The CAE listening test is an advanced English test. This test is designed to test your listening skills in English at a level so that you will feel comfortable in all types of everyday activities listening to native English speakers. The recordings are all of British speakers, so practice by listening to recordings from the UK. Get used to different speakers’ accents, both men and women.

The CAE listening test consists of four parts. Each part has recorded materials on different subjects. The test lasts about 40 minutes. One difference between the CAE and the TOEFL listening test is that each recording is played twice. My advice is that you use your time wisely. Write your answers during the first time you hear the material, and during the second time, check your work. At then end, you will be given five minutes to copy over your answers on the the official answer sheet.

How to practice for the CAE listening test

First, practice your handwriting clearly and legibly fast. Practice taking notes in English, not in your native language. This will help you during the test so that you can make sure that you can copy over all
the answers and not miss any. Secondly, use the time which the instructions are being read to predict what the topic of the next subject will be.

CAE Listening test: Part 1

Part one has three short dialogs of two or more people, about everyday subjects. Be prepared to be asked about feelings, future actions, attitudes and opinions of the speakers. You will have to answer 6 multiple choice questions about the three recordings.

CAE Listening test: Part 2

Part two is a lecture or a radio broadcast. It is about a famous person, a book review or other lecture. The recording is played twice, and you have to fill in the blanks with the missing words. The speakers might have different accents and they speak at a normal speed. There are eight blanks that you have to fill in, and some need more than one word.

CAE Listening test: Part 3

Part three is a dialog between two speakers, one an interviewer and the other the interviewee. You have to choose which answer is correct from the multiple choice. Here is is best to predict the answer based on the questions, but wait until you have heard the selection about the question. Check your answers during the second playing of the recording. The questions look easy, but you really have to listen!

CAE Listening test: Part 4

Part four is a matching exercise. Each recording is played twice, there are five speakers, men’s voices and women’s voices. In the first question, you have to match the subject that the person is talking about. It is not easy because you have to listen between the lines to figure out what the subject is. Listen to the recording with the list of subjects in mind. Choose the closest answer. The second question is about the feelings of the speaker. Each speaker is heard again, with the same text, but this time you have a different aspect to pick out. This could be how the speaker felt about the subject. The best way to practice for this task is to listen to different videos and recordings, first pick out the subject of the broadcast and then the feelings or attitudes of the speakers.

Good luck on the CAE listening test! When you pass you will feel a great feeling of achievement!

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