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 pop band they saw on TV.

      What surprised them both about the band members?

      A   the wide range of ages

      B   their level of popularity

      C   the quality of their voices

2   You hear part of an interview with a scientist.

      What is he doing?

      A   explaining why some research has produced unclear results

      B   criticising the reluctance of some schools to co-operate with him

      C   pointing out the possible value of making some controversial changes

3   You hear a teacher talking to a student about doing homework.

      What advice does she give?

      A   Take regular short breaks.

      B   Deal with the difficult things first.

      C   Cut down on free-time activities.

4   You hear a football fan talking about his team.

      He blames their poor results on

      A   their struggle to maintain energy levels.

      B   their poor organisation on the pitch.

      C   their lack of belief in themselves.

5   You hear a film critic talking about a film for teenagers.

      What does she say about it?

      A   She was impressed by the special effects.

      B   It was better than the book it was based on.

      C   The actor who played the leading role performed well.

6   You hear two teenagers discussing a visit to a zoo.

      They agree that zoos

      A   attract tourists in imaginative ways.

      B   can succeed in educating people.

      C   play a valuable role in conservation.

7   You hear a young professional ballet dancer talking about performing.

      What does she say about being on stage?

      A   She tries to forget any critical comments she’s heard.

      B   She succeeds by pretending to be confident.

      C   She reveals a very different side of herself.

8   You hear a teacher talking about the history of the refrigerator.

      What does he say about it?

      A   Its introduction caused a great deal of excitement.

      B   Its potential wasn’t recognised for some time.

      C   Its long-term significance has been overestimated.

Answer & Audioscript

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



Boy:   That programme last night about that new pop group was cool, wasn’t it?

Girl:   I know. I’d seen online that their average age was about sixteen, so I was really interested to see them!

Boy:   What I hadn’t realised was that the youngest one’s only twelve. And they’ve had sell-out concerts all over the country. You wouldn’t believe that for a new band, would you?

Girl:   I think people can be successful however old they are – the fact they’ve done so well when they’ve only been around for six months does make them unusual though.

Boy:   Their singing’s quite impressive too, don’t you think?

Girl:   Well, the lead singer’s great anyway!


Man:   A handful of schools have been taking part in research to discover if there are any benefits for teenagers in starting classes later – at around ten or even ten-thirty in the morning. It wasn’t easy to persuade the schools to get involved because people are understandably sceptical about changing timetables and the disruption that might be caused. Studies carried out in the last six months have suggested that teenagers feel more alert and focused later in the morning, but little practical action has been taken so far. It seems that changing the hours of the school day could have a radical effect on the well-being and the academic performance of teenagers though.


Boy:   Did you want to speak to me?

Woman:   Yes, Sam. You said you’ve been finding it hard to get through all your homework and sometimes you end up finishing it late at night. And you said you were thinking of giving up other things you do after school, like basketball or guitar lessons. The thing is, taking a bit of time out from your schoolwork each day isn’t such a bad idea. What I would say is, if you have several homework tasks, tackle the most challenging ones while you’re still reasonably fresh. Then, once that’s done, have a little rest before moving on to the other things you need to do.


Man:   When your team’s just lost five games in a row, you’ve got to ask questions. The easy thing to do is to blame the manager, and say the decisions he’s made and the way he’s set the team up to play are responsible for the mess they’re in. I’m fed up with hearing that excuse. The players just look out of condition. I mean, they seem worn out by the end of the first half. Mental attitude in sport is important too, of course, and they do seem to have more motivation than last season, when they were just wandering around the pitch looking as if they’d lost before they’d even started.


Woman:   The film, ‘Olaf the Mighty’, is a fantasy as spectacular as the popular novel of the same name, from which it’s been adapted. At one point, several of the actors turn into monsters right in front of your eyes. The film was worth seeing just for that. As for the characters, they certainly have the looks – though the same can’t be said about the acting. The male lead played by Rob Weedon is obviously supposed to be the hero, but he comes across as weak. In fact, you want the bad guy to beat him, because the relatively unknown actor playing him gives an impressive and more convincing performance.


Boy:   We went to Chester Zoo last week. There were several areas that’ve been turned into copies of islands in south-east Asia – zoos seem to have some unusual ways of getting us to visit!

Girl:   They’ll do anything to get more visitors in – it’s about the money really.

