About the B1 Business Preliminary Exam


What is the exam?

The B1 Business Preliminary Exam (BEC Preliminary) is a Cambridge Business English Certificate (BEC). It was called BEC Preliminary.

It is an exam for professionals who are working or want to work in English.

Why take the exam?

Passing the B1 Business Preliminary Exam will give you a Cambridge English Certificate stating that you have a B1 Intermediate level in Business English.

It shows that you are able to talk about different business subjects and to follow telephone conversations.

It also shows that you can write short business emails and understand graphs and short texts.

How do Cambridge English mark the exam?

There are four parts to test the four skills, reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each part is equal and is 25 percent of the total score. The final result is an average of all four parts.

If you receive a low score for one part of the exam that you find difficult you can still pass the exam if you are stronger in the other parts. There are no penalties if you do badly in one part of the exam.

Calculating the pass rate and grades for the exam is a complex process. If you do practice listening and reading tests you can consider 60% as a pass.

Who accepts the certificate?

Employers, some further and higher educational institutions, and some government bodies accept the certificate.

Cambridge mentions companies like Casio and Procter and Gamble on their website.

How to use the BEC Exam guide effectively

Use the BEC exam guide with real exam papers. You can read about each part of the exam and follow the procedures advised at the same time.  There is a B1 Business Preliminary sample test with an answer key for each part of the exam here, you can download and print these examples if necessary. You will probably need to buy official practice tests from Cambridge English, you can buy them at reasonable prices here.

You can find more about how to use the BEC Exam Guide in the articles section here.