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How does the old CAE exam compare to the new revised CAE exam format - 2015 ?

What follows is a summary of the differences between Listening tasks in the old and the new exams. Suitable for both teachers of English and future CAE exam takers.


Both the old and the new formats last about 40 min and consist of 4 parts with a total of 30 questions. All the texts are heard twice. Each correct answer receives one mark.

Part 1– Multiple choice


Part 1 consisted of three short texts with two three- option multiple-choice questions on each text.


Part 1 consists of three short extracts from exchanges between speakers.There are two multiple-choice questions on each text. Each text is approximately one minute in length. They are on a wide range of topics.

Part 2 – Sentence completion


Part 2 consisted of a monologue, lasting approximately 3 minutes. Candidates had to complete the missing information from a set of eight sentences.


Part 2 consists of a monologue, approximately 3 minutes long. The style is neutral or semi-formal. Candidates have to fill in one gap in each of eight independent sentences. The missing information is either a single word or a short phrase. Correct spelling is essential.

Part 3 – Multiple choice


Part 3 consisted of an interview or discussion, lasting three or four minutes. There used to be six four-option multiple-choice questions.


Part 3 consists of a conversation between two or more speakers of approximately 4 min. There are six multiple-choice questions, each with 4 options.

Part 4 – Multiple matching


Part 4 consisted of 5 short monologues of around 30 seconds each. The whole set was heard once and then repeated. Candidates had to complete two tasks, each with a set of 8 short prompts.


Part 4 consists again of 5 short monologues of approximately 30 seconds each. The style is informal. Each multiple matching task(there are two of them) requires selection of the correct options from a list of 8.

As you can see,Paper 3 has undergone the fewest chnages in comparison with the rest.

All the current listening tasks are retained.

The Part 3 multiple- choice task is slightly changed to focus more on interaction between speakers.

( Some useful information about the same topic -

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