This is the exam preparation guide for the Business English (B1) course.
Click (laptop) or tap (mobile) to open each section.
The Business English (B1) examination is structured as follows:
Note that the use of dictionaries is not permitted during the exam.
The course outline (Skript) and the outline of the exam can be downloaded below.
Exam preparation: Reading
To practise for the reading questions in the exam, you can do the following:
- go to this page to see examples of the two types of question you will have in the exam: Exam reading practice
- do this practice activity: BEC Preliminary Reading Test - Part 4
you can check your answers here: Answer key 1
- use the coursebook to do as much reading as possible.
Exam preparation: Vocabulary
To go over the vocabulary that was covered in the course using the course book Simply Business B1+, you can do the following:
- Go to this page to see examples of the three types of question you will have in the exam: Business English (B1) – Lesson 6 Self-study and do the Vocabulary review activity in the 'Vocabulary' section.
- Review your class notes and the Präsenzskript files made available in the Online Campus.
- Do (or re-do) the relevant vocabulary activities in your coursebook Simply Business B1+.
- Do (or re-do) the vocabulary practice activities in the Simply Business B1+ Online exercises that were set in the Lessons 1 - 7 Self-study pages.
- Do any additional exercises in the 'Vocabulary' sections set in the Lessons 1 - 8 Self-study pages.
- If you haven't already sone so, download the word list for the Simply Business B1+ coursebook (See below).
- If you find studying with your mobile phone helpful, you can use the Quizlet app, to create your own vocabulary sets. Make the individual sets about 10 - 12 words or phrases as this is a good number to study at one time. You will probably need to create more than one for each unit.
- Alternatively, Cornelsen offers a Vokabeltrainer app which is available in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Alternatively, use your own word lists or cards to learn the vocabulary required.
Exam preparation: Grammar
To go over the grammar that was covered in the course, do the following:
- Review your class notes and the Präsenzskript files made available in the Online Campus
- Do (or re-do) the grammar activities in your coursebook Simply Business B1+
- Do (or re-do) the grammar practice activities in the Simply Business B1+ Online exercises that were set in the Lessons 1 - 7 Self-study pages.
- Do (or re-do) any exercises that were set in the 'Grammar' sections in the Lessons 1 - 7 Self-study pages.
Exam preparation: Writing an email
In this section of the exam, you will be asked to write an email choosing to write in a formal or less formal style as appropriate.
To prepare for the email writing question in the exam, you should use the following:
- your class notes and the Präsenzskript files made available in the Online Campus (especially lessons 3, 4 & 8)
- the emailing activities in the Simply Business B1+ Online exercises that were set in the Lessons 1 - 8 Self-study pages.
- the activities covering different aspects of emailing on this page Email practice.
Exam preparation: Student consulting
- In the first step in your student consulting research project, you were asked to think of ONE of the following that relates to your work, company or business sector:
- A process
- A problem
- A project
- A product or service
- Something else you find interesting (please be specific)
- In the final exam, you will have 20 minutes to write a minimum of 275 words and a maximum of 300 words in which you cover the following points:
- Briefly describe your research topic and why you chose it (e.g. how it relates to your work, your company or industry).
- Summarise your findings (e.g. the results of your research). This should be the main part of your text.
- Conclude with a proposal, recommendation or perhaps some speculation on the future as appropriate to your chosen topic.
- The 20 marks available are awarded for:
- Appropriateness and quality of the content (i.e. how well you answer each of the 3 parts of the question and clearly demonstrate that you have prepared well for this task)
- Good use of academic writing style
- Paragraphing (i.e. structure of individual paragraphs, logical connection between paragraphs)
- Correct use of English (i.e. grammatical correctness, choice of vocabulary)
- Presentation (i.e. layout)
- Keeping to the word limit
- Producing formal academic writing involves the following:
- Do not use contractions (e.g. write ‘who is in charge.’ not ‘who’s in charge.’)
- Avoid phrasal verbs (e.g. use ‘postpone’ rather than ‘put off’)
- Use more formal vocabulary (e.g. longer words of Latin or French origin rather than shorter informal vocabulary: ‘require’ rather than ‘need’, ‘retain’ rather than ‘keep’, or ‘repeatedly’ rather than ‘again and again’)
- Use transitional devices to guide the reader and link ideas and information (e.g. ‘whereas’ to compare or ‘in addition’ to add information, etc.)
- Avoid ellipsis and make sure you use complete sentences that are correctly and clearly structured. (e.g. ‘I am going to the office today.’)
- Use paragraphs that are well-structured and cohesively linked to each other so that they form a coherent text that is easy to follow and convincingly organised.
Course and exam outlines
The course outline (Skript) and the outline of the exam can be downloaded here:
The prescribed coursebook for FOM Hochschule students taking the Business English exam is Cornelsen’s Simply Business B1+.
The course coursebook can be purchased directly from Amazon by clicking on this image below.