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 flight attendant talking about taking long flights.

      What is he doing?

      A   warning against certain passenger behaviour

      B   explaining why passengers should do certain things

      C   complaining about a certain kind of passenger

2   You hear a patient talking to a diet expert about taking vitamins.

      The expert thinks that the patient should

      A   approach a doctor for further advice.

      B   focus his efforts on cooking healthy food.

      C   be aware of the expense of taking vitamins.

3   You hear two friends talking about a yoga class they have attended.

      What do they agree about?

      A   how unfamiliar the exercises were

      B   how tiring the exercises were to do

      C   how likely they are to practise the exercises

4   You hear a university student leaving a message for a department secretary.

      What is the purpose of the student’s call?

      A   to apologise for missing a class

      B   to request feedback on her presentation

      C   to arrange a meeting with her tutor

5   You hear a woman talking to her colleague about leaving her job.

      How does the woman feel?

      A   proud of what her colleagues have achieved

      B   satisfied she has made a success of her role

      C   pleased she has made some good friends

6   You hear a student talking about his idea for a project with his tutor.

      The tutor is concerned that the student.

      A   will need to widen his topic area.

      B   has forgotten about part of the process.

      C   hasn’t done enough background reading.

7   You hear a man telling a friend about his work.

      What does he say about it?

      A   It is often misunderstood.

      B   It isn’t as creative as he’d like.

      C   He’d prefer to do something else.

8   You hear part of a radio talk about training horses.

      The woman is of the opinion that

      A   horse-training is better left to experts.

      B   training a horse isn’t as hard as it seems.

      C   horses can react well to training.

Answer & Audioscript

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


1   You hear a flight attendant talking about taking long flights.

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from air passengers is lack of leg-room. No one wants to sit scrunched up in a ball for hours on end. Checking the seating plan of the plane you’re taking will help you identify areas where there’s space to stretch out – usually at the back, though there’s increased engine noise there. Passengers tend to stand and move around in the aisles – I won’t advise against this as it keeps blood moving round the body – though we do need to keep asking them to sit down while we’re serving refreshments.

2   You hear a patient talking to a diet expert about taking vitamins.

A:   What do you think about taking vitamin pills?

B:   I’ve always believed that if you eat a balanced diet, there’s little reason to. It depends how much effort you put into preparing healthy meals, which is what I’d encourage. It’s tempting not to bother if you’re taking vitamin supplements – you rely on them instead.

A:   So, you’re against the idea?

B:   I wouldn’t say that exactly. Occasionally your doctor might prescribe you a particular vitamin if your body’s lacking in something. Anyway, it’s up to you. Vitamin pills tend to be more affordable than they used to be – but check the recommended daily amounts carefully.

3   You hear two friends talking about a yoga class they have attended.

A:   I hadn’t expected yoga to be that hard!

B:   Don’t you feel energised now, though?

A:   Come to think of it, I suppose I do. I can see how it builds strength – some of the positions are pretty difficult to hold. I thought I was going to fall asleep when we did the meditation, though – closing your eyes, breathing deeply …

B:   Mm. I haven’t come across the techniques the teacher used before, and I guess it was like a trip to a foreign land for you

A:   … as a complete newcomer, you mean? True. Whether I’ll go again remains to be seen …

4   You hear a university student leaving a message for a department secretary.

Hello, my name’s Carla Flanders. I’m enrolled on the finance course. I couldn’t attend today’s lecture I’m afraid – my tutor excused me. The thing is, he was meant to be giving back our latest essays today. Obviously without being there I couldn’t pick mine up from him. I need his comments on it – there are no classes now until after the break but I really want to do some work on preparing my presentation in the meantime. Is there any chance of coming in for a chat with him over the holiday? Can you ask him to ring me to set it up? Sorry to cause any inconvenience.

5   You hear a woman talking to her colleague about leaving her job.

A:   I hear you’ve resigned! Are you moving on to better things?

B:   I wouldn’t put it like that! I’ve loved my job here – and I wouldn’t have got the new one without the experience I’ve acquired at this company.

A:   How so?

B:   By polishing my management skills – they’re much improved. The toughest lesson I’ve learned here is not trying to be everyone’s friend. I don’t mean not being approachable or kind, I just mean maintaining a professional distance – give people direction, then back off and let them get on with the task – being available if needed.

