About the exam
The Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) is for students at an advanced level of English. To give you an idea of the level, you may have taken the Cambridge First Certificate of English (FCE) and obtained a grade C or above. However, this is not essential if you want to sit the CAE.
There are five papers in the exam: Reading (Paper 1), Writing (Paper 2), English in Use (Paper 3), Listening (Paper 4), and Speaking (Paper 5). This book helps you prepare for Listening (Paper 4) and Speaking (Paper 5). You may like to use CAE Reading Skills and CAE Writing Skills to help you prepare for Papers 1 and 2.
Paper 4 (Listening) takes approximately 45 minutes. There are three basic question types: multiple choice, gap fill and matching techniques. The texts come from a number of different sources, such as radio broadcasts and announcements, conversations and discussions, speeches, talks and lectures and interviews with people in the street. There are four sections, A, B, C and D and there will be 40 and 50 questions or items. Sections A, C and D are heard twice; Section B is heard once only. The text type in Section A is usually a monologue, in Section B a short descriptive passage, in Section C a dialogue or discussion and in Section D a series of short extracts lasting about 10-30 seconds. The skills tested are extracting main information, understanding gist or general impressions, the attitudes and points of view of the speakers and identifying the speakers or source or nature of what you are listening to.
It is a good idea to choose your answers carefully and write them on the exam paper, then transfer your answers in pencil to the Answer sheet. You can see an example of the Answer sheet on page 100 of this book. Study the Answer sheet carefully before the exam so that it will not come as a surprise when you take the exam.
Paper 5 (Speaking) takes about 15 minutes; you take it with another candidate. There may be two examiners in the room; one is to conduct the interview and the other is to help in assessing your speaking ability. There are four phases; each one lasts three or four minutes. In Phase A, the examiner will invite you to talk about yourselves and ask questions about your background, interests, career and plans. In Phase B, the examiner will ask you to describe and identify a photo. In Phase C, you will have a problem-solving activity to discuss with the other candidate. In Phase D, the examiner will invite you to report back on your discussion in Phase C and develop it.
The Speaking Paper is marked according to five criteria: fluency, accuracy, pronunciation, task achievement and interactive communication.
About this book
This book is designed to give you practice in developing the different listening and speaking skills which are tested in the exam, and in answering the exam questions themselves. You need to be very familiar with the exam question types in order to answer them effectively.
You can use this book in class, alone or with a partner, or as self-study material working at home. The answers are at the back of the book, but try not to look at them before you have tried to answer the questions on your own.
There is a progression of difficulty in the material but you can dip into different units in any order you like. There are two sections in each unit, each taking about 60 minutes. Section A is concerned with listening; Section B focuses on speaking. In each section there are exam tips and study tips to help you. Unit 1 provides you with a great deal of information about the exam which we hope you will find useful.
We have chosen topics which we hope you will enjoy listening to and speaking about. Your motivation is extremely important in your preparation for the exam, and we have tried to provide texts and tasks which will interest you.
Good luck with CAE Listening and Speaking Skills, and good luck with the exam!
Diana Pye Simon Greenall