Are you preparing to take the B1 Cambridge exam? Does the listening part worry you? Don’t worry. In this blog, we’ll break it down to you and will give you a few tips to practise and improve your listening in your daily life.
Firstly, let’s talk about what your exam will look like. You will have around 30 minutes to do the listening part, which includes 4 parts:
- Part 1: You will have an example first, and then you will hear 7 short informal monologues or dialogues. For each of them, you will have a question and three pictures, to choose the correct one. In this exercise, you should pay attention, because the audio will mention the three situations in the pictures, but in a way that only one will be true. So don’t let this distract you!
- Part 2: You will hear a longer monologue or interview. You will have 6 questions, and in each of them you need to choose from a, b or c answers.
- Part 3: You will hear a longer monologue and fill in 6 gaps with one or more words with the information you hear.
- Part 4: You will have 6 sentences to choose if they are true or false, focusing on the speakers’ feelings or opinions.
Before you listen to the audios, remember to underline important words so that you know what you’re listening for before the recording begins. The audio might not use the same words you have in your paper, so make sure you understand it well before the audio starts. You get to listen to the audios twice, so use the second time to double check your answers.
Here you can watch a video that shows you what each part looks like while you listen to the audio. You have a link to the right answers in the description of the video, so you can give it a go!
Improving your listening skills might seem a bit hard, but not if you know just how to do it. You can try to listen to your favourite songs and pay attention to the lyrics. You can do this by reading the lyrics online or on YouTube videos and you can also try to make it more challenging and fun by using the website www.lyricstraining.com.
However, you can understand English better in context, so you can also try to watch videos online. You have plenty of them on YouTube. Try to watch an interview of your favourite English-speaking singer or film star, or find some vlog that interest you. Also, while you are watching series or films on TV, you can change the audio into English with the settings on your remote. It is a great way to practise the language from the comfort of your own house!
While you are going to school or any other place, you should try to listen to some English radio station using some of the many apps available for this. And why not try to speak in English for a while with your friends when you meet them? I am sure you will have a laugh while you try together.
So, you see, practising listening can be very easy if you have imagination and adapt it to your daily life. If you follow some of these easy tips, you will feel much more relaxed the day of your exam and will be able to understand the audios a bit better. Good luck!