FCE Listening

Recommendations for preparing for the Cambridge FCE listening

You’re certainly aware that Cambridge has a reputation as an institution that assesses and certifies English proficiency worldwide. Well, the FCE (First Certificate in English), now called the B2 First, is perhaps the most popular of its certificates. It’s the one that qualifies you to live and work in English-speaking countries.

The listening portion, or FCE listening, assesses your level of comprehension using various types of audio, such as news programs and everyday conversations, in fluent, natural English. If you want to understand everything you hear in English, try ABA English, press play on all our content, and start practicing your listening now.

Do you practice your listening regularly?

The best way to prepare for your Cambridge FCE listening is to include a little more English in your day by listening. You may have heard that listening to English passively will get your ear and brain used to English phonetics. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that such an approach will produce the desired results in a short time.

The first requirement for improving your listening is to pay attention to what you hear. This is why you should choose the content that interests you. Later, you’ll need to get your brain to process the information somehow, so you could transcribe it or repeat it. At ABA English, we understand this, so we’ve prepared the following information for you. It will be very useful and will help ensure that your FCE listening preparation is successful and that you get your certificate without any problems.

Tips for FCE listening

1. Practice regularly

In addition to adapting your ear, constant practice will allow you to get used to different accents, identify what the intonation implies, strengthen your vocabulary, and understand some phonemes that native speakers link while speaking.

2. Conversations also help

Talking to someone else requires active listening since you’ll have to both ask and answer questions. At ABA English, we have regular Speaking Sessions so you can discuss topics that interest you, current events, or even study topics, such as grammar, with teachers and other students from all over the world.

3. Be proactive

During the exam, read the questions quickly before listening to the audio so that you have an idea of what you’ll need to hear in order to respond. In the FCE Listening Part 1 and Part 2, you’ll have to extract specific information. So, it’s a good idea to take notes, which you can do by using the exam question sheet itself or by asking for an additional piece of paper.

4. Pay attention to the intonation

In FCE Listening Part 3, you’ll hear a series of monologues on a particular topic, after which you’ll have to answer some questions. In this part, your understanding of the essence of what was said will be tested. A sentence can mean different things depending on the intonation used. Learn to identify the nuance in what you hear.

Start preparing for your listening test with ABA English now!

FAQs about the FCE listening test

Are there practice tests?

There are. On the official Cambridge English website, you can download sample tests from each of the FCE sections. You can access the MP3 files, the exam papers, and the answer sheets.

Is there a list of the vocabulary used in the exam?

No. Since the certification corresponds to the B2 level of the CEFR, they assume that you have a broad knowledge of English vocabulary.

How many times will each audio be played?

Twice. Take this opportunity to answer the first time you listen and correct your answers the second time.

Can I answer in my own words?

Yes, but it’s advisable to use the same words you hear in the recording. This will help you avoid any possible misunderstandings between yourself and the scorer.

ABA English is the best option to prepare for the FCE listening

Experiential learning

We don’t just offer you a course; we offer you an experience. Most of our topics and lessons are based on real, everyday elements that contextualize what you’re learning. You won’t feel overwhelmed by rigid or boring lessons. On the contrary, you’ll learn in an entertaining way while watching a movie, listening to a podcast, or reading an article on interesting current topics.

Personalized resources

Do you need listening FCE practice? Try our fun Fill in the Lyrics exercises. We have a lot of famous songs from various genres that you can listen to and complete the lyrics. You can also participate in our ABA Live sessions and chat live with other students and teachers. Or you can enjoy our ABA Films, which are film-quality clips with native speakers. Are you up for it?

A unique method

Our Smart Learning® method is based on the principle that the brain assimilates knowledge more effectively using what it likes. This is why we mix entertainment and training. We also try to keep our content updated so that you always find something that you like and that motivates you to learn.

At your fingertips

With our app, you’ll continue learning from wherever you are and whenever you’re free. You’ll have a Daily Plan with microlessons or short exercises adapted to suit the specific skills you need to strengthen and practice.

Can we begin preparing for the First listening together?

Try our certified course, with 144 units – you won’t regret it. You can be confident that every time you pass one of the topics in our course, you’ll have mastered a subject that will likely be assessed during the FCE. This is because we’ve designed our materials using the different certification requirements from the most renowned testing institutions, including Cambridge.

Hit play on your preparation now! Your first interaction with our content, whether in our certificate course or the learning app, will be to repeat and compare the dialogues you’ll hear in one of our ABA Films. With our LRC® (Listen, Record, Compare) technology, you’ll be able to start identifying and correcting your pronunciation and intonation errors.