Explanations » B1 PET » B1 PET – Exam 1 – Writing

Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET) – Writing

The B1 Preliminary Writing test lasts 45 minutes and is composed of two parts. It contributes to 25% of your overall score.

Part 1: Email Writing

In the first section, candidates must craft an email that’s approximately 100 words long. Don’t worry about the exact word count; keeping it between 80 to 120 words is fine. An email and some notes will be given, and your job is to respond using those notes. This email is always informal, meant for a friend or family member. It’s important to use all the notes provided, but try to rephrase them in your own words whenever possible. This part has a single question, and you can earn up to 20 marks for it.

Part 2: Choice of Article or Story

In the second section, candidates are required to write about 100 words on a topic they get to select. There’s a choice between crafting an article or a story.

  • Article: Typically, the article topics are simple and allow candidates to express their opinions.
  • Story: When writing a story, candidates may be given the first sentence or a title to guide their writing. While stories may demand varied verb tenses and creativity, the choice between an article and a story depends on personal preference and skills. This section also carries a single question that can give you up to 20 marks.

For further practice, you can check out our writing lessons on how to write an article and how to create a past story from a given sentence.

General tips for the Writing part of the B1 PET

Practice writing essays

Familiarize yourself with the types of writing tasks required in the exam, such as an informal email or a story.

Get feedback

Ask someone to check your writing and give you constructive feedback; this can help you identify areas for improvement.

Prepare a plan for the writing task

Before writing your essay, you should consider the information you want to include and how to organize it. Think about the structure and content of your writing before you start, and make sure to stick to the word limit.

Learn to manage your time

Make sure you allocate enough time to read and understand the task and to plan and write your answer, leaving time to review and edit your work. Practise writing some compositions and time yourself to make sure you can finish the tasks within the time limits.