to the vocabulary needed when preparing students for A2 Key and A2 Key for Schools.

A2 Key vocabulary list

Sample tests (paper-based and digital)

Free: Paper-based sample test

Sample papers for A2 Key

Free: Digital sample tests

Cambridge English Qualifications Digital have now replaced our old computer-based exams and offer you even more benefits. Watch this video tutorial for help on how to complete an A2 Key digital exam. Please also review this document which covers minor differences between the sample tests and the live exam.


Time: approximately 30 minutes

Instructions to candidates
  • Answer all the questions.
  • You can change your answers at any time during the test.
Information for candidates
  • There are five parts to this test.
  • Each question carries one mark.
  • You will hear each recording twice.
  • For each part of the test there will be time for you to look through the questions and time for you to check your answers.

A2 Key Digital Listening Sample Test

Reading and Writing

Time: 1 hour

Instructions to candidates
  • Answer all the questions.
  • You can change your answers at any time during the test.
Information for candidates
  • There are seven parts to this test.
  • Questions 1-30 carry one mark.
  • Questions 31 and 32 carry fifteen marks each.

A2 Key Digital Reading and Writing Sample Test

Answer keys and tapescript:

A2 Key Listening Sample 1 answer key

A2 Key Listening Sample 1 tapescript

A2 Key Reading Sample 1 answer key

How to convert practice test scores

The Cambridge English Scale is used to report results for our qualifications and tests. The scores provide a detailed understanding of the candidate’s level. They are also consistent across the different exams, making it easy to compare results and understand progress from one level to the next.

For guidance on converting practice test scores to Cambridge English Scale scores, download our guide for teachers.

Converting practice test scores to Cambridge English Scale scores

Digital exam information

Have you thought about taking digital exams? Find out more about the benefits of digital exams.

Watch this short video to see what it’s like to take a digital exam.

Watch the video tutorialfor help on how to complete an A2 Key digital exam.

Read our FAQs if you have any more questions about taking digital exams.

Speaking test videos with examiners' commentary

This video will help your students understand what happens during a speaking test. You can also download examiner comments.

Read the examiner comments for Rashid and Gonca's speaking test

Read the examiner comments for Sthefhany and Fayza's speaking test

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Teacher essentials

Exam Preparation Journey resource packs

The Exam Preparation Journey is a central online hub with teaching tips, classroom activities and more to support teachers preparing students for Cambridge English Qualifications.

Whatever stage you are at – starting out, considering a mock test or exploring your digital options – we offer timely support when you need it. Find advice such as how to create a positive learning environment, structure exam readiness and save time with lots of practical ideas ready to use in class.

Go to the Exam Preparation Journey

Handbook for teachers

A2 Key handbook for teachers

A2 Key handbook for teachers Listening Audio

Lesson plans

Our lesson plans include everything you need to deliver a 45-minute lesson in the classroom or online, including activity sheets, homework, and more.

A2 Key lesson plans

Teacher guides

Developing listening skills for Cambridge English Qualifications: A guide for teachers

Developing reading skills for Cambridge English Qualifications: A guide for teachers

Assessing writing for Cambridge English Qualifications: A guide for teachers

Writing checklist

This checklist is designed to help you assess your students’ writing. It includes a summary of the assessment criteria and useful questions tailored to each writing type in the Writing paper.

Mock test toolkit

Running a mock test gives your learners a true exam day experience, helps you understand their progress and decide if they are ready for their exam. Our interactive mock test toolkits are full of tips, strategies and materials to help you ensure your students are confident and fully prepared for their exam.

Mock test toolkit for older learners

Classroom warmers booklet

Classroom warmers activity booklet

This booklet includes seven exercises each for primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary students.

Supporting learners with dyslexia

Supporting learners with dyslexia: A guide for teachers

Many teachers have learners with dyslexia in their exam preparation classes. This guide is for you. With lots of practical tips and ideas for lesson plans, it will help you prepare materials to support learners with dyslexia in preparation for our qualifications.

Teacher webinars

Cambridge English webinars and Facebook Live sessions are a great way for teachers to stay up to date with the latest developments and to interact with our experts.

Our webinars provide you with invaluable information about our exams, and cover a wide spectrum of subjects, including effective teaching methods, tips to improve student engagement and online professional development to help you develop your career.

Webinars for teachers

Teaching English with Cambridge Facebook page

You can connect with a lively community of teachers on our Teaching English with Cambridge Facebook page. We regularly post teaching tips, answer your questions, and host regular Live events to give you a chance to engage with the community.

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Learner essentials

Free online learning activities

We have hundreds of free learning activities to help you practise your English and prepare for your A2 Key exam.

Find out more

Exam information for candidates

Download our guide to the exam, with advice on preparing for the exam, tips for exam day and useful links.

A2 Key: Information for candidates

Social media


Join our lively Facebook community and take part in quizzes, talk to other English language learners and learn on-the-go.


