Cambridge | B1 Preliminary (PET)

Cambridge | B1 Preliminary (PET)

Every year, thousands of people who want to use English to improve their work, study and travel prospects prepare for B1 Preliminary (PET). B1 Preliminary was formerly known as Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET).

Exam Information

What is the B1 Preliminary (PET) exam?

Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET) is a prestigious Cambridge English Qualification designed for individuals seeking to demonstrate their intermediate-level English proficiency. This certification aligns with Level B1 of theEurope's Common European Framework for languages (CEFR), as recognised by the Council of Europe.

Learn more about the Cambridge English Scale.

What can you expect at Level B1 with the Cambridge exam B1 Preliminary (PET)

At Level B1, candidates can confidently:

  • grasp the key points of straightforward instructions and public announcements
  • navigate various situations while traveling in English-speaking countries as tourists
  • ask straightforward questions and actively engage in factual conversations in a professional setting
  • express themselves in writing, including letters, emails, and notes, on familiar subjects

Who takes the Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET) exam?

In Switzerland, B1 Preliminary primarily serves secondary school students, typically taken at the conclusion of their third year of secondary education. However, teenagers and younger individuals often choose the "for Schools" version of the test, specifically tailored to their academic needs: B1 Preliminary for Schools (PET S).

Additionally, adults who once acquired basic English language skills during their academic or professional journey may opt to prepare for and take the B1 Preliminary (PET) test to improve their proficiency.

What are the benefits of a Cambridge B1 Preliminary qualification?

For teenagers and young adults, achieving B1 Preliminary (PET) showcases their determination and ability to work towards a goal. Possessing an official B1 Preliminary (PET) certificate can significantly enhance their CV and job applications, making them more attractive candidates for apprenticeships and employment opportunities. Many companies now recognise this achievement in the apprenticeship application process.

Furthermore, B1 Preliminary (PET) holds substantial relevance in the corporate world, particularly in technical, service-oriented, and vocational professions. Numerous adults choose to take this exam to validate their language skills, opening doors to career advancement and opportunities in diverse industries.

Register today to embark on your journey toward language excellence.

Format of the exam

You can take your Cambridge B1 Preliminary English exam in two ways: on a computer or on paper. Exam length is about 2,5 hours.

Paper Content Marks (%of total) Purpose
Reading and Writing (1 hour 30 minutes) Reading: 5 parts/ 35 questions Writing: 3 parts/ 7 questions 50% Shows you can read and understand the main points from signs, newspapers and magazines, and can use vocabulary and structure correctly.
Listening (36 minutes, including 6 minutes' transfer time) 4 parts/ 25 questions 25% You have to be able to follow and understand a range of spoken materials including announcements and discussions about everyday life.
Speaking (10–12 minutes per pair of candidates) 4 parts 25% Shows how good your spoken English is as you take part in conversation by asking/answering questions and talking, for example, about your likes and dislikes. Your Speaking test will be conducted face to face with one or two other candidates and two examiners. This makes your test more realistic and more reliable.

Computer-based exams for convenience

Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET) exams are available in a convenient computer-based format. There are numerous advantages to taking your exam on a computer including flexible dates, convenient and modern locations, efficient systems as well as speedy results. Read more about digital assessment and its benefits.

Register now in Switzerland - selection of your test date, location and other details for all levels of Cambridge English Exams Register now in Switzerland - selection of your test date, location and other details for all levels of Cambridge English Exams

Preparation material

Preparation material

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