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 an office manager talking about someone in her team.

      What does she say about him?

      A   He appreciates the advice she offers.

      B   He produces work of a high standard.

      C   He enjoys taking on challenging work.

2   You hear two people in a university swimming team talking about a recent training session.

      How does the woman feel now?

      A   pleased with her performance during training

      B   relieved she has been selected for a competition

      C   keen to increase the time she spends training

3   You hear a scientist talking on the radio about a medical development.

      What is he doing?

      A   criticising others in his field

      B   announcing a new discovery

      C   explaining a misunderstanding

4   You hear two psychology students talking about people who are famous.

      They agree that famous people

      A   prefer socialising with other celebrities.

      B   dislike being recognised everywhere.

      C   often become bored with their lifestyle.

5   You hear a shop assistant talking to a store detective about a customer.

      The shop assistant says the customer

      A   was polite.

      B   talked a great deal.

      C   had expert knowledge.

6   You hear two university students talking about their new football kit.

      What is the woman’s opinion?

      A   It should have been less heavy.

      B   It should have been provided free of charge.

      C   It should have been a different colour.

7   You hear a maths teacher talking about what makes his job enjoyable.

      He says his job is enjoyable because

      A   his pupils are motivated.

      B   he has pleasant colleagues.

      C   the school is well-equipped.

8   You hear two tourist information officers talking about a tourist attraction.

      What does the man say about it?

      A   It needs advertising more widely.

      B   There are few places to buy food.

      C   Tourists consider it old-fashioned.

Answer & Audioscript

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


1   You hear an office manager talking about someone in her team.

Now Jim, in my team at work, you know – now he’s an interesting character. Whenever he thinks something looks as if it’s going to be rather demanding, he just doesn’t want to know about it. And yet what he actually does is always really good – it’s top quality in fact. And you know how some people are always asking for help – not that I mind giving it, of course – but I do like the way he just gets on with the things he does feel are within his capabilities. I’ll just have to think of ways to encourage him to be a bit more willing to stretch himself, I suppose.

2   You hear two people in a university swimming team talking about a recent training session.

A:   That was a tough training session, wasn’t it?

B:   Yes, I’m glad it’s over! It’s always worse when they’re picking people for competitions, the coaches push us to the limit.

A:   How do you think you did?

B:   I don’t know if I’ll be in Saturday’s competition, but I think I did pretty well today, to be honest.

A:   I’m not sure I did. I doubt I’ll be selected this time. We should train a bit longer every day. That would do us good, I think.

B:   I really don’t think I could manage any more training than we’re already doing. It’s the effort we put in during the training that counts, I reckon.

3   You hear a scientist talking on the radio about a medical development.

It’s always an amazing feeling whenever there’s a scientific breakthrough, and the excitement about the new drug a few months ago was huge. What often happens immediately after something like that is that the news media report on it without getting all the details right. And then the general public imagine that the benefits of the research will become available far sooner than they actually will. This is what seems to have happened in this case: people are disappointed that things haven’t moved faster. In fact it usually takes a few years to be sure that a new drug or treatment is safe for everyone to use.

4   You hear two psychology students talking about people who are famous.

A:   I’m doing some research on celebrity lifestyles for my project.

B:   Sounds interesting!

A:   Yeah, though I kind of know what I’m going to find … I mean they get sick of all the luxury after a while, don’t they? It’s all the same, day after day …

B:   Really? Lots of them can’t have enough of it, I think! But I’d say they do get tired of never being able to leave home without people pointing at them and staring.

A:   I can’t disagree with you there. And I’m sure that’s why they tend to mix with other famous people in their free time.

B:   They probably like that less than we think.

5   You hear a shop assistant talking to a store detective about a customer.

The customer came in and asked to look at the watches. He asked a few questions, but spent most of the time looking at the ones I showed him in silence. He wasn’t exactly rude, but I wouldn’t say his manners were the best, either. Saying hello when you come up to the counter, and goodbye when you leave, is what most people do and he didn’t bother with any of that. The impression I got was that compared to the average customer he knew a fair amount – more like someone in the business themselves, actually. Anyway, he eventually left without buying anything.

