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Preliminary English Test (PET)

Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET)

Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET) for Schools Preliminary is an intermediate level exam and the second level of the University of Cambridge exams in general English. This exam is set at Level B1 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for modern languages. The test demonstrates that pupils are able to communicate at an intermediate level in English. Cambridge English Preliminary for Schools follow exactly the same format and the level of the question papers is identical.

At Level B1 level typical users can be expected to:

  • Understand the main points of straightforward instructions or public announcements.
  • Deal with most of the situations you might meet when travelling as a tourist in an English-speaking country.
  • Ask simple questions and take part in factual conversations with friends, family and at school.
  • Write letters/emails or make notes on familiar matters.

How is Cambridge English: Preliminary for Schools (PET) recognised?

As Cambridge English: Preliminary for Schools (PET) is mainly taken by teenagers and young adults, it shows their ability and determination of to strive for and work towards a goal. Therefore, holding a Cambridge English: Preliminary for Schools (PET) certificate will enhance any application for an apprenticeship.

Format of the exam

Paper Content Marks (% of Total) Purpose
Reading and Writing
(1 hour and 30 minutes)
5 parts/35 questions
3 parts/7 questions

Students need to be able to read texts from signs, newspapers and magazines and understand the main points. They will need to show they can use vocabulary and structure by completing tasks such as producing a short message, and writing a story or letter of around 100 words.

(36 minutes, including 6 minutes' transer time)
4 parts/
25 questions
25% Students need to show they can understand the meaning of a range of recorded spoken material, including announcements, interviews and discussions about everyday life. They will also need to be able to understand the attitudes and intentions of the speakers.
(10-12 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts 25% Students take part in a conversation, asking and answering questions, and talking freely about their likes and dislikes. They take the Speaking test with another candidate or in a group of three.


You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking). These scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam.

Grade Score
Pass with Distinction Between 160 and 170
Pass with Merit Between 153 and 159
Pass Between 140 and 152
Council of Europe Level A2 Between 120 and 139