CHANGES FROM 2020 TO THE EXAM:

The reading and writing tests were joined in the Preliminary English exam until 2020, but now they are two separate tests of 45 minutes.

 

The reading now consists of:

 

The writing now consists of:

 

The 5 rephrasing questions are no longer in the exam (see How to do rephrasing B1). How to do rephrasing B1 (Preliminary English Test)

 

When writing at B1 level, it is important to remember that the examiner wants the text to be simple. It needs to be easy to read and have few errors with the use of simple grammar structures. It also needs to include some complex grammar (modal verbs, conditionals, passive, reported speech, relative clauses). DO NOT OVER COMPLICATE IT! Look at the example texts to see how it is done.

Writing: email (100 words). The format of an email is essential. It is very important to organize the text with separate paragraphs so that it looks like an email and not a general text. The email is a response to a section of a letter that you have in the question. You usually need to answer 3 points or questions. DO NOT INCLUDE THE ADDRESS! The email must be about 100 words long, NO MORE THAN 110 WORDS.

 

Common questions:

 

How much time do I have to write the email?

You have 1:30 minutes in total. We would suggest a maximum of 25 minutes to write the letter.

What happens if I write more that 100 words?

It is not good to write more than 100 words but You must not include irrelevant information.

Should I write a short plan?

YES! It is important to plan well. You need to think about the important information from the question and cover all of the points in the letter.

 

Example of a question

 

You must answer this question.

Write an answer in 100 words on the answer sheet:

This is part of an email that you receive from a friend from the UK

 

I am coming to visit you next month and I want to go to a traditional festival in your country. What is the most important one in your region? Why is it celebrated? Write to me and tell me about it.

Write an email using all of the notes.

 

Example of a email

 

Dear Martin,

Thanks for your letter; it is great to hear from you. There are many festivals in my region but there is one that you cannot miss.

The fair in Albacete is one of the best festivals in all of Spain. Hundreds of thousands of people visit it every year. It always begins on the 7th September and lasts for 10 days. It is great because there is music and great food; it is really easy to meet new people too. They also have bullfighting if you are into that.

When exactly are you going to arrive? I could pick you up if you like.

I’m looking forward to seeing you.

Tom

 

 

KEY PHRASES FOR WRITING:

 

Greetings:

Hi

Hello

Dear

 

Openings:

Thanks for for email; it is great to hear from you

I’m so glad to hear from you

It’s great to have news from you

I’m sorry to hear that

 

Connectors: see how to use connectors HERE

And – I enjoy many different hobbies and i want to start a new one soon

But – I would do it, but I don’t feel like it

however – I would do it, however, I have better things to do

Because – I want to the cinema because I was meeting my friends

Because of – Because of  our economic problems, we couldn’t go

Then – I was just about to leave, then you called me

 

Endings:

I am looking forward to hearing from you

I hope to hear from you soon

See you later

Catch you later

See you soon

 

Goodbyes:

Best wishes

kind regards

All my love

 

FOR MORE EXAMPLES OF TEXTS AND KEY PHRASES SEE THE LINK

 

Structure of the text:

Greeting: Thank the person for the letter you have received

Introduce the topic: Talk about festivals in Spain

Answer the 1st question: which festival?

Answer the 2nd question: Why is it celebrated?

Ask a question so that they reply to you

Closing: say goodbye

 

Common mistakes

The first mistake is the format of the letter. Some people write the text as a paragraph, not a letter. YOU WILL NOT PASS IF YOU PUT THE EMAIL LIKE THIS!

Dear Martin, Thanks for your email; it is great to hear from you. There are many festivals in my region but there is one that you cannot miss. The fair in Albacete is one of the best festivals in all of Spain. Hundreds of thousands of people visit it every year. It always begins on the 7th September and lasts for 10 days. It is great because there is music and great food; it is really easy to meet new people too. They also have bullfighting if you are into that. When exactly are you going to arrive? I could pick you up if you like. I’m looking forward to seeing you. Tom

The second mistake is the candidates do not answer the question. DO NOT WRITE THE EMAIL AS IF YOU WERE THE PERSON ASKING THE QUESTIONS. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS

I am coming to visit you next month and I want to go to a traditional festival in your country. What is the most important one in your region? Why is it celebrated? Write to me and tell me about it.

 

YOU MUST RESPOND TO THESE QUESTIONS TO PASS!

Grammar and vocabulary

At B1 level you mist include some types of complex grammar. You do not need to be 100% accurate but you need to try to use them. They include:

  • conditionals (1º and 2º)
  • passives
  • relative clauses
  • modal verbs

 

SEE GRAMMAR STRUCTURES – FREE STUDY MATERIAL IN PDF

Word patterns and collocations – FREE PDF EXERCISES

 

If you follow this advice you will get a very good score on the writing part of the exam. Good luck with your exam preparation and don´t forget to comment if you want to learn anything else. You can find a complete course for the preparation of B1 at WWW.APPF.ES

logo-APPF-2016

 

READING How to do the reading part of the exam B1 (Preliminary Cambridge Exam) – CONTAINS A FREE MOCK EXAM

SPEAKING SPEAKING WITH FREE MOCK EXAM – Preliminary (B1) EXAM

LISTENING LISTENING – Preliminary (B1) Cambridge ESOL

REPHRASING How to do rephrasing B1 (Preliminary English Test) – FREE PDF QUESTIONS

 

Question for you to practice at home

 

You must answer this question.

Write an answer in 100 words on the answer sheet:

 

This is an extract form a email that you have received from your friend Jason:

Hi Marc, it’s wonderful news that you have finally been accepted onto the course. I did it a few years ago and I thought it was great. Are you finding it interesting? Do you need any help with any of the contact? Would you like me to send you and of my old course book?

Write an email in reply.

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