Cambridge A2 Key Speaking
The Speaking section of the A2 Key Exam consists of two parts:
1. Introductory phase
During this part, the examiner will ask you a series of personal questions about yourself and your life.
The questions will be related to topics such as your daily routine, hobbies, interests, family, friends, etc.
You will need to provide short answers and engage in simple conversation with the examiner.
This part is designed to assess your ability to speak about yourself and your experiences in English.
2. Collaborative task
During this part, you will be asked to give a longer, more detailed answer on a specific topic. The examiner will ask you to look at some pictures about the same topic, and then they will ask you a question about the pictures and tell you to talk with your partner about the question.
The topic will be related to your personal experiences, interests, or opinions.
You will have a few seconds to prepare your answer, and then you will be expected to speak for around 1-2 minutes.
You can see how the exam works in this video:
Here is a list of common topics you might find in A2 Key Speaking:
- Daily life
- Personal details
- Food and drink
- Hobbies and leisure
- Personal feelings, opinions and experiences
- Health and exercise
- Entertainment and media
- Places and buildings
- Travel and holidays
Tips before the exam
Practice speaking English regularly
Speaking English alone, with classmates, friends, or family regularly will help you improve your confidence and fluency. Try to practise talking about the different topics on the list above. When there is a word that you cannot say in English, look it up in the dictionary and write it in a list.
Work on your vocabulary
Try to keep a list of words you learn while practising your speaking. Also, learn new vocabulary about the topics on the list and try to use it when you are speaking.
Read and listen regularly
The most effective way to improve your range of vocabulary and grammar is to read and listen to English regularly. Those students who can do that over a long time learn much faster. You don’t need to spend hours reading or listening, just a few minutes, but do it every day or couple of days.
Review the exam format, questions, and language expressions in advance to feel more relaxed and confident on exam day.
Tips during the exam
Take deep breaths, or use any technique that you find effective to be relaxed. When we are relaxed, we speak better. Try to speak as you would speak if you were with friends. Remember, the examiners are there to help you succeed.
Don’t pay too much attention to your mistakes
It’s important that you try to speak correctly, but it’s even more important that you can communicate fluently and effectively. Some students think too much about the correct way of saying things and then they hesitate a lot and there are long and repeated pauses in their speech. You should concentrate more on what you want to say than on how to say it correctly.
Use complete sentences
When the examiner or your partner asks you a question, answer using full sentences. For example, if they ask you whether you like fish, don’t just say ‘Yes.’ You could say, ‘Yes, I like it very much. I eat fish two or three times a week.’ Or if they ask you where you are from, don’t just say, ‘Livorno.’ You could say, ‘I’m from Livorno, a city in the north of Italy.’
Listen carefully to the examiners
Pay attention to the examiners’ instructions and questions. It’s important that you do exactly as they say.
Use connectors, and vocabulary used for giving opinion
Try to connect your sentences using words to express contrast, reason or result. Also, use expressions to give your opinion, agree and disagree. Here’s some useful vocabulary:
➪ Giving your opinion
- I think/believe/feel (that)…
- In my opinion,…
- I guess (that)…
- I have no doubt that…
- I strongly believe that…
- I agree that…
- I agree with…
- I don’t think (that)…
- I don’t agree (with you).
➪ Giving reasons and offering explanations
- The reason why…
- That’s why…
- For this reason…
- That’s the reason why…