No two ways about it, listening practice is everything. Took me a while to get my lug (ear to an English person) around this dictation but pleased with the results.
Dictation exercise C1
As irritating as it can be to decipher a bunch of vocab you'll likely never use or encounter again through a very formal, unnatural sounding historical account, I really do find that it helps train the ear and to identify simpler words and expressions that much more clearly.
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Test your French to the CEFR standard