CAE Listening Practice Test 3 -
CAE Listening Practice Test 3

CAE Listening Practice Test 3

Answer Keys

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

Part 2
7. envelope 8. fort 9. legal 10. transportation
11. computer vision 12. wax 13. laser 14. ink

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

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


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

Part 1

Extract 1

Eva: So the thing is, you aren’t getting on with our new boss then, Colin?
Colin: She’s just so different from her predecessor. I mean,
John used to get us all involved in the decision-making process [1].
Eva: No chance of that with Sandra, you think?
Colin: No way! OK, I grant you, she’s got some good ideas – she moved pretty fast to get us all to agree to individual job descriptions and a proper timetable, none of which we’ve had before and we should have had. And she’s done her homework on the staff profile, our qualifications and past experience and so on…
Eva: As you’d expect.
Colin: Yes. But she doesn’t seem aware of the atmosphere here – it’s the way we’ve always done things. I just don’t feel I can work with her.
Eva: I’d say she’s just finding her feet in a new job, and she’ll soon get the hang of what we’re all about. Let’s focus on how much she’s already achieved [2]. I wouldn’t let anybody tell you it’s a trivial issue, though. If she doesn’t settle in soon, and you still have issues with her, I think you should approach her direct.
Colin: OK, thanks, Eva.

Extract 2

Interviewer: Show me how you do it. I see you’ve got trays and trays of pieces here.
Expert: Yes, you have to find the bits that match, so I’ve put all these tiny pieces into colour groups – red here, blue over there. It’s a bit like doing a jigsaw, really. But at least there are no stains to remove. All we have to be aware of is the enamel on the surface; that we have to lift all the dirt and grease off. If you don’t, the pieces won’t go back together again, it’ll fall apart [3]. If the cracks are going to show, they’ve got to be really clean, otherwise they’ll look messy.
Interviewer: You want the cracks to show? Some people would say that’s terrible, for such a valuable vase.
Expert: Well, yes, they probably would, but something that’s broken so extensively as this, if you cover all the cracks up you’re really making a fake. Being broken is something that’s happened to it in its lifetime, which should be recorded [4], and as long as you can restore it so that aesthetically it still works, it shouldn’t matter that the cracks show…

Extract 3

Woman: This is such an unusual place because there’s no public transport to the island – I came here in your fishing boat. The result is a paradise – rich marine life, unspoilt countryside. Yet you want to let the world in – you’ve campaigned to start up a ferry service from the mainland. Why?
Man: There isn’t enough work to support our population. If visitors come to the island – and we have a lot to offer them – catering for them would create employment [5]. Also our young people would be able to commute to jobs on the mainland.
Woman: Don’t you think it’s risky [6]? These beaches could be covered with holiday houses and hotels; your visitors will complain because there are only a few shops. And a ferry service won’t be enough. People will want to fly here, and you’ll have to build an airport. No more paradise!
Man: We can build a small airport without impacting on our quality of life [6] here, and it makes economic sense. Our shops can cope with more people on the island – it’ll be seasonal anyway. And why would we build on the beaches? It’d be crazy.
Woman: I hope you’re right.

Part 2

Narrator: At the time of the Roman Empire in Europe, around 2,000 years ago, it was common for information to be written, not on paper, but on things called ‘tablets’. These were pieces of wood about the size and thickness of a typical modern envelope [7].

Hundreds of such tablets have been unearthed from archaeological sites throughout Europe and the Mediterranean world – nearly 200 were found in one Roman fort alone [8] – and like most of these discoveries, they have been placed in public collections, mainly in museums in northern Europe, to be viewed but not, unfortunately, to be read.

This is because, although in some cases traces of writing can still be seen, most are now illegible to the naked eye. But that’s all soon to change because archaeologists hope that with the help of new technology, their secrets may soon be revealed. Many of the tablets took the form of legal documents and letters written by Roman soldiers [9]. An example, now at the British Museum, bears the name of the person who wrote it and the name of the person who received it, plus the word ‘transportation’ [10], which you can just make out, but the rest remains a mystery. Now, with the help of computer techniques, experts hope eventually to be able to read the whole letter. Professor Mike Brady, a leading figure in what’s known as ‘computer vision’ for many years, admits that this is the hardest project he’s ever worked on [11]. But the excitement of seeing the latest ideas in computing applied to such a very ancient problem has the archaeological community buzzing.

So, in simple terms, why has the writing been preserved and how will it be possible to ‘undo’ the ageing process? Well, the tablets were made with thin, hollow panels cut across them. Wax was poured into these [12] and the text was then written into this soft surface using an instrument with a fine metal point. In virtually all cases, the wax has perished and all that can be detected on the surface of the tablet underneath are scratches. These are too faint to be read, because they are distorted.

For some time, scientists have attempted to study them with laser photography, but this has proved fruitless [13]. However, it is now hoped that by enhancing images of the tablets on computer, their original messages will become legible again. If this is the case, a whole new source of historical information will be opened up, and this promises advances and new knowledge for many decades to come. The new technology has already been used on texts in ink as well [14], and in the future, it will be applied to damaged surfaces of many kinds.

