Practical English for everyday use

Cambridge English: B1 Preliminary for Schools, formerly known as Preliminary English Test (PET) for Schools, is a qualification that shows that a student can understand and communicate using everyday written and spoken English.

This exam is a version of B1 Preliminary  that is particularly targeted at the interests and experiences of school children. It is at the same level as B1 Preliminary and follows exactly the same format. It is based on familiar topics and situations so it:

  • suits the interests of students
  • increases their motivation to learn English 
  • gives them confidence to use their language skills to move on to further qualifications.

What level is B1 Preliminary for Schools?

This Cambridge English Qualification is set at Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It shows that a student can:

  • read simple textbooks and articles in English
  • write letters and emails on everyday subjects
  • understand factual information
  • show awareness of opinions and mood in spoken and written English.

What is assessed in B1 Preliminary for Schools?

The exam consists of three papers:


Reading and Writing




1 hour 30 min.

30 min., plus 6 minutes' transfer time

10-12 minutes per pair of candidates


Reading: 5 parts / 35 questions
Writing: 3 parts / 7 questions

4 parts / 25 questions

4 parts


Students need to be able to read texts from signs, newspapers and magazines and understand the main points. They will need to show they can use vocabulary and structure by completing tasks such as producing a short message, and writing a story or letter of around 100 words.

Students need to show they can understand the meaning of a range of recorded spoken material, including announcements, interviews and discussions about everyday life. They will also need to be able to understand the attitudes and intentions of the speakers.

Students take part in a conversation, asking and answering questions, and talking freely about their likes and dislikes. They take the Speaking test with another candidate or in a group of three.