Preliminary English Examination
(CEFR B1)
I.T.I.S De Pretto
Prof. Maria Cristina Marcolin
Settimana intensiva a.s. 2012-13
Reading
&
Writing
Listening
25%
Speaking
25%
50%
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Reading Test Overview
(suggested timing: about 50 minutes for 35 questions)
Part 1
Understanding of various kinds of short texts.
Part 2
Detailed comprehension of factual information.
Part 3
Understanding of longer texts looking for precise factual information.
Part 4
Understanding of longer texts in terms of writer’s purpose, attitude or
opinion besides the detailed and global meaning of the text.
Part 5
Understanding a short text and filling in the gaps.
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Reading: Part 1
TASK TYPE
 3-option multiple-choice: reading real-world
notices.
HOW TO DO IT
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read the text carefully,
think about the situation it would appear,
read all three options,
compare each one with the text,
choose your answer,
re-read both the text and your answer.
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Reading: Part 2
TASK TYPE
 reading-matching multiple texts for specific information and detailed
comprehension:
 5 short descriptions of people,
 8 short texts on a topic, (5 of which to be matched to each single
description above)
HOW TO DO IT
read through the 5 descriptions,
read through all 8 texts carefully,
underline any matches within them,
before choosing the right text check that all the requirements in each
single description are met by it,
 AVOID quick matching at word level (word spotting).
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Reading: Part 3
TASK TYPE
 true/false exercise: processing a longer factual text and scanning for
specific information.
 10 questions about the text.
HOW TO DO IT
 read the questions FIRST,
 scan the text to find each answer,
 AVOID being put off if you meet unfamiliar words:see if the TEXT can help
you understand the specific information.
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Reading: Part 4
TASK TYPE
 4-option multiple-choice: reading for detailed comprehension;
understanding attitude, opinion and writer purpose:
 5 multiple-choice questions.
HOW TO DO IT
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Read the title and the questions,
read the text carefully,
find out the topic and general meaning of the text,
re-read the text MORE carefully,
answer the questions one by one (they follow the order of the text),
 Question n.1: focuses on the writer’s purpose,
 Question n.5: focuses on global meaning.
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Reading: Part 5
TASK TYPE
 4-option multiple-choice questions: understanding of vocabulary and
grammar (such as pronouns, modal verbs, connectives and prepositions)
in a short text:
 a short text with 10 numbered gaps,
 1 4-option multiple-choice question for each gap.
HOW TO DO IT
read through the whole text,
understand its general meaning,
go back to the beginning of the text and consider the example,
work through each question by selecting the right word to fit in each
gap,
 always check that the remaining options do not fit in the gap,
 after completing the 10 questions, read the whole text again with your
answers to see if it makes sense.
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Writing Test Overview
(suggested timing: at least 40 minutes)
Part 1
Focus on grammar accuracy in sentence transformation.
Part 2
Grammar and language accuracy in short messages.
Part 3
Grammar accuracy and range of language in a longer piece
of continuous writing.
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Assessment Scale of Writing Part 2
5
All three parts of message clearly communicated.
4
All three parts of message communicated.
3
All three parts of message attempted.
OR
Two parts of message are clearly communicated but one
part is unattempted.
2
Only two parts of message communicated.
1
Only one part of message communicated.
0
Question unattempted or totally incomprehensible
response.
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Assessment Scale of Writing Part 3
Tasks are marked using Assessment Scales developed with reference
to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
(CEFR) and consist of four sub-scales:
Content: how well the candidate has fulfilled the task.
Communicative Achievement: how appropriate the writing
and the register is for the task.
Organisation:how the candidate puts together the piece of
writing (i.e. if it is logical and ordered).
Language: range of vocabulary and accuracy of grammar.
Responses are marked on each sub-scale from 0 to 5.
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Writing: Part 1
TASK TYPE
 Focus on grammar precision.
 Sentence transformations:
given 5 theme-related items, complete 5 corresponding sentences with
the same meaning but with a differrent structural pattern.
HOW TO DO IT
read the example accurately and understand what you have to do;
read the complete sentence together with its gapped match below it;
use between ONE and THREE words to fill each gap;
always check that the meaning of the second ‘gapped’ sentence, when
complete, is the same as the first, or given, sentence;
 there may be more than a correct answer in some cases,
 NO marks are given if:
- words are misspelled;
- more than THREE words are used to fill in each
single gap.
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Writing: Part 2
TASK TYPE
 Focus on grammar precision with longer texts.
 Communicative message of between 35 to 45 words in length:
the addressee, the reason for writing and three bulleted content points
are provided in the question.
HOW TO DO IT
read the task carefully;
plan your text relating to the context given in the question;
include all the points which are mentioned in the task;
Be CLEAR: the reader must understand your message effortlessly;
Do NOT fall short of or exceed the required length of the text (35-45
words)!
 Minor mistakes are condoned!
