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.
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Author:

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

One thought on “CAE Listening Exam Technique

  1. I think the technique and effort behind improving listening skills can often be overlooked in the teaching and learning of languages, and the focus can often shift to exam technique, but if listening skills are taught well, i believe they are one and the same. Take a look at my post about this point

    https://intercambioidiomasonline.com/2017/02/07/improving-your-listening-the-effor-involved-mejorando-el-oido-bilingual-postentrada-bilingue/

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