Listening Exam

What will I have to do?


Listen to different passages in French and answer corresponding questions in both English (section A) and French (section B) on what you’ve heard

What’s assessed?

Your understanding and response to different types of spoken language

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

  • Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally
  • Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally
What is the difference between section A and section B?
Your answer should include: A = answer in English / B = answer in French
Can you give more than one answer if you are unsure?
Explanation: If you give more than one answer, even if one of them is right, you'll lose the mark, sadly!

How is it marked?


  • Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier)
  • 40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)
  • 25% of GCSE

(Each exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played.)

How can I revise?


Answer every question, especially multiple choice questions

Learn key vocabulary- as much as possible

Practice, practice, practice

Watch French films, listen to French music, listen to your teacher and the French assistant

Learn negatives- ne.. pas- not, ne.. jamais= never, ne…plus= no longer, ne.. que= only

Maximise the 5 minutes’ reading time by:

Reading all the questions carefully, particularly those in Section B (the French section);

Looking at the examples given, as these point out the level of detail required;

Highlighting or underlining key words which have been highlighted in the explanations/ Blurb before the question/questions;

Identifying the questions which have two parts (e.g. 10.1 and 10.2) as you will need to listen for 2 bits of information in 1 part of the recording;

Signposting Section B as it requires answers in French, you could also try to translate the questions/ options.

Predicting answers which would make sense

Noting any vocab you know in French which relates to each question

 Make sure you make your final answer clear to the examiners, write clearly and neatly and use the space provided.

· If you change your mind about an answer, the final choice must be clearly signalled to the marker and be placed as near as possible to the appropriate space.

· Listen to the whole section of the recording before making a judgement, especially in multiple choice questions.

· Be specific and clear in your answers and do not offering alternatives or additional information.

· In section B (the French section) it is okay to misspell French words, just do your best and check what you have written and how this could link to any French words you know.

Remember in both the reading and listening papers there are ‘peaks and troughs’, so just because you have found one question really hard it does not mean you will not be able to do the next question. Keep your head up and stay in the game!