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 part of an interview with a tennis player after a match.

      How does she feel?

      A   disappointed to have been injured

      B   grateful for the help she’s received

      C   impressed by her opponent’s performance

2   You hear two friends talking about a comedy show they went to see.

      What do they agree about?

      A   how unsuitable the venue was

      B   how enthusiastic the audience was

      C   how original the comedian’s humour was

3   You hear part of a radio phone-in programme about cycling in cities.

      What is the caller doing?

      A   criticising the lack of cycling facilities

      B   encouraging people to take up cycling

      C   complaining about the way cyclists behave

4   You hear two friends discussing an article about junk food.

      What does the girl suggest about it?

      A   It won’t appeal to many people she knows.

      B   It contains information that is inaccurate.

      C   It is unlikely to affect the way she lives.

5   You hear a teacher talking about a large picture her students are painting to be displayed.

      Why does the teacher want her students to paint the picture?

      A   to improve their ability to work as a team

      B   to make them aware of art in the area

      C   to encourage them to think creatively

6   You hear a boy telling a friend about a trip he went on with his father.

      What does he say about it?

      A   He appreciated his father’s attempts to please him.

      B   He was confident of his father’s ability to organise things.

      C   He admired his father’s knowledge of other places.

7   You hear a girl talking about a science experiment at her school.

      Say says that the experiment

      A   didn’t work as well as intended.

      B   had an unexpected consequence.

      C   demonstrated an important scientific principle.

8   You hear two friends discussing an experiment into the effects of spending time in space.

      What do they both think about it?

      A   They’re interested to learn more.

      B   They admire the participants’ courage.

      C   They’d be reluctant to do something similar.

Answer & Audioscript

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



Man:   How do you think you played?

Woman:   Not my best, but I still beat a top player. In that sense, it was satisfactory.

Man:   Are you still recovering from the knee operation you had?

Woman:   Yes, but I can’t let that affect me in a tough game. I have to push myself all the way. I’m pleased my knee feels like it’s back to normal – much of that’s down to the doctors and physiotherapists who treated me. I really owe them a lot.

Man:   Most of the crowd today wanted your opponent to win. What did that feel like?

Woman:   She was the home player, so their positive reaction to her was natural. It’s something players get used to.


Man:   Gerry King was great last night, wasn’t he?

Woman:   Yes, he’s even funnier live than he is on TV. And he had plenty of jokes I’d never heard before.

Man:   He does tend to stick to certain topics – people he meets, problems he has, you know – he is extremely funny though. Most people there were obviously big fans of his.

Woman:   Well, he’s not rude or aggressive like some comedians. I think that’s why people responded to him so well. The atmosphere was great, even though we were in a stadium, which seemed rather a strange place for comedy.

Man:   It depends on the size of the crowd. There’s plenty of humour at big football matches.


Woman:   Our next caller is Marek. What’s your point, Marek?

Man:   Well, you’re had some callers talking about annoying things cyclists do – like riding through traffic lights when they’re red, or going on pavements and bothering pedestrians. What these callers didn’t say is that cyclists do these things because the traffic and roads in this city are often unsafe for cycling. Would they do these things if there were more lanes set aside for them? I doubt it. The benefits cycling brings are obvious, which is why so many people are starting to do it. What we should be doing is making it easier and safer for them rather than finding fault with them.


Girl:   Have you read this article about junk food?

Boy:   No. What does it say?

Girl:   It’s about how food companies invest an incredible amount of money designing junk food so it’s cheap, easy to eat, and makes us want to eat more of it. It’s difficult to believe they’re allowed to do that when you think how bad it is for us.

Boy:   The trouble with reports like that is that they’re giving unpopular news, so people tend to ignore them. Just think what our friends are like.

Girl:   Most of them would rather not know. I’m determined to give up certain things, though, even though I might not find it easy to.


Woman:   Right, everyone. You’re going to get together as a class this week to paint a picture that’ll be on the wall in the school entrance – so it has to be good. It’ll feature local landmarks – we’ll research these in more detail later on this term. Now, the reason for doing this is to provide inspiration that’ll support your schoolwork, because you can’t come up with interesting ideas or write great stories if you haven’t had the chance to use your imagination. So, I hope you’re all feeling motivated to produce great artwork – ‘cos the plan is to have this completed before the end of next week!


Girl:   How was your trip with your dad?

