Posted in Listening Classes

CAE Listening Exam Technique

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This is a handout to help students tackle the four parts of the CAE listening paper. You can download it below. Do you have any other tips?

CAE Listening Technique

Part 1 – Short conversations – Multiple Choice

  • 3 short extracts. Short conversations between two people.
  • 2 questions per extract. 6 marks in total
  • Time in between extracts to read next two questions.
  • Read questions 1+2 – underline key words
  • Listen to extract 1 twice
  • Move onto questions 3+4 etc.

Part 2 – Sentence Completion

  • Sentence completion – complete sentence with word or short phrase
  • 8 questions, 8 marks
  • 45 seconds to read task – underline key words and make predictions about type of word (adjective, noun, verb) and possibilities (number? animal? place?)
  • Listen for first time – be careful for distractors:

Identify the distractors in this question:

Sentence: The subject Steven was teaching when he first read about the bath toys was ____________________.

Listening text: “So how did I get involved? I’m a college lecturer but not teaching anything like economics or even geography; media studies is my field.”

  • Confirm answer on second listening.
  • Numbers can be like this: 36 or like this: thirty-six
  • Check that word or phrase makes sense in the context of the sentence, Should it be plural? Does it need an article? (a/an/the)

Part 3 – Long Interview – Multiple Choice

  • 6 questions multiple choice
  • 6 marks in total
  • 70 seconds to read the task – 10 seconds per question, underline key words in questions and options, focus on phrases like “biggest benefit” or “most important.”
  • First listen try to answer each question or at least cross out any that aren’t possible
  • Confirm on second listen.

Part 4 – Two Task Matching

  • 5 extracts about same topic – short monologues.
  • Two tasks at same time – 10 marks in total.
  • 45 seconds to read task – first thing: underline the information for each task: reason why they did the course, consequences/benefits of doing the course.
  • Read options and attempt to memorise
  • Try to complete both tasks at the same time.

Author:

Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

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