A:   Pity you’re going!

6   You hear a student talking about his idea for a project with his tutor.

A:   So, you’ve chosen a topic for your French project?

B:   Yes, I was thinking about doing something on social greetings – what people say in different situations.

A:   That sounds achievable within the word limit. Do you have any access to native French speakers to collect the data? Remember you’re doing original research. Relying on relevant literature isn’t sufficient for this project.

B:   I’ve got some French friends, actually. I’m thinking of recording them speaking.

A:   Will that work, given that you need to compare both informal and formal settings? Have you overlooked that?

B:   Ah … I have, haven’t I?

7   You hear a man telling a friend about his work.

A:   Do you like painting people’s walls for a living?

B:   Of course! People always compare painting people’s rooms with being an artist and think it’s what would-be artists do when they discover they have no talent! I haven’t done a drawing since I left school. I could draw quite well but I never had any intention of being an artist. People often overlook what a skilled job painting and decorating is. It probably doesn’t seem like it requires any imagination – but I’m often asked for advice about colour schemes when clients can’t make up their minds.

8   You hear part of a radio talk about training horses.

For the uninformed, it’s easy to think horses behave in unpredictable ways. Yes, they’re highly sensitive creatures, and yes, you do need to put some real work into training – but you’ll find they respond positively on the whole. You don’t have to be a qualified trainer to understand how horses react to humans. Horses are aware of subtle movements and eye contact, so if you’re nervous, your horse is nervous – guaranteed. Get to know your horse – and your horse will get to know you.

Listening Part 2

You will hear a woman called Mandy Butler talking about the production of candles. For questions 9-18, complete the sentences with a word or short phrase.

Candle making

Mandy was surprised to learn that (9) ………………………… nuts and olive oil were first used to make wax.

Mandy tried to reproduce a time-keeping stick that burned a different (10) ………………………… every 60 minutes.

Mandy was unaware that a weight such as a (11) ………………………… could be used in candles as a timing device.

Mandy discovered that in the 13the century, candle making was banned because of its (12) ………………………… .

Mandy thinks the best improvement to candles was limiting the (13) ………………………… they produced.

Mandy has seen a (14) ………………………… at a museum, which demonstrated candle manufacturing.

Mandy wrote an article on how wax was produced from (15) ………………………… in the mid 19th century.

Because of how it burned, Mandy explains that (16) ………………………… was used for the central ‘wick’ in a candle.

Mandy now enjoys using candles for (17) ………………………… purposes at home.

Today’s workshop will focus on experiments with mixtures of (18) ………………………… .

Answer & Audioscript

9 spice(s)   10 perfume

11 nail   12 (terrible) smell

13 (amount of) smoke   14 machine

15 petrol   16 cotton

17 relaxation   18 colour(s)


Thanks for coming along to the workshop today to learn about candles! Before we get to work making our own, here’s a bit about their history.

The outside part of a candle is made from wax. Many ingredients have gone into making wax over the centuries. I was amazed to find out that wax could be made from not only nuts and olive oil, but spices, too. The earliest candles we know of originated in China and were made from a kind of fat.

Of course, candles were used for the purpose of providing light, but another early use was for time-keeping. I’ve tried to reproduce some of these ‘candle clocks’ myself. I tried to make my own version of a kind of stick that was used – while it was burning, it gave out a new perfume each hour. My version – which I made in a lovely red colour – didn’t really work, but I was more successful with the method of drawing lines around candles to mark the hours.

Candles were also used to time shorter periods. Like me, I bet you didn’t know that by inserting a nail – or other small, heavy object – into a candle, you would hear the noise of it dropping onto a plate, for example, when the wax around it melted – telling you time was up!

By the thirteenth century, candle making had become a profession in Europe. ‘Chandlers’, as candle makers were known, sold home-made candles in their shops. I found out that, despite the fact that it was such a useful item, candle production was prohibited in many factories at this time because the process released a terrible smell.

Candle makers continued to improve their products, making them burn with a brighter flame, using wax that wouldn’t melt in the summer heat, and – something that was particularly useful – reducing the amount of smoke they generated. Cheaper ingredients were also used which lowered the cost of production.