Boy:   Well, we’d never gone off on our own and done anything like that before and I really saw a different side to him. I couldn’t believe he’d actually looked online and booked the perfect place for us to stay – super-modern, not really his thing – he just knew it’d be completely mine. That was kind of him. And he’d planned loads of things for us to do – I don’t know when he found the time because he’s usually so busy. But Dad’s always been into exploring new places – and that’s what we did!

Girl:   You get on really well with your dad, don’t you?

Boy:   Yeah.


Girl:   We did a really cool science experiment at school yesterday, involving loads of plastic bottles with water in them, which we used to design and make rockets that would actually fly! The science was all a bit complicated for us really, even after our teacher had explained the theory behind it in detail. But we fired the rockets from a launch pad on the playing field, and they reached quite a height – we didn’t manage that when we practised the day before! Mind you, they showered everyone with water as they went up, including our teacher! But no-one really seemed to mind. It was great fun.


Woman:   Tell me about that experiment you were reading about.

Man:   I’m going to see what else has been posted online actually, but basically six researchers who hardly knew each other volunteered to be shut away in a kind of capsule – they had to stay in it for a year without fresh air or fresh food.

Woman:   And the point was …?

Man:   To see what effect that would have on their bodies … and their minds. I certainly wouldn’t be brave enough to do that!

Woman:   Well, they wouldn’t come to much harm, would they? You’ve got me wanting to find out what happened to them now.

Listening Part 2

You will hear an interview with a boy called Luke Tyler, who took part in a desert marathon race.

For questions 9-18, complete the sentences with a word or short phrase.

Desert marathon race

The (9) …………………………………… for competitors are the same each year.

In his backpack, Luke made sure he put a (10) …………………………………… that didn’t weigh very much.

When getting ready for the race, Luke thinks that his (11) …………………………………… helped him more than anything else.

Before the race, Luke was nervous about the danger of (12) …………………………………… in the desert.

Luke thinks he should have eaten more (13) …………………………………… during the marathon.

The runners stopped at places known as (14) …………………………………… where they could have a short rest.

Luke is pleased that he chose the right sort of (15) …………………………………… for the race.

Luke says the (16) …………………………………… were the most memorable things he saw in the desert.

Luke threw away some (17) ……………………………………which were items he didn’t need.

Luke mentions that there were (18) …………………………………… which carried some larger items needed for overnight stops.

Answer & Audioscript

9 rules   10 sleeping(-)bag   11 attitude   12 sand(-)storms

13 dried(-)fruit(s)   14 check(-)points   15 (sun)(-)glasses

16 sunsets   17 (extra) clothes   18 camels


Luke:   My name’s Luke Tyler and I’m going to talk about a tough sporting event I took part in – the Marathon of the Sands, an annual six-day race across the desert! The distance covered is more or less 250 kilometres, but the routes differ from one year to the next and aren’t announced until the day before. However, the rules competitors follow have remained unchanged since the race started back in 1986.

Almost everything I needed had to fit into a backpack. And I had to think carefully about the weight I was carrying – most things I’d decided to take were fairly light anyway, such as my compass to keep me going the right way. I checked the sleeping bag I’d chosen was as light as possible, though. My small cooker to heat up food was obviously heavier – but to me that was essential!

You obviously need to be fit to take on a huge challenge like this, so I spent the months before setting off doing intensive training. This preparation was vital, but at the end of the day, attitude counted for more – just knowing I could do it. I got advice from friends, though it wasn’t as useful as I’d hoped because they’d never attempted running anything as hard as a desert marathon.

Before taking on this challenge, I was aware that there were dangers in the desert. We were warned about scorpions, for example, but I wasn’t too bothered about those. The sandstorms concerned me more because they can appear out of nowhere. The heat I was prepared for, which was a good thing, because sometimes the temperature reached 40 degrees!

The race organisers were very concerned for our welfare. They insisted that each runner consumed 4,000 calories a day, although how you did that was up to you. I tended to get my nutrition from dried meat. They’d suggested dried fruit too, though I didn’t take as much of that as I should’ve done. I couldn’t resist snacking on biscuits, which I don’t suppose was officially recommended!

The length of the race means it’s exhausting. I was always looking forward to the breaks. These opportunities come along every few kilometres at what they call checkpoints and they’re welcome sights for weary runners. They’re basically just stop-off places where shade and water are provided, and information about the next stage.

