|EE-025a| B1: Preliminary – Writing [Part 1: Writing an e-mail]

Hello ExamSeekers,

I am so sorry for not posting anything on Friday. Let me say that last week was crazy!!! So much to do… It’s Monday morning now, and I’m still exhausted. Anyway, I still have lots of things to do, but I wouldn’t leave you guys without a text today, so… I will stop rambling now and get straight to the point!

As I’ve mentioned before, I will be bringing texts about exams every Monday and Tuesday. Today, I’m posting about the Cambridge B1 Preliminary (former PET).

I’ve already written a bit about it. I’ve posted about the Reading and Use of Engish:

Today, I’m going to post about the Writing Exam. The B1 Preliminary Writing paper has two parts. You have to show that you can use vocabulary and structure correctly by writing different types of text in English: an e-mail and an article or a story.

It is 25% of your mark, and it takes about 45 minutes.

Let’s talk about the B1 Preliminary Writing Exam part 1: Writing an e-mail.

Cover for PET - Cambridge English B1 Preliminary Writing Exam

In part 1, candidates have to write about 100 words answering the e-mail and notes provided. This question has a maximum of 20 marks available.

Here is the e-mail you should respond to:

Cambridge English B1 Preliminary Writing Exam part 1 - Writing an e-mail sample

In this scenario Cambridge created, Sandy, your friend, wrote you an e-mail. While you were reading, you made notes. Now you have to reply to this e-mail using the words.

There are some things you have to keep in mind before replying to Sandy:

First, as you can see, the notes you’ve written down are just observations: “Say which I prefer”, “Ask Sandy”, “No, because…”, and “Me too!”. You don’t need to use the exact words, you just need to use the idea of the notes.

Secondly, this is an e-mail reply, so you have to maintain the e-mail format: greetings, the body of the letter (beginning, middle, end), closing, and signature.

And lastly, you have to write up to 100 words or so. If you write 90 to 110, it’s not a problem. I’d go for the latter, the more, the merrier. It’s good to show that you can stick to the rules, but it’s also good to show that you can write a bit more than less.

So here we go!

Sandy says: I’m so excited that you were coming to stay with me for a week!

You have to agree. You could say “me too”, but you are replying to an e-mail, not to an instant message, so “me too”, might be out of context. Try to contextualize and make your agreement coherent and cohesive: I am also super excited that I will be staying at your place next week.

In the second paragraph, Sandy offers you an option. You should say what you prefer from going to a concert and relaxing at home. Remember to always make your text coherent: About the rock concert, as much as I’d love to go, I believe I’ll be exhausted from the trip. So, is it okay if we hang at home?

Sandy mentions climbing the mountains in the third paragraph, but you need to say “no”: It’d be awesome to climb the mountains, but I sprained my ankle last week, and it still hurts.

In the last paragraph, you should ask Sandy a question. You can write something related to the trip or the travel: I’ve heard that the Cats musical are in town, is it true? I love musicals, what do you think about it? Can we go?

As you can see, I asked three questions about the same topic. Since  I said “no” to the rock concert and the mountain climbing, I decided to offer a choice. Now, let’s put it all together and count the words:

Hi, Sandy,

How are you? I’m fine, and I am also super excited that I will be staying at your place next week.

About the rock concert… As much as I’d love to go, I believe I’ll be exhausted from the trip. So, is it okay if we hang at home? And it’d be awesome to climb the mountains, but I sprained my ankle last month, and it still hurts.

I’ve heard that the Cats musical are in town, is it true? I love musicals, what do you think about it? Can we go?

I can’t wait to see you!

Love, Patty

There are 102 words from “Hi” to “Patty”. It is a good count, and the most important: it is coherent and cohesive!

Try to avoid the word “very”. If you can use synonyms like “exhausted”, “awesome”, it will make your text better.

Well, this is a sample, but there are many ways to write an e-mail response, just be sure to address all the notes, okay? If you want, write your reply to Sandy in the comment section below, and I will say my opinion about it, okay?

Also,  don’t forget to follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor !!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura

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