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 two friends talking about a hiking trip.

      What is the man worried about?

      A   lack of adequate climbing experience

      B   lack of oxygen on the mountain

      C   lack of appropriate equipment

2   You hear two students talking about maintaining traditions.

      They agree that

      A   we should come up with new celebrations.

      B   it is important to learn from the past.

      C   too many customs are outdated.

3   You hear two students talking about a website.

      What does the girl think about it?

      A   It is less helpful than she’d hoped.

      B   It is a good place to hold discussions.

      C   Its specialist advice is interesting.

4   You hear a man talking to his friend about the cookery school she runs.

      What are the friends doing?

      A   talking over ways to attract new business

      B   expressing disappointment in a staff member

      C   discussing why the school is successful

5   You hear part of a radio programme about modern zoos.

      The zoo-keeper says that he

      A   understands why some people dislike zoos.

      B   believes animals enjoy their lives in zoos.

      C   encourages people to take part in zoo projects.

6   You hear a football coach talking to his team about winning and losing.

      How does he feel?

      A   surprised that the team feels so positive

      B   proud of the team’s recent success

      C   disappointed by his team’s behariour

7   You hear two people talking about a sports event they are organising.

      What is the purpose of their discussion?

      A   to decide how to increase sales of certain tickets

      B   to confirm the timetable of sports events

      C   to reach agreement about entry prices

8   You hear two friends discussing a newspaper article about physics.

      What surprised the man about it?

      A   how interested it made him in the subject

      B   how inspired it made him feel

      C   how excited he was to understand it

Answer & Audioscript

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


1   You hear two friends talking about a hiking trip.

A:   This is going to be the most challenging climb we’ve ever done. What do you know about hiking at altitude?

B:   I know we’re likely to get short of breath because there’s less oxygen in the air. It’s nothing to be concerned about, though. It’ll slow us down a bit, that’s all.

A:   I can cope with that. At least we’ve invested in decent gear. We ought to have done a bit more training, though. I’m not sure how confident I am that we’ll reach the summit.

B:   I’m sure we will. And the views are said to be spectacular. You can look down over the whole of the island from up there.

2   You hear two students talking about maintaining traditions.

A:   Why preserve traditions? I mean, a lot of them are old-fashioned and they’re just not relevant to today’s culture.

B:   Well, I see it slightly differently, though. Customs do get adapted to suit modern circumstances as they pass through the generations. Not that I’m saying we should respect traditions that promote inequality or damage the environment …

A:   … which is my precise argument.

B:   But don’t forget that knowing about our past is vital to making progress in the future. Old traditions can teach us something about the way we used to be.

A:   So, it isn’t wasted knowledge. You’ve got a point.

3   You hear two students talking about a website.

A:   Have you logged on to that website our tutor recommended?

B:   The philosophy one you mean? Yeah, I hadn’t expected much from it. There’s a bunch of useful articles and resources on there, though – could be worth checking out when we do our next assignment. I’ve never been a great fan of forums – you know, everyone having a say about any old thing. I must admit this one’s changed my mind, though. I’m quite impressed with the way it promotes the exchange of ideas for anyone interested in philosophy – and there are some big names sharing their ideas. I wouldn’t dare argue with any of their comments, though!

4   You hear a man talking to his friend about the cookery school she runs.

A:   How’s business at your cookery school?

B:   Good, thanks. We’ve attracted a great deal of interest in classes since we opened in the autumn. What sets us apart is our focus on the experimental side of cooking.

A:   It’s the ‘in’ thing, isn’t it? Well done! Investing in your test laboratory is really paying off.

B:   Fortunately. Though I admit I wasn’t enormously confident about the technical elements before – if it weren’t for our new head of training, I’m not sure that side of things would’ve taken off.

A:   And you’re branching out into catering now?

B:   Yes, though we don’t expect to make much money for a while with that.

5   You hear part of a radio programme about modern zoos.

A:   You’re a zoo-keeper. Tell us about the role of modern zoos.

B:   Well, zoos were given a bad press for a long time for keeping wild animals in captivity. I agree that roaming animals need space to satisfy their natural instincts, but there’s also a convincing argument in favour of zoos. Some species would’ve died out completely if they hadn’t been kept and helped to reproduce. The modern zoo is quite different to that of the past – there’s a strong emphasis on the health, nutrition and well-being of the animals that live there. By buying a ticket to a zoo, the public plays an important role in animal conservation and welfare.