Thinking of comfort during the race, I wore trainers that were slightly big for me and got some serious blisters. There was a medical team who were brilliant at treating sore feet, but luckily I’d taken plenty of plasters with me, so didn’t need their help. There was also a danger of damage to your eyes from the bright light, so I’d gone for sunglasses that cut out the glare. They certainly made life more bearable.

The desert was beautiful. There were some stunning mountains in the background, and we ran through some interesting villages too. At night, the sky was so dark that the stars were just amazing, and the sunsets seemed more beautiful than any I’d seen back home – they’re what’ll stick in my memory.

After a couple of days, I looked in my bag and realised there were some items that weren’t strictly necessary. I was told it’d be cold at night so I’d taken extra clothes with me. But the tent I slept in was nosy, so I got rid of them. I considered dumping some of the fuel I used for cooking, but in the end kept it. And I managed to lose my sun-cream, so I just borrowed some from another runner.

I was never on my own. Volunteers along the way helped to make sure things went smoothly. Several camels not far behind us were transporting heavy camping equipment, and I sometimes looked up to see couple of helicopters following us to check on our well-being. That was reassuring. And there were also several trucks full of reporters and camera equipment.

It was an unforgettable experience and one I would …

Listening Part 3

You will hear five short extracts in which teenagers are talking about what’s called a survival course, where they learnt the skills you need to live in a forest.

For questions 19-23, choose from the list (A-H) how each speaker felt during the course.

Use the letters only once. There is one extra letter which you do not need to use.

A   irritated by other students’ behaviour

B   concerned about the possibility of falling ill

C   enthusiastic about working in a team

D   frustrated by the time it took to do something

E   impressed by someone’s ability

F   disappointed to miss out on something

G   grateful for the opportunity to do something unusual

H   surprised by how challenging some of the tasks were

19   Speaker 1

20   Speaker 2

21   Speaker 3

22   Speaker 4

23   Speaker 5

Answer & Audioscript

19 F   20 B   21 E   22 D   23 G


Speaker 1

Girl:   I spent three days with some students in my class at a place in a forest where they teach you how to survive in the wild. We learnt how to make an open fire – it was great they allowed us to do that. Everything was done in groups – which makes sense, I suppose. I was with people who had very different ideas from me, though we got on well. I really fancied going fishing but our group never got round to doing that, which I was quite upset about, actually. We did spend a whole day building a shelter out of branches and leaves – it was really hard work, but we slept in it too, which was great fun.

Speaker 2

Boy:   My class went away for a weekend to learn skills we’d need if we ever got lost in a rainforest, or something like that. For example, our instructor showed us how to purify river water and make it drinkable by pouring it through a cloth. We did it very carefully, but the water still looked a strange colour. I did drink some even though I was quite worried it might make me sick. Before we went, I thought we might struggle on the course because we had to work in groups and some kids in my class don’t really get on. But we made a good fire – my friend Joe eventually managed to light it by knocking two stones together – he was so proud of that.

Speaker 3

Girl:   I signed up for the survival skills course – my friends were going and I was excited to be able to spend some time with them. But the weather was terrible and I was miserable because I ended up getting a cold. The instructor said it was too wet to make fires, but we did other things. One day, she took us on a long walk through the forest and then left us to find our way back. Luckily, one of the boys in the group worked out a route back through the forest to the campsite – it was really hard and I don’t know how he did it. I’d never been in a situation like that before, and to be honest it wasn’t the best thing I’d ever done.

Speaker 4

Boy:   I thought doing the survival skills course with a group of friends from school would be something I’d really enjoy – I ended up learning a lot too. It didn’t start very well because I had a bad headache the first day, but fortunately it went away. We did lots of different activities. For example, our instructor showed us things in the forest that you can eat and he also taught us how to use natural materials to make things. I struggled with that, though. I mean, we spent a whole day carving wood and my friends made three different tools but I only made one simple spoon, which was very annoying and I did feel a bit upset about it. But everything else was great!

Speaker 5

Girl:   I really appreciated the survival skills weekend. The activities were in groups and we did different things like learning how to live off nature – what plants you can eat, and which would make you sick if you tried them. One afternoon we had a race in groups to make a raft out of tree trunks. Then we had to use it to get from one side of a river to the other. I’d never done anything like that before and it did seem a bit strange, but I was really glad they gave me the chance to have a go. We didn’t get to track wild animals, which was something our instructor promised we’d do, but I didn’t mind because I’ll definitely go back there again.

Listening Part 4

You will hear an interview with a man called Danny Taylor, who is a record producer with his own recording studio.

