Listening Part 1

You will hear people talking in eight different situations. For questions 1-8, choose the best answer A, B or C.

1   You hear a woman talking about her driving instructor.

      What does she say about him?

      A   He sometimes talks too much.

      B   He has improved her confidence.

      C   He is good at explaining things.

2   You hear two friends talking about online learning.

      They agree that

      A   it is becoming very popular.

      B   it is an option some people can benefit from.

      C   it is not as good as other ways of learning.

3   You hear two colleagues talking about body language in job interviews.

      The man thinks that body language

      A   should be taken into account.

      B   can sometimes be misleading.

      C   is more important than people realise.

4   You hear a woman talking on the radio about a local chess club.

      What is she doing?

      A   reassuring potential new members

      B   explaining how competitions are run

      C   announcing a change of venue

5   You hear two friends discussing recycling.

      What opinion does the man express about recycling?

      A   People should make more of an effort to recycle things.

      B   It does not make sense to recycle most materials.

      C   There might be better ways to be environmentally friendly.

6   You hear a student talking about his English literature course.

      How does he feel now?

      A   relieved to have got onto the course he originally chose

      B   pleased to be in a seminar group with nice students

      C   eager to get feedback on his written work

7   You hear a woman talking about a new fabric her company is producing.

      What does she say about the fabric?

      A   It is remarkably cheap.

      B   It has taken a long time to develop.

      C   It will be used in many different ways.

8   You hear two friends talking about a problem caused by some plants.

      What does the man think about the problem?

      A   It will be impossible to solve.

      B   Its extent has been exaggerated.

      C   It is entirely caused by birds.

Answer & Audioscript

1 C   2 C   3 B   4 A   5 C   6 B   7 A   8 B


1   You hear a woman talking about her driving instructor.

My driving instructor has always said I was very motivated, and I am. He says that’s why I’ve made such rapid progress, but in fact I’ve always been quite a fast learner, and pretty sure of myself whatever I do. Driving isn’t easy, though, and there’s a lot to take in when you start. My instructor puts across new concepts very clearly, which has helped me enormously. He repeats things a lot sometimes and that makes things stick in my head better – I find it very helpful. When I’m driving on my own in the future, I’m sure I’ll hear his voice in my head!

2   You hear two friends talking about online learning.

A:   I’ve heard that most university courses will soon be held online. People won’t sit together in large lecture halls any more – they’ll just watch recorded lectures online.

B:   Yeah, I’ve heard that too, but do you really believe that’s what people want? I think there’s no substitute for actually being in a lecture hall with other people. You really miss out, otherwise.

A:   Well a lot of people wouldn’t agree with that – though I do. And you must admit there are some people for whom it’s the perfect solution!

B:   I’d say everyone benefits from being able to attend traditional lectures in person.

3   You hear two colleagues talking about body language in job interviews.

A:   I’m interviewing candidates for the office manager position tomorrow. I’m going to watch their body language carefully – it can tell you so much!

B:   Really? After all, there are so many other more relevant things to consider – like their qualifications and experience.

A:   I think the way people sit and speak can give away important clues, without them even realising it.

B:   I can’t say I’m convinced. There are people who just present themselves well – that doesn’t mean they’re actually competent. You need to listen to their answers and think about what they’re saying, not how they’re saying it.

4   You hear a woman talking on the radio about a local chess club.

Flyerdale Chess Club was set up 35 years ago, and it’s still going strong. In fact there’s a waiting list now for some evening sessions. Our teams take part in national tournaments, and we’ve won our fair share of cups over the years. You may wonder if you’ll be made welcome if you come along never having played chess before, but I can guarantee you will. We’ve met in a number of places in the past, but now our regular meetings are held in a pleasant room in the central library building. It’s very easy to find.

5   You hear two friends discussing recycling.

A:   I’ve been reading some interesting stuff about recycling. Apparently some things, like aluminium drinks cans, are a lot cheaper to produce from recycled materials than from raw materials.

B:   Is that so? I thought it was relatively expensive to recycle things.

A:   Apparently not. I always try to recycle as much as I can, and so do most people I know – glass, paper, textiles, that sort of thing – though I sometimes wonder

B:   What?

A:   Well, we’re putting all this time and energy into recycling, but maybe we’d be doing more for the planet if we focused on something else.

