KET Key English Test

KET is Cambridge ESOL’s exam, which recognizes the ability to deal with everyday written and spoken English at a basic level. There are two versions of KET available: KET and KET for Schools. Both follow exactly the same format and the level of questions is identical. The only difference is that the topics in KET for Schools targets the interests and experience of school pupils

Who should take KET?

  • You have basic English skills
  • You can understand simple written English
  • You can communicate in familiar situations
  • You can understand short notices and simple spoken directions

Benefits of KET:

  • KET certificate is valid for life.
  • KET is a truly international certificate, recognized around the world for business and study purposes
  • Thousands of employers, universities and government departments officially recognize KET as a basic qualification in English
  • KET offers you the chance to find your strengths and weakness in using the English language and gives a pathway to higher qualifications such PET and FCE.
  • Because KET focuses on all the four communication skills-Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening- it will gives you the confidence to use English in real situations

KET is at the A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). At this level you would expect the user to be able to:

  • Understand and use everyday expressions and basic phrases
  • Introduce themselves and be able to answer basic questions about their personal details
  • Interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly

What is involved in taking the KET exam?

KET has three papers:

  • Reading and Writing: 1 hour 10 minutes
    You will need to be able to understand simple written information such as signs, brochures, newspapers and magazines. Candidates also have to fill gaps in simple sentences and write a short piece of around 25 words.

  • Listening: 30 minutes:

    You need to show your ability to understand announcements and other spoken material when spoken reasonably slowly.

  • Speaking:

    up to ten minutes: You will need to demonstrate you can take part in a conversation by answering and asking simple questions. Speaking tests are normally held with two candidates.

As part of the Cambridge ESOL’s certificates, there is wide range of support available for you to prepare for you exam. Many private language schools and universities in many countries offer preparation courses. There is also a wide range of materials including short booklets, information for candidates and sample papers, which include sound files for the listening parts of the test. There are also a wide range of books and other aids available for those wanting to take part in a KET exam.


Reading and Writing accounts for 50 % of the total marks for KET, Listening and Speaking each account of 25%. Exam scripts are sent to Cambridge ESOL for marking and grading and the results are sent back to the centres. The results of your exam will be available on the Cambridge ESOL Results Online website. Those who have not reached the required standard for KET receive the grades Narrow Fail or Fail. All candidates will receive an exam report explaining how they performed in each of the papers. Those who have achieved a pass level will be given a certificate and once awarded, it is valid for life.

Cambridge ESOL exam centres will be able to help candidates learn more about how to register, fees and the dates of the exam and any other arrangement.

Entries cannot be made directly to Cambridge ESOL.

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