The Key English Test (KET) is the easiest of the Cambridge exams and is designed to test basic English skills including reading, writing, speaking and listening. Mastering this level typically requires about 180-200 hours of English study. The KET exam is valid for life and recognized throughout the world to show a basic understanding to employers, universities and governmental departments.
The Key English Test is designed for students looking to improve their English skills. Since the KET exam is the first of the Cambridge exams, the level of difficulty is designed for basic English speakers who can communicate in familiar and simple situations. Many students take this exam to identify strengths and weakness to determine ways to improve fluency. Used by many as a baseline, the Key English Test is typically taken before the PET or FCE.
Once you take this exam, you will be able to identify both your strengths and weaknesses based on your score. You will be able to see how you perform based on reading and writing, speaking and listening. This will help you to determine what areas to focus on as you continue to improve your English. The Key English Test is also accepted internationally by schools, governmental organizations, and employers to show your level of mastery. The University of Cambridge has put together a database to see who accepts this certification.
Before sitting for the Key English Test, you will have the option to take a paper or computer based exam called the CB-KET. You will need to contact the Cambridge ESOL Exam centre to see what time is best for you and to confirm what format will be available to properly prepare. Overall, the exam is about one hour and 40 minutes long: 70 minutes for reading & writing, 30 minutes listening and 10 minutes speaking.
Your score will range from 0 to 100 so you can determine where on you fell on the scale. According to this number, you will fall into four possible results:
|100-85||Pass with Merit|
|69-45||Council of Europe Level A1*|
*if you did not achieve a ‘pass’ but demonstrated ability at the level below this
The results you receive will also breakdown the three sections (reading & writing, listening, and speaking) as to whether you performed exceptional, good, borderline, or weak.
The Key English Test is available in both a paper and computer format. Before selecting your exam date, we first recommend choosing the preferred format. Remember, you will want to choose the format you are most comfortable with. Once you have done this, you can locate an exam center. Typically, a testing center alternates between the computer and paper format so just be sure that your format is being administered on your exam date. Fees are set by the test center, however costs are approximately $92 USD, €70, or £60.