Hi! This is ABC English Levels and Valentine and our new audio lesson. Today we’re talking about the FCE, Listening Part 3. I’ll tell you what it’s like, what it tests and what you should know to get better results.
Let’s get started.
What’s the FCE Listening Part 3?
The FCE Listening Part 3 has five short related monologues. You’ll listen to five different speakers talking about the same subject. There’re eight statements A-H, and your task is to match each speaker to one statement. The point is that there’re three extra letters you do not need to use. So, it makes the choice more difficult.
What does the FCE Listening Part 3 test?
This part tests many things: how well you understand the general idea being expressed, details, attitudes, opinions, reasons or purposes.
How is the FCE Listening Part 3 marked?
One mark is given for each correct answer.
Strategy and tips
- As always in the listening paper of the FCE exam, you’ll have some seconds to read the statements. Underline the most important words, key words.
- Read and listen attentively to the instructions. They will give you the idea of what the people will discuss. Knowing this, you can imagine the questions that can be mentioned. That is to say, the speakers will share their opinions on the same topic. But apparently, each of them will focus on different details. Let’s say, the subject is studying. So, one person can tell you about their choice of university, another will explain why they have decided to take a gap year, the third will express their view on juggling a part-time job and their studies, etc. You got the point, right? So, be prepared to deal with the different aspects of the topic being discussed.
- Remember that three extra statements you do not need to use are related to the same subject. But they do not relate to any of the speakers. This means that the issues expressed in these statements do not refer to what the people are talking about.
Now let’s practice a little. I understand that for those who only can listen to this podcast it might be difficult enough to keep all the information in mind. So, I don’t want to get you tired and I’ll reduce the task: two speakers, five statements A-E. The examples are based on Complete First by Cambridge. Listen carefully.
You’ll hear two short excerpts. Two people are talking about the holiday they took last year. For each speaker, choose from the list A-E what each speaker says about their holiday. Use the letters only once. There are three extra letters you do not need to use.
The statements are:
A I didn’t enjoy it much at first.
B I didn’t mind the discomfort.
C I’ got to know lots of people.
D I wanted a low-cost holiday.
E I went on the trip as a break from my parents.
Now, listen to the speakers.
Well, it wasn’t really my idea of a good time at all. The meals were good if you don’t mind sitting around with a lot of middle-aged adults in smart hotels. It was just really dull. My parents dragged me round looking at paintings and sculptures, which was just so boring! Still, there was an upside, because when we were going round yet another museum, I got to meet this Italian guy, Paolo. He was about as fed up as I was, so we just dumped our parents and went off for the day together. We had a really great time and, actually, we’re still in touch.
What aspect of a holiday does the monologue describe? Travelling with parents and going around museums with them. Did the speaker like it? – No. The key words ‘wasn’t my idea of a good time’, ‘dull’ and ‘so boring‘ give us the idea that the person definitely didn’t. Did anything change? – Yes. There was an ‘upside‘, which means the positive side of the situation. And the other key words, ‘a really great time‘, tell us about a changing opinion of the speaker. At first, they felt bored, then it was a really great time for them. Now let’s find this idea in the statements. The only right option is A, I didn’t enjoy it much at first.
It was one of my first non-family holidays too, except for a couple of summer camps when I was younger. I went backpacking with some mates round Europe, using the trains mainly, and we stayed at youth hostels, which saved us a bit of money. There were hundreds of other people like us from all over the world who were doing the same sort of thing. It was good fun, great atmosphere. I really like that sort of mixing of cultures – it’s one of the best things about foreign travel, so I’m hoping we’ll do it again next year.
Let’s work out the correct answer.
The person is talking about travelling with some mates and explains why she liked it – this is the main idea of the excerpt. The key sentences are: ‘There were hundreds of other people like us from all over the world’ and ‘It was good fun, great atmosphere. I really like that sort of mixing of cultures – it’s one of the best things about foreign travel’. They make it clear that the only right statement is C, I’ got to know lots of people.
Why are options D, I wanted a low-cost holiday, and E, I went on the trip as a break from my parents, not correct? Because although the girl mentions some things related to these variants, they’re secondary. She doesn’t express the idea that she wanted a low-cost holiday, just says that youth hostels saved them a bit of money. As well, nothing is indicating that she went on a trip because she wanted a break from her parents. She only mentions that it was her first holiday without her parents.
So, be careful. Things like this are distractions. They can easily confuse you if you aren’t stuck yo the main point.
Let’s stop here. Hope the audio lesson was useful.
That was ABC English Levels and Valentine. Cheers!