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 man and a woman talking about a department store.

      What is the woman’s opinion of the store?

      A   The prices are generally reasonable.

      B   There is a wide range of items on sale.

      C   Most of the assistants are very helpful.

2   You hear a woman asking a man questions in a city-centre street.

      She wants him to

      A   take part in a survey.

      B   give her directions to a bus stop.

      C   use public transport more often.

3   You hear part of a radio interview with a newspaper’s science reporter.

      He thinks that it is

      A   less of a problem than some scientists say.

      B   not taken seriously enough by governments.

      C   now too late to stop it happening.

4   You hear a recorded message when you phone a hotel.

      What should you do if you want to stay there an extra night?

      A   press one

      B   press two

      C   press three

5   You hear two parents talking after watching their son play in a football match.

      What do they agree about?

      A   Their son was the best player in his team.

      B   The referee was unfair to their son’s team.

      C   Their son’s team should have won the game.

6   You hear a man talking on the radio about a castle by the sea.

      How does the speaker suggest visitors get to the castle?

      A   by car

      B   on foot

      C   by public transport

7   You hear a woman talking about her computer.

      Why couldn’t she email her friend?

      A   Her computer wasn’t online.

      B   A virus had damaged her computer.

      C   She couldn’t remember her password.

8   You overhear a man leaving a message on an answering machine.

      Why is he phoning?

      A   to apologise for something he has done

      B   to ask the other person for some advice

      C   to thank the person for something they did

Answer & Audioscript

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



Man:   I got a great pair of shoes in that store, reduced to half price.

Woman:   That must’ve been during the sales. You don’t often see bargains there, though I will say they always seem to have whatever it is you’re looking for.

Man:   Yes, though it took me quite a while to find the pair I needed. I asked two of the assistants if they had my size in stock but neither of them made much of an effort to find out.

Woman:   That’s fairly typical of the kind of people who work there. Perhaps they’re not paid very much.


Woman:   Hello, could you tell me whether you came into town by bus today?

Man:   Yes, I did. On the 86.

Woman:   That’s the one that stops just round the corner there, isn’t it?

Man:   Yes, that’s right.

Woman:   And do you take the same bus every day?

Man:   Yes, I do. It’s a pretty good service. It’s usually on time, and not too crowded.

Woman:   What about facilities for disabled passengers? Are they up to standard?

Man:   They seem to be, yes.

Woman:   And one last thing: is the fare good value for money?

Man:   I’d say so, yes.

Woman:   Fine, that’s all thanks. Have a good day.


Nowadays we hear some fairly extreme views on climate change. On the one hand, some green politicians say the damage has already been done and all we can do is prepare for the terrifying consequences. That’s too pessimistic, I feel. Then there are those – none of them scientists, I should add – who believe it’s all part of a natural cycle that involves periods of global warming followed by global cooling. Unfortunately, the latter view enables politicians in certain countries to claim there’s nothing much to worry about, and avoid taking the strong, possibly unpopular, measures that are so clearly needed if the planet is to avoid disaster.


Welcome to the Seaview Hotel information line. Our operators are all occupied at the present time, so please press the appropriate number and we will deal with your call as quickly as possible. To make a room reservation, book a restaurant table or arrange for transport to or from the hotel, please press one. To alter the arrival or departure date of an existing booking, request a larger or smaller room, or arrange for a late check-out, please press two. For all other services, including cancellation of bookings, please press three.


Man:   It was a pity the ref didn’t give our boys that penalty right at the end, wasn’t it?

Woman:   Well, I think he got that right, and anyway it would’ve been a bit unfair on the other team who, let’s face it, played better throughout the game.

Man:   A draw might have been a fairer result.

Woman:   Perhaps, but it was a shame our David had to be on the losing side.

Man:   Right. He was the only one of them that put in a decent performance.


