What is the new PET exam Format?
The Cambridge PET will be different from January 2020 and both students and teachers need to be aware of the changes.
So, what is different about the new style Cambridge PET exam?
The first question a student asks is whether the exam more or less difficult than before. Here’s my opinion.
Reading and Writing are now separate Parts. Students have 45 minutes to complete each part.
Writing is the same as the old style exam.
Reading now has 6 parts with a new Part where students need to put missing sentences into a piece of text. This is similar to the B2 exam and is quite challenging for students. We will look at the strategy for this part, in detail, in another post.
In my opinion, 45 minutes to complete the Reading with its 6 parts is going to be very difficult for some students. Keyword recognition will be critical if the Reading is to be done within the time.
Listening stays the same but is much shorter in duration, 30 minutes compared to 40 minutes. This has probably been achieved by cutting down on instructions, preparation time for each part, and perhaps the speed of the speakers in the listening. The fact that it is ten minutes shorter suggests that it will be more difficult than before when it was 40 minutes.
Speaking time has also been reduced to 12 mins as opposed to the 15 minutes previously. Personally this is irrelevant as I have yet to know of a single speaking exam that conformed to the quoted time. The length of the speaking depends on the examination centre, how many candidates and examiners they have and how well organised they are. Do not believe you will get the stated time in the speaking – it never happens and may be much shorter or a little longer than the 12 minutes.
We will be looking at the new exam format in-depth shortly.
Download a PDF of what’s new
Here is the official PDF from Cambridge of the new exam format. You may download and print it.