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Why Cambridge English?
To help you feel really prepared for Cambridge English: Key, there is a huge range of exam preparation resources and services.
Do I have to pass each paper in order to pass the whole examination?
No. Your grade is based on your overall score in all the papers.
If I make a mistake filling in my answer sheet, is this picked up by the computer?
If you miss out an answer, the computer accepts the answer sheet. If you fill in more than one box, the computer rejects it.
What is the recommended timing for each part?
There is no recommended timing as some tasks will take longer than others, depending how you approach them. Candidates have different strengths and weaknesses, and this will affect how long they need to spend on each part. Overall, 1 hour and 10 minutes allows you plenty of time to complete all the tasks.
How many times will I hear the recording for each part?
You hear each part twice. This means you can check your answers or fill in any gaps at the second listening.
Are different accents used in Cambridge English: Key recordings?
Yes, there are some regional British accents and occasionally Irish, American or Australian speakers.
How fast are the recordings?
All Cambridge English: Key recordings are delivered clearly at slightly slower than natural speed.
How long do I have to transfer my answers?
You have a total of 8 minutes to do this. You are warned after 7 minutes that you only have 1 minute left.
What do candidates find most challenging in the paper?
Parts 4 and 5, which involve listening and writing words or numbers, are often found to be challenging. Part 3, the multiple-choice task, is also quite challenging.
Which part of the paper do candidates find the easiest?
The short dialogues in Part 1 are an introduction to the paper. Part 2, the matching task, is also usually done well by candidates.
Does it matter if I make a spelling mistake?
No (as long as it is possible to recognise the word), unless it is a common, high-frequency word, e.g. Monday, or where the spelling of the word is dictated.
Can I wear headphones for the Listening paper?
Ask your centre whether you can use headphones or not – it depends how they choose to run the exam.
How many marks is the Speaking test worth?
The total marks awarded for Cambridge English: Key Speaking are weighted to represent 25% of the total for the whole examination.
Is it possible that I will do the test together with someone from my school/college?
In some centres, candidates from the same school or college do the test together. In others, where there are candidates from a number of different schools or colleges, candidates may take the test with students from another school or college. You should check with your centre to find out the situation.
Do both examiners speak during the test?
No. Only one examiner (the interlocutor) speaks. The other examiner (the assessor) stays silent except for greeting and saying goodbye to you.
Do my partner and I speak to each other as well as to the examiner?
Yes. In Part 1, you only speak to the examiner but in Part 2, you must talk to each other. In this part, it is important that you speak to each other and NOT to the examiner, unless something is not clear to you.
If you know your partner, is it easier to do well?
There is no evidence that candidates do better, or worse, in the Speaking test when they know their partner. Some people feel more relaxed and confident when they do the test with someone they know, while others may feel shy or that the situation is unnatural. In both cases, the examiners are trained to give all candidates equal opportunities to do their best. In addition, the use of different tasks in the Speaking test allows candidates to perform both with and without a partner, so any possible effects of knowing one's partner are minimised.
What if the two candidates have very different personalities, e.g. one is very shy and one is very outgoing?
Examiners are trained to deal with this situation and be fair to all candidates. Everyone has the chance to show what they can do. However, you should remember to make the best use of the time to show your language skills without dominating your partner.
What should I do if I don't understand the instructions?
Just ask the examiner to repeat the instructions.
What happens when there is an odd number of candidates left at the end of a Speaking test session?
In this case, the last candidates would be examined as a group of three, and the test would last 13–15 minutes.
Download sample papers for Cambridge English: Key
These sample tests allow you to see what a full computer-based test will be like and show the types of questions that will appear in the live exam.
Try now (you will need to use the Firefox browser), you can download Firefox for free here.
Once downloaded, open Firefox and use the links below to view the tests.
Watch this tutorial before you try the practice tests below, this will help you understand what you need to do.
Cambridge English: Key Listening sample test: http://cbpt.s3.amazonaws.com/cb-ket-listening/index.html
Cambridge English: Key Reading and Writing sample test: http://cbpt.s3.amazonaws.com/cb-ket-readingwriting/index.html
Check your answers as you do the test – once the test has finished you will not be able to check them.
Use the answer keys below.
Cambridge English: Key Listening answer keys
Cambridge English: Key Reading and Writing answer keys
There is no answer key for Part 9 of Key Reading and Writing, but there are sample answers and examiner comments in the Cambridge English: Key Handbook.
This list gives teachers a guide to the vocabulary needed when preparing students for Cambridge English: Key and Cambridge English: Key for Schools.
Download the Cambridge English: Key Vocabulary List
A guide to the exam, with advice on preparing for the exam, tips for exam day and useful links.
Download Information for Candidates
All the important information you need to know when taking the exam.
Download Summary Regulations for Candidates
You can find a wide range of official Cambridge English support materials from Cambridge English Language Assessment and Cambridge University Press. Support materials include coursebooks and practice tests and include materials in both print and digital formats.
Find preparation materials for Cambridge English: Key
Find out exactly what to expect on the day you take your exam.
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