B1 Preliminary is an intermediate level qualification in English that opens the doors to opportunities for work, study and travel.
B1 Preliminary FAQs
|Important: In 2020 Cambridge Assessment English will be updating A2 Key, A2 Key for Schools, B1 Preliminary and B1 Preliminary for Schools.|
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|Real-life language skills|
|B1 Preliminary is set at Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Preparing for B1 Preliminary will give you the practical English skills to:|
Preparing for B1 Preliminary gives these kinds of practical language skills.
Backed by the largest research programme of its kind, Cambridge English exams provide the most reliable reflection of your language skills.
Choose when and how you take your exam - B1 Preliminary is available as either a paper-based or computer-based exam, allowing you even more choice over how you take your test.
Cambridge English exams cover all major varieties of English and are designed to be fair to users of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds.
More than 3,000 employers, universities and colleges, government departments and other organisations around the world rely on B1 Preliminary. It is accepted wherever a high level of English language is required.
Get your results in just two weeks with our computer-based exams.
|A Cambridge English qualification|
Once you have earned a Cambridge English certificate, you hold one of the most valuable English qualifications in the world.
|Reading & Writing: 1 hour 30 minutes|
The B1 Preliminary Reading & Writing paper has five parts for reading and three parts for writing. There are different types of texts and questions. This paper accounts for 50% of the total mark.
|Listening: about 30 minutes (+ 6 minutes transfer time)|
The B1 Preliminary Listening paper has four parts. For each part candidates have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. Each recording is heard twice. Candidates will need to show that they can listen for gist (the main point), listen for specific information and recognise the attitudes and opinions of the speakers. They will hear individual people talking (monologues) and two people talking to each other (dialogues). This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.
|Speaking: 10-12 minutes per pair of candidates|
The B1 Preliminary Speaking has four parts and will be conducted face-to-face with one or two other candidates. This makes your test more realistic and more reliable. There are two examiners. One examiner (the interlocutor) talks to you and the other examiner (the assessor) just listens. Both examiners decide your grade but the assessor gives more detailed marks than the interlocutor. The Speaking test accounts for 25% of the total mark.
For B1 Preliminary, the following scores will be used to report results:|
The exam is targeted at Level B1 of the CEFR. The examination also provides reliable assessment at the level above (Level B2) and the level below (Level A2).
Scores between 120 and 139 are also reported for B1 Preliminary. You will not receive a certificate, but your Cambridge English Scale score will be shown on your Statement of Results.
Please click on the image to the left of this text to find out the relationship between the CEFR levels, the Cambridge English Scale and the grades awarded in B1 Preliminary.
|B1 Preliminary - Level B2|
Exceptional candidates sometimes show ability beyond B1 level. If you achieve a Pass with Distinction in your exam, you will receive the B1 Preliminary certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at Level B2.
|B1 Preliminary |
If you achieve a Pass with Merit or Pass in your exam, you will be awarded the B1 Preliminary certificate at Level B1.
|Level A2 Certificate|
If your performance is below Level B1, but falls within Level A2, we will recognise your achievement with a Cambridge English certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at A2 level.
If you want a university, employer or other organisation to verify your result, you must provide them with the information on your Statement of Results and two additional pieces of information:
1.- Your ID Number (a sequence of nine letters and numbers).
2.- Your Secret Number (a four-digit number).
Both of these pieces of information can be found on your Confirmation of Entry, which you receive when you register for the exam.
They can then verify your result by logging in to www.cambridgeenglish.org/verifiers
|Free Practice Tests|
Try a computer-based sample B1 Preliminary exam paper:
Reading & Writing
|Paper and pencil tests|
Try a paper-based sample B1 Preliminary exam paper.
Download Preliminary sample papers
Download Preliminary vocabulary list
|Preparation resources, games and Cambridge activities
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|Cambridge English YouTube Channel|
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|Are you a private candidate?|
It’s easy to register for B1 Preliminary
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