Part 3

Interviewer: I’m sitting here, rather uncomfortably, with designer Lucy Collett. Lucy, you’re an architect really, but an architect with a difference.
Lucy Collet: Yes, I specialise in small buildings.
Interviewer: And we’re in one of your buildings now. It’s a tree-house, and we’re perched on child-size seats, two or three metres above the ground.
Lucy Collet: In fact, I was commissioned to design this house by my neighbours for their children. I don’t like heights, but I loved the challenge of weaving the house in amongst the branches [15]. You can see there are several storeys with stairways between them.
Interviewer: I’d have given anything for a house like this when I was a child. What started you off on this type of design?
Lucy Collet: I’ve always had a passion for small buildings. Play houses, of course, when I was a little girl. Then I found a book about historical telephone boxes, which fascinated me. When the telephone was an amazing new invention, money was poured into the designs of public phone boxes. They were all sizes and styles. There were some that looked like rustic cottages, with thatched roofs; others like Chinese pagodas; one like a sort of Greek temple. Some were quite luxurious, with chairs, and people used to go in there to play cards [16]. But it didn’t last long; they had to be standardised and made more practical.
Interviewer: You went to architecture school. Did you know you were going to work on this small scale?
Lucy Collet: Yes, my final year project was on small buildings in an industrial context. If you look at major building sites, they’re dotted around with huts and temporary buildings. You think, ‘They put up these tin boxes for the workers to drink their tea and read their newspapers in. What is there to that?’ Well, they’ve all got to conform to safety standards, and why shouldn’t they have some style as well? I designed them to look better, and also to be put up and dismantled more quickly [17]. I worked on durability of materials, comfort and so on.
Interviewer: Where did you get your inventiveness from?
Lucy Collet: I don’t know. I think I’m more practical than inventive. My parents were market stall holders. They had a really cumbersome stall which took them forever to put up. All the market people started setting up about four o’clock in the morning. It was freezing, back-breaking work, and it drove me mad when I had to help them. I was visiting some clients abroad a few years ago, and saw some brilliant stalls in their local market. They were little metal folding houses, completely waterproof and enclosed, with plenty of display room [18]. At the end of the day you could lock them up with the goods safe inside, or you could fold them flat and cart them off to the next town. I did drawings of them and made one when I got home. But I haven’t sold it.
Interviewer: What have you done that you’re most proud of?
Lucy Collet: I suppose everything I’ve done is a variation on a theme, so it’s hard to pick anything out. But I did get an award. The Newspaper Sellers’ Association gave
me a prize for a design I did for street corner kiosks – you know, those cute little buildings with display windows on three sides. Mine were in strong steel, painted, with domed roofs and lots of decorative detail. I must admit, I was particularly pleased with the fancy work [19], and the newspaper people loved it.
Interviewer: Have you ever done any phone box designs, since that was what started you off?
Lucy Collet: Funnily enough, that’s what I’ve just been doing. For an international hotel chain. They’d stopped putting public phone booths in their hotel lobbies because of mobile phones, but there were complaints from a few countries where mobiles hadn’t really caught on yet [20]. So the hotel decided to make a big feature of lobby phone boxes. I did these sort of glass bird-cage designs, with brass work and over-the-top telephones. Now the company’s putting them in all their hotels, and people are going into them to make calls on their mobiles. It’s sort of retro-style lobby furniture.
Interviewer: And tree-houses?
Lucy Collet: No, this is a one-off. I’ve told you, I’m scared of heights.
Interviewer: Okay. Shall we let down the ladder and go home? Thank you, Lucy

Part 4

Speaker 1: The weird thing is, that up to quite recently, I used to really love being in the theatre business, so it never seemed much of a hardship earning next to nothing and holding meetings in an office the size of a shoe-box [21]. But somehow, over the past year, the gloss seems to have worn off a bit. And now I’ve realised I’m just being taken for granted, I feel as though my spirit’s been broken [26] – it’s awful. I don’t blame anyone for it – we’ve had no actual rows – but I won’t put up with it. It won’t be easy, entering the job market all over again, though.

Speaker 2: Normally I’d say I thrive on deadlines and pressure from clients, but it does all build up, and recently I’ve been prone to fairly severe headaches in the office. Don’t get me wrong – I’m fine outside work – I can chill out with the best of them. But I do have a lot on my plate, as you’d expect at my level in the company, and it’s probably too much to handle [22], if I’m honest, especially with my current project. I can’t wait to see what happens when I implement my new time-management plan at work [27]. It’s hardly rocket science, but I’ll be devastated if it doesn’t work.

Speaker 3: The thing that finally made me flip was being told to move into a new office which was patently unsuitable for the project I was working on. That was on top of a whole series of other ridiculous demands. So the trouble was, it just all came to a head, and the people in charge simply refused to take responsibility for it. We had a number of bitter exchanges, and I ended up seething with rage [23]. I still feel that way. But I’m determined not to just accept it, although I have no idea what I should do about it [28]. It all happened so fast! You can bet I won’t be leaving though because i love the work.

Speaker 4: I’m rapidly reaching the end of my tether. I haven’t lost my cool with a customer yet but it’ll happen soon! It’s just too much, being expected to run my department without a reliable flow of data [24]. My line manager’s been very supportive, I’ll give her that, and she’s been on at the technicians to sort it out [24]. So I’ve done my bit, but nothing’s happened yet. And the final straw is when I’m deluged with supposedly helpful emails from other departmental heads [29], about how to cope! What do they know about it? They go on and on about how disastrous it is, as if it’s my fault! Luckily I’ve got a great team under me.

Speaker 5: Well, I’m not sure what my options are. She’s got such a bee in her bonnet [25] about this internal promotion that you just can’t reason with her [25], so I haven’t tried to talk her out of it. I really don’t want to get her into trouble by reporting her to management [30] for that row yesterday – it would ruin morale in the office. I suppose in the end we might both get a small pay rise and a new job title. If she isn’t satisfied with that, and I have a feeling she won’t be, I’ll have to raise the whole issue with the boss, and let him resolve it.