B1 Preliminary Exam Guide: Real World Texts

Reading Paper


Context: This section is the first part of the B1 Preliminary Reading paper, focusing on comprehension of short real-world texts.

Task: Candidates are presented with five short texts, each accompanied by a multiple-choice question with three options.

Objective: To understand and interpret various types of short texts, identifying their main message and context.

Scoring & Marks: The five questions are worth five points, so one point for each. There are 32 points available for the whole Reading paper.

How to Approach

  1. Read for Context: Read each text and determine the situation in which it might appear.
  2. Analyse Visual Clues: Use layout, location, and other visual elements to understand the context.
  3. Review Options: Read the three answer options for each text.
  4. Compare and Choose: Match each option with the text to find the best answer.
  5. Confirm Your Choice: Re-read the chosen option to ensure it aligns with the text's meaning.

Example Question

Printer Update

The office printer will be replaced next week. Please limit printing to essential documents only in the meantime.

  1. The office printer is currently out of service.
  2. Next week, the office printer will be replaced.
  3. The office printer will be replaced today.

Assessment Focus

This part assesses the candidate's ability to understand short texts, including their main messages and contexts.


  1. Practise reading various short texts, such as advertisements, notices, and messages, to familiarise yourself with different formats and styles.
  2. Develop skills in quickly identifying the context and purpose of a text.
  3. Engage in activities where you need to infer information from limited text, such as interpreting signs or short messages.
  4. Whenever you read a real world text for practice, ask yourself one question: "Why is this being written? What is the purpose?"

How It Looks

example Real World Texts question from B1 Preliminary Exam
B1 Preliminary Exam, Example Real World Texts Question

Student Suggestion

"I do lots of these exercises and before I look at the answer options, I think to myself what is the reason for this email or text message or sign. What does the person want to communicate?" - Sofia Karas

Practice Exercises

We have a page on the site to practise: B1 Preliminary: Real World Texts Multiple Choice Exercises

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