The key to essential English

Cambridge English: A2 Key for Schools, previously known as Key English Test (KET) for Schools, is a basic level qualification that shows you can use English to communicate in simple situations.
Key for Schools is a version of Cambridge English: Key  that is particularly targeted at the interests and experiences of school children. It is at the same level as Cambridge English: A2 Key and follows exactly the same format. It is based on familiar topics and situations so it:

  • suits the interests of students
  • increases their motivation to learn English
  • gives them confidence to use their language skills to move on to further qualifications.

What level is A2 Key for Schools?

This exam is set at Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), but with content aimed at school-age learners rather than adults. Reaching this level means that a student can:

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

What is assessed in A2 Key for Schools?

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


Reading and Writing



Time allowed

1 hour 10 min.

30 min., including 8 minutes' transfer time

8-10 min. per pair of candidates


9 parts / 56 questions

5 parts / 25 questions

2 parts


Shows a student can understand simple written information such as signs, brochures, newspapers and magazines. They will also have to fill gaps in simple sentences and write a short message or note.

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

Tests a student’s ability to take part in a conversation by answering and asking simple questions. Their Speaking test will be conducted face-to-face with one or two other students.