6   You hear two university students talking about their new football kit.

A:   What do you think about the new university football kit? I like the way the men’s and women’s versions are so similar, and I love the orange they chose. I think it’s cool!

B:   Well, apart from the colour, I’m not particularly impressed.

A:   Really? What’s wrong with it?

B:   Well for one thing, the material. There are so many better ones that weigh next to nothing, and still keep the wind out. Why couldn’t we have had something like that?

A:   Yes, that’s true. But I suppose they didn’t want it to be too expensive.

B:   Yes, you’re probably right, but I wouldn’t have minded paying just a bit more for something better.

7   You hear a maths teacher talking about what makes his job enjoyable.

Like any job, teaching maths has downsides as well as upsides. But what job doesn’t? For every morning I wake up and feel it might be preferable just to stay in bed, there are at least ten when I don’t. I know maths isn’t everyone’s favourite subject, and lots of my pupils can’t wait for the lesson to be over. But the atmosphere at the school’s good, partly because the kids are OK really, and also because I couldn’t have more supportive workmates. The school’s hardly the best-equipped as far as smart whiteboards and things like that are concerned, but I don’t really mind about that.

8   You hear two tourist information officers talking about a tourist attraction.

A:   Have you read the report on increasing numbers at the amusement park?

B:   Yes, it makes some good points. How can we persuade tourists to stay there all day if there are only two small cafés? People have to eat!

A:   Yeah – lots of people take their own food, but many don’t.

B:   It also says the park should be better advertised, though you see posters up about it all over the place.

A:   Maybe TV ads about all the new rides this year would help?

B:   Possibly. TV advertising seems a little out-of-date now. But visitors always say they love the new rides, don’t they?

A:   Well, some like to stick with the old favourites.

Listening Part 2

You will hear a student called Jane Stubbs talking to a group of other students about a geography field trip she went on as part of her course. For questions 9-18, complete the sentences with a word or short phrase.

Geography field trip

Jane says the geography field centre is in what is known as a (9) ‘………………………… area’.

Jane heard a talk on the first day about (10) ………………………… that live near the centre.

On the walk Jane saw a (11) ………………………… made of iron that was 100 years old.

On the second day the groups had to decide which (12) ………………………… they wanted to do during their time at the centre.

Jane’s (13) ………………………… could no longer be used after it blew away.

Jane went to the (14) ………………………… to collect water samples.

Jane found the (15) ………………………… she had learned at school was useful.

On the last day, the students gave their presentations in order of (16) ………………………… .

Jane enjoyed the presentation on farms involved in making (17) ………………………… products.

The students gave some (18) ………………………… to the field centre staff before leaving.

Answer & Audioscript

9 conservation   10 deer   11 gate

12 projects   13 map   14 river

15 chemistry   16 height

17 dairy   18 (local) honey


Hello, I’m going to tell you about my geography field trip, so you know what to expect when you go on yours.

The field centre we went to is in Wales, in a rural area where a lot of the old buildings are protected and can’t be modernised – called a conservation area, and the building really was lovely but rather old.

We arrived in time for lunch, then straight after that, we were taken out by Bill, a staff member there, for a walk and a talk. Bill’s an expert on the local area and knows all about the native woodlands there. He told us about the deer that they provide a good habitat for – it was fascinating. I knew people had sometimes seen eagles around there too, but we didn’t see any.

I spotted a number of interesting things on the walk, and took a lot of photos. There were beautiful traditional stone walls and lots of hedges. There was also a lovely little wooden bridge over a stream, and also a modern aluminium gate into a field, which was rather a contrast. I saw an iron one later and Bill said it was 100 years old. My picture of that gate is now one of my favourites.

The next morning we got up early, and after breakfast, we had to make a few decisions about what we were going to do during the week. We could choose what projects to work on while we were there, and the plan was that when we got back to university, we’d write up our notes and produce reports on what we’d done.

Then we went outside and it was incredibly wet and windy! I held onto my hat, but the wind got my map. I ran after it, but it ended up in some muddy water and was completely ruined!

