Listening FCE (B2 First) Introduction

There are 4 parts in the Listening section of the B2 First (FCE) exam. This whole section takes approximately 40 minutes.

FCE listening tests your understanding of different conversations in different contexts. You hear each part of the listening section twice.

For this section of the exam, it is important to understand the purpose or overall idea of what each speaker says. This is because this section of the exam contains 'distractors'. 'Distractors' are words used to distract your attention from the real answer. For example, in part 1 (multiple choice a,b,c) there may be a word in the listening which also appears in option 'b'. However, this may be deliberate and the real answer may actually be 'a' or 'c'.

Listening FCE - Part 1

In part 1 of the FCE Listening section you hear 8 different people talking in different situations. There are 8 multiple choice (a,b,c) questions, one question for each different person.

Tips And Technique

Before the recording starts you have time to quickly read through all the questions. Use this time to read through the question, but ignore the a,b,c options.

Underline the key words in the question. Ignore the a,b,c options still. Then you know the information to listen for.

To avoid 'distractors' (see above), I suggest covering at the a,b,c options until you have listened to the passage. Then, after listening and still not looking at the options, decide what you think might be the answer to the question. Then look at the a,b,c options and see if one option is similar to what you thought.

Listening FCE - Part 2

In part 2 of the FCE Listening section you hear one person talking. There is a long passage with some gaps in which you need to fill. You will not need more than 3 words to complete the gap.

Tips And Technique

You should read through the passage quickly before the recording starts. Think what type of information is needed to fill the gap. Also, think what type of words you need. If the word before the gap is an adjective, you might need to write a noun. This article will be useful for deciding what type of word you need.

You might be able to make a more specific guess what words you need to write. For example, you might need a number, e.g. 1000.

Write the same words that you hear in the recording.

When you have filled in a gap, read the whole sentence again to make sure what you have written answers the question.

Listening FCE - Part 3

In part 3 of the FCE Listening section you hear five different people speaking. You have 8 sentences (A-H) and you have to decide which sentence best fits what each speaker says. There are 3 extra sentences which you do not need to use.

Tips and Technique

You have 30 seconds to read through sentences (A-H) before the listening begins. Underline the most important words.

When you are practising this part of the Listening section, think about the main idea of each sentence (A-H). Then think about words and vocabulary that relate to this idea. Try to do this in the exam before the listening starts.

The first time you listen write every letter you think might be correct for the speaker. You can check the second time you listen. After the second time you listen, you might realise you have written 'A/C' next to speaker 1 and just 'A' next to speaker 2. If you have not written 'C' next to any other speaker, it would make sense to choose 'C' for speaker 1.

Listening FCE: Part 4

In part 4 of the FCE listening section, you hear one or more people speaking. You have 7 multiple choice questions (A-C) to answer.

Tips and Technique

Look at Part 1 above and follow the same tips and techniques.
Make sure you answer the question. It may be that all the answers are correct, but only one answer actually matches the meaning of the question. You can use the strategies I teach you in the videos on this page to complete more practice tests here.

There are also lots more listening practice activities on this page.

If you would like to talk with teachers and students about this part of the exam, then you should sign up to my membership website here and then you can contribute to any B2 First Listening discussions. You will be able to message other students and teachers after sign up and much more!

Listening FCE: B2 First Video Course

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Our B2 First Listening Video Course has been rated 5 STARS! You can get it for a 90% DISCOUNT by clicking one of the links on this page. 

"Questo corso di inglese l'ho trovato molto originale e innovativo.....L'insegnante ha un'ottima pronuncia ed è molto chiaro nel far capire i concetti chiave per imparare al meglio!!! Ve lo consiglio!". Marco, B2 First Listening. *****

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b2 first listening fce

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