B1 PreliminaryB1 PreliminaryHandbook for teachersfor exams from 2020
Your path tolearning English,step by stepcambridgeenglish.org/qualificationsC2 ProficiencyC1 AdvancedB2 FirstB1 PreliminaryA2 Key
Make the most of your handbookThe best way to get the most from your handbook is to use the digital version. The digital version isupdated more regularly.The digital version contains links which take you straight to related pages if you want to find out more. Forexample, you can read about Part 1 of the Reading paper in the Tasks section, then click on the link to take youstraight to a sample Reading Part 1 task. There are also links which take you to useful websites and resources.TasksSample paper and assessmentThe Tasks pages give information about the exam format andwhat is tested in each part of the paper.The Sample paper and assessment section includes a samplepaper for each of the four components as well as an answerkey for the Reading and Listening components. For the Writingand Speaking papers there is information about the assessmentcriteria, and for Writing there are example answers for you torefer to or use with your learners.Preparing learnersThe Preparing learners pages give information and advice aboutwhat teachers can do to prepare their learners for the exam.There are also links to useful websites to find additional materials.You’ll find suggested exam strategies to help learners perform tothe best of their ability on the day.About Cambridge Assessment English2B1 Preliminary – an overview3Exam support4About the exam5Paper 1: ReadingPaper 3: ListeningTasks7Tasks37Preparing learners8Preparing learners38Sample paper and assessment43Sample paper and assessment13Paper 2: WritingPaper 4: SpeakingTasks20Tasks51Preparing learners21Preparing learners52Sample paper and assessment24Sample paper and assessment58Language specifications66Glossary69
About Cambridge Assessment EnglishWe are Cambridge Assessment English. Part of the University ofCambridge, we help millions of people learn English and provetheir skills to the world.For us, learning English is more than just exams and grades.It’s about having the confidence to communicate and access alifetime of enriching experiences and opportunities.We deliver qualifications and tests in over 130 countries to over5.5 million people every year.One of the top universities in the worldDepartments of the UniversityThe largest assessment research capability of its kind in EuropeCambridge English Qualifications are in-depth exams that makelearning English enjoyable, effective and rewarding.Our unique approach encourages continuous progression with aclear path to improving language skills. Each of our qualificationsfocuses on a level of the Common European Framework ofReference (CEFR), enabling learners to develop and build speaking,writing, reading and listening skills.Our qualifications are based on research into effective teachingand learning. They motivate people of all ages and abilities tolearn English and develop practical skills for the real world.We have Cambridge English Qualifications for: Schools General and higher education BusinessWhether learners are planning to live, work or study in their owncountry or abroad, our qualifications prove they have the Englishlanguage skills to succeed.To find out more about Cambridge English Qualifications and theCEFR, go to cambridgeenglish.org/cefrDepartments (exam boards)Cambridge Assessment EnglishWe help millions of people learnEnglish and prove their skills to theworld.Cambridge AssessmentInternational EducationPrepares school students for life, helpingthem develop an informed curiosity anda lasting passion for learning.OCR: Oxford Cambridge and RSAExaminationsOxford Cambridge and RSA2A leading UK awarding body.
B1 Preliminary – an overviewB1 Preliminary is an intermediate level qualification in practicaleveryday English language skills. It follows on as a progressionfrom A2 Key and gives learners confidence to study for takinghigher level Cambridge English Qualifications such as B2 First.CertificatesThe certificate shows the candidate’s: score on the Cambridge English Scale for each of the four skills overall score on the Cambridge English ScaleExam formats gradeB1 Preliminary can be taken as either a paper-based orcomputer-based exam. level on the CEFR level on the UK National Qualifications Framework (NQF).Who is the exam for?B1 Preliminary is aimed at learners who want to show they can: read simple textbooks and articles in English write emails and articles on everyday subjects understand factual information show awareness of opinions and mood in spoken andwritten English.Who recognises the exam?The B1 Preliminary certificate is recognised around the worldas proof of intermediate level English skills for industrial,administrative and service-based employment. It is also acceptedby a wide range of educational institutions for study purposes.Cambridge English Qualifications are accepted and trusted bythousands of organisations worldwide. For more informationabout recognition go to cambridgeenglish.org/recognitionWhat level is the exam?B1 Preliminary is targeted at Level B1 on the CEFR.Achieving a certificate at this intermediate level proves thata candidate has mastered the basics in English and now haspractical language skills for everyday use.Statements of ResultsThe Statement of Results shows the candidate’s: Score on the Cambridge English Scale for their performancein each of the four language skills (reading, writing, listeningand speaking). Score on the Cambridge English Scale for their overallperformance in the exam. This overall score is the average oftheir scores for the four skills.Special circumstancesCambridge English Qualifications are designed to be fair to all testtakers. For more information about special circumstances, go tocambridgeenglish.org/help Grade – this is based on the candidate’s overall score. Level on the CEFR – this is also based on the overall score.B1 Preliminary – an overview3