In the 1830s, the manufacture of candles became industrialised. This meant they could be produced continuously and were more affordable. If you go to the Museum of Industry you can see a machine from the period built for this purpose. They occasionally set it working and I’ve watched it in action – fascinating! While we’re talking about the museum, I bought an excellent book on candle making in the gift shop there – worth a visit.

In the mid-nineteenth century, other types of wax became available and the quality of candles improved. I’ve researched this thoroughly and I even had a piece published in a magazine about how these new waxes were created. I focused on petrol, though there were other new waxes, too – coal can be used, for example.

Also around this time, candle makers started to make wicks out of new materials, too. The wick is the bit that runs through the centre of a candle and burns the wax as fuel. Experiments with early wicks included using rolled tubes of paper, though cotton became the most effective material. It was tightly woven so it would curl over when it burned, safely maintaining the height of the flame.

In the later part of the nineteenth century, candle making declined rapidly as lamps and eventually light bulbs were introduced to the home. After this point, candles become used simply as a decorative item. After getting home from work I love nothing better than the relaxation provided by lighting a candle, sitting down and just chilling out for the evening!

And there’s such a variety of candles nowadays. I’m forever trying out new methods of production, new waxes and different patterns. This afternoon, however, we’re going to concentrate on my current area of development which is different colour combinations. I hope you’ll enjoy the day!

Listening Part 3

You will hear five short extracts in which people are talking about travelling abroad for work. For questions 19-23, choose from the list A-H what each speaker thinks is most helpful when travelling frequently. Use the letters only once. There are three extra letters which you do not need to use.

A   Use a car hire company with a good reputation.

B   Take a copy of important documents with you.

C   Pack your bag as lightly as possible.

D   Always fly with the same airline.

E   Ready up on local business customs.

F   Learn some useful phrases.

G   Order your foreign currency in advance.

H   Have a bag ready-prepared with essentials.

19   Speaker 1

20   Speaker 2

21   Speaker 3

22   Speaker 4

23   Speaker 5

Answer & Audioscript

19 H   20 E   21 D   22 F   23 C


Speaker 1

I’m a frequent traveller and hardly a week goes by when I don’t find myself in an airport lounge. I used to think jetting off abroad was glamorous, but that wore off when I realised how much time I’d be spending alone in hotel rooms. It took me ages to work out that I could save packing time by keeping a separate bag of toothpaste and other necessities I could pick up at a moment’s notice. Those free items hotels provide are the perfect size. Don’t forget to collect the free newspaper on board the plane – you can catch up on business news while you travel and it passes the time.

Speaker 2

If you’re anything like me, you’d forget your head if it wasn’t fastened on. That doesn’t combine well with travel – losing your passport is a no-no. I guess I could make copies just in case. I’ve got the usual stuff down to a fine art now – checking in online so you don’t have to queue … I’ve never found it all that useful trying to communicate in the local language like people say you should – I can never understand the reply! Researching how things are done in the workplace in the country you’re visiting is vital, and helps avoid making mistakes when you’re in an unfamiliar office – there’s plenty about this online.

Speaker 3

I’m always off somewhere around the world for work, and I’m lucky enough to have been to some exotic places. I must have coins from at least half the countries in the world. OK, I’m exaggerating, but I do travel a lot and I love every minute of it, even though it’s for business rather than pleasure. I love trying out my language skills on local people, but I wouldn’t say this is essential to survival. One tip I picked up along the way was to repeatedly book a seat with a company you trust – you’ll get to know flight staff when they see you frequently and they’ll look after you.

Speaker 4

I have a reputation for being a worrier when it comes to travelling. I’m confident in my business role – I just feel disorientated when I land in a new place. There’s no way I’d ever drive in an unfamiliar city, so I’ve found that knowing some polite expressions and the address of your hotel in the local language is worth doing for when you take a cab, for example. I usually check up on how much things cost before I go away. I write down the currency exchange which helps me work local prices out and I use a money belt – they’re light to wear and keep your documents safe, too.

Speaker 5

I tend to travel to the same countries, and I’ve always got leftover currency hanging around in my jacket pockets. It comes in useful if you need a taxi from the airport or something. A note on that by the way – ask around for the best price – some taxi companies don’t use meters and charge a fortune! Anyway, I prepare myself well for flying. I just take a small bag which fits easily into the lockers on board. I don’t take many clothes – I have my shirts and things laundered on a daily basis instead. It’s the easiest way to travel – you don’t have to drag your stuff along behind you.

