Hello! This is ABC English Levels and Valentine, and this is time for our new audio lesson. Today we’re going to talk about FCE Listening Part 2. You’ll learn how it’s assessed, the structure, and I’ll give you some pieces of advice to deal with it better.
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What’s the FCE Listening Part 2?
In FCE Listening Part 2, you’ll hear a monologue twice. It might be a talk or lecture on a definite topic with a sentence-completion task, which has 10 gaps. You must fill in each gap with between one and three words.
You must write the words you actually hear. Try to spell them correctly. Minor mistakes in spelling are acceptable as long as the candidate’s intention is clear. But remember that everything that is personal, in terms that exam papers are marked by people, not robots, is true to some extent. That is to say, what is a minor mistake for one person is a gross one for another. So, try to avoid any spelling mistakes.
What does the FCE Listening Part 2 test?
This part tests your ability to pick out and write down specific information, details and opinions.
How is the FCE Listening Part 2 marked?
You are given one mark for each correct answer.
Strategy and tips
Apart from the general points, I have already mentioned in the previous audio lessons, there’s something more to add.
You’ll be given up to one minute to get familiar with the summary of a lecture. It’s important to remember that it is just a summary of what a person is saying. Do not expect to see in the text exactly the same words you hear. There will be synonymous sentences. But you must catch exactly the speaker’s words to put them in the gaps. So, while reading the summary, try to predict what sort of information is missing in each gap. It might be a place, time, characteristics of an object, age, some numbers etc. It depends on what goes before and after a gap.
For instance, you read: «As a child, Gabe’s interests were playing video games and reading …» The key words are interests, playing video games and reading. Reading what? Something. So, we can predict that the information in the gap refers to a genre of literature, an author or a title of a book, right?
Then you hear the speaker say: «Well, it’ll be no surprise to you that when I was a kid, I used to play video games and things like that. I was also a huge fan of science fiction and I used to read whatever I could get my hands on». The first sentence refers to video games but the second – to something different. He says he was a huge fan of science fiction. What is science fiction? Correct, a literary genre and, logically enough, it relates to his taste in reading. So, the right words for the gap are ‘science fiction’.
Pay attention to the fact that the speaker doesn’t use the word ‘reading’ or ‘literature’. He mentions he was a ‘huge fan‘ of it. This is exactly what I mean when saying about synonyms. In this context, it represents the idea of the speaker’s interests.
You read: «The woman remembers that she was … when the war started». The most important words are ‘when the war started‘ and ‘was‘. The latter, ‘was‘, links to a physical or emotional state, status or any other characteristic. So, we can presuppose that the woman was in some condition (ill, for example), she might have been something (a student, or a doctor e.g.) or in a certain age.
Now you hear: «The outbreak of the war meant the end of all the dreams that a girl who turned 17 could have. I was that girl and I was lost». The outbreak means the start of something unpleasant, which is the war in our context. Now let’s find some feature, a characteristic that describes the woman. It’s her age. She says ‘a girl who turned 17‘. To turn an age means to reach this age. So, she reached the age of 17. And the right word for the gap is seventeen.
All right, this is how you can tackle this task. It’s really challenging as it’s sometimes difficult to pick out the right pieces of information from the mass of it in your native language. But again, practice makes perfect. So go ahead and do as many similar exercises as possible. You can find them on the Internet. Just google FCE listening paper.
That’s all for today. Don’t forget to contact us in case you have any questions. You can try the free demo of our new eLive English and find more information about the other online courses on our website abc-englishlevels.com.
We wish you all the best! That was ABC English Levels and Valentine. Take care!