Boy:   They aren’t just about that, though. They’ve got an important part to play in protecting endangered species.

Girl:   Preserving creatures in their natural habitat would be in the animals’ best interests though. Still, they do inform us about wildlife we wouldn’t otherwise see.

Boy:   So you admit there’s some point to zoos then: that they at least raise awareness of the natural world.

Girl:   But do you really think they’re necessary …


Woman:   Because I’m so young and attracting attention, there’s the pressure that comes from everyone watching your every move, looking for what you’ve done wrong and pulling your performance to pieces. This holds back some dancers – they just freeze. But I find that other people’s expectations spur me on to achieve more. By nature, I’m quite shy, and certainly when I’m practising in the studio I am rather self-conscious. On stage though, I feel at home. I can understand when other girls confide in me about having problems with nerves, but I feel so sure of myself in front of the audience that it’s not something I’ve personally experienced.


Man:   The technology to chill food first became available in the mid-nineteenth century. It seems such a ground-breaking and life-changing idea that it’s perhaps surprising that few people initially saw the benefit of it. This was because the first domestic fridges were incredibly expensive and it was a good deal cheaper to cut natural ice from lakes and use that instead. However, as supermarkets became popular and people stopped going shopping for fresh food every day, the popularity of fridges increased. The invention of the fridge certainly changed people’s eating habits forever, but the claim that it was as important a technological breakthrough as other inventions from the same period needs to be questioned.

Listening Part 2

You will hear a man called Jack Morton talking about his job as a windsurfing instructor.

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

Jack Morton – windsurfing instructor

Jack’s first experience of work was as a (9) …………………………………… .

The name of the first watersports company that Jack worked for was (10) …………………………………… .

What particularly attracts Jack to windsurfing is the (11) …………………………………… involved.

Jack most enjoys the moment when his beginners learn to (12 …………………………………… on the board successfully.

Jack uses the word (13) …………………………………… to describe how some learners feel when they succeed.

Jack explains that getting enough (14) …………………………………… is more important than anything else when learning to windsurf.

Jack feels that the (15) …………………………………… is something many windsurfers fail to think carefully about.

Jack mentions parking a car to explain that people should give each other (16) …………………………………… when windsurfing.

The fact that he is (17) …………………………………… has earned Jack praise from his employer.

Jack says that (18) …………………………………… as well as promotional skills are becoming more important in watersports careers.

Answer & Audioscript

9 shop(-)assistant   10 wave(-)makers   11 challenge   12 stand (up)

13 emotional   14 practice   15 weather   16 space

17 adaptable   18 photography


Jack:   I’m Jack Morton, and I work as a windsurfing instructor. I’m here to answer questions from listeners about how to turn your love of watersports into a possible career in the future.

First, Simon asks whether I went into watersports in order to become an instructor. Well, when I left school, I actually studied to be a journalist, but soon discovered that wasn’t for me. I managed to get taken on as a shop assistant, which meant I had plenty of free time to do watersports, and I ended up taking a sailing instructors’ course. And that’s where it began!

Now Bethany asks how I got my current job. Well, after I’d built up experience in sailing, I applied to a company called Outdoorlife – they specialise in watersports holidays. I’d seen their brochure, and I fell in love with the pictures of windsurfers blasting across the lake. I didn’t join them in the end, but was lucky enough to find work with a smaller company called Wavemakers, and I’m still with them.

John asks what I particularly like about windsurfing. Well, I’ve done a bit of waterskiing, you know – the excitement of that sport is certainly very appealing and it requires a lot of skill. For me, though, nothing beats windsurfing, for the challenge of it.

Gillian asks what kind of students I prefer to teach – total beginners or more experienced windsurfers. Well, I love both, but I suppose the really satisfying thing is when you see people who’ve never been on a windsurfing board before, finally mastering how to stand up on one. Doing that on water isn’t easy. It’s also pleasing, of course, when someone picks up the basics and actually manages to change direction, for example!

Of course, the majority of people are thrilled just to have a go, but one or two get quite emotional when they actually get the hang of it. They may have felt pressured if other members of the group seemed to be doing better than them. Ideally, people should feel relaxed about the whole thing ‘cos it’s supposed to be fun.

And obviously there’s a lot to learn when you first start windsurfing. People often think sheer strength is what’s required to get moving fast across the water, and that may be true to a certain extent. A good technique helps, of course, but with practise, I’d say anyone can succeed, and in fact that’s all that’s needed unless you want to be a professional!

