The listening section contains two parts and lasts for approximately 40 minutes.
In part 1, you will listen to a long recording (interview, lesson, conference, etc.) which lasts for approximately 8 minutes. It will be played twice. 18 marks are available for part 1.
You will have different types of questions to test your comprehension, there will be:
• essay questions.
Most of the recordings are interviews from radio programs. From my previous experience, I have found that it is the listening test that most people fear. Even though you understand almost everything, that may not be enough since you have to give complete answers for specific questions. Some of these questions are tricky and you may miss the nuances. In addition to that, some interviews are fast and there is background noise or music in most of them. An interview, for instance, may occur on a train. The recording will also contain a variety of accents.
You will have 3 minutes to read the questions.
• Read through the task carefully and try to anticipate what you will hear on the audio (What is it about? Who? When? Where?).
• Then you will listen to the recording. Do not try to answer the questions straight away as you may miss key information. There will be space on the right side of your exam paper for note taking and you should use it to write as much information as you can (without forgetting specific data and dates).
This part tests your ability to listen for gist, detail and inference but also for stated and non stated opinion, agreement and disagreement. Therefore you must concentrate on what the speakers say and listen for both stated and implied attitudes and opinions.
After listening, you will have 3 minutes to answer the questions and you should read through the questions very carefully and focus on what you may not have understood.
You will listen to the recording a second time and even though you may be tempted to write a complete answer, refrain from doing so and draft your answers in the space provided. You will have 5 minutes to write your answers properly.
Except for specific questions requiring yes/no answers, do not forget that you will be expected to write complete sentences and not just phrases. Do not worry if your French is not perfect. The examiner focuses on the answer and not on your French.
In part two, you will listen to 2 or 3 short radio broadcasts (newsflashes, surveys, adverts etc.) each played once. It lasts for 2 or 3 minutes and 7 marks are available for this section.
You just need to tick the right answer but be careful as the answers can be inferred. You will have between 20 and 50 seconds to read all the questions and after the recording you will have between 30 seconds and 1 minute to answer.
Contrary to the long recording, there is no opportunity to write a draft and the best approach is to tick what you think is the right answer with a pencil and then check and confirm during the answering time.