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LISTENING FOR CAE (C1) – exam technique 

The listening part of the Cambridge Advanced Exam (CAE) consists of 4 prts and lasts for about 4 minutes. Candidates need to listen to various recordings and answer 30 questions about what they hear. The parts are always the same, with the only variation being the topics of the recordings.

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Part 1

There are 6 questions in this part of the test. Candidates need to listen to 3 separarte consversations and answer two questions about each part with A, B or C. THERE ARE DISTRACTERS IN THIS PART OF THE TEST SO YOU WILL NEED TO LISTN CAREFULLY AND MARK THE OPTION THAT ANSWERS THE QUESTION. YOU ALWAYS HAVE ABOUT 20 SECONDS BEFORE LISTENING TO READ THE INFORMATION AND PREPARE.

Part 2

In this part of the exam candidates need to listen to a monologue that lasts about 3 minutes and fill in the 8 gaps in the text with a short phrase (normally 1 to 3 words). THE INFORMATION IS NORMALLY SOMETHING SPECIFIC LIKE A DATE, TIME, PLACE, PERSON, NOUN or ADJECTIVE, BUT IT CAN BE A SHORT PHRASE. THERE ARE DISTRACTERS IN THIS PART OF THE TEST SO YOU WILL NEED TO LISTN CAREFULLY AND MARK THE OPTION THAT ANSWERS THE QUESTION. YOU ALWAYS HAVE ABOUT 30 SECONDS BEFORE LISTENING TO READ THE INFORMATION AND PREPARE.

Part 3

In the third part of the test you will listen to a conversation (normally an interview). You need to answer the questions with the correct option A-D. You should listen for language that denotes agreement, opinion, attitude, purpose and function. THIS RECORDING IS NORMALLY VERY LONG AND YOU HAVE A LOT TO READ BEFORE LISTENING, YOU ALWAYS HAVE 70 SECONDS TO PREPARE BEFORE THE RECORDING BEGINS.

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Part 4

This is the trickiest part of the exam. You have two tasks to complete simultaneously. You must listen to 5 speakers talking about the same topic and mark the correct option A-H (3 extra that you do not use). THE HEY TO THIS PART OF THE EXAM IS TO SEPARATE THE SPEAKERS INTO 5 SEPARATE OPTIONS, TAE NOTES ABOUT WHAT THEY SAY AND THEN COMPARE THE NOTES TO THE OPTIONS A-H. IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND IDIOMS AND EXPRESSIONS FOR THIS PART OF THE EXAM AND YOU MUST ALSO LISTEN FOR AGREEMENT, PURPOSE AND OPINION LANGUAGE.

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