Cambridge Assessment English: B1 Preliminary for Schools
Practical English for everyday use
B1 Preliminary for Schools is a qualification that shows a pupil can deal with everyday written and spoken English at an intermediate level. B1 Preliminary for Schools is specially tailored to suit the interests of pupils, so it increases their motivation to learn English. Because it is based on familiar topics and situations, it gives them the confidence to use their English and inspires them to move on to further qualifications.

B1 Preliminary for Schools follows exactly the same format as B1 Preliminary and the level of the question papers is identical. The only difference is that the content and treatment of topics in B1 Preliminary for Schools have been particularly targeted at the interests and experience of school pupils.

 B1 Preliminary for Schools 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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  • Overview
  • The exam
  • Results
  • Support
  • Registration

Real-life language skills

 Preliminary for Schools leaflet
B1 Preliminary for Schools is set at Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Preparing for B1 Preliminary for Schools will give you the practical English skills to:
  • deal with everyday event
  • read simple textbooks or magazine articles.
  • write letters on familiar subjects.
  • take notes in a lesson.
It shows that a pupil can use English to communicate with native speakers for everyday purposes. For example, at B1 level, you can expect to:
  • understand the main points of straightforward instructions or public announcements.
  • deal with everyday situations when going out.
  • ask simple questions and take part in factual conversations with friends, family and at school.
  • write letters or make notes on familiar matters.
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 for Schools 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.

Globally Accepted
More than 3,000 employers, universities and colleges, government departments and other organisations around the world rely on B1 Preliminary.

Fast results
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.

What does B1 Preliminary for Schools involve?
B1 Preliminary for Schools is an intermediate level assessment of English for people who want to use English for work and study situations. It consists of three papers: Reading & Writing, Listening and Speaking. The Speaking exam uses a face-to-face test with two candidates and two assessors. This creates a more realistic and reliable measure of your ability to use English to communicate.

B1 Preliminary for Schools has three papers:
Reading & Writing: 1 hour 30 minutes
The B1 Preliminary for Schools 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 for Schools 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 for Schools 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.

Choosing your Speaking Test partner
If you would like to be paired together with a friend/classmate you can request this when you register for the exam. Please note however that research has shown that there are both advantages and disadvantages in taking the test with someone you know and that in the end it doesn’t matter. What is important is that the test judges you on your own performance.
Paper and pencil tests
Try a paper-based sample B1 Preliminary for Schools exam paper.
 Download the B1 Preliminary for Schools sample test
 Download the B1 Preliminary for Schools vocabulary list

Information for Candidates
A guide to the exam, with an overview of what’s involved and examples of papers.
 Download Information for Candidates

Guide to exam day tips

Practical information about the session.
 Paper-based exams
 Computer-based exams

Summary Regulations for Candidates
All the important information you need to know when taking the exam.
 Download Summary regulations for candidates

Cheating warning
Cheating is treated very seriously by Cambridge English and if you cheat you will not get a result or a certificate.
 Please view this poster and make sure that you understand what it says.

Your results
If you are successful in the exam you will receive two documents: a Statement of Results and a certificate. Universities, employers and other organisations you apply to may ask you for either of these documents as proof of your English language skills.

'Statement of Results'
Your Statement of Results contains three pieces of information:

  1. Score This is based on your total score in all three papers and is shown as a number between 0 and 100.
  2. Grade The grade you are awarded depends on the score you achieve.
  3. Candidate profile This shows your performance in each paper (shown against the scale Exceptional - Good - Borderline - Weak). Depending on which university, college or organisation you are applying to, you may be asked to achieve a specific score or grade. Organisations may also ask you for a particular candidate profile if they need you to have a specific level of English in one of the five skills.
Find out more at:
 Understanding your Statement of Results – Cambridge English: Preliminary for Schools

You can access your results through the  Cambridge English Results Online website.

Your certificate
If a candidate demonstrates that he/she has achieved level A2 or above of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), one of the following certificates will be awarded:

Cambridge English: 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 Cambridge English: Preliminary certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at Level B2.
Cambridge English: Preliminary for Schools - Level B1
If you achieve a Pass with Merit or Pass in your exam, you will be awarded the Cambridge English: 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.

Results Verification Service
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
Useful resources to help you to prepare for your B1 Preliminary for Schools exam

Free Practice Tests

Computer tests
Try a computer-based sample B1 Preliminary for Schools exam paper:
Reading & Writing
The CB sample test is only compatible with Mozilla Firefox. The reason is that this browser is packaged to the Connect Plus program which is used for Live Computer Based Exams. You can download Firefox for free here. Once downloaded, open Firefox and use the links below to view the tests.
Paper and pencil tests
Try a paper-based sample B1 Preliminary for Schools exam paper.
 Download the B1 Preliminary for Schools sample test
 Download the B1 Preliminary for Schools vocabulary list
Preparation resources, games and Cambridge activities
Cambridge English resources to prepare your exam...
Online tools and materials to practice the different exam papers and to improve the candidate preparation for the test.
Social media
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Join the Cambridge English Facebook page for help with exam preparation.
Exams Catalunya YouTube Channel
Watch videos featuring English learning and exam tips on our Exams Catalunya YouTube channel
Cambridge English YouTube Channel
Watch videos featuring English learning and exam tips on Cambridge English TV YouTube channel

Are you a private candidate?
It’s easy to register for B1 Preliminary for Schools in just three steps:
Step 1  Find an exam date

You can take the Cambridge English exams most months of the year.
Use our online search to find an exam date.

Step 2  Complete the registration form

You can complete the exam registration form online or come to our offices to register for an exam.

Step 3  Make payment

Payment for the exam must be made before the registration deadline.
If you register after the deadline a late fee of 40 Euros will be applied. You can choose to pay for your exam via the following payment methods:

  1. By credit/debit card

  2. By bank transfer to any of the following accounts:
    Banco Santander
    Account holder: Assessment and Certification Services, S.L.
    Account number: 0049 4754 89 2516056032
    IBAN: ES9400494754892516056032
    Banco Sabadell
    Account holder: Assessment and Certification Services, S.L.
    Account number: 0081 0053 54 0001180228
    IBAN: ES7300810053540001180228
    IMPORTANT: If you pay for your exam by bank transfer you should clearly state the name and surname/s of the candidate and the level and date of the exam session. All transfers must reach us free of bank charges or interest. Exams Catalunya will not be responsible for these charges. You must send us the payment receipt by email to so that we may trace your payment with the bank. Your place on the exam will not be confirmed until we receive a payment receipt for the exam fee.

  3. At our offices:
    Registration and payment for exams may also be made at our offices. If candidates choose this option payment should be made on registering. Payment may be made in cash, by bank transfer or credit/debit card.

    C/ Freixa, 5-9
    08021 Barcelona
    Tel: 934 111 333
    Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

    The candidate may register directly or send someone to register in his/her name.
IMPORTANT: After we receive the exam registration form a confirmation of receipt will be sent to the candidate. Once the exam fees have been settled the candidate will receive confirmation that he/she is registered to take the exam.
If you do not receive confirmation of your exam registration within 3 working days please phone us on tel.: 934 111 333. You should also check that our email has not been sent to your junk/spam mail folder.