CAE Listening Practice Test 12 -

CAE Listening Practice Test 12

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. C | 2. C | 3. A | 4. C | 5. A | 6. C

Part 2
7. Water Response 8. light bulbs 9. (chemical) sponge 10. reproductive
11. wave action/waves 12. (the) land 13. lemon juice/lemons 14. oil leaks/oil leaking

Part 3
15. A | 16. D | 17. C | 18. D | 19. B | 20. A

Part 4
21. G | 22. H | 23. D | 24. F | 25. E
26. H | 27. D | 28. C | 29. B | 30. G


The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets []. If you still struggle with CAE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.

Part 1

Extract One
Man: You know, I think privacy as we used to understand it is a thing of the past.
Woman: Why do you say that? Not another scare story in the papers? They’re always full of fanciful tales of doom and gloom…
Man: You may laugh, but after what happened yesterday…
Woman: What did happen?
Man: I was discussing the whole issue with an uncle of mine, who’s just turned 85. He proudly informed me there couldn’t be any data relating to him on the internet because he’d never used a computer.
Woman: Well fair enough, surely?
Man: Well, I only spent a couple of minutes searching and was still able to come up with quite a bit of stuff about him [1].
Woman: Really? That’s a bit worrying. I bet he was taken aback, wasn’t he?
Man: He was stunned… speechless – asked me to remove it all from ‘cyberspace’. But it doesn’t work like that, of course. What’s there, is there.
Woman: That does seem an erosion of privacy. Mind you, come to think of it, I suppose there’s also been some information available on us all for a while, way before the days of the internet.
Man: But it wasn’t so easy to get at. And the situation’s not going to improve [2].
Woman: No… I guess not. Quite the opposite [2].

Extract Two
Woman: Did you know that over seven million tonnes of food is thrown away every year in the UK?
Man: Really? That’s one big garbage mountain.
Woman: Yeah – and it costs huge amounts to collect, not to mention clogging landfills and producing vast amounts of C02 emissions.
Man: There’s not much we can do about it though, is there?
Woman: Well actually, restaurants are some of the worst offenders. That’s why we adopted responsible practices in our kitchen a while back. We’ve only got one garbage bin now despite having 100 seats, but two compost machines for food waste.
Man: Oh come on! We’ve got four or five bins and only 60 seats at our place.
Woman: Look, anything is possible. Our place is unrecognisable from what it was like last year, as is my boss – can’t think what’s got into him! Thinking ahead for a change! [3]
Man: Hmmm. OK – maybe I’d better talk to my head chef. Might be fighting an uphill battle though. [4]
Woman: There’re other things you can do too – my chef’s obsessive about portion control, keeping an eye on how much food customers leave, and altering dishes accordingly.
Man: Don’t you get complaints about small servings?
Woman: Granted, we don’t do enormous portions – but if occasionally someone wants a little bit more, we’ll give it to them. It works – honest!
Man: Don’t suppose we’d go far down that road.

Extract Three
Man: Do you know anything about that experiment the lecturer was referring to?
Woman: I’ve looked it up – it involved this Frenchman spending two months in a cave under a glacier – in 1962 I think it was. He was 100m below ground, and because he had nothing to track the time – no clock obviously, no sun either – he got disorientated. When he came back up, he thought he’d been down there for just 34 days. Very revealing for the researchers, who’d anticipated it would go the other way [5]. Various stuntmen and entertainers have done similar things to push themselves to extremes – but then of course they’ve always got an eye on the headlines they’ll create.
Man: That’s fascinating.
Woman: Yes, it’s all about temporal landmarks – they’re really important. If you build more of them into your life, you’ll experience time differently. Days and years won’t be one undifferentiated mush. Temporal landmarks help stop the feeling that time’s whizzing by. I bet, for example, you retain memories of events that happen near the beginning or end of term – they’re kind of landmarks – better than those that happened somewhere in between.
Man: So?
Woman: So establish a few landmarks – remember to mark special events like birthdays properly with some sort of celebration [6].
Man: That advice I’m happy to follow.

