Cambridge A2 Key Reading and Writing
There are seven parts in the reading and writing section of the Cambridge English A2 Key exam. You will have 60 minutes to complete this section. Parts 1 to 5 focus on your reading skills. You should complete this part of the exam in around 40 minutes. Parts 6 and 7 will assess your writing skills. Here is a description of each part:
Reading Part 1: Read six short real-world texts with multiple-choice questions.
There are six short texts like text messages, notices, signs, ads, etc. and one question with three choices for each text. This part has a maximum of 6 marks.
Reading Part 2: Three short texts and seven matching questions.
There are three short texts and seven questions. You must match each question to one of the texts. This part has a maximum of 7 marks.
Reading Part 3: One long text with five multiple-choice questions.
There are three choices for each question. This part has a maximum of 5 marks.
Reading Part 4: One short text with six multiple-choice questions.
There is a factual text and six vocabulary questions with three options each. You must choose the correct word for each gap.This part has a maximum of 6 marks.
Reading Part 5: A short email (and sometimes the email reply too) with six gaps.
You must fill in each gap with one word. This part tests vocabulary and grammar. The words you need to use for the gaps are vocabulary and grammar words. This part has a maximum of 6 marks.
Writing Part 6: Write a short email or note of 25 words or more.
You need to write an email using some information or ideas that you can see in the question instructions. This part has a maximum of 15 marks.
Writing Part 7: Write a short story of 35 words or more based on three pictures.
There are three pictures and you need to write a story using those pictures as inspiration. The story should be around 35 words. This part has a maximum of 15 marks.
General Tips for the Reading part of the A2 Key
Understand the format of the exam
Familiarize yourself with the types of questions, number of questions and time limit for each section of the test. Practise using exam samples like the ones provided on our website or other published materials.
Get regular reading practice
Practice reading a variety of materials, such as online articles, fiction and non-fiction books to enhance your comprehension and speed. It’s important that you find materials that are appropriate for your level. You should be able to understand most of the words in the texts you read.
Work on your vocabulary
Learn new words and expressions regularly, and practice using them in context.
Use past papers
Use previous years’ papers to practise and get a feel for the types of questions you can expect in the exam.
Underline and analyse the keywords
The first thing you need to do when reading a text is to read the questions and underline the most important words. Then, analyse those words and decide which are the correct a
General Tips for the Writing part of the A2 Key
Practice writing essays
Familiarize yourself with the types of writing tasks required in the exam, such as an informal email or a story.
Ask someone to check your writing and give you constructive feedback, this can help you identify areas for improvement.
Prepare a plan for the writing task
Before writing your essay, you should consider the information you want to include and how to organise it. Think about the structure and content of your writing before you start, and make sure to stick to the word limit.
Learn to manage your time
Make sure you allocate enough time to read and understand the task and to plan and write your answer, leaving time to review and edit your work. Practise writing some compositions and time yourself to make sure you can finish the tasks within the time limits.