Subscribe to our Learn English with Cambridge YouTube channel to get helpful tips for exam preparation, and lots of English language advice.

Exam tip videos

Get great tips for taking your A2 Key for Schools exams with our video playlist.

Write & Improve: Practise your writing for free

Write & Improve is a free online tool to help you practise and improve your writing. Just choose a task, write or upload your answer and use the feedback to quickly improve.

Find out more

Improve your learning with the Exam Lift app

  • learn English on the go – anytime and anywhere
  • develop the skills you need for the A2 Key exam
  • receive instant feedback on your performance.

Find out more

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A2 Key preparation | Cambridge English (2024)


What is the pass mark for A2 English test? ›

If you achieve a scale score of 120–139 (Pass, Pass with Merit) in your exam, you will receive the Key English Test certificate at Level A2. We believe it is important to recognise your achievement, even if you do not reach Level A2.

What is the A2 Key level of English? ›

An A2 Key for Schools qualification shows that a student can: understand and use basic phrases and expressions. understand simple written English. introduce themselves and answer basic questions about themselves.

How to prepare for the A2 exam? ›

Practice your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills using these free online resources for A2 Key for Schools. These materials are designed to help you to develop reading for gist and detail, managing unfamiliar vocabulary, as well as planning, drafting, editing and writing for the exam.

What is the A2 Key use of English? ›

An A2 Key qualification is proof of your ability to use English to communicate in simple situations. The exam tests all four English language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking. It should give you the confidence to go on and study for higher-level exams such as B1 Preliminary and B2 First.

Is A2 English hard? ›

Although A2 is technically still “beginner level”, you will have to cover serious ground to reach it.

How is A2 Key score calculated? ›

The overall score is calculated by adding all of the individual scores together, and dividing by four. You will be given a Cambridge English Scale score for each of the four skills (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking).

How long does it take to learn A2 English? ›

How long does it take to learn English?
Level of English (CEFR)Number of hours of instruction
A1 to A2100-150 hours From A1: 200-300 hours
A2 to B1100-200 hours From A1: 300-500 hours
B1 to B2150-200 hours From A1: 500-700 hours
B2 to C1200-250 hours From A1: 700-950 hours
2 more rows

How fluent is A2? ›

CEFR-level A2 (pre-intermediate)

You can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). You can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.

How to improve English from A2 to B1? ›

Here are some tips that may help:
  1. Focus on building your vocabulary: A B1 level requires a wider vocabulary range than an A2 level. ...
  2. Practice listening and speaking: Listen to English podcasts, watch English TV shows or movies with subtitles, and practice speaking with a native speaker or language exchange partner.
Apr 30, 2023

What is the app for the A2 English test? ›

Exam Lift is a mobile app which helps you improve your English and prepare for your A2 Key for Schools, B1 Preliminary for Schools and B2 First for Schools exams. The app includes daily activities that encourage you to practise your English in all four language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Can you do A2 test online? ›

An English test can help guide you since it will allow you to evaluate exactly where you are and decide the next step you need to aim for. That's why ABA English, the digital English academy, offers you a free A2 English test online that you can take at any time and that will help you establish your knowledge level.

How long does it take for A2 test? ›

Who accepts A2 Key?
Reading and Writing (1 hour) See sample paper7 parts/ 32 questions
Listening (30 minutes, including 6 minutes' transfer time) See sample paper5 parts/ 25 questions
Speaking (8–10 minutes per pair of candidates; 13-15 minutes per group of three) See sample paper2 parts

How can I get A2 level in English? ›

A2 Pre-intermediate
  1. understand sentences and common expressions about familiar topics, including very basic personal and family information, shopping, places of interest and work.
  2. communicate in simple, everyday tasks that require only simple and direct exchanges of information on familiar topics.

What is A2 level English called? ›

Elementary (EF SET score 31-40)

English level A2 is the second level of English in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a definition of different language levels written by the Council of Europe. In everyday speech, this level might be described as “basic” as in “I speak basic English”.

What is level of English A2+? ›

​​Can understand short, simple texts on familiar matters of a concrete type which consist of high frequency everyday or job-related language. ​​​Can understand short, simple texts containing the highest frequency vocabulary, including a proportion of shared international vocabulary items.

What is the pass mark for the A2 exam? ›

Information on the exam results Goethe-Zertifikat A2: Fit in Deutsch
1 more row

What is an A2 level pass? ›

What grades are a pass at A Level? A Levels are graded on a scale from A* to E, with A* being the highest grade and E being the lowest passing grade. Therefore, any grade from A* to E is considered a pass at A Level.

How many marks do you need to get A2? ›

Here's a quick guide to understanding the CBSE grading system class 10:
Mark RangeGradeRemarks
81-90 marksA2Excellent
71-80 marksB1Very Good
61-70 marksB2Good
51-60 marksC1Above Average
4 more rows

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