B:   Yeah, maybe.

6   You hear a student talking about his English literature course.

A:   How are your courses this year?

B:   My English literature course has turned out to be really good. Initially, I wasn’t sure it would be, because I’d put my name down for something else instead. I’d not got on that one, and at first I was pretty disappointed. Anyway, it’s all fine now because my tutors are fantastic, though apparently very demanding – I wrote my best essay ever for the first assignment and they said there was room for improvement! The seminars are fascinating, and though the other students there seemed a bit unfriendly at first, I’ve got to know them and actually they’re great.

7   You hear a woman talking about a new fabric her company is producing.

We’re very excited about this new fabric, and think it’ll be very popular with sportspeople. We’ve been concentrating on sportswear rather than promoting a range of uses for it because it’s the obvious thing to do. Like similar fabrics that have come onto the market in recent years, it keeps the wearer cool and dry as the fabric absorbs moisture from the skin and then allows it to evaporate off the surface. What will give our fabric a particular advantage is that it’s amazingly competitive on price. And all this has happened so rapidly, giving us great hopes for the future!

8   You hear two friends talking about a problem caused by some plants.

A:   That talk was interesting, wasn’t it? I didn’t realise that bringing in plants from other parts of the world could cause so many problems for native species when they spread.

B:   I didn’t either.

A:   And the way people think birds are responsible, moving seeds from place to place, but they aren’t – it’s humans letting them grow in gardens and parks – we just don’t think, do we?

B:   No, we don’t!

A:   And I know some people think we’ll never sort it out, but I don’t believe it’s actually as bad as some people say it is. I think now we’re more aware of the issues, we can do something about it.

Listening Part 2

You will hear an artist called Lukas Royle, who makes pictures in glass, talking about his life and work. For questions 9-18, complete the sentences with a word or short phrase.

Making pictures in glass

Lukas says his parents wanted him to be a (9) ………………………… .

Lukas was inspired to become a glass artist when he saw a window in a (10) ………………………… centre.

Lukas’ (11) ………………………… encouraged him to go to art school.

Lukas got a job making glass (12) ………………………… while he was still a student.

After he graduated, Lukas was able to buy his own (13) ………………………… .

A famous (14) ………………………… bought some of Lukas’ work at an exhibition.

A journalist wrote a good review of Lucas’ work for an arts (15) ………………………… .

Lukas started to focus on (16) ………………………… in his work.

At the moment Lukas is working on a window for a (17) ………………………… factory.

When Lukas isn’t working he likes going (18) ………………………… with his friends.

Answer & Audioscript

9 mechanic   10 conference

11 sister   12 lamps

13   equipment   14 sportsman

15 magazine   16 landscapes

17 truck   18 cycling


Hello, my name’s Lukas Royle, and I’m a glass artist. Essentially, I make pictures in glass, often very large ones. I must say that it wasn’t the career my parents had hoped I’d follow. According to them, a much more suitable thing to do was to work as a mechanic. My father was a farmer, and he thought I should do something conventional, even if I didn’t follow in his footsteps.

I’ve always been artistic, though, and loved drawing in particular. I’d never thought of working with glass until one day I saw a beautiful glass window and knew that I wanted to make that sort of thing too. We were driving to a new shopping centre in town, and the window was in a conference centre we passed. I’ll never forget that moment.

I wouldn’t have gone to art school, though, unless I’d been encouraged to do so. My older brother and cousin used to tease me a bit when I preferred painting to climbing trees, but my sister was kinder. She said I was so good at art that I should definitely study it, and that gave me the confidence to apply.

I was lucky enough to find a job while I was still at art school. There was a furniture shop nearby, and I went in and told them I was specialising as a glass artist. I offered to produce some lamps for them, because they sold designer furniture like tables and sofas. What I made sold well, and the shop’s owner was delighted, so that turned out to be very successful.

By the time I graduated from art school, I’d managed to save up a bit of money, so I could get all of the equipment I needed. I rented a small studio and started my life as an independent artist. It was a bit scary, because it can be hard work to make a living as an artist, but it was also a very exciting time!

I took part in various exhibitions with other artists, and one day, at an exhibition in a small gallery, a few pieces of mine were sold to a well-known sportsman. He showed them to some of his famous friends – a dancer, for example, and a designer. They then started dropping in to my studio to see how I worked, which I thought was amazing.