I was working with two classmates on water quality in the local area. I needed to collect some samples to analyse. There was plenty of water around, what with the lake, a small pond behind the field centre, and where I got mine from, the river. I was interested to know if there’d be any pollutants in it.

The field centre has a small lab, and we did work there in the evenings. I was glad that at school I’d paid attention in some classes, because it turned out to be handy to know some chemistry. Luckily it didn’t require any knowledge of biology, because that’s all a distant memory!

On the last day it was time for us to give presentations about what we’d done during the week. Nobody wanted to go first, of course, so somebody suggested that we should do it according to height, tallest first. I was glad it wasn’t done by age, because I was the oldest!

All the presentations were good, and there were several about farming. It was interesting to learn the methods they use, combining the traditional and the modern. The best one, to my mind, was the one on the difficulties involved in dairy farming. Sheep farming is important round there too, and someone gave a talk on that as well.

We decided to get the field centre staff a present before we left. But the village shop had little to offer apart from a few chocolate bars and some cake that looked a little past it. Then I saw they had some local honey, so that was our goodbye present.

I’m sure you’ll all have a great time when you go yourselves.

Listening Part 3

You will hear five short extracts in which people are talking about digital books. 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 can see the words very clearly.

B   I only read digital books when I travel.

C   I can’t always find what I want in digital format.

D   I wouldn’t consider replacing all my paper books with digital books.

E   I always have a new digital book ready to read next.

F   I like the quality of the pictures.

G   I don’t find digital books particularly convenient.

H   I appreciate all the extra features.

19   Speaker 1

20   Speaker 2

21   Speaker 3

22   Speaker 4

23   Speaker 5

Answer & Audioscript

19 E   20 H   21 A   22 G   23 C


Speaker 1

Digital, or ebooks, are all I read these days. My parents have shelves of old-fashioned paper books, and I do love turning the pages, and the whole look of the words on the page, and the lovely pictures. It’s not a matter of taste, however, but of convenience. I read a lot, especially when I’m travelling, which I often have to do for my job. I love knowing that as soon as I’ve finished one novel, there’s another one there for me to start. It’s something I always make sure of, and of course, it’s much easier to do that with digital books. I can’t imagine my life without them!

Speaker 2

I grew up with paper books, and my parents don’t like digital books very much. But what they don’t understand is that there are so many things you can do with digital books that of course you couldn’t do with paper books. I love following the links to relevant internet sites, for example if I want to see more about something I’m reading about. Also the way I can make notes if I want to without feeling I’m somehow damaging the book – I could never do that in one of my parents’! And I’ve never had any trouble getting hold of what I want to read in digital formal.

Speaker 3

I read digital books a lot, but the only reason is that I can enlarge the print easily. I find that very useful, but I don’t take advantage of the other stuff you can do, like following links to photos and things. I just can’t be bothered. I suppose I’m a bit old-fashioned. I don’t think I’d read that much if it weren’t for the convenience they offer, but now I always seem to be absorbed in one book or another, whether I’m at home or on the train to work. So as far as I’m concerned, if paper books disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn’t really mind.

Speaker 4

I know everyone goes on about how incredibly practical digital books are. But I don’t really see it like that, because I’m the kind of person who’s always forgetting their phone charger when they go abroad, so all this digital stuff doesn’t really work for me. I’m often in remote places with no connection to the internet, so if I were relying on downloading a new book as and when I felt like it, I simply couldn’t. I’m not against them though – in fact, if I had a different lifestyle, I might well get rid of all my paper books, and just have digital books instead.

Speaker 5

Everybody’s reading digital books now, and I can see why, though I must say I don’t read them much. Maybe it’s because I don’t travel around a lot, though the e-reader I was given by my brother is very useful when I do, and I do sit and read it at home sometimes. The thing is, I read a lot of old books that just aren’t available as digital books, so the kind of things I buy tend to be old-fashioned paper books. Otherwise, I’d happily clear my bookcases and use the space for something else! Maybe one day, if all the books in the world are digitalised, I will!

Listening Part 4

You will hear a radio interview with a student architect called Claire Hirst. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   What does Claire say she has enjoyed learning on her course?