The castle really is a spectacular site in a magnificent location, set against a stunning background of huge mountains right next to the rocky coast. There’s a track that runs along the top of the cliffs for miles and it’s a delightful walk, but it doesn’t actually lead anywhere. Nor is the bus an option since the local company went out of business. That was a pity, because there were some great views for passengers, so now there’s no alternative to driving, which is a real shame. Perhaps one day they’ll re-open the old railway line, but we’ve been saying that for years and it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.


I only had ten minutes before I had to go out and I needed to email Sarah. I was getting nervous and it took me three goes to log in because I kept hitting the wrong keys when I saw ‘enter password’, but eventually I was able to get in and write my message. I clicked ‘Send’ but nothing happened. With time running out I began to panic, wondering whether my laptop was the latest victim of that bug which was going round, but then I noticed a little icon on the screen that meant I wasn’t connected to the Internet. At that I gave up and rushed out of the house.


Hi, I’m calling because I’ve been doing some thinking about working at the office and, to cut a long story short, I’m afraid I’m starting to get fed up with it. It’s not my colleagues’ fault at all, but I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t mention this to any of them. Anyway, the thing is I know you once felt the same way about a job you had so I’m wondering how you coped with it and what the pros and cons are of changing jobs. I’m sorry to bother you with this, but I know I’ll regret it if I don’t do something about it, and soon.

Listening Part 2

You will hear a man called André Laroque talking about a luxury railway journey in Canada.

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

A four-night trip on the Canadian Pacific Railway

André says that the route his train took is (9) ……………………………… kilometres long.

André says that Calgary was placed first in a list of the world’s (10) ……………………………… cities.

André was particularly impressed by how (11) ……………………………… the mountains along the route are.

André says that pictures of trains on (12) ……………………………… have made the Canadian Pacific internationally famous.

André was pleased to find that he had his own (13) ……………………………… in his compartment on the train.

André was surprised that there was only one (14) ……………………………… for the sixteen passengers.

During dinner on the train, André listened to live (15) ……………………………… music.

André was disappointed not to see a (16) ……………………………… when the train stopped so passengers could go on a walk.

As they went down a hill called Big Hill, André saw a lot of (17) ……………………………… coming from the train.

Towards the end of his journey, André saw the biggest (18) ……………………………… of its kind in North America.

Answer & Audioscript

9 1000/one/a thousand   10 cleanest   11 steep   12 (the nation’s) stamps

13 shower   14 (large) (dining) table   15 violin   16 bear

17 (black) smoke   18 bridge


At the height of its popularity in the 19th century, the Royal Canadian Pacific was sometimes described as ‘the most beautiful railway route in the world’, but during the 20th century it had declined to the point where passenger trains no longer ran along its 20,000 kilometres of lines. Then, in 2000, a thousand-kilometre passenger service started again, and this was the one I travelled on in my own private sleeping compartment, sharing a coach with fifteen other people. The four-day journey began and ended in Calgary, the largest city in Alberta and one that has received international praise for being a pleasant place to live. The Economist magazine recently placed it equal fifth in a list of the world’s top cities to live in, while according to another study that looked at which is the cleanest, it came top. It is located close to the Rocky Mountains, which are crossed at two different points by the railway line. At various points along the route the peaks rise over a kilometre straight up from the line, so although they aren’t as tall as those in the U.S., they’re so steep that their appearance is breathtaking. Scenes of trains winding their way through beautiful green valleys next to spectacular snow-covered peaks are of course often associated with Canada, especially in films, and the Canadian Pacific has become known throughout the world as a result of images of it appearing on the nation’s stamps.

So it was with some excitement that I boarded the train that morning, and immediately I was impressed by the luxury of the accommodation. It was like stepping back into another age, apart from the fact that each of the eight coaches had air-conditioning. The weather there in August was hot, so that was a welcome feature, as was the fact that I’d have a shower to myself. The furniture was old but of extremely high quality, and the chairs and beds were highly comfortable. The meals, naturally, were superb, and were always prepared on board by top chefs. We had our own waiter in each coach, of course, but what I hadn’t expected was that all of us would be served at a single large dining table, which could also be used for business meetings.