Reviews are very important for an artist, I think, and another boost to my career came when an arts reviewer said a lot of complimentary things about my work in the magazine he wrote for. After that, loads more people visited my website, and I was even interviewed for a national newspaper.

I began to concentrate on one particular thing, though for the first few years my subject matter had been broad: people, animals, still lives – you name it. I decided that landscapes were really my thing, and I’ve mostly stuck to those ever since.

I’ve designed windows for hotels and restaurants over the years, and recently I’ve been designing windows for factories. I’ve done one for a tractor factory – this time the one I’m working on is for one belonging to a truck manufacturer. I like the idea that people can look at my art while they’re at work.

I do work a lot, especially when I’m trying to complete a commission, but of course I have time off too. A lot of my friends are into hill walking. I’m not so keen on that and prefer cycling, which a bunch of us often do at the weekend. I used to go jogging with a couple of neighbours, but I’ve given that up because I don’t have that much time, unfortunately. I wouldn’t change anything about my life, though, I love what I do!

Listening Part 3

You will hear five short extracts in which professional tennis coaches are talking about their work. For questions 19-23, choose from the list A-H what each speaker says. Use the letters only once. There are three extra letters which you do not need to use.

A   I am honest about my mistakes.

B   I can choose who I’m going to coach.

C   I find the daily schedule demanding.

D   I enjoy all the travelling involved.

E   I’ve learned to hide what I’m thinking.

F   I try not to push anyone further than they can manage.

G   I have little time to spend with my family.

H   I prefer working with difficult people.

19   Speaker 1

20   Speaker 2

21   Speaker 3

22   Speaker 4

23   Speaker 5

Answer & Audioscript

19 F   20 B   21 E   22 H   23 A


Speaker 1

Being a tennis coach is a great job, and every day brings fresh challenges, which I find energising. There’s never a dull moment, and to be honest, even the mistakes you make can teach you valuable lessons. Because I’m so enthusiastic, I have to be careful to go easy on my players. I know they’re doing their best, and if I ask for more than they can actually give, that won’t get us anywhere. If there’s anything I wish I didn’t have to do, it’s travel long distances to tournaments. Luckily there isn’t too much of that – most of the time we’re here at the tennis centre.

Speaker 2

I think the best thing about being a tennis coach is getting to know the people I work with extremely well. It’s a requirement of the job in fact, as unless I do, I won’t know how to respond when things are going badly. That’s one reason why I’m glad it’s up to me who I take on. There are some sports people I’d struggle to get on with, and I think very carefully before agreeing to work with anybody. I’m a hard worker, which is a good thing, because the people I coach are very determined. They have to be, of course, since it’s such a competitive world.

Speaker 3

When you have young children, as I do, it’s good to have a job that allows you to be with them as much as possible. Because all the coaches live and work at the tennis centre, within minutes of finishing work, I’m back at home. There are tough times, of course, and players can be hard to handle when they’re doing badly. I’m always careful what I say, because past experience has taught me to consider what message I want to put across, whatever I might actually feel like saying at the time. I’ve never regretted my choice of career – it’s great to work with people who really want to succeed.

Speaker 4

I realised I’d never be a top tennis player, but knew I had a lot to offer, so I trained as a coach instead. I’m still relatively junior at this tennis centre, so my bosses decide who I’ll work with. What I’ve found, though, is that the players other coaches have a bit of trouble with are actually my favourites. That’s probably because I’m not the easiest at times myself, and have a tendency to say exactly what I’m thinking. That works with some players, but with others, it’s definitely a mistake! I love waking up and knowing I’m going to work hard at something I enjoy all day.

Speaker 5

I’m a tennis coach for my children, as well as other people’s which isn’t always easy. Children don’t miss anything, so when I get something wrong, I always tell them. It’s no good trying to cover it up, though I must admit I’m tempted to sometimes. I work at a large tennis centre, and I didn’t ask to have my own children in the group. It just happened, and I didn’t complain. The good thing is that when in the future we start going to tournaments abroad, I’ll be right there with them. I demand commitment and hard work from them all, but it gets results.

Listening Part 4

You will hear an interview with a concert violinist called Barry Green. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   Why did Barry become a professional violinist?

