What is it?

A B1 Preliminary (PET) qualification demonstrates that you have conquered basic English skills and has the ability to use them for commonplace and practical needs.

B1 Preliminary (PET)

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Why should I do the exam?

This qualification is a great exam to prepare for, if you want to prove that you have developed the ability to communicate in English in commonplace situations. This level also prepares you for further travel and study prospects. A B1 Preliminary certificate proves that you are able to:

  • read uncomplicated schoolbooks and items in English
  • write mails and stories on commonplace matters
  • understand straightforward texts
  • demonstrate recognition of different opinions and feelings in texts and discussions

Format of the exam

Paper Content Marks Purpose
Reading and Writing
(90 minutes)
5 parts/ 35 questions

3 parts/ 7 questions
50% Requires you to comprehend the main points from a range of simple text styles.

You will need to do short tasks demonstrating how you use language structure and words.
(36 minutes)
4 parts/ 25 questions 25% Requires you to follow a number of recordings about everyday life and to understand the opinions and moods of the speakers.
(10 – 12 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts 25% Candidates will ask and answer questions, as they discuss their preferences with another candidate.

What’s changing in 2020?

Cambridge Assessment English always makes sure that our language tests match current teaching and learning research. Therefore, the B1 Preliminary and B1 Preliminary for Schools have been thoroughly evaluated and updated. The new revised exams will be offered beginng January 2020.

More details

B1 Preliminary (PET) speaking test, Kenza and Mohammed

B1 Preliminary (PET) speaking test, Leticia and Manuel

Good to know

  • What is the difference between the B1 Preliminary for Schools exam and the B1 Preliminary exam?
    • Both exams follow exactly the same format. However, the material in the B1 Preliminary for Schools version is appropriate for school-age candidates. The B1 Preliminary is targeted at people who have already finished school and have some world experience.
  • How do I know if the exam is on paper or on a computer?
    • Our exams are normally offered as paper-based exams. If the exam is a computer-based exam, under the exam date listed on the Dates & Registration page it would appear as: "B1 Preliminary (PET) – Computer Based"
  • What must I bring to my exam?
    • Some kind of valid governmental photo identification such as a passport or identity card - check the expiration date.
    • For candidates aged 17 or under on the exam days who do not own a valid ID or cannot get an emergency passport, please complete this form and send it to the office at the latest two weeks before the exam.
    • you will need a pencil to complete the exam papers - if a pen is required it will be provided.
    • a bottle of still water is allowed.
  • What if the expiration date on my identification is expired?

  More B1 Preliminary FAQs

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