For questions 24-30, choose the best answer (A, B or C).

24   Why did Danny decide to start his recording studio?

      A   He had difficulty finding a job in the music industry.

      B   He was keen to work with a variety of musicians.

      C   He wanted to record more of his own music.

25   When asked about the way his studio has developed, Danny says he’s

      A   proud of the reputation he’s built up.

      B   relieved that his business has kept going so long.

      C   frustrated about having to do certain kinds of work.

26   What does Danny say about the location of his studio?

      A   It differs from many other studios.

      B   It affects the style of music made there.

      C   It puts off younger bands and musicians.

27   What does Danny say about the behaviour of bands he works with?

      A   The way the interact is not reflected in their music.

      B   The stress involved in recording often leads to arguments.

      C   The image presented in the media is usually misleading.

28   What does Danny find hardest about his work?

      A   criticising musicians who lack talent

      B   deciding which bands he wants to work with

      C   dealing with the demands of well-known musicians

29   What does Danny think is his greatest strength as a music producer?

      A   his skill at helping inexperienced musicians improve

      B   his ability to make a song sound original

      C   his awareness of what will sell well

30   What advice does Danny offer people interested in becoming music producers?

      A   Remember that music production requires a great deal of commitment.

      B   Keep up-to-date with the latest music production technology.

      C   Find a course with links to the music industry.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Interviewer:   Today we’re talking to a record producer, Danny Taylor. Welcome Danny. You set up your own recording studio when you were 20. Why did you do that?

Danny:   I used to play keyboards in a number of different bands. I also wrote songs and recorded a few with the idea of making an album. But studio time was getting too expensive, and I thought that if I had my own place, I could get my material done cheaply – as well as getting other professional musicians to pay me for recording their stuff. I didn’t have any experience of working for a record company – but I bought some equipment and gave it a try.

Interviewer:   You’ve had the studio for ten years now. Do you make a good living from it?

Danny:   It’s still a small business, but I’ve produced records for well-known bands, and I’m quite well-established. The music industry has changed considerably over the years and I’ve obviously had to adapt to survive – I don’t just record pop music anymore. I do what might sound like interesting work, recording music for cartoons and adverts, which helps me keep the studio going. It’s a bit of a pain actually though – because I’d much rather focus on the sort of music I’m into.

Interviewer:   You’ve had mixed reactions to the location of your new studio, haven’ you?

Danny:   Well, recording studios generally tend to be in big cities – places where there’s lots going on – good transport connections, shops, and so on. If that’s the environment people are looking for – many musicians are – then my studio out in the country wouldn’t be the ideal place for them. But many up-and-coming groups and solo artists see the sense in being free of distractions, so they can concentrate on creating high-quality recordings.

Interviewer:   Some rock musicians have a reputation for bad behaviour. Do you see any of that?

Danny:   You get all these press stories about famous musicians causing trouble. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but people come to the studio to work. Recording’s an intense activity and there are times when the singer has a different opinion from the guitarist, for example, and things do get a bit heated – that’s only to be expected. But it’s good that musicians have strong emotions because all that comes out in the music they produce.

Interviewer:   Would you say your job’s hard?

Danny:   It can be. With famous artists there are so many things I have to do to please them before they’ll get down to work. Then there are musicians who ask me to improve their songs. Sometimes they just don’t have what it takes, though – I have to be honest about that, which is particularly unpleasant. And new bands send in home recordings of tracks they’d like me to record professionally – I’m so busy I can seldom listen to them all, which is a shame because I’m sure I miss some good stuff.

Interviewer:   Are there aspects of music production you’re particularly good at?

Danny:   Producers vary. Some are great at the technical stuff; some, like me, are good at arranging music; others can tell whether something they’ve written will be a commercial success or not. I think what bands appreciate, though, is the sounds I produce and the fact that my productions stand out from other stuff on the market. Personally, I get a lot of pleasure working with younger musicians – they’re open to new ideas and it’s satisfying to see how they develop.

Interviewer:   Finally, what advice would you give to a young person interested in going into music production?

Danny:   Um … many colleges run courses, and give the impression that there are plenty of jobs available for people who do them, which isn’t necessarily the case. As recording technology gets easier to use, more musicians are looking into producing music themselves and buying some quite sophisticated equipment to do it. The only people who should consider making a career out of it though, are those who’re really prepared to dedicate time and energy to it. But if you’re ready for that, then music production is brilliant.

Interviewer:   OK Danny. Thanks.

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