2 Mar 2021

About A2 Key Listening Part 4

Today, I’m going to focus on A2 Key (and A2 Key for Schools) Listening Part 4.

This part was introduced to the A2 Key Listening Paper when the exam was revised in 2020.

What’s in this Part?

There are five multiple choice questions.   Each question has three options.

What does this Part test?

There is a range of testing focuses.  Detail, feelings, attitude, opinion and agreement.

What will students hear?

Five short monologues or dialogues.  There are usually more dialogues than monologues.   In a dialogue, answers can come from both speakers.

The context is always clear from the scene setter sentence, which students will read on the question paper and hear on the audio.  The scene setter tells us who is speaking, who they are speaking to and what they are speaking about.


You will hear a boy/girl/man/woman   teacher  talking to   a friend/a student/..   his/her daughter/son/mum/dad/…

You will hear two girls/boys/people/friends talking about


You will hear   a boy/girl/woman/man

– talking to a friend on the phone

leaving a message for a friend

You will hear   a teacher talking to his/her class      a guide speaking to a group of tourists

 What do students have to understand?

This is the part of the Listening test which probably has the widest range of focuses.

1   Detail

Many of the questions focus on detail, understanding one thing in the dialogue or monologue.  It could be a wide range of focuses – which place, object, person, subject, etc.

I’ll look at this – in more detail (forgive my pun!) in my next post.

2  Purpose

In these questions, students have to identify the purpose, reason for the person speaking.

These questions often start with Why?

e.g  Why is the teacher talking to the students?   

or include the verb want

e.g What does the teacher want her students to do?

3  Topic, gist

With these questions, students need to listen and pick up clues to decide who is speaking (e.g. a tour guide, hotel receptionist, taxi driver), what the person is talking about or where the person is (e.g. an exhibition, museum, shop).

4  Opinion

Students need to understand a person’s opinion of something.

e.g  What did she like/enjoy about …

5  Attitude/feeling

These questions are similar to the opinion questions, but very often, adjectives are used in the options (e.g. upset, worried, confident, etc).

6  Agreement

These questions, which obviously are used with dialogues and not monologues, focus on the two speakers agreeing about something – it could be what they liked or found the best/most exciting, etc.


As with any part of the Cambridge Listening Tests, students will hear distractors – words or phrases mentioned on the recording which match the wrong options.  None of the options can be ruled out because it is not heard on the audio!

In my next post, I’ll share some ideas for engaging with this Part of the A2 Key Listening Part 4 and tips for helping students with it.

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