The sixteen of us soon came to enjoy sitting together for evening meals as these were actually more like dinner parties, with everyone in formal dress, and live music as entertainment. On other journeys, apparently, they sometimes have performances of classical guitar, though on this occasion it was violin. The next day we travelled along a river valley with marvellous views of the mountain scenery until we reached Emerald Lake, where the train stopped for us to go on a forest trek to observe the local wildlife. There were plenty of salmon splashing about in the river, and we saw a mountain goat on a track high above us. It would’ve been great to have spotted a bear but on that particular day we were out of luck, though I’m sure I saw a wolf, and there was certainly an eagle flying overhead at one point. Back on the train, we went up and over Kicking Horse Pass, descending what is known as the Big Hill. Each of the coaches weighs a hundred tons, so when the driver used the brakes to slow down they sent up a cloud of black smoke which was clearly visible to those of us sitting by the windows. On our last evening, we came to another remarkable sight near Lethbridge, Alberta’s fourth biggest city. Looking like a giant spider’s web, the mile-long bridge across the Oldman River is larger than any other of that type in the entire continent. The following morning we arrived back in Calgary, after what must surely be the most wonderful train journey in North America.

Listening Part 3

You will hear five short extracts in which people talk about why they changed their job.

For questions 19-23, choose from the list (A-H) the main reason each person gives for their last change of job.

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

 to work outdoors

 to have more responsibilities

 to work fewer hours each week

 to have longer holidays

 to earn more money

 to move to a new location

 to improve career prospects

 to have a new challenge

19   Speaker 1

20   Speaker 2

21   Speaker 3

22   Speaker 4

23   Speaker 5

Answer & Audioscript

19 D   20 H   21 E   22 A   23 G


Speaker 1

In many respects there isn’t a great deal of difference between my previous job in a large insurance company and this one, certainly in terms of my duties, my chances of promotion and the salary, which remains just about adequate for my needs. The only real exception is that in my current one I have 26 days off annually compared to 20 before. That was the crucial factor when I made my decision, as I love to spend my free time out of doors – especially after sitting in an office nine to five every day.

Speaker 2

Making the change actually meant taking a drop in salary, but I feel it was worth it. Although the work I used to do at the advertising agency was sometimes interesting, after five years I felt I’d managed to do everything I was likely to achieve there and it was time I took on something new. I needed to really test my ability and skill rather than just receive a good salary for a job well done, even if it involved working slightly longer hours and taking fewer holidays, and with little chance of promotion. I also had to move to another city, but as I don’t have kids that wasn’t a major problem.

Speaker 3

I’m making a good living now, certainly in comparison to the situation at my previous company where I barely brought in enough to live on. I also get five weeks off a year instead of four, though that was a less significant factor in my decision to move, as was the two-hour reduction in the working week. I’m still working in the import-export business, though dealing with customers over the phone, by email or by video conferencing rather than in their own countries.

Speaker 4

I’m still in the same flat I was in before I began work here, though I actually don’t mind that because it’s a pleasant enough place and with only a slight increase in my salary I couldn’t afford anywhere bigger anyway. What really appealed to me when I saw the job ad was the chance to be in the fresh air all day, so I applied immediately in spite of the fact that the working hours are considerably longer than in most other kinds of work, and the prospects of promotion are rather limited.

Speaker 5

In the small manufacturing firm where I used to work I’d long felt that I wasn’t really going anywhere, so when the opportunity to work here came along I took it straight away. Not that the salary or the conditions such as the working hours or holidays were particularly attractive, but they were offering in-company training that should eventually ensure, perhaps in a few years, that I reach a higher position. The only disadvantage of that would be that I’d probably have to move to a bigger city, but overall it’d be worthwhile, I think.

Listening Part 4

You will hear a radio interview with Lily Jenkins, whose favourite sport is windsurfing.

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

24   How did Lily feel when she first tried windsurfing?

      A   worried that her feet would slip off the board

      B   glad that she had watched a training film first

      C   impatient to start moving quickly over the water

25   According to Lily, how long does it usually take to learn to windsurf?

      A   It depends on the equipment you use.