6   You hear a football coach talking to his team about winning and losing.

OK, guys. Before we kick off today’s training session, I want to say a few words about winning and losing. You’re bound to be upset when the side loses a match. But there’s a way to lose gracefully and I haven’t seen much evidence of this from you lately. As far as winning is concerned, I’ve no criticism. I’ve been the way you handle it, congratulating the other side and none of that leaping about and shouting which can be irritating for the losing team – be proud of that. There haven’t been many occasions to celebrate so far this year, but keep positive and don’t let your disappointment show.

7   You hear two people talking about a sports event they are organising.

A:   Hosting this year’s regional games is going to be a fantastic source of income for the town.

B:   I know. Tickets have already sold out for the main athletics events, like the 100-metre sprint. Clearly we got the pricing policy right.

A:   The advertising programme’s certainly been doing the job – we ought to turn our thoughts to coming up with ways to get rid of tickets for some of the less popular events, now.

B:   That’s our agenda. Before we do that, I’ll you a quick update about the facilities. I had a chat with the project manager and it looks like everything will be completed on time.

8   You hear two friends discussing a newspaper article about physics.

A:   Did you read that article by that physics teacher in the weekend paper – the one about the point of studying it?

B:   Yeah, it summed things up well.

A:   I really couldn’t get my head round some of the laws of physics when I was at school. Getting a teacher’s perspective was fascinating. I mean, it’s not that everything suddenly became clear – I didn’t get half of what the article was saying. No, it was his passion for teaching the subject. It made me think I could do anything if I put my mind to it. I’m still not keen on physics itself, but I wish he’d been my teacher!

Listening Part 2

You will hear an online talk by a man called Thomas Booth about how to restore old furniture. For questions 9-18, complete the sentences with a word or short phrase.

Restoring old furniture

Thomas took a long time to clean the (9) ………………………… on the first item he restored.

Thomas recommends looking for any (10) ………………………… on an item, to find out whether it’s valuable.

If the restored item is valuable, Thomas suggests setting yourself a (11) ………………………… before starting work.

Thomas reminds listeners to put a (12) ………………………… on every part to help re-build an item.

According to Thomas, first-time restores should refer to a (13) ………………………… while working.

Thomas always wears a particular item of clothing, glasses and a (14) ………………………… while he works.

Thomas uses a (15) ………………………… to clean smaller parts of an item.

Thomas was lucky to find a replacement (16) ………………………… the same as one missing from an item he was working on.

Thomas uses the word ‘(17) …………………………’ to describe an old finish which doesn’t come off easily.

Using a certain tool made from (18) ………………………… will prevent damaging a restoration item.

Answer & Audioscript

9 decoration(s)   10 marks

11 budget   12 label

13 manual   14 mask   15 toothbrush

16 handle   17 stubborn   18 rubber


Hi everyone, and thanks for listening to my talk about restoring old furniture. My name’s Thomas Booth and here are a few of my top tips for furniture restoration.

Firstly, make sure you’ve got enough time to devote to your project. I learned in my first project that trying to restore a beautiful old four-poster bed while doing my day job was a bit too much to take on. I spent days cleaning up the decorations – these were cut deeply into the wood. Sorting out things like rusty metal legs can take ages, too.

Find out the value of your piece before deciding whether it’s worth restoring it. Old items of furniture are often covered in scratches, but do check your item for marks. What I mean by this is anything scraped into the wood that might identify whose workshop it originated from. This can give you an idea of a piece’s age. If you think it’s worth something, seek advice from professionals.

If your piece does happen to be of value, you need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on its restoration. I always establish a budget before I do anything – then I can decide whether to progress or not. Think about how much of a challenge it’s going to be as well. Be realistic.

Once you’ve decided to go for it, look at how the pieces has been constructed, and how you’ll put it back together again. Take a photo of it from every angle before you take it apart to begin work. And don’t forget to attach a label to the individual pieces – that’ll save time later.

