This is a basic overview of the B1 preliminary from Cambridge Exam English. For access to free exam material, click on the buttons below for each part of the exam.


Reading456 tasks32
Writing452 tasksscale 
Listening25 4 tasks25
Speaking10-12 4 tasksscale 

By cambridgeenglishpdf.es

How does the exam work?

The B1 Preliminary exam is separated into 4 parts:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

Reading (45 mins)

Part 1 (5 questions)

Multiple choice texts. This part of the exam has not changed. In this part of the exam you need to read 5 short texts, they are normally messages, notes or short emails. You must understand the text and choose the best answer A, B, C for each of them. You need to look at the options and think, which of the options A-C has the same meaning as the text, discard the obviously incorrect answer and then evaluate the vocabulary to see which the best answer is.

Part 2 (5 questions)

Matching. This part of the exam has not changed. This is probably the most difficult part of the reading exam. My suggestion is to leave it until the end as it takes the most time. The key is to identify the 3-4 key words for each person that seems the most important. This will give you a base to look for information in the 8 texts (A-H). Search for option that completes ALL REQUIREMENTS. There are always 2 easier (or more obvious) answers, look for these first and then the others. Obviously, DON´T REPEAT AND OF THE OPTIONS (A-H). NEVER LEAVE ANY OF THE QUESTIONS IN BLANK, AT LEAST GUESS!

Part 3 (5 questions)

Multiple choice. In this part of the exam candidates need to read for gist, meaning, attitude and feelings to answer simple questions A, B, C, D. The same as the old part 4.

Part 4 (5 points)

Multiple-choice gapped text. In this part of the exam, candidates need to understand gist and text structure. They need to fill in the gaps in the text with the correct option. Similar to part 6 of the B2 First.

Part 5 (6 points)

Multiple-choice gap fill. Read the text and choice the missing words from the options A, B, C, D. The same as the old part 5 but with fewer gaps.

Part 6 (6 points)

Open gap fill. Read the short text and fill in the gaps with one word.

Writing (45 mins)

Part 1 (100 words)

Write an email to respond to the information given in the question. You will be given a short piece of information that you need to read and using the key parts of the text, respond to the email.

Part 2 (100 words)

Write an article or a story on the given topic. The article option is new and candidates need to learn this new structure.

Listening (25 mins)

The Listening (25-30 minutes). There are 4 tasks to complete. You can read the questions as you listen and you have a short time before to prepare.

There has been one small change to the listening: Part 2 Multiple choice short texts consists of 6 short texts in which the candidate needs to listen for attitudes and opinions. They need to choice the best option A, B or C. In the past it was 6 questions on one text, but now they are separate texts.

For more information, example questions and answers, click on the buttons below.

Speaking (12 mins)

The speaking (10-12 minutes). There are 4 tasks to do and they are always the same. Only the topics and vocabulary change.

The speaking exam is essentially the same, but the order of the exam is the only change. The old part 3 (Long-turn) in which you describe an image is now part 2 and the old part 2 (collaborative task/conversation) is now part 3.

For more information about the speaking exam, practice questions and answers, click on the buttons below:

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