Ben asks what mistakes students make when they’re windsurfing. Well, as they get better, they worry about having the right equipment, then they really start pushing themselves hard, spending more and more time out on the lake. When they’re out there, they don’t pay enough attention to the weather, though – things can change very quickly and they need to be aware of that.

Also, I’ve noticed windsurfers often seem to crowd together in the same small stretch of lake – I can’t understand why they do that! It’s like people who park right next to one another in a car park, when they’re the only two vehicles there! You really need to allow other surfers space and they should do the same for you – otherwise you can soon get into difficult.

Sandra asks what skills you need to do this job. Well, it really involves being well-organised – knowing who’s coming when and what everyone’s capable of – I suppose that’s true of many jobs. My boss has always commented positively on how adaptable I am – changing my schedule at short notice, that kind of thing. That all makes for a supportive working environment.

Finally, some people have asked about other career possibilities related to watersports. Obviously having qualifications is useful whatever you decide to do. Increasingly, people are being asked to demonstrate that they’re good at photography, and if you combine that with watersports, it can lead to a very interesting career. And, of course, marketing skills are useful these days too, and offer another career route.

Listening Part 3

You will hear five short extracts in which teenagers are remembering the day they met their best friend for the first time.

For questions 19-23, choose from the list (A-H) how each speaker felt on that day.

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

A   disappointed by something the friend said

B   pleased to find they shared an interest

C   embarrassed by a misunderstanding

D   surprised that they hadn’t met previously

E   happy about a suggestion the friend made

F   amused by something they saw together

G   nervous about what they had to do together

H   curious about the friend’s experiences

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:   My best friend’s Alice. I met her the day we moved into the flat next door to hers. Alice’s mum sent her round to see if we needed any help. My mum was a bit worried because there was stuff all over the place, but she did think it was nice that our new neighbours were welcoming and seemed keen to find out if we were settling in OK. Anyway, Alice and I were just having a chat when we noticed her cat strolling into our house and making itself at home. We couldn’t help laughing about it and right then we knew we were going to get along.

Speaker 2

Boy:   My best friend’s Jake and we’re in the same class at school – we met on our first day there, which was great because I’d been worried that I might not make any friends. It was brilliant when Jake asked if I’d like to go round to his place after school. That was four years ago, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We’ve recently got into tennis so we spend a lot of time practising and we go to tournaments most weekends. We always seem to find the same things funny too. Jake says it’s a shame we didn’t meet at primary school really, and I agree.

Speaker 3

Girl:   Maria’s definitely my best friend. My mum met her mum at work and they had a lot in common, so Mum invited the whole family over. I was really interested to see what Maria was like. I’d just got a new computer game that I thought she’d enjoy playing. So it was a real let-down when she wouldn’t even give it a try – she made it clear that she wasn’t into computer games and suggested watching a film instead. Mum said Maria was the guest so I had to put up with it. I wasn’t too pleased about that, so our first meeting was a bit awkward. Fortunately, things have looked up since then.

Speaker 4

Boy:   Ben moved into the empty flat next to ours three years ago. I was dying to know who’d be living next door, hoping there’d be someone my age. I stood at the window watching as our new neighbours unloaded their stuff from the removal van. I felt a bit uncomfortable when Ben caught sight of me watching him! But it was great to see that he was carrying in a games console identical to mine – I went out to introduce myself! Ben told me he’d been a bit scared about going to a new school and was relieved to discover I was going there too. We’ve been best friends ever since.

Speaker 5

Girl:   Emily’s my cousin, but she’s also my best friend. I didn’t meet her till I was 12, which may seem a bit unusual but that was because she’d been living in Japan up till then. I was a bit concerned about meeting her and wasn’t sure I wanted to, because I couldn’t imagine why she’s be interested in someone like me. But I was keen to find out about everything she’d done before coming to the UK and we hit it off straight away. She’s really good fun and always makes me laugh when we’re out together. Actually we feel a bit put out if we go too long without seeing each other.

Listening Part 4

You will hear an interview with a young artist called Martin Gold, who is learning how to draw the cartoon stories that appear in magazines.

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

24   What attracted Martin to drawing cartoons?

      A   his wish to demonstrate his originality

      B   his fascination with reading comics

      C   his interest in the techniques involved

25   Martin’s school teacher reacted to his choice of career by warning him that

      A   she couldn’t help him to get work experience.

