This technique is thought to focus the listener even before hearing the tape and thus “subdue panic” and “increase exam productivity”. The technique can be summarised as follows:

  1. Read the instructions carefully (even though they always begin in the same manner, there is usually some information about the piece you will hear included also). Take this information into account when considering the likelihood of your answer.
  2. Read the questions, underlining the key words. Mentally recall or actually jot down the French for these words above the English questions.
  3. Now listen out for these or related words on the tape, your answer is only seconds off either side of these key words!


  • Don’t panic on first hearing. Remember you don’t have to know the meaning of every single word to get the answers. Focus on the key-words instead.
  • If an answer seems too obvious to you, it is actually the correct answer. There are always some relatively easy questions in order to help people pass the aural.
  • If in doubt, make an educated guess based on the words you do know and the information given at the beginning of the section. Remember there are no marks for blanks.
  • Speed is not an issue. If you know a word, you know it at any speed. So, in the meantime, try lots of dictionary work to build up your vocabulary. If you see a word 30 times, you will never forget it.