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B1 Preliminary for Schools, formerly known as PET for schools, is one of our Cambridge English Qualifications. It is the English language exam that shows that students have mastered the basics.

A B1 Preliminary for Schools qualification shows that a student has mastered the basics of English and now has practical language skills for everyday use. This exam is the logical step in a student’s language learning journey between A2 Key for Schools and B2 First for Schools.

Exam updates 2020

B1 Preliminary for Schools is targeted at the same CEFR level as B1 Preliminary but with content aimed at school-age learners rather than adults.

The revision of B1 Preliminary, B1 Preliminary for Schools is now complete and the updated exam started being used for exam sessions from January 2020.

You can find out more about the changes, including information on preparation materials, on the dedicated A2 Key and B1 Preliminary 2020 update website. You can also sign up to receive information and updates about the changes to the exams.

Test format from January 2020

Here are the main changes to the B1 Preliminary for Schools exam from January 2020:

  • There will now be four papers instead of three – the Reading and Writing papers are now taken separately

  • There are new or revised tasks in each of the papers.

  • The way grades are reported has been updated – candidates will now receive a grade of A, B, or C.

The same as before, B1 Preliminary for Schools is made up of three papers developed to encourage and motivate young learners. However, there are some changes that you can realize by looking at each paper below.

(10-12 minutes per pair of candidates)

4 parts

25% of the total marks

Reading and Writing
(1 hour 30 minutes)

Reading 6 parts/ 32 questions 

Writing 2 parts/ 3 questions

50% of the total marks

(36 minutes, 6 minutes' transfer time) 

4 parts/ 25 questions

25% of the total marks

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