Exam supportOfficial Cambridge English Qualificationspreparation materialsTo support teachers and help learners prepare for their exams,Cambridge English and Cambridge University Press havedeveloped a range of official support materials includingcoursebooks and practice tests. These materials are available inboth print and digital rt for teachersThe Teaching English section of our website provides user-friendly,free resources for all teachers preparing for our exams. It includes:General information – handbooks for teachers,sample papers.Detailed exam information – format, timing, number ofquestions, task types, mark scheme of each paper.Advice for teachers – developing students’ skills and preparingthem for the exam.We provide learners with a wealth of exam resources andpreparation materials throughout our website, including examadvice, sample papers, candidate guides, games and onlinelearning ebookLearners joining our lively Facebook community can get tips, takepart in quizzes and talk to other English language learners.facebook.com/CambridgeEnglishRegistering candidates for an examExam entries must be made through an authorised CambridgeEnglish examination centre.Centre staff have all the latest information about our exams, andcan provide you with: details of entry proceduresDownloadable lessons – a lesson for every part ofevery paper. copies of the exam regulationsTeaching qualifications – a comprehensive range ofqualifications for new teachers and career development formore experienced teachers. current feesSeminars and webinars – a wide range of exam-specificseminars and live and recorded webinars for both new andexperienced teachers.Teacher development – resources to support teachers in theirContinuing Professional Development. exam dates more information about B1 Preliminary and other CambridgeEnglish Qualifications.We have more than 2,800 centres in over 130 countries – all arerequired to meet our high standards of exam administration,integrity, security and customer service. Find your nearest centreat org/teaching-englishFurther informationFacebook for teachersIf your local authorised exam centre is unable to answer yourquestion, please contact our helpdesk:cambridgeenglish.org/helpTeachers can join our community on Facebook for free resources,activities and tips to help prepare learners for Cambridge hTeaching4Free support for candidates
About the examB1 Preliminary is a rigorous and thorough test of English at LevelB1. It covers all four language skills – reading, writing, listeningand speaking.Marks and resultsB1 Preliminary gives detailed, meaningful results.OveralllengthNumber of Numbertasks/parts of itemsReading45 mins632Writing45 mins2–Listeningapprox30 mins425Candidates need to show they can follow and understanda range of spoken materials including announcements anddiscussions about everyday life.Speaking12–17 mins4–Speaking: 12–17 minutesTotaltotal approx2 hrs 12 minsA thorough test of all areas of language abilityThere are four papers: detailed information on each test paper isprovided later in this handbook, but the overall focus of each testis as follows:Reading: 45 minutesCandidates need to be able to understand the main pointsfrom signs, newspapers and magazines and use vocabulary andstructures correctly.Writing: 45 minutesCandidates need to be able to respond to an email and to writeeither an article or a story.B1 PreliminaryListening: 30 minutes – approximatelyCandidates take the Speaking test with another candidate orin a group of three. They are tested on their ability to take partin different types of interaction: with the examiner, with theother candidate and by themselves.Each of the four test components contributes to a profile whichdefines the candidates’ overall communicative language ability atthis level.All candidates receive a Statement of Results. Candidates whoseperformance ranges between CEFR Levels A2 and B2 (CambridgeEnglish Scale scores of 140–170) also receive a certificate.Grade A: Cambridge English Scale scores of 160–170Candidates sometimes show ability beyond Level B1. If acandidate achieves a Grade A in their exam, they will receivethe Preliminary English Test certificate stating that theydemonstrated ability at Level B2.Grades B and C: Cambridge English Scale scores of 140–159If a candidate achieves a Grade B or Grade C in their exam,they will receive the Preliminary English Test certificate atLevel B1.CEFR Level A2: Cambridge English Scale scores of 120–139If a candidate’s performance is below Level B1, but falls withinLevel A2, they will receive a Cambridge English certificatestating that they demonstrated ability at Level A2.About the exam5
Can Do summaryWhat can candidates do at Level B1?The Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) has researched what language learners can typically do at each CEFRlevel. They have described each level of ability using Can Do statements, with examples taken from everyday life. CambridgeEnglish, as one of the founding members of ALTE, uses this framework to ensure its exams reflect real-life language skills.Typical abilitiesOverall general abilitySocial & TouristWorkStudyReading and WritingListening and SpeakingCAN understand routine information andarticles.CAN understand straightforward instructions orpublic announcements.CAN write letters or make notes on familiar orpredictable matters.CAN express simple opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way.CAN understand factual articles in newspapers,routine letters from hotels and lettersexpressing personal opinions.CAN write letters on a limited range ofpredictable topics related to personalexperience.CAN understand the general meaning of nonroutine letters and theoretical articles withinown work area.CAN make reasonably accurate notes at ameeting or seminar where the subject matter isfamiliar and predictable.CAN understand most information of a factualnature in his/her study area.CAN take basic notes in a lecture.6CAN identify the main topic of a newsbroadcast on TV if there is a strong visualelement.CAN ask for information about accommodationand travel.CAN follow a simple presentation/demonstration.CAN offer advice to clients within own job areaon simple matters.CAN understand instructions on classes andassignments given by a teacher or lecturer.CAN take part in a seminar or tutorial usingsimple language.
Paper 1:45 minsReadingtasksPartNumber ofquestionsNumber ofmarksTask typesWhat do candidates have to do?1553-optionmultiple choiceRead five real-world notices, messages and othershort texts for the main message.255MatchingMatch five descriptions of people to eight shorttexts on a particular topic, showing detailedcomprehension.3554-optionmultiple choiceRead a longer text for detailed comprehension, gist,inference and global meaning, as well as writer’sattitude and opinion.455Gapped textRead a longer text from which five sentenceshave been removed. Show understanding of how acoherent and well-structured text is formed.5664-option multiplechoice clozeRead a shorter text and choose the correctvocabulary items to complete gaps. An elementof grammatical knowledge may be tested, e.g.complementation.666Open clozeRead a shorter text and complete six gaps using oneword for each gap. Show knowledge of grammaticalstructures, phrasal verbs and fixed phrases.Total3232Reading Tasks7
Preparing learnersAdvice for teachersWriters use the inventory of grammatical areas and the vocabulary list when preparingtasks so they are suitable for learners at B1 level, the level of B1 Preliminary.Whenever possible, the texts used in the Reading paper are adapted from authentic readingtexts. They may include:Learners can getmore informationfrom the In