The use of the slash (/) indicates alternative options suggested by the examiner.
Capital letters are underlined in Exercise 3 as capitalization is required for names and addresses to get your mark.
In Exercise 5, all the relevant points have been provided. Any six out of these will give you the six marks for content ...but if expression hinders understanding you will lose all 10 marks.
You will also be severely penalized for transferring chunks of text to your own summary or even worse for copying in extent. This is called plagiarism and you will lose all marks.
You are expected to include all six relevant points in a paragraph of your own, using your own words as far as this is possible and providing effective linkers. For more information take a look at IGCSE Summary Writing
The IGCSE listening test is on May 17th, 2013 so let's review some main points about the exam:
1. Pre-listening is important! Before you listen take advantage of the time allowed to read the introduction to each question. This will give you a clue on the topic of the recording. Highlight keywords as shown in the example below including question words so that you know what to listen for. Remember, part of the skill of listening is to predict what might be said next.
Listen to the following interview about a recent motoring expedition and answer the questions below:
"Man and Machine for Nature" is the motto of the challenge. What is the aim of the challenge?
Ideally, you should provide the exact spoken words and the correct spelling. Remember that you can use the blank area on the paper to make notes while you are listening. You are allowed to use your own words provided you communicate the point / idea clearly. Yet, the listening exam is a test mainly of your ability to write down what you have heard. In case you fail to get the point, take a guess and provide an answer. But this should be your last resort!
In the example above : Protect nature by organising a motoring expedition is much better than leaving it blank as you may eventually get your mark.
2. You can make spelling mistakes and still get your mark if the misspelt word is close to the correct word.
chanse instead of chance / realy instead of really / carefull instead of careful / theater(correct in American English) instead of theatre
But even though you provide the correct answer, you won't get your mark if the misspelt word:
- is very different from the correct word
bioutifoul instead of beautiful / rialli instead of really / tsianse instead of chance
- forms another recognised English word
plane instead of plain / site instead of sight / heals instead of heels / who's instead of whose
3. Bear in mind that where two points / answers are required for one single mark you will get your mark only if you provide both points correctly.
4. Pay attention to plurals! Thousands is not the same as thousand!
5. Answers concerning the cost of an item should provide the original currency spoken not just the numerical amount. And remember that £ (pounds) is not the same as $ (dollars)!
-How much did Nuria pay for the CD?
- five (wrong)
- 5 (wrong)
- five paounts (wrong)
- $5 (wrong)
- £5 (correct)
- five pounds (correct)
6. Answers concerning the time should also specify whether it's in the morning / afternoon / evening.
- What time does the train leave the station?
- at 6:00 / at six (wrong)
- at 6:00 pm (correct)
- at six in the afternoon (correct)
- at 18:00 hours (correct)
7. Review and Practice. Many candidates wrongly believe that there is nothing to review for the IGCSE listening test. You should thoroughly review vocabulary and spelling paying close attention to the spelling of homophones or semi-homophones. Here are a few examples:
heard and herd
hare and hair
peace and piece
who's and whose
site and sight
brake and break
brash and brush
track and truck
mite and might
new and knew
tones and tonnes
fur instead of fair
And don't forget that practice makes perfect. In the remaining few days before the listening exam, take the good habit to listen to an English radio station for twenty minutes every day. Listen to interviews, talks, the news and make some notes while you are listening. In this way, you will train your ear to become more familiar with spoken English.
Good Luck to you all!
This post (edited) was originally published on May 16, 2010
Part 1: text with 12 gaps and 4 multiple-choice options for each gap - 1 mark for each correct answer
Part 2: open cloze - text with 12 gaps to be completed with one appropriate word.
Part 3: Word Formation - text with 10 gaps and the stems of the missing words provided. You change the word to fit the gap.
Part 4: Key Word Transformations - - 8 separate sentences, each with one sentence and a second sentence with a gap that must be completed using 2-5 words, one of which is the key word given. The key word cannot be transformed in any way.
Time: 45 minutes
B. Useful Tips
In the exam, check that your spelling is correct. Spelling must be correct all through the paper to get your mark.
Although you can't use a dictionary in the exam, use one when preparing. A good English to English dictionary will help you find new collocations and new ways of using familiar words.
When you come across a new word, write down all the forms: verb / noun / adjective / adverb. Remember that one word can have more than one meaning and uses. Sometimes, a word of opposite meaning fits the gap - e.g. useless instead of useful / impolite instead of polite
Create lists of Word Formation / Collocations / Phrasal Verbs in a special notebook or in a file on your computer
Sometimes there may be more than one possible answers for a gap. Only write one on the answer sheet. If you write two and both are correct, you will get your mark. But if you write two and one is wrong, you won't get your mark.
In Parts 1 / 2 / 3 read through the text first to get a pretty good idea of what it is about before providing an answer.
In Part 2 (Open Cloze) do the easy gaps first.
Don't forget to read Parts 1 / 2 / 3 through with the missing words added to make sure they make sense.
SOURCE: The Official Top Tips for FCE - University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations
Part 1: conversation with the examiner in which you give personal information and opinions.
Part 2: you compare 2 photographs and answer a question.
Part 3: you discuss some pictures with the other candidate and reach a decision.
Part 4: further discussion with the examiner about the task from Part 3
Time: 15 minutes per pair of candidates
Your speaking is assessed on:
grammar and vocabulary
discourse management (= development of ideas)
B. General Tips for Speaking
Don't worry if the examiner stops you before you have finished everything that you want to say. You and your partner will be given the exact time set out in the test.
Always speak clearly so that the examiner can hear you and understand what you say.
Don't worry if you make some grammatical mistakes. That's only a part of the assessment.
Do NOT prepare sentences or short speeches before the test!! Just react naturally to what your partner and the examiner say to you.
Do NOT write anything down as part of your preparation for the test. Remember! This is a speaking test.
In Part 2 and Part 3, the task is written at the top of the page, but if you aren't sure what to do, ask the examiner to repeat the instructions before you start. You can also check what you have to do with your partner.
Don't try to talk all the time. Don't interrupt your partner while they are speaking. Wait till they have finished.
Do NOT use slang e.g. I'm a bit pissed off with school. Say something like: I sometimes find school boring
Last but not least, relax, don't be too nervous and enjoy the experience!
SOURCE: The Official Top Tips for FCE - Cambridge ESOL Examinations - UCLES 2008