      B   It takes less time than you expect.

      C   It varies from person to person.

26   Lily believes she quickly learnt the basics of windsurfing because

      A   she had lessons at a windsurfing school.

      B   her friend was an excellent teacher.

      C   she was already an experienced surfer.

27   What safety advice does Lily give beginners?

      A   Try to make sure your sail never falls into the water.

      B   Tell someone on land how you can be identified at sea.

      C   Practise windsurfing on lakes rather than at sea.

28   Lily now thinks that as a complete beginner she should have

      A   used a bigger sail.

      B   rented a board and sail.

      C   bought a smaller board.

29   Nowadays, what does Lily most enjoy about windsurfing?

      A   learning new techniques

      B   developing her muscles

      C   forgetting everyday worries

30   Lily thinks that eventually she will

      A   become a windsurfing instructor.

      B   take part in windsurfing competitions.

      C   have to give up windsurfing.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Man:   Today I have with me Lily Jenkins, who will be talking to me about the sport she loves: windsurfing. First of all, Lily, let’s go back to when you were a complete beginner. What was it like windsurfing for the first time?

Lily:   Well, some beginners have the wrong idea. Some imagine they’ll be racing across the ocean waves on the very first day and are then disappointed to discover they won’t, but I already knew it would take practice to reach that stage. Others initially feel nervous about standing on a wet board; they’re convinced they’ll slide off, when in fact nowadays all boards are designed to avoid that happening. Fortunately, I’d been shown a DVD for learners so I knew in advance more or less what to expect, though of course there were still some surprises.

Man:   So do you need to spend a lot of time practising before you’re any good at it?

Lily:   There’s certainly a lot to learn and people always seem to end up needing more time to reach an adequate level than they thought, but I suppose it depends on the individual in terms of their fitness, previous experience in related sports such as sailing, and of course how much effort they put in. Interestingly, buying expensive, high-quality boards and sails doesn’t seem to make much difference to the progress beginners make.

Man:   What in particular helped you progress?

Lily:   Well, it’s a highly technical sport so I didn’t make the mistake of thinking that just because I could surf waves I could teach myself to windsurf, or that I could learn from a friend, no matter how expert she might be. Instead I signed up for a six-month course at a local windsurfing centre, and it was money well spent.

Man:   I imagine safety aspects featured in that. Do you have any tips?

Lily:   Yes, before you go always check the weather forecast and tides. Also, let somebody on shore know what time you’re due back and, just in case the rescue services have to search for you, what colours your board and sail are so they know it’s you. There are also some myths concerning windsurfing, such as starting out on lakes because they’re calm. They can be freezing cold, too, so ignore that. Also, modern sails are light and easy to pull out of the water, so don’t worry when it falls in – it happens to all of us.

Man:   Looking back, do you think you made any big mistakes when you were starting out?

Lily:   Well, I began by buying the right kind of equipment, that’s to say a large board with a small sail, but within three months I was ready to move up to the next level of kit, with a board that’s smaller and a sail that’s bigger. That, unfortunately, meant I had to sell my original equipment at quite a big loss, so it would’ve made more sense to have hired it for that initial period of time.

Man:   Tell me, what is it about windsurfing that gives you most pleasure?

Lily:   Oh lots of things, such as the feeling of becoming physically fitter and stronger, or discovering how to do things I’d never tried before. But if I had to choose one it’d be the way it lets you empty your mind of all the stress and concerns of daily life, and just enjoy being out there on the open water.

Man:   Finally, Lily, how do you see your future in windsurfing?

Lily:   Well, I’ve thought of coaching but that would mean spending a lot of time in practice pools, whereas the place I like to be is the open sea, perhaps racing other people. In fact, that’s probably what I’ll do once I’ve developed my skills a little more. I may not win any prizes but I’ll certainly enjoy it. And windsurfing is something you can keep doing even when you’re quite old. Because unlike land-based sports, if you crash you’re very unlikely to hurt yourself.

Man:   Thank you, Lily.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This