Listening Part 4

You will hear a psychologist called Sheena Smith talking about studying human behaviour. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   What does Sheena like about studying behaviour now?

      A   noting the differences between people

      B   getting to understand herself more

      C   learning about human emotion

25   When Sheena talks about her father’s ‘telephone voice’, she remembers

      A   the excitement she felt about a discovery.

      B   the pride she felt in the way her father spoke.

      C   the amusement she felt at her mother’s reaction.

26   During her time at university, Sheena wrote about how we

      A   aren’t as intelligent as we like to think.

      B   don’t like to question our cultural habits.

      C   are unable to change the way we behave.

27   When Sheena took part in an experiment in a lift she felt

      A   surprised by people’s lack of interest in conversation.

      B   disappointed by how awkwardly others behaved.

      C   concerned about doing the wrong thing.

28   What does Sheena think about the work she is currently doing?

      A   It isn’t as interesting as her previous projects.

      B   It isn’t as useful as she thought it might be.

      C   It isn’t as easy to do as she had assumed.

29   The project Sheena has most enjoyed working on

      A   had an unexpected outcome.

      B   helped her to progress in her career.

      C   changed her opinion about the value of research.

30   Sheena says that what she’d like to study in the future will be

      A   unlike anything she’s tried before.

      B   rewarding for the participants.

      C   difficult to achieve.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Interviewer:   Sheena, you’re a behavioural psychologist, which means you study the way people behave. What’s so interesting about human behaviour for you?

Sheena Smith:   Everyone’s a psychologist really, aren’t they? I mean, we’re all fascinated by what other people do, especially when it isn’t what we do ourselves. I guess that’s the heart of the matter for me these days. I’ve always been pretty good at reading people’s faces and understanding how they really feel and that’s what first got me interested in psychology.

Interviewer:   One of your earliest experiences of observing behaviour was seeing what your father did when he answered the phone. Tell us about that.

Sheena Smith:   Well, he had quite a strong local accent but whenever he picked up the phone he’d speak in what I used to call his ‘telephone voice’ – he sort of became a bit more posh. My mum and I would exchange secret smiles when we heard him. What sticks in my mind is the thrill of realising that once he knew who was calling he’d either carry on with the posh voice or relax into his normal way of speaking, if he felt comfortable with them.

Interviewer:   What kind of things did you study during your psychology degree?

Sheena Smith:   I enjoyed writing about how we’re affected by social norms. We like to think we’re complex and individual – and yet we all tend to behave in similar ways when faced with the same situation! It isn’t that we couldn’t do something differently if we felt like it, but we do what’s expected of us – people rarely challenge fixed ideas, even if they like to think of themselves as different. Sooner or later, we realise it’s easier to go with the crowd.

Interviewer:   One of your first projects was studying how people behave in lifts, wasn’t it?

Sheena Smith:   Yes! At the beginning of the project I assumed that if I started a conversation in a lift, people would join in. But they just nodded politely and went back to staring at their phones – I couldn’t believe it! It’s the lack of space in lefts that makes people worry about appearing strange or threatening. So people do nothing at all!

Interviewer:   What are you working on at the moment?

Sheena Smith:   I’m looking at behaviour that seems irrational – that appears to make little sense – like waiting in a long queue, because we think there must be something worth waiting for. But if we see an empty restaurant we won’t go in! It’s not difficult to understand why. I thought I could put an original slant on the work, but I’ve realised this research isn’t going to change the world of psychology – that doesn’t make it any less interesting than other research, though.

Interviewer:   What’s been your favourite project so far?

Sheena Smith:   I did some research about the psychology of giving gifts. People are as happy to receive small gifts as larger ones – except when they learn the cost of the item. Then they start judging it. That was news to me – I’d imagined people wouldn’t be bothered. That was the first article I had published in my professional career, so it was a very satisfying piece of research.

Interviewer:   What would you like to study that you haven’t yet?

Sheena Smith:   I’m interested in people’s behaviour ‘behind closed doors’. The way we behave publicly and in private can be enormously different. You can’t observe people without their knowledge, so studies like this require careful setting up. It isn’t that it can’t be done – you have to observe people for long enough until they forget they’re being observed – video cameras are the best way to do this. It’s easy to find participants for this kind of study – though people don’t always like what they see of themselves!

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