Friday, September 19, 2008


The Listening section measures the test taker’s ability to understand spoken English. In
academic settings, students must be able to listen to lectures and conversations. Academic
listening is typically done for one of the three following purposes:
Listening for basic comprehension
comprehend the main idea, major points, and important details related to the main
idea (Note: comprehension of all details is not necessary.)
Listening for pragmatic understanding
recognize a speaker’s attitude and degree of certainty
recognize a speaker’s function or purpose
Connecting and synthesizing5 information
recognize the organization of information presented
understand the relationships between ideas presented (for example, compare/
contrast, cause/effect, or steps in a process)
make inferences6 and draw conclusions based on what is implied in the material
make connections among pieces of information in a conversation or lecture
recognize topic changes (for example, digressions7 and aside statements8) in
lectures and conversations, and recognize introductions and conclusions in lectures
Listening material in the new test includes academic lectures and long conversations in
which the speech sounds very natural. Test takers can take notes on any listening material
throughout the entire test.
Listening Section Format
Listening Material Number of Questions Timing
4–6 lectures, 3–5 minutes long each,
about 500–800 words
6 questions per lecture 60–90 minutes
2–3 conversations, about 3 minutes
long, about 12–25 exchanges
5 questions per conversation 60–90 minutes

No comments: