Cambridge KET - A2 Key (A2)
Cambridge KET A2 exam
The Key English Test , endorsed by the University of Cambridge, is a good start to certify your level of basic knowledge of English . Although there are other exams that allow you to certify your knowledge, such as the Educational Testing Service and the Test of English as a Foreign Language, the largest and widely recognized is the KET , which corresponds to level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference. (CEFR). This test is used to assess the level of English in simple and everyday communicative situations, using simple words, phrases and expressions.
What is the Cambridge KET A2?
The KET examines four English language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
The KET certification is the first step to continue with other higher-level exams, such as those corresponding to the B1 Preliminary and the B2 First. There is a special version for schools, the Key English Test for Schools, aimed at primary and secondary school students. Despite having the same level, it is adapted for children and adolescents.
It lasts approximately 2 hours, and it is possible to solve it in printed form in person and in digital format on the computer also in person. The objectives are, broadly speaking, the following:
- Understand and use basic phrases and expressions.
- Have the ability to introduce yourself and answer elementary questions about yourself.
- Maintain a conversation with native people.
- Write short and simple phrases or sentences.
Another point to highlight is the parts that correspond to the language skills that the student must master, as well as their duration and their percentage of the score:
- Reading & writing: comprehension exercises for simple texts or selecting multiple options (1 hour and 10 minutes) 50%.
- Listening: exercises to understand the audios of one or more people in an informal tone with everyday topics at a slow speed (30 minutes) 25%.
- Speaking: oral expression exercises to answer and ask questions about different situations (8-10 minutes) 25%.
How to prepare to present the KET
For all exams, it is necessary to study to obtain a good or excellent grade. We must inform you a priori that, from January 2020, there will be some changes in the way in which the global scores of this exam will be presented:
- Pass with Distinction corresponds to the A.
- Pass with Merit corresponds to the B.
- Pass corresponds to the C.
But the other forms remain the same: the scoring system continues in the global exam and in each test according to the Cambridge English Scale, as well as the award of a CEFR level in the global exam.
Now, as an exam always represents a moment of nervousness or even stress, the best way to prepare is by studying the subjects in a comprehensive way. To achieve this, what I show you below is necessary:
- Develop your vocabulary in English through an immersion in the language, whether it is watching movies in English, listening to songs with lyrics in the same language, reading magazines or books of interest, or even talking with an English-speaking person who teaches you new words in this language.
- Make a list of nouns and verbs according to the level of the exam you are going to take. For this, the University of Cambridge has a list on its website that you can download. This option will help you in this purpose.
- A good practice is to select the nouns and verbs according to the topics. For example, if the question is related to sports, try to focus on the vocabulary for this topic: football, referee, swimming, run ...
- Review the grammatical concepts, that is, understand well what the different classes of words are and what they are for, as well as their function in sentences. Many times, the correct reading comprehension is due to the correct interpretation of grammar.
- Take mock exams, such as those offered by the University of Cambridge on its official website. This will allow you to be more familiar with the time of your exam presentation.
Tips for the day of the KET presentation
For many, it is the peak day; a moment in which the nerves can play a trick or, on the contrary, they can be controlled if you have studied in the best way and you feel confident of taking a good exam. Regardless of this, the tips can help you feel more confident when performing KET.
- Listen and read the materials in English over and over again until you understand.
- Make sure you understand the instructions well when you start solving the exam.
- Try not to stagnate or spend a lot of time on a question. Solve the simplest questions first and save the most difficult ones for last.
- Check your answers as many times as you can. It has happened to all of us that we leave some blank when we were not sure.
- When it is your responsibility to demonstrate your speaking level, do not hesitate to ask the examiner to repeat the question if you have not clearly understood it.
- In this same speaking section, focus on using habitual sentences and words that you feel comfortable with, not memorized phrases that may sound forced or out of context.
You can check the dates and places available to do it here