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Talking About Exams – Listening Lesson (B1-B2)

Do you get nervous before an exam? Are you well-organised with your studies, or do you leave everything to the last minute? Listen to two people talking about their exam and learn some useful words and phrases for talking about exams and studying in this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English. This is an intermediate lesson.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Man: So, you feel ready?
Woman: I think so. I was up all last night cramming1. What about you?
Man: I dunno. I haven’t done that much revision2, but at least I got a good night’s sleep!
Woman: You are unbelievable! These are our finals3. Isn’t that important to you?
Man: I think I’ll be fine. Revision never seems to help me much. By the way, did you get your results for the paper4 we did last month?
Woman: What, are they out5 already?
Man: Yeah, they came out on Tuesday. I thought you knew.
Woman: I didn’t. So, what did you get?
Man: 85, not bad.
Woman: You did no work and you got 85 – that’s so unfair!
Man: Yeah, but I messed up the paper we did in April, so I need to do well on these.
Woman: Well, looks like people are going in. Good luck!
Man: You too!

For definitions of the highlighted words, see exercise 1.

Talking About Exams – exercise 1
Vocabulary: words related to exams

Listen to the dialogue and use the context of the conversation to decide if the definitions of five words are true or false.

Talking About Exams – exercise 2
Listening comprehension: understanding details

If you ever take an official English exam such as FCE or IELTS, you will need to practise listening exercises like this, in which you must write a word that you hear in the recording.

Write one word or a number in each gap, exactly as one of the speakers says it during the conversation.

Talking About Exams – exercise 3
Vocabulary: informal language

Because this is a conversation between two friends, there are several features of informal speech.

Listen to five expressions from the dialogue and complete the observations about informal language.

Talking About Exams – exercise 4
Listening skill: short dictations

To improve your listening skills and make it easier to hear individual words in exam tasks like exercise 2, above, it’s a good idea to practise short dictations. You should do this with very short recordings, to engage your short-term memory.

Listen to five clips from the conversation and write the last three words that you hear each time.

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