Preliminary English Test (PET)

PET is an exam for people who can use everyday written and spoken English at an intermediate level. It covers all four language skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking. Preparing for the exam is a popular way to develop and improve your language skills because it provides practical language practice in a variety of everyday work, study and leisure situations.

PET reflects the use of language in real life, such as understanding signs and announcements, and is accepted by many employers as proof of ability to use English in clerical, secretarial or managerial jobs. It is also widely accepted for use in jobs where spoken English is necessary such as tourism, retail, construction, manufacturing and engineering.

There are two versions of PET available: PET and PET for Schools. Both follow exactly the same format and the level of the question papers is identical. The only difference is that the content and treatment of topics in PET for Schools have been particularly targeted at the interests and experience of school pupils.

Is PET for you?

Can you use English to:

  • deal with everyday events?
  • read simple textbooks or magazine articles?
  • write letters on familiar subjects?
  • take notes in a meeting?

If this describes your skills now, or describes the level of skills you are working towards, then PET is the right exam for you.

What will PET do for you?

Cambridge ESOL is a department of the world-famous and historic University of Cambridge. Attaining one of its certificates is an achievement and a reward in itself. However, there are many other benefits to taking PET:

  • a PET certificate is valid for life. You will not need to take the exam again
  • ET is a truly international certificate, recognised around the world for business and study purposes
  • thousands of employers, universities and government departments officially recognise PET as an intermediate qualification in English
  • although PET is a basic exam, it offers a chance to find out your strengths and weaknesses in using English, and gives you a pathway to higher qualifications such as the First Certificate in English (FCE)
  • PET’s ‘Can Do’ skills give you the confidence to use English in real situations.

If you are not studying at the moment, your nearest Cambridge ESOL exam centre will be able to advise you about how to register, fees, the dates of the exam and other arrangements. We have more than 2,000 centres in 130 countries. Please note that centres may set registration deadlines that are earlier than those published.

Entries cannot be made directly to Cambridge ESOL.

Already registered?

Visit the Candidate Support site for exam preparation help.

If you have a disability or a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia) it may be possible to ask for Special Arrangements to be made when taking the exam.