Tips and Practice for CAE Listening Part 3

Students preparing for the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) Exam often have difficulty preparing for the Listening Module. How can you actively improve your listening skills for this part of the exam? Follow these tips for Part 3 of the CAE Listening test.

Tips and Practice for CAE Listening Part 3

CAE Listening Part 3 Overview

  • There are 4 parts to the CAE Listening Module. (To improve Parts 1, 2, and 3, read the articles listed at the end of this page.)
  • Part 3 includes interviews and discussions between two or more speakers.
  • The recording is often an interview or a discussion.
  • The recording is 3–4 minutes in length.
  • Part 3 tests the ability to listen to longer interviews and discussions, then show an understanding of the speakers’ attitudes and opinions.
  • The test focuses on agreement, gist, feeling, purpose, function, and detail.
  • A series of six 4-option multiple-choice questions focuses on the attitude and opinions of speakers.
  • Questions follow the order that information is presented in the recording.

Tips and Practice for CAE Listening Part 3

Tips for CAE Listening Part 3

  • This is the longest part of the Listening test. To practice, make sure to listen to longer interviews and conversations.
  • When listening to conversations and interviews, try to follow the flow of the conversation. Recognize when conversations move from one topic to another, or when a person’s opinion changes.
  • For multiple-choice tasks, focus more on the question and not the possible answers. Try to answer the question based on listening and not based on the options.
  • Remember that multiple-choice questions use synonyms or language that paraphrases and reports ideas from the text.
  • Questions often focus on attitudes or opinions of speakers. Make sure you understand  reporting verbs (such as agrees, regrets, admits, resents, claims).
  • Also be sure to understand words that are used to describe attitudes and feelings (such as disappointed, frustrated, unexpected).
  • Also identify words that are used to report opinions, such as insists, suggests, denies), and degrees of certainty (e.g. doubtful, convinced).

Tips and Practice for CAE Listening Part 3

Practice for CAE Listening Part 3

To practice for CAE Listening Part 3, try the following things:

  • Watch the news in English. Use subtitles if you need to.
  • Listen to podcasts. Need ideas? Try our list of Podcasts for Academic English.
  • Focus on longer interviews. Search for your favorite English-speaking celebrity on YouTube and watch their interviews for practice.

Further practice

For more listening practice, visit the following articles:

Converse International School of Languages has provided quality English language training in San Diego and San Francisco since 1972. CISL has also provided Cambridge FCE and CAE test preparation instruction for more than 25 years (and is an official Cambridge Testing Centre). To learn more about Cambridge FCE and CAE preparation classes in California’s San Diego and San Francisco, contact CISL.