If it’s your first attempt at restoration, you’re likely to have lots of questions. Keep yourself as well-informed as possible. Why not borrow a DVD from the library to do a bit of research in advance? And keep a manual to hand during the restoration process so you can quickly look up the answer to a query.

Safety is, of course, very important. Wear protective clothing, as some of the materials you’ll be working with – such as chemicals used in wood-strippers – can be harmful to the skin. I always put on a long-sleeved T-shirt and protect my eyes with a pair of safety glasses – and a mask helps me to avoid breathing in dust or fumes.

The chances are if you’re having to restore the item, it won’t have been well looked after and will need a good clean. Give larger surfaces a scrub with something like a cloth or sponge to remove the build-up of dirt. To get into any finely-detailed areas I use a toothbrush. It works surprisingly well.

Next, you need to think about repairing or replacing any broken or missing parts. It’s always worth looking in antique shops – I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I found a handle that was identical to one that was lost from a drawer on a chest I was restoring. Otherwise, you might need an expert to make a substitute.

The final coat on a piece is called a finish. Finishing can be demanding and messy work, so make sure you’re ready to put in some muscle power! Old finishes can be what I call ‘stubborn’. What I mean is that they’re really tough to remove. Be patient and don’t rush – you might end up having to do more repair work otherwise.

And last but not least – the tools you’ll need. Get some rough sandpaper, wood glue, and a screwdriver. There’ll be nails to knock back into place as well. Work with a rubber hammer so you don’t harm the wood, and invest in some plastic gloves for the finishing work, too, so the chemicals don’t cause problems for your skin.

Well, now you’re ready to go! Good luck!

Listening Part 3

You will hear five short extracts in which people are talking about leaving school. For questions 19-23, choose from the list A-H how each speaker says they felt on their last day at school. Use the letters only once. There are three extra letters which you do not need to use.

A   surprised by one teacher’s comments

B   proud to have gained a particular qualification

C   relieved not to have to study further

D   excited about starting work

E   sad to be leaving friends behind

F   impatient to start their next course of study

G   uncertain about what to do next

H   upset to have missed a special ceremony

19   Speaker 1

20   Speaker 2

21   Speaker 3

22   Speaker 4

23   Speaker 5

Answer & Audioscript

19 F   20 B   21 D   22 A   23 G


Speaker 1

I don’t think I’ve ever felt as happy as the day I left school. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, I just wanted to get on with life. I’d done pretty well on the whole and my teachers said some really positive things about my work, so I knew I’d cope with the literature degree I was going on to do. I was looking forward to being able to focus on a single subject. In fact, I was so keen to get going I didn’t even want to take my well-earned summer break. I felt strange leaving the place I’d made so many memories in with my friends, though.

Speaker 2

School was OK, but I wouldn’t say it was the best time of my life. I kept my head down and managed to get all the certificates I needed – even in chemistry, which was my weakest subject, so I was pleased about that one. On my last day it was like my friends and I were never going to see each other again. We were going to the same college though, so I think we were just upset about moving on. It was a bit scary going from somewhere your teachers kept an eye on you to somewhere where you were responsible for your own study.

Speaker 3

I made the most of my time at school and worked hard. My friends were going on to college, but I was happy with my decision to go into employment instead. In fact I couldn’t wait for the independence I knew it would provide me with – not that I wouldn’t have gone on to do more study if I’d known what to do – I didn’t really mind doing it! I was sad to say goodbye to some of my teachers at our leaving ceremony, especially those who’d been particularly encouraging, but I’d got the qualifications I needed and I was off to get on with my future!

Speaker 4

I remember my last day at school very clearly. I arrived late and was really worried about missing part of our awards ceremony. That was where, at my school anyway, they handed out prizes for people who’d done particularly well at school. I was amazed when my history teacher called out my name for the history prize. I hadn’t come top of the year or anything like that but my teacher said she wanted to give me recognition for having put in so much effort in class. It was a proud moment and it made me think twice about my decision not to study history on my university course.

Speaker 5

I’d decided to have a break from studying after school, even though I was looking forward to eventually going to university. I’d hoped to go travelling for a while before I started my degree course, but even though we’d planned everything carefully, the friend I was supposed to go with backed out at the last minute and I was left wondering what else I could do. It ruined my last day at school as I was so disappointed when he told me. You can imagine that I was less than thrilled when I later realised I’d have to get a job for a year, though I did save some money.