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Writing: Part 3
TASK TYPE
 Focus on grammar precision with long texts.
 A two-option task: either an informal letter or a story.
 Text length: about 100 words.
HOW TO DO IT
 If you choose the informal letter, read the extract provided, keep to the
topic and answer the questions;
 you must be aware of the language and organization of letter writing
(such as opening and closing formulae, etc.).
 If you choose the story, read the title or the first sentence given very
carefully;
 plan your text and pay particular attention to the names, tenses or
pronouns which appear in the title or in the given sentence and continue
the story accordingly.
 Minor mistakes will be condoned.
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Listening Test Overview
(about 36 minutes)
Part 1
Understand key information.
Part 2
Understand detailed information.
Part 3
Listen to interpret information.
Part 4
Listen to detailed information to identify attitudes and
opinions.
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Listening: Part 1
TASK TYPE
 Understand seven short monologues or dialogues (key information).
The text is heard twice.
 Seven questions with seven 3-option multiple-choice visual items.
HOW TO DO IT
 Read and listen to the instructions;
 have a look at the sample task, which shows how to record your
answers;
 listen, then choose the picture which best answers the question;
 to indicate the correct answer TICK the box beneath the picture.
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Listening: Part 2
TASK TYPE
 Understand a longer monologue or interview with one main speaker
(detailed information).
The text is heard twice.
 Six 3-option multiple-choice items.
HOW TO DO IT
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Read and listen to the instructions;
during the pause read the questions;
try and figure out the context;
tick the best option as you listen;
check your answer during the second listening.
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Listening: Part 3
TASK TYPE
 Understand a longer monologue (interpreting information).
The text is heard twice.
 Six fill-in-the-gap items.
HOW TO DO IT
Read and listen to the instructions;
during the pause read the gapped text;
try and figure out the context;
make predictions about the language and information you are going to
hear;
 as you listen, fill in the numbered gaps with words which complete the
missing information. Ignore any redundant information.
 Minor spelling mistakes are accepted except with high-frequency words
or when single words are spelt.
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Listening: Part 4
TASK TYPE
 Understand a longer informal dialogue (detailed information to identify
attitudes and opinions).
The text is heard twice.
 Six true/false statements.
HOW TO DO IT
Read and listen to the instructions;
during the pause read the questions;
try and figure out the context;
listen for gist first;
decide whether the statements you hear are true or false and tick the
appropriate box;
 check your options during the second listening.
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Speaking Test Overview
about 10 to 12 minutes
Part 1 (about 2-3 minutes)
The examiners introduce themselves to you and your partner.
One examiner asks each of you a few questions about yourself and asks
you to spell your names.
Part 2 (about 2-3 minutes)
The examiner gives you and your partner a drawing and explains what you
have to do. You and your partner talk about it together.
Part 3 (about 3 minutes)
The examiner gives you a photograph. You show your photograph to your
Partner and describe it. Then you swap roles with a different photograph.
Part 4 (about 3 minutes)
The examiner asks you and your partner to talk together about the subject
of the photographs. You tell each other your opinions or describe your
experiences.
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Assessment Scale of Speaking
Although candidates take the test in pairs or groups of three,
throughout the test they are assessed on their individual performance
and not in relation to each other.
They are awarded marks by two examiners: an assessor and an
interlocutor.
The interlocutor awards a mark for the performance as a whole, using
the Global Achievement scale.
The assessor awards marks for four individual criteria:
Grammar and Vocabulary
Discourse Management
Pronunciation
Interactive Communication.
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Speaking: Part 1
(interview)
TASK TYPE
The examiner:
 asks each student personal questions (where
you live, your school, your interests, etc.)
HOW TO DO IT
 speak about yourself,
 use grammar and vocabulary referring to your
daily routine, the present, the past, your
interests and the alphabet.
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Speaking: Part 2
(collaborative task)
TASK TYPE
The examiner:
 sets the situation by providing a picture for
both students.
The students:
 talk together about the situation.
HOW TO DO IT
 Use a wide range of grammar and vocabulary
required for level B1.
(Difficult to foresee in detail since they depend on the situation
set by the examiner!)
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Speaking: Part 3
(individual long turn)
TASK TYPE
The examiner:
 sets the situation by providing a picture for
each student in turn.
The students:
 each of them take turns to talk about their own
situation.
HOW TO DO IT
 speak about a picture in a logical way,
 use a wide range of grammar and vocabulary.
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Speaking: Part 4
discussion
TASK TYPE
The students:
 talk together about a situation, giving their
personal opinion.
HOW TO DO IT
 speak about a given situation in a logical way,
 use a wide range of B1-level grammar and
vocabulary.
(Difficult to foresee in detail since they depend on the situation
set by the examiner!)
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Acknowledgments
•https://www.teachers.cambridgeesol.org/ts/teachingresources
•University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, Cambridge English
Preliminary for Schools, Handbook for Teachers.
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