      A   how to explain her ideas to her fellow students

      B   how construction workers actually put up a building

      C   how architects combine practical and creative skills

25   Claire says that in their final year of studies students find they

      A   work on their own more than previously.

      B   get more advice from the tutors.

      C   have fewer projects to do.

26   How does Claire say doing work placements has helped her?

      A   It has allowed her to make a decision about the future.

      B   It has developed most of the skills she already had.

      C   It has confirmed what she imagined about the job.

27   What does Claire say about the project she is currently working on?

      A   She knows the building will be constructed one day.

      B   She is pleased with the work she has done on it.

      C   She is glad the materials she chose have reduced costs.

28   Claire says that when designing people’s homes, architects should

      A   imagine living there themselves.

      B   try to make them interesting.

      C   consider who will live in them.

29   What does Claire say about finding a job as an architect?

      A   Having interview experience is useful.

      B   Phoning architects’ offices is effective.

      C   Recommendations by tutors can help.

30   What does Claire say people thinking of studying architecture should know?

      A   Make sure you can afford the extra course materials.

      B   You can expect to socialise a lot on your course.

      C   It is a very long course and the work is difficult.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Interviewer:   I’m talking to Claire Hirst today, a student architect. Hi Claire.

Claire Hirst:   Hi.

Interviewer:   Claire, first of all, are you enjoying your course?

Claire Hirst:   Yes, I am. I chose architecture because it is such a creative, yet practical, profession, and I’ve certainly learnt loads. We’ve done technical drawing and construction skills, to know what’s going on at the sites, and I’ve loved that. We’ve had to design buildings, and present our ideas to the other students on the course. So presentation skills are essential – both through speaking and drawing – that’s been quite stressful.

Interviewer:   You’re now in your last year of studies, and architecture is a long course. Does this final year feel different?

Claire Hirst:   It’s definitely more intense. Some of the people who started on the course have dropped out, and everyone who’s still left knows they’re in it for the long haul – they know this is the career for them. You have to be self-motivated – there are no tutors telling you what to do and how to do it. They just give you tasks to complete – often several at once – and a set of deadlines, then check on you every week or so, so you really have to be well-organised.

Interviewer:   You’ve done work placements as part of your course. Was this useful?

Claire Hirst:   It’s the only way of really finding out what life is like as a professional architect. Of course, there’s some design involved, but you soon realise that your time is mainly spent doing things like talking to people on the phone and having meetings. A work placement means that at the end of it, you’re much more likely to know whether or not you want to carry on with your course – that was the case for me, anyway.

Interviewer:   Can you tell me about a project you’re working on at the moment?

Claire Hirst:   Yes, at the moment I’m designing a city apartment block. I’ve done a lot of research into the materials I could use. Some of them are expensive, and I have to work out if the block would be economical to build, and how long the construction would take. It would be great if it could be built, because I think it’s looking good, but of course it’s just a student project.

Interviewer:   What do you think about architects’ approach to designing people’s homes?

Claire Hirst:   Most typical families in the local area aren’t looking for anything very unusual. Architects can sometimes forget that ordinary people, not necessarily other architects, are going to live in the homes they design, so the design should suit the people, not the other way round! If you’re sitting in an office and looking at perfect images on a computer all day, you can lose sight of that if you aren’t careful.

Interviewer:   And how will you go about finding a job once you’ve graduated?

Claire Hirst:   You can ring all the local architecture practices, which is what some of my friends who graduated last year did. I must say it took ages and none of them was offered an interview, so I don’t think I’ll do that. The tutors are contacted by practices, too, and asked about good students they think might be suitable for a particular vacancy. The students still have to go through the application process, of course, but at least they have a chance of getting an interview that way.

Interviewer:   And finally, Claire, do you have any advice for people thinking of studying architecture?

Claire Hirst:   Don’t go into it for the money! Often the hours can be very long and the income relatively low. Find out as much about it as you can – read books and magazines, check out websites, visit buildings. Also, be prepared to work hard and play hard. You get to know your course mates extremely well because you spend so much time together.

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