|EE-017a| B1: Preliminary – Reading [Part 1: Multiple Choice]

Hello ExamSeekers,

Have you been studying for the B1 Preliminary (former Cambridge English PET)? Or have you been preparing your students to be assessed by it? Well, recently I’ve posted about the changes to the 2020 A2 Key and B1 Preliminary Cambridge English exams, did you check it out? If you didn’t, make sure you take a look to know what to expect from these exams. 

As you know, the B1 Preliminary Reading Exam is divided into six parts:

Today’s post is about the B1: Preliminary Reading Exam Part 1: Multiple Choice.

PART 1 – Multiple Choice

In this part of the exam, candidates are expected to read five short texts (e.g. real-world notices, messages, and other short texts) and answer a multiple-choice question with three options A, B, and C. They can use the visual information (layout, location, etc.) to help identify the context. Here is an example:

B1 Preliminary Reading Exam Part 1 Multiple Choice Sample
B1 Preliminary Reading Exam Part 1 Multiple Choice – Sample

It seems to be a plain and simple exercise, in which you read and answer A, B, or C. The thing is… the options given may seem a bit tricky, so let me help you:

The first thing you should do is to read the options and underline what is essential:

  • A) She’s inviting Vicki to stay with her.
  • B) She wants to meet Vicki at school.
  • C) She’s hoping Vicki will cook dinner.

Now, read the text and try to take away, relevant parts from the message which may connect to the underlined answers:

Vicki! Mum says we can have a sleepover at my house tonight. Come straight from school. I’m cooking dinner for us – How cool is that! See you, Petra.

So as you can see above, I underline possible matches.

  • at my house >> inventing Vicki to stay
  • come from school >> meet Vicki at school
  • I’m cooking dinner >> Vicki will cook

Now, it is vital to have a B1 level of grammar knowledge to know how to differentiate pronouns, prepositions, and verbs.

  1. When she says I’m cooking dinner, the pronoun here is “I”, and in the possible answer C, she is saying that Vicki will cook. So, the letter C is not a viable answer, we are talking about two different people.
  2. When she says Come straight from school, she expected that Vicki finished school and went from school to her house, which is different from meet Vicki at school. Which means that she and Vicki can meet there. Not option B, then.
  3. When she says at my house, and she uses the verb to come (straight from school), she is inviting Vicki to stay with her in her house. Which means that the only possible answer is option A.

This is the trick. You should cut the exercise into parts so that you can figure out the parts! 😀 Now it’s your turn to try:


As you can see, this is a 5 question task and you can get one mark for each correct answer.

As I mentioned before, there were changes to the Cambridge English A2 Key and B1 Preliminary Exams, but this is the same task as before the changes. This means that, if you still have other mock tests for this type of Multiple-Choice exercise, you can use it to practice.

I hope I was able to clear some doubts about this task and remember that If you still have questions you can comment in the comment section below. I’ll also try to bring other samples for you guys, okay?

PS: All samples are provided by Cambridge.

Answer Key:

  1. B
  2. C
  3. C
  4. B
  5. A

Leave a Reply