Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET) is made up of 3 papers developed to test your English skills. You can see exactly what’s in each paper below. Official Website
1. Reading and Writing 1 hour 30 minutes = 50% The Reading and Writing paper has 8 parts and 42 questions. Candidates are expected to read and understand different kinds of short texts and longer, factual texts. Text sources might include signs, brochures, newspapers, magazines and messages such as notes, emails, cards and postcards.
Parts 1 to 5 focus on reading skills, including underlying knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. The exam includes tasks such as answering multiple choice questions, selecting descriptions which match different texts, and identifying true or false information. Parts 6 to 8 focus on writing skills, including underlying knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. The exam includes tasks such as completing gapped sentences, writing a short informal letter of 35 – 45 words based on 3 given instructions, and producing a longer piece of writing – either a long informal letter or a story of about 80-100 words.
2. Listening 35 minutes = 25% The Listening paper has 4 parts comprising 25 questions. Candidates are expected to understand a range of spoken materials, in both informal and neutral settings, on a range of everyday topics. Recorded materials may include announcements, interviews and discussions about everyday life.
Part 1 has 7 short recordings and three pictures for each. Candidates listen for key pieces of information in order to complete seven multiple choice questions.
Part 2 has a longer recording either in monologue or interview format. Candidates identify simple factual information in the recording to answer six multiple choice questions.
Part 3 has a longer monologue, which may be a radio announcement or a recorded message with information about places and events. Candidates are given a page of notes summarizing the recording and must fill in six pieces of information which are missing from the notes. Part 4 has an informal conversation between 2 people who are discussing everyday topics. Candidates decide whether six statements are true or false, based on the information, attitudes and opinions of the people in the recording.
3. Speaking 10–12 minutes = 25% The Speaking paper has 4 parts and is conducted face-to-face, with one or two other candidates and 2 examiners. Candidates are expected to demonstrate conversation skills by answering and asking questions and talking freely about their likes and dislikes.
Part 1 is a general conversation with the examiner. Candidates give personal information about themselves, e.g. talk about their daily life, studies, plans for the future, etc.
Part 2 is a collaborative task with the other candidate(s). The examiner gives the candidates some pictures and describes a situation. The candidates discuss the issues and decide what would be best in the situation.
Part 3 is completed individually. Each candidate has one minute to describe a photograph provided by the examiner.
Part 4 is a discussion with the other candidate(s). The candidates discuss the topic related to the photographs they were given in Part 3 of the exam, talking about their opinions.