      A   He was inspired by seeing other people play.

      B   His parents thought it would be a good career.

      C   He realised he was unable to play football professionally.

25   What does Barry say about his life at school?

      A   It was difficult for him to find time to do his homework.

      B   He was fortunate to find academic work relatively easy.

      C   There was little understanding of his desire to be a violinist.

26   What did Barry do after leaving school?

      A   He went straight to music college.

      B   He studied different subjects for a year.

      C   He travelled with other young musicians.

27   What does Barry say about going to music college?

      A   He enjoyed the opportunity to take up another instrument.

      B   He felt he was more talented than the other students.

      C   He found it hard to adjust to the discipline.

28   Why did Barry start playing in public concerts?

      A   He wanted the opportunity to play violin solos.

      B   He was asked to after doing well in a competition.

      C   He knew some of the musicians in the local orchestra.

29   What disadvantage of his current life does Barry mention?

      A   He sometimes forgets what he is supposed to play.

      B   He feels stressed when there are too many people on stage.

      C   He has little time to visit the places where he gives concerts.

30   What does Barry say is positive about his professional life?

      A   He appreciates having been able to fulfil his ambition.

      B   He has the opportunity to spend time with interesting people.

      C   He has a job that will keep him comfortable in retirement.

Answer & Audioscript

24 A   25 B   26 C   27 C   28 B   29 C   30 A


Interviewer:   I’d like to welcome Barry Green, the successful concert violinist, to our studio today.

Barry Green:   Hello. It’s good to be here.

Interviewer:   Barry, why did you decide to be a violinist?

Barry Green:   It was something I’d been desperate to do since I was about six years old. My parents weren’t musicians, but they let my brother and I to do whatever we liked as hobbies, as long as it didn’t interfere with our education, so we could get what they called a ‘proper job’ if necessary. My brother’s a good footballer, but sport’s never really been my thing. I watched a concert on TV, and after that I was hooked.

Interviewer:   Was it hard to combine this passion with ordinary school life?

Barry Green:   Well we certainly got plenty of homework, and I wasn’t treated any differently just because I had grand ambitions – though I must say my teachers were always very supportive. It probably helped that my marks were always pretty good, without my ever having to make too much of an effort. Not fair, I know! But I always had to get my school work done before any music lessons or practice.

Interviewer:   So what did you do when you left school?

Barry Green:   I thought about studying maths or physics, but then I heard about a youth orchestra that was doing a world tour. They offered me a scholarship so I could afford to go, which was brilliant. When I got back, as I already knew what I wanted to do, it seemed pointless to delay going to music college, so that’s where I went.

Interviewer:   And did you like music college?

Barry Green:   Well, I’d really looked forward to being there, but some of the teachers were far stricter than the ones I had before, and it wasn’t easy at first. I had to learn to play the piano, too, which I felt was a waste of time, as the violin was the only thing I cared about. It did help develop me as a musician, though, which was what I needed – some of the people there had been at special music schools from an early age and I had a lot of catching up to do.

Interviewer:   When did you start playing in professional concerts?

Barry Green:   I didn’t for a long time. I played solo violin in competitions – I had to do a lot of those, and didn’t get anywhere for ages. After I won my first prize, though, the city orchestra invited me to play with them sometimes, though not as a soloist of course. That came later, after I’d won a few more competitions. The other musicians were very kind to me, and playing in the violin section with them was a huge chance to learn – some of them became good friends of mine.

Interviewer:   How would you describe your life these days, Barry?

Barry Green:   Hours and hours of practising, travelling a lot to give concerts but being stuck in hotels that all seem to look the same, rarely having time off to see the sights. … Huge amounts of pressure when I’m on stage, knowing the audience is out there and being afraid I’ll completely forget the notes I’ve spent so long memorising – not that I’ve ever actually done that in a concert. And worrying that I’ll leave my violin on a seat at an airport!

Interviewer:   Is your life as a musician really that tough?

Barry Green:   No, I just like to complain sometimes. I know I’m very lucky to be able to do what I love, and to have achieved what I set out to do as a young child. Not many people get the chance to do that. And bringing something to life that was written two hundred years ago is really something extraordinary and fascinating. I hope I’ll be able to do it until I’m too old to hold a violin any more.

Interviewer:   Thank you very much for talking to us, Barry.

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