Part 2

Sarah: Welcome to my talk about my work to protect the oceans from the growing problem of pollution. I think many people are unaware of just how serious this is and the consequences it has for marine life. My interest started when I was working as a volunteer on a beach clean-up project called ‘Cleaner coasts’ and was introduced to my current boss. He persuaded me to come and work full-time for the environmental group he’d just established under the name ‘Water Response’, and I’ve never regretted my decision [7].

I soon found myself face-to-face with the direct consequences of ocean pollution, as my job involves helping to save seabirds who’ve swallowed the litter found floating on ocean surfaces, mistaking it for food. There is such a wide range of garbage entering the oceans now, and we rescue birds that’ve consumed everything from plastic bags to balloons, and even light bulbs on occasion, would you believe [8]. Things like plastic bottle tops are common finds, unfortunately, too.

Another aspect of my work is removing as much of this debris from the coast as possible. Plastics are particularly dangerous for marine creatures as they contain what are known as organic pollutants. This is because plastics draw in a high concentration of damaging poisons, acting like a sort of chemical sponge [9].

This is really bad news you see. These chemicals affect not only a seabird’s digestive system, which is to be expected, but, what was news to me was that they also damage its reproductive system [10]. I was well aware that toxins are also notoriously harmful to the immune system, making it harder for many marine species to fight disease.

Another problem with plastic is its durability – it doesn’t go away like natural materials do, but just goes from being, say, a floating bottle to tiny plastic particles, attractive to marine creatures. This results from the action of sunlight, but wave action also plays a part in the fragmentation process [11].

Unfortunately, ocean pollution is increasing, despite various international conventions set up to control it. Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually, of which a shocking ten million tonnes end up in the sea. The majority of this gets there from land sources [12], although marine sources are actually responsible for dumping as much as 3.5 million tonnes of plastic each year.

As well as removing debris and caring for marine animals, I’m also involved in raising public awareness of the problem. I help run educational projects teaching people how to make small changes in their daily lives, like avoiding chemical-based detergents which can get into waterways and eventually find their way into the sea. I encourage others to try simple ingredients such as lemon juice for various household chores instead of their regular cleaning product [13]. This can be remarkably effective. Even things like keeping cars well-maintained is essential for ocean protection because oil leaks get washed down drains and end up causing more pollution [14] than the car tyres you see abandoned on beaches. Irresponsible though tyre dumping is, we’ve at least got a chance of stopping the tyres from getting into the sea.

Part 3

Interviewer: With me today are two website designers, Rob Thorn, who works freelance and Sophie Unwin, a company employee, who are going to tell us something about their work. Sophie, how does what you do compare with the work of designers who deal with physical materials?
Sophie: Well, I think for all designers the key thing is enthusiasm for what you’re doing. People talk about the constraints of technology, but technology is after all simply the medium we work with. It just happens to be a medium that changes all the time. As someone once said, ‘The digital train waits for no one: once you get off, it’s very hard to catch up again.’ [15] And as in any field of design, even web design, what you create needs to be something beautiful, but perhaps more importantly, it needs to be functional.
Interviewer: So Sophie what are the critical elements of a successful web design in your view?
Sophie: It’s best to remember that as far as clients are concerned, a website is good or bad depending on how much business it generates – they’re not overly concerned with how pretty it looks. So that’s a message for designers who pride themselves on pixel-perfect detail! A website that’s just like so many others won’t attract much attention – but anything really wacky and off-the wall can be nearly as bad. The core of the design though is layout – is it easy to find your way around and track down what you want to know? [16] The way the information is illustrated often contributes to this.
Interviewer: I can see you nodding in agreement Rob. Website design clearly covers many disciplines – how did you first get involved?
Rob: Computers have fascinated me since I was a kid – I started learning C++ – my first computer language – when I was 13 and my dream was to be a game developer. After a few years I could do simple games, but then the internet really took off and I got interested in websites. I learned some more languages, and could see it was going to be easier to sell a website than a game [17]. So I got started on graphics – which I needed for my web projects – but I soon found I was better at designing than writing code.
Interviewer: Sophie – you started out as a freelancer, but have now joined a company. How has that worked out for you?
Sophie: Well, as a freelancer I had to spend a lot more of my time with clients, and even though a typical freelance business is small, it still requires a degree of paperwork. And there were always odd things cropping up with that – things I hadn’t foreseen. That can be unsettling. The main difference is I now spend 80% of my time designing and coding – which I love doing [18] and where I feel confident. I must say though that as a freelancer the feeling of entrepreneurship, the freedom and the sense of responsibility was something I relished.
Interviewer: Rob -you’re a freelancer who has that sort of freedom. Tell us something about your relationship with clients.
Rob: First off of course you’ve got to convince a client you’re an established professional, someone who turns up on time for meetings, but you also need to be the friendly guy he can trust. You need to trust him too – I’ve found those who start out with a whole lot of questions about money may well have problems paying. I prefer to tell them I’ll get something done in say two weeks and surprise them by doing it in ten days [19], rather than promising five days and missing the deadline. As for clients – and there are plenty – who have no design experience but do have crazily impractical ideas – I don’t fight them, just back my decisions with sound argument.
Interviewer: Finally, a question for both of you – where does your inspiration come from? You first Sophie…
Sophie: I’d say anywhere and everywhere! If you can train yourself to get in the right frame of mind, a cloud in the sky or rainwater in a puddle can spark an idea. [20] I do quite a lot of drawing and sometimes use my sketches in new projects. And I make sure I know what other designers are doing.
Rob: And there are certainly some brilliant ones around! Sophie talked earlier about rapid technological advances – it’s an absolute must to know what’s going on, but it’s a means to an end. But inspiration – I think it’s the way you look at what’s around you, not what you look at, that counts. [20]

