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).

Exam Information

What is B1 Preliminary (PET)?

The B1 Preliminary (PET) is an official intermediate level Cambridge English exam, set at Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

At Level B1 typical users can be expected to:

  • understand the main points of straightforward instructions or public announcements
  • deal with most of the situations they might meet when travelling as a tourist in an English-speaking country
  • ask simple questions and take part in factual conversations in a work environment
  • write letters/emails or make notes on familiar matters

Who takes Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET)?

In Switzerland B1 Preliminary (PET) is mainly used by secondary school students who usually take it at the end of their third year at secondary school. However, teenagers and younger children usually opt for the “for Schools version” of the test. There are also adults who decide to prepare for and take the B1 Preliminary (PET) Test, mainly if they were once able to acquire beginner level English language skills during their school time or career and would like to continue learning English again.

Why to take B1 Preliminary (PET)?

As B1 Preliminary (PET) is mainly taken by teenagers and young adults, it shows their ability and determination to strive and work towards a goal. Therefore, holding an official B1 Preliminary (PET) certificate will enhance any CV or application for an apprenticeship or job. As more and more students take this test at the end of secondary school, more companies are beginning to recognise this achievement in the apprenticeship application process.

As B1 Preliminary (PET) is also used in the corporate world, particularly for technical, service oriented and vocational professions, many adults decide to take the exam to prove their language ability.

Format of the exam

You can take your Cambridge exam in two ways: on a computer or on paper.

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.

Preparation material

Preparation material

Preparation material for students and teachers



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