B1 Business Preliminary

Cambridge English

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Exam information

What is Business English? 

The Business English Certificates are designed for the purpose of international business and trade.

There are three different levels of Business English:

  • B1 Business Preliminary
  • B2 Business Vantage
  • C1 Business Higher

They are aligned with Levels B1 to C1 of the CEFR an internationally recognised benchmark of language ability.


Who is this Business English exam for and why should I take it?

  • B1 Business Preliminary is an Intermediate level business exam and suitable for people who are preparing for a career in business.
  • It can help you show that you have learned English to an appropriate standard and can use it in a business context.
  • The Business English exams are suitable for adults (aged 16 and over).


What is the format of the exam?

Reading 1 hour 30 min
Writing 1 hour 30 min
Listening 40 min approx
Speaking 12 min approx


Your result

Each component of the exam carries 25% of the total marks.

  • Candidates can access their results on Candidate Result website.
  • For paper-based exams, these will be available after 4 to 6 weeks.
  • For computer-based exams, they will be available after 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Results are reported using Cambridge Assessment English Scale.
  • You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking).
  • These scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam.


B1 Business Preliminary

For B1 Business Preliminary, there are three Pass grades:

  • Pass with Distinction (score between 160 and 170)
  • Pass with Merit (score between 153 and 159)
  • Pass (score between 140 and 152)

and two Fail grades:

  • Council of Europe Level A2 (score between 120 and 139)
  • Not Reported (119 and below)

There is no minimum pass mark for individual papers.

The grade is based on the total score of all 4 papers.

Certificates are awarded to candidates who score 120 and above and are despatched approximately 10 days after the results release window has ended.


What to expect on exam day:


In case you want to check your level you can do a Cambridge English Placement Test with us.

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