Part 4

Speaker 1
I’m studying journalism at university, so when the chance of a summer job at Wow! magazine came up, I jumped at it. It was unpaid, but it was totally worth the effort. I learned more about the trade in six weeks on the magazine than I did in two years at college! [21] I did a lot of overtime – I was exhausted by the end of the day – but I was keen, so I didn’t mind. In fact, it’s vital to go the extra mile – it gets you noticed, and makes it more likely that you’ll be offered a job when you’ve finally graduated [26].

Speaker 2
I think, to make it in the magazine business, you have to be a certain type of person. I mean, I’m quite sociable, which is fine – but I’m not what you’d call pushy. I’ll do what’s asked of me – whether it’s checking computer records or even working extra hours – because I don’t want to cause a fuss. But the people I met in the office were all very driven. They knew what they wanted and would go to any lengths to get their way [27]. I think that’s essential in journalism, and this realisation has kind of put me off it, frankly. It’s not really me [22]. Time to explore other options.

Speaker 3
I was surprised to get a temporary job at Country House magazine. The staff weren’t at all as I’d expected – everyone was so friendly and welcoming. That was a relief because I’m quite shy, and get nervous when I meet new people. I did mostly administrative work. I’m good at that sort of thing – I can apply myself to any task – so I made a good impression. The editor told me she liked people with focus – they make the best journalists [28]. And I met some interesting people who promised to help me find work when I finally graduate [23], if I decide to go into journalism – so that was nice.

Speaker 4
A friend of my uncle got me a job on the magazine. It wasn’t badly paid, and the hours were decent. The thing was, though, everyone seemed so fussy and obsessed with little things – like they’d go mad if I got a date wrong, or misspelt someone’s name. I guess that kind of nit-picking is a must for journalists [29] though, especially with an online magazine. Anyway, my worry was, I knew I wasn’t really much of a team player – I preferred to do my own thing – but I was prepared to put that to one side and try and knuckle down and take orders, which produced good results [24].

Speaker 5
I’m quite a precise sort of person, but I’m not afraid of saying what I think or pushing boundaries. Turns out they quite liked those qualities at the magazine. That’s one thing I would say – you have to be creative and come up with original ideas if you’re to climb the ladder in this profession [30]. You can’t afford to take it easy! That said, the rewards are worth it. The feeling I got when my first story appeared in that week’s edition – what a buzz to see my name in print! [25] I can see how journalists get hooked on it. I’m glad I did it – now I can’t wait to get qualified.