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:
- 6 reading parts. SEE How to do the reading part of the exam B1 (Preliminary Cambridge Exam)
The writing now consists of:
- An email of 100 words: You must do this question. To see how to write an email well click on the link
- An article or a story of 100 words. DO NOT DO BOTH OF THESE QUESTIONS. CHOOSE 1 HOW TO WRITE AN ARTICLE FOR B1 OR HOW TO WRITE A PERFECT STORY FOR THE CAMBRIDGE B1 (PRELIMINARY) – FREE PDF WITH EXAMPLE QUESTIONS
The 5 rephrasing questions are no longer in the exam (see How to do rephrasing B1). How to do rephrasing B1 (Preliminary English Test)
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?
The first thing to mention is that at B1 level they want a simple text with some complex grammar. It should be very easy to read and follow with very few mistakes. You must follow the instructions in the question!
TO AVOID ERRORS YOU SHOULD NOT GUESS VOCABULARY OR GRAMMAR STRUCTURES. ONLY USE WHAT YOU KNOW WELL. YOU SHOULD EXPERIMENT WITH LANGUAGE IN CLASS AND WHILE STUDYING, NOT IN THE EXAM
When writing a story, there are a few problems that most students find:
- In only 100 words, how can I complete the task?
- How do I organize the text?
- What do they mean by complex grammar?
The answers to these questions are simple:
- Find a good teacher to guide you through the questions CHECK
- Practice the task a lot. Not only writing full stories but also write frequently. Write sentences to improve vocabulary, messages and notes.
- Organize your text in a simple way. Use a clear start, middle and end. A TITLE IS OPTIONAL UNLESS STATED IN THE INSTRUCTIONS
Ways to start your story
- Once upon a time
- One day
- At the beginning
- When it all began
- When it al started
Time Phrases (for the middle of the story)
- Firstly, secondly, thirdly
- in due time
- as long as
- as soon as
- just in time
- at the moment
- in good time
- in the meantime
- in a moment
- in ages
- now that
- without delay
- all of a sudden
- at the present time
- from time to time
- sooner or later
- at the same time
- as soon as
Ways of ending the story
- In the end
- When it all ended
- After all of that
- After everything that had happened
- Once and for all
- At the end of the day
- reported/direct speech
- Wish/ if only
- Past perfect
- Modal verbs
- relative clauses
The use of connectors is essential in the organisation of stories. Use them to sequence the story and make it easy to follow.
|And, also, as well, in addition, besides, above all||However, but, although, on the other hand, despite, in spite of, even though, though, whereas|
|Such as, for example, like, for instance, as follows:||Similarly, equally, likewise, in the same way|
|Also, furthermore, moreover, above all, not only… but also||So, therefore, as a result, because of this, consequently, thus, hence, in that case|
|Otherwise, in other words, then, in that case||In conclusion, to sum up, in brief, therefore, to summarise|
|SEQUENCE||STATING THE OBVIOUS|
|Firstly, secondly, thirdly, lastly, next, after, to start with, to finish,||Obviously, clearly, naturally, of course, naturally, surely, after all|
MY ADVICE IS TO WRITE THE STORY IN THE PAST UNLESS THE INSTRUCTION OBLIGATES YOU TO USE THE FUTURE. THIS WAY THE GRAMMAR STRUCTURES ARE SIMPLE AND IT IS EASIER TO WRITE, YOU ONLY NEED A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF 3 GRAMMAR STRUCTURES:
- Past simple
- Past continuous
- Past perfect
For a better grade include WISH + PAST PERFECT or 3RD CONDITIONAL
Example of a story
Start the story with…
As soon as I woke up, I realised that it was the most important day of my life.
As soon as I woke up, I realised that it was the most important day of my life. I had been preparing for this day for as long as I can remember. We had studied all year for our final exam and we knew that when it was over, we would be qualified doctors. I couldn’t wait because it had been my dream since I was a kid. My parents would be so proud and they were planning a party for when I got my results. As I had studies so hard I knew I would pass without a problem. My plan was to finish the exam and then go clubbing with some friends. It was going to be a night to remember.
|Organisation. A start and a clear ending are essential in the writing of a good story at B1 level|
|Language use.Use complex grammar structures (SEE COMPLEX GRAMMAR)|