      B   it would be very hard to find a secure job.

      C   he might need to consider an alternative to it.

26   Martin continued to follow his ambition because of

      A   the surprising popularity of his artwork.

      B   the confidence he had in his own abilities.

      C   the encouraging responses he’d received from magazines.

27   How did visiting Barcelona help Martin?

      A   He received help developing his drawing techniques.

      B   He felt inspired by his experiences there.

      C   He realised what he really liked about art.

28   By using a different kind of ink for drawing his cartoons, Martin

      A   increased the amount he was able to produce.

      B   included a greater degree of detail.

      C   extended the range of images he can draw.

29   How does Martin feel about his work as a ‘ghost artist’?

      A   It’s proving a less valuable experience than he’d hoped.

      B   It’s preventing him from developing his own cartoons.

      C   It isn’t regular enough for him to rely on financially.

30   Martin thinks that he might have problems working as a cartoonist because of

      A   his tendency to take on too many challenges.

      B   his reluctance to accept advice from others.

      C   his disorganised approach to his work.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Interviewer:   I’m with Martin Gold, an artist who’s learning how to draw cartoons for a living. Martin, what a cool job! How did you get started in it?

Martin:   My dad’s a graphic designer, and obviously drawing skills are important for him – and he expected me to share his enthusiasm, getting me to copy his funny little sketches! Then, like all kids, I started to buy comics – you know magazines full of cartoon stories. But what caught my attention and appealed to me was the images rather than the stories they were telling – that got me wanting to be creative and see what unusual ideas I could come up with.

Interviewer:   So, how did your school react when you told them what job you wanted to do?

Martin:   I can’t say they were encouraging! My art teacher admitted I’d probably find work, but she still tried to persuade me to look into other possibilities involving drawing – like fashion design. That sounded to me like something it’d be incredibly hard to get into – not at all what I wanted! I was aware though that, as a cartoonist, I wouldn’t be guaranteed regular work. But I was determined to stick with it.

Interviewer:   So you didn’t give up …

Martin:   No – if there was an event at school or if the local drama club was putting on a show at a local theatre I’d do the posters, and they went down incredibly well – I hadn’t expected that and I needed that approval. Later on though, when I sent stuff I’d done off to magazines, the replies I got were mixed. Although one or two did praise my work, nobody wanted to publish it. I started to question whether I’d ever succeed in a career in art.

Interviewer:   And then you went to Barcelona for the summer. What effect did that have?

Martin:   Oh, amazing. I’d gone there hoping to do a drawing course with a cartoonist who has a different and very interesting approach. Unfortunately, that was cancelled at the last minute, but I’d bought my plane ticket on I still went. I spent my time sketching different sights in the city, and that did improve my drawing skills. Somehow, just being there was enough – I came home brimming with new ideas from everything I’d seen and heard. After that my artwork seemed to have a new purpose!

Interviewer:   So, then you went on to art school and started experimenting with new ways of drawing cartoons. Did you enjoy that?

Martin:   Yeah, up till then I’d been drawing using big marker pens, ‘cos they made really strong lines on the paper. But there I was introduced to Indian ink, which I was told some experienced cartoonists prefer. I could see why – people who are used to working with it can get far more differences in shading and line thickness into their drawings. The more immediate effect for me was that I could turn out finished drawings more rapidly than before. I guess eventually I’ll learn to make better use of it and start to introduce more characters into my drawings too.

Interviewer:   You’re currently working as a ‘ghost artist’ for a newspaper. What’s that exactly?

Martin:   Well, I’m called in when one of their usual cartoonists is unavailable, for whatever reason. My drawings have to look identical to what would normally appear. The work’s giving me a real insight into the world of cartoonists – more than I thought it would, but it’s getting in the way of what I really want to do. So, I won’t do it forever, but it pays the bills for now.

Interviewer:   So, have you got the qualities needed to succeed as a cartoonist?

Martin:   Well, I don’t always feel particularly inspired. But you still have to try and produce the goods ‘cos so many people are depending on you. It’ll be hard, but I reckon I’ve got the determination. I was talking to my boss and he was saying how important it is for a cartoonist to be focused and to have a methodical way of doing things. I’m a bit concerned ‘cos that doesn’t sound like me! I’m just hoping he’s wrong – that there’s more than one way to get the job done!

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