Listening: FIRST CERTIFICATE EXAM
The listening exam is made up of 4 parts. There is a maximum score of 30 points and you need 18 correct to be able to pass. The exam lasts for about 40 minutes. You will listen to each part of the exam twice and there is a little time (up to 1 minute) before each part to prepare the questions. The exam is not easy as there are things called distracters (references to options that do not answer the question) that can confuse you, they key is to focus on answering the question and discard the irrelevant information.
The best technique to do the exam is to prepare the questions and the options well, thinking of possible synonyms and antonyms. While you are listening you need to take notes of the possible answers. After the recording finishes should mark your definitive answers. It is better to guess, even if you are not 100% sure, NEVER LEAVE ANSWERS IN BLANK.
Part 1: consists of 8 situations with 1 question. You need to listen to the recording and mark the answer A, B or C. Be careful with distracters.
Improve your listening skills (HERE)
Part 2: in the second part you need to listen to a person talking about a topic. You have some information with 10 gaps in it. You need to review the information before listening and be clear about what type of information is missing (place, date, name, number etc.) listen and fill in the gaps with 1-3 words. It is important to take notes while you listen of all the possible answers, then when you finish you must select the correct answer. Be careful with spellings and that the sentences are grammatically correct. The gaps are in order.
Comprehensible input (HERE)
Part 3: has 5 people talking about 1 topic and their personal experiences. You have options A-H. You need to say which person says which of the options. The key is to take notes about what each person says then compare your notes to the options. You can only use each letter once and there are 3 extra letters that you do not need to use.
Learn how to understand native speakers (HERE)
Part 4: is usually an interview with 7 questions. You need to listen to the interview and answer the question A-C. It is easy to follow the recording by following the questions by the interviewer. The difficulty is that the recording is very long (up to 4 minutes) and you need to read a lot of information in the questions. The questions are in order.
See our post on key skills for listening Exams (HERE)
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