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Michigan TIPS, Issue #002 Successful Listening Skills
January 22, 2024
Hello <>,

As shared in the previous Michigan TIPS, it pays to use a variety of sources to improve your listening comprehension skills.

Many times, I see students only do listening tests in preparation for the exams. While this may work for some, it doesn’t really improve your overall listening skills, nor does it expose you to the skills necessary for your Michigan exam.

One thing that needs to be understood – in light of the exam you are taking – is what skills, exactly, are being tested on your exam.

For instance, the ECPE tests different skills than the MELICET or MELAB. Yes, they all test your listening skills in general, however, it will help you to know which particular skills your test is testing.

Knowing which skills are being tested will better help you to prepare for your exam.

The following highlight the listening skills that are being tested and the way in which they are tested in the Michigan exams.

Though it’s only written now, I’m in the process of putting the following material together as downloadable tests to be available from the site.

Specific Listening Skills Tested:



Short Questions and Statements

You’ll hear: Would you have gone to university if you were given the chance?

You’ll read:

A) No, I didn’t go.

B) Yes, had I given.

C) Yes, given the chance. *

Emphasis Questions

You’ll hear:

Now look, John, I told you to rewrite the FIRST two sentences.

You’ll read:

The speaker would continue…

A) not just copy them

B) not the first two lines

C) not the last two *

Lecture Questions

You’ll hear:

Stagnation is a term we often hear from economists. Prices and the cost of living rise if the supply of money is increased accordingly. When there is no increase in the supply of money forces that cause prices to typically rise are absent – thus leading to a situation where prices remain steady or even fall slightly. Similar factors can be at work when concerning the grades being distributed at some schools. Just as an increase in the supply of money devalues money, so the handing out of many high grades, or marks, makes each high grade less valuable. Where it used to be difficult to get As in the past has now actually become easy. As a result, an A is actually worth less than it was some years ago. . . .

(You’ll see a chart on the answer sheet)

You’ll hear:

What is the problem presented at the beginning of the lecture?

You’ll read:

A) Grades are getting lower.

B) Grades are too high. *

C) Engineering students’ grades are low.


Conversation Questions

Man: Why is it so cold in here?

Woman: Because the heater is broken.

Man: Well, why don’t you light a fire?

Woman: I guess it didn’t occur to me.

A) She forgot to start a fire

B) She left a window open

C) She didn’t think of starting a fire *

Inference Questions


You’ll hear:

Have you finished that homework for English class?

You’ll read:

A) Mary told me not to do it

B) Just about *

C) When did you want it?


There is another section in The ECPE called ‘the expert speaks’ where you listen to someone speak for about 3-5 minutes on a subject and are asked questions after.

Proper note taking becomes important in that particular section of the test.

Something to be discussed in a future Michigan TIPS.


For excellent FREE listening practice go to the following site and see what material is available.

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab


Stay informed of all the latest news and receive timely, relevant instruction for your exams from Michigan TIPS.

Teaching + Inspiration + Practice = Success!

Good learning – till next time!


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