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B2 First for Schools exam format

The updated B2 First for Schools exam (for exam sessions from January 2015) is made up of four papers developed to test students' English language skills.

 You can see exactly what’s in each paper below.


Reading and Use of English

1 hour 15 minutes


1 hour 20 minutes


40 minutes


14 minutes per pair of candidates


parts / 52 questions

2 parts 

parts / 30 questions








Students need to be able to understand a range of texts, including how they are organised and the opinions and attitudes expressed in them. The texts will be from sources familiar to school-aged learners, such as magazines, articles, fiction and advertisements, but targeted at the interests of students.
Students’ use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well they can control their grammar and vocabulary.

Students are required to produce two pieces of writing. The first piece is compulsory and will be an essay of 140–190 words. For the second, they can choose from an article, email/letter, essay, review or story of 140–190 words.

Requires being able to follow and understand a range of familiar spoken materials, such as news programmes, public announcements and other sources, but targeted at the interests of school-aged learners.

A face to face test taken with one or two other candidates and an examiner. Students have to show how well they can produce spontaneous spoken language, talking with either the examiner, the other candidate, or by themselves.

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