Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET) – Reading
There are 6 parts and 32 questions in the reading section of the Cambridge English B1 Preliminary exam. You will have 45 minutes to tackle this section. Here is a description of each reading part:
Part 1: Read five real-world texts and choose the main message.
These are short texts, like messages or notices. Each text has a question with three options. This part can get you up to 5 marks.
Part 2: Match descriptions to short texts.
There are descriptions of five people and eight short texts on a topic. Your job is to match each description to the right text. This part has a maximum of 5 marks.
Part 3: Read a longer text and answer questions.
This part requires you to understand the main idea, details, and the writer’s opinions from the text. There are five multiple-choice questions, each with four options. This part can earn you 5 marks.
Part 4: Complete a text with missing sentences.
You will read a text where five sentences have been taken out. You need to choose the right five sentences from a list of eight to fill the gaps. This part has a total of 5 marks available.
Part 5: Choose words to fill gaps in a text.
This is a shorter text with some words missing. You have to choose the right word from four options for each gap. This segment assesses your reading comprehension and vocabulary. Completing this part correctly can get you 6 marks.
Part 6: Fill gaps with a word you choose.
Here, you’ll see a short text with six gaps. It’s your job to think of the right word to fill each gap. This part has a maximum of 6 marks.
General tips for the Reading part of the B1 Preliminary
Understand the format of the exam
Familiarize yourself with the types of questions, number of questions and time limit for each section of the test. Practise using exam samples like the ones provided on our website or other published materials.
Get regular reading practice
Practice reading a variety of materials, such as online articles, fiction and non-fiction books to enhance your comprehension and speed. It’s important that you find materials that are appropriate for your level. You should be able to understand most of the words in the texts you read.
Work on your vocabulary
Learn new words and expressions regularly, and practice using them in context.
Use past papers
Use previous years’ papers to practise and get a feel for the types of questions you can expect in the exam.
Underline and analyse the keywords
The first thing you need to do when reading a text is to read the questions and underline the most important words. Then, analyse those words and decide which are the correct answer.