What do you find most difficult about learning English? Let me guess, your answer would be listening… Am I right? Listening is an area where students learning English as a foreign language find difficult to comprehend. And I can understand why, with so many different accents, situations and choices of words makes it problematic for students to know and understand the context of any listening. The Aptis listening exam is no different.
Together we will take a look at each part and I will guide you through the listening exam, helping you understand what to expect while giving to useful tips along the way, are you ready?
Like most exams, it is divided into 4 different parts and you will have 2 times to listen to each recording. Each part will require a certain skill to answer the question. In total there will be 17 tasks to complete with 20 different recordings. You need to listen carefully to find the correct answer. The exam will take around 40 minutes. Each recording will be focusing on all aspects of real-life situations. With this in mind, make sure you practice listening to a wide range of different styles to help you. Remember, like all the other Aptis exams, it will start easy and each part will increase in difficulty level,
Part 1 – Information recognition
A short recording where you need to find specific information such as names, numbers, time etc.
3-option multiple choice
Part 2 – Information matching
4 different recordings, and you need to connect each recording to 6 pieces of information.
6 information, 4 monologues
Part 3 – Opinion matching
You will listen to a man and woman discuss a topic and express certain opinions about the topic. You will be asked to identify who expresses which opinion.
3-option multiple choice
Parte 4 – Monologue comprehension
You will listen to two longer monologues on different topics. You will be asked to identify the speaker’s opinion or point of view on two aspects of the topic.
3-option multiple choice
You will hear a short recording about various of different topics, you need to find specific information depending on the question. You will have a choice of 3 possible answers to choose from. There will be 13 questions and recordings in total, and the type of answers needed could be names, places, time, phone number plus more.
Listen carefully and choose either 1, 2 or 3. Read the question carefully and listen out for any negatives, this will help you decide the answer.
Generally the listening is basic and sometimes the answer is obvious. However sometimes the recording may trick you with the choice of words, so always double check your answer.
Here you are going to listen to short monologues about a topic by four different people. You then need to match each speaker to a piece of information.
The topic can range from many things such as plans for the future, holidays, education and so on. You can only select the information once for each speaker..
Try to listen for key points/words and the general view about what the person said, then connect it to the options available.
Now, for this part, you will listen to a man and a woman have a conversation about a certain topic. They will voice their opinions throughout the listening. While you are listening, you need to read 4 different opinions and select who said it.
You have 3 possibilities to choose from. If they agree on the opinion, then select ‘Both’.
Study different ways to express opinions (from my point of view, If it was me, etc) and agree/disagree (I’d go along with that, I’m not so sure about that, etc) as it will help you to know what the person thinks and whether the other person thinks the same.
And now the final part. You are going to listen to a long monologue to identify the attitude of the speaker, their intention or opinion about a subject. The recording could be between 2-3 minutes. There will be 2 questions for you to answer with a choice of 3 possible answers.
As I mentioned before, the exam will get harder as you go through it. So the language may be complicated for some students to understand. Just remain calm and try to pick out keywords and connect them to the answers.
Read each possible answer and try to think of some synonyms that relates to the main points from the listening. This will help you when deciding which one is the correct answer.
- Read the questions carefully before listening, identify key words and understand what it is you need to listen for.
- Find synonyms, you may see a word in a question and hear a different word with a similar meaning in the audio.
- Listen to the whole recording before choosing your answer and use the second time to check your answer.
- Listen to English as much as possible when at home and in many different styles for instance films, YouTube videos, podcast, etc. The more you listen, the more you will improve.
- In general, if you don’t like listening to English, then try to find audios that are connected to your interests – for example, If you like cooking – find a cooking video on YouTube and try to cook it at home. If you like sports such as tennis – Listen to Rafael Nadal giving an interview in English.
Scores are allocated for each skill based on candidates’ achievement in the relevant test component and will be marked by a trained examiner. Each part will be marked and given a score according to your level, which will go towards your final mark. (0-50)
Once all the parts of the exam (reading, writing, listening, etc) has been completed, you will be given a numeric total from all of the exams, plus an overall CEFR level. The overall numerical score is the sum of the scores obtained in each skill.
Remember all Aptis exams are done online so make sure you keep practicing by tapping into you computers at home.
Want to try out an example? Then head over here to try a sample and test your level of English!
Hope you are successful in your attempt in passing your exam.