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Cambridge Preliminary PET Exam

The Preliminary English Test (PET) is an intermediate-level assessment, focused on examining those who handle everyday dialogues, both orally and in writing, read books and short articles, have the ability to write simple letters or make notes in meetings or reunions.

PET is a very valuable international certification , also known as a B1 Preliminary qualification according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). It is perfect, above all, for those who want to study or work abroad or in English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. It is the intermediate exam between the A2 Key and the B2 First.

PET B1 Preliminary exam format, structure and duration

The PET covers the four language skills of the English language:  reading, writing, listening and speaking . It is made up of three fundamental parts:

-  Reading  &  Writing : consists of eight exercises, lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes, and their value is 50% of the grade. It focuses on assessing reading comprehension and written expression and is subdivided into eight sections and 42 questions, either with multiple-choice questions or others to fill in the spaces.

-  Listening : it has four exercises, its duration is 36 minutes, and its value is 25% of the final grade. Assesses listening comprehension through listening to recordings and later solving questions with the information heard. It consists of 25 questions worth one point each.

-  Speaking : it also has four exercises, and its value is also 25%, but the duration of this section is 10 minutes. It is a test focused on oral expression, in which the candidates are placed in pairs and a dialogue is requested with an examiner and then between both candidates. There is also a second examiner who will listen. The test begins when one of the examiners asks applicants something about a situation.

What does the Cambridge PET Preliminary (B1) assess?

Broadly speaking, this test assesses the ability to  understand the main ideas of a speech on everyday subjects , whether from school, work or social events. It also focuses on testing that you understand texts with simple, everyday vocabulary and  phrasal verbs .

Likewise, it is intended to verify that you know how to cope in common situations, conversations in a practical and simple way. This will be essential if you are going to travel to a country whose official language is English.

Another point to evaluate is the  development in written expression . That is, if you are able to write, for example, personal letters with your opinions or points of view well described.

Cambridge PET Preliminary (B1) Test Results

To pass the PET and obtain the certification you must achieve more than 60% of the mark . There is no middle ground in certification, so the PET is approved or suspended. It is valid for life, although some educational institutions prefer an antiquity of no more than two years after obtaining the certificate.

Scores range from 120 to 170. If you score 140 points or more, you will be considered eligible and will receive the PET exam certificate, or its equivalent to CEFR level B1 in English.

As of January 2020,  the way of presenting the overall exam grade will have some slight changes:

-  Pass with Distinction will  correspond to the letter A.

-  Pass with Merit will  correspond to the letter B.

-  Pass will  correspond to the letter C.

But a score will still be given in the global exam and in each test according to the Cambridge English Scale and the CEFR

Tips for preparing the Cambridge PET Preliminary (B1)

Although the most logical thing is to think about attending a course at an English academy to prepare for the exam, it is not always a feasible option. This happens because most of them follow a method based on a book with the advice of a teacher who is in charge of reviewing the exercises or tasks that you must complete as a student.

- Although this option is not ruled out,  a highly recommended advice is to get the specific PET books  and establish a calendar or study plan independently in order to prepare for it.

- Another tip that can be very helpful is that, after the exam, focus on solving the simplest questions at the beginning and leave the ones that require more complexity until the end.

- Likewise, a good practice is to prepare yourself more carefully for the Writing part , which is the part that is longer and takes more time. You can focus on preparing, for example, the different parts into which this section is divided, the type of sentences that you will have to complete and what type of equivalent sentences you will have to make with other words in order to know how to master grammatical structures and basic vocabulary of this level

Now that you know, roughly, the essentials to be able to present the  Preliminary English Test (PET) , it only remains to wish you much success. And remember, the advantage that these evaluations, endorsed by the Cambridge English department have in their international recognition.

Preliminary B1 PET Exam Dates and Place

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