Listening Part 4

You will hear an interview with a man called Ben Chadwick, who is a mathematician, talking about the work he does. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   When people find out Ben is a mathematician, they are

      A   interested to find out more about his job.

      B   unsure of what they should talk to him about.

      C   disappointed he doesn’t do what they expected.

25   When asked about the maths-music link, Ben expresses

      A   annoyance at people’s lack of desire to work hard.

      B   understanding of people’s hope that a link exists.

      C   confusion over some people’s fear of maths.

26   When asked for his opinion, Ben says the link between maths and music

      A   is not as complex as it first appears.

      B   is demonstrated in schoolwork results.

      C   is different to what people might expect.

27   To prove that mathematicians are better than other people at music, Ben will

      A   research mathematicians’ backgrounds.

      B   consider who to involve in a study.

      C   learn more about music himself.

28   What does Ben want to know about mathematicians who play the piano?

      A   which structures they prefer music to have

      B   why they prefer the piano to other instruments

      C   which composers’ music they would rather play

29   When comparing maths and languages, Ben says that people

      A   find the connection between them uninteresting.

      B   think languages are more emotional than maths.

      C   prefer studying languages to maths.

30   What does Ben say about liking maths?

      A   He enjoys discovering the truth.

      B   He wants to inspire other people.

      C   He finds it a good mental challenge.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Interviewer:   Today we’re talking to mathematician Ben Chadwick about a possible connection between maths and music. First Ben, tell us what it’s like being a professional mathematician.

Ben Chadwick:   Well, it’s a bit of a conversation stopper! People tend not to know what a professional mathematician does on a daily basis, and they rarely know how to respond. Inevitably, they assume that I must be a teacher, which has never been the case. What I do do, is research, testing theories. When I say this, some people look uneasy, as if they’re worried I’m about to ask them some complex mathematical question.

Interviewer:   Now, could you explain the theory that maths and music are linked?

Ben Chadwick:   The idea is that if you play classical music to young children, they’ll become good not only at music, but at maths, too. I guess the theory came about because of the idea that you have to be able to count in order to play a rhythm. Unfortunately, some people are scared of maths because they think it’s hard. If they can help their children succeed without them having to put in too much effort, they’ll go along with anything they think might work – and who can blame them, really?

Interviewer:   What’s your personal opinion about the maths-music theory?

Ben Chadwick:   Well, I don’t think it can be as simple as just listening to music to improve your marks in maths. Both maths and music deal with abstract structures, so I believe that what connects the two is being good at dealing with abstract structures. This is where the connection comes in – but it isn’t the one many people believe it to be.

Interviewer:   Can you prove, for example, that mathematicians are better than other people at music?

Ben Chadwick:   I’m going to do a study on this! If you look at someone who becomes a professional mathematician, they probably come from a family who believe in academic study – which includes learning music. There seems little point comparing mathematicians to everyone else as not much would be proved. If you’ve studied both subjects seriously, you’re bound to be better at them than people who haven’t.

Interviewer:   I’ve read that mathematicians who are musicians are attracted to the piano more than other instruments. Why’s that do you think?

Ben Chadwick:   I’m writing a paper about that and my personal belief is that they like listening to music that appears to have a particular set of patterns in it. What remains to be seen is whether they are collectively likely to prefer playing the music of particular composers. I’ll look forward to that discovery.

Interviewer:   Is there a connection between maths and languages?

Ben Chadwick:   Languages deal with abstract structures, too – such as grammar. Grammar seems a bit like maths – building up blocks of meaning – which is why no one’s surprised that a mathematician might also be a good linguist. Because music is more emotional, and anyone can enjoy it, it appears to have less in common with maths – so a connection between them seems fascinating, unlike the connection between maths and other subjects, like science.

Interviewer:   And finally, what is it that you love so much about maths?

Ben Chadwick:   Good question. It was the one subject I could get a 100 per cent in – and I didn’t have to work too hard at it! By the time I realised that wasn’t always the case, I’d invested years of study in maths and had developed a love for the theoretical aspects of the subject. It isn’t so much that I want to prove people wrong – I just want to prove a theory right!

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