What is it?

A B1 Preliminary for Schools qualification demonstrates that a student has conquered basic English skills and has the ability to use them for commonplace and practical needs.

B1 Preliminary for Schools (PET for Schools)

The diagram shows all of our English exams on the CEFR   read more

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Why should I do the exam?

This qualification is a great exam to prepare for, if students want to prove they have developed the ability to communicate in English in commonplace situations. This level also prepares them for further travel and study prospects. A B1 Preliminary for Schools certificate proves that a student is 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
(45 minutes)
6 parts/ 32 questions 25% Requires students to comprehend the main points from a range of simple text styles.
(45 minutes)
2 parts/ 2 questions
25% Students will need to do short tasks demonstrating how they use language structure and words.
(30 minutes)
4 parts/ 25 questions 25% Requires students to follow a number of recordings about everyday life and to understand the opinions and moods of the speakers.
(12 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts 25% Students will ask and answer questions, as they discuss their preferences with another candidate.

What changed at the beginning of 2020?

Cambridge Assessment English makes sure our language tests match modern teaching and learning research. Therefore, the B1 Preliminary and B1 Preliminary for Schools was recently evaluated and updated. The revised exams have been offered since the beginning of January 2020.

B1 Preliminary for Schools (PET) speaking test, Victoria and Chiara

B1 Preliminary for Schools (PET) speaking test, Roberto and Simone

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 for Schools (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?

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