Reading and Listening

The Reading and Listening module is divided into two parts, matching the BULATS test:

  • Listening – a skills section, six units and a practice test
  • Reading and Language Knowledge – a skills section, seven units and a practice test.

Listening structure

Overview: Gives a brief outline of what the unit covers.

Thinking ahead: Asks questions to start you thinking about the topic.

Skills 1: Interactive exercises to introduce you to the vocabulary and specific language you need to complete the Skills 2 and 3 sections, and also to help you improve your listening skills for the BULATS questions section.

Skills 2: Interactive exercises to practise the grammar and functional language you need to complete the Skills 3 section, and also to help you improve your listening skills for the BULATS questions section.

Skills 3: Interactive exercises to help you improve your listening skills for the BULATS questions section. The exercises require you to listen for: numbers; dates; times; places; descriptions of charts and graphs; information to complete a form; people's opinions; information about jobs and people's future plans; functional language, such as giving advice, an opinion, a warning, a recommendation, paraphrased information, etc. You will also practise prediction – in particular, you will be asked to predict the topic of what you will be listening to, as well as the type of information you will need to answer the questions, or what you will be listening for.

BULATS questions: Exam-style questions that test the skills you have just practised.

Reading and Language Knowledge Structure

Overview: Gives a brief outline of what the unit covers.

Thinking ahead: Asks questions to start you thinking about the topic.

Vocabulary: Contains meaning-focused exercises to help you familiarise yourself with the topic vocabulary needed to understand the texts.

Short texts 1, 2 and 3 help you prepare for the Part 1, Section 1 task. In the test, you will read seven extracts from a wide variety of work-related documents, and for each one you will select the statement that applies from a choice of three. In this course, you consider the context and meaning of each short text before you answer a BULATS question.

Each unit contains either a Long text section or a Four texts section:

  • A Long text section relates to BULATS Part 1, Section 3 and Part 2, Section 5, where you will be required to read a longer text and answer six multiple-choice comprehension questions.
  • A Four texts section relates to Part 2, Section 1, where you will be required to match seven statements to four separate texts on a related theme.

In this course, you consider the context and general meaning of the text or texts before you answer BULATS questions, and you do the practice exercises to develop your understanding of paraphrasing.

Vocabulary extension builds on the topic vocabulary that you have encountered in the reading texts. Vocabulary aspects developed further in this section could include collocations, synonyms, word classes and fixed expressions.

Cloze 1 and Cloze 2 help you practise for the tasks in Part 1, Sections 2 and 4 and Part 2, Sections 2, 3 and 4. In the test, you will be required to choose the correct word (or words) to fill the space (or spaces) in a sentence or short text. You will either be asked to choose from four multiple-choice options, or to use your lexical and grammatical knowledge to think of the correct word(s) yourself. In this course, you first practise using context to identify the meaning or word class of each missing word before you attempt a BULATS task.

Grammar helps to develop your knowledge of language structures.

Error correction helps you prepare for the task in Part 2, Section 6. In the test, you will be required to identify the incorrect words in a text and write the correct words to replace them. In this course, you practise identifying errors before you attempt a BULATS task.