FCE Listening Practice Test 2 Printable

Part 3

Speaker 1
I’ve always been a keen swimmer and that keeps me in good shape, so when I made my mind up to do badminton it was far more about socialising than exercising [19], especially as I’d only recently moved to this part of town and I hardly knew anyone. I hadn’t realised, though, just how competitive badminton can be – so much so that I’ve now been invited to take part in a local championship. I’ve got no chance of winning it, or even coming close, and to be honest I’m not really bothered about that, but it might be fun so I think I’ll give it a try.

Speaker 2
I work part-time in a petrol station, which in some ways is quite a pleasant job but last year I found that I was increasingly getting into financial difficulties. So I began to study the way electronic devices work and how to repair them [20]. I found that fascinating, and eventually I felt confident enough to place an online ad offering my services. I got loads of replies and I’ve now paid off nearly all my debts. I’ve thought of giving up my job at the petrol station, but I think I’d miss meeting different people every day if I worked entirely from home.

Speaker 3
For years I’d been so scared of heights that some people used to make fun of me, so one day I decided to do something about it: go rock climbing [21]. Feeling that if I could do that I’d be able to do anything, I joined a local club. On my first day I was surprised to find there were two other people who’d joined for the same reason, and we soon became friends. Together we got fitter and stronger, and encouraged each other to keep going, until by the end of the year we felt unconcerned about tackling the most challenging of climbs.

Speaker 4
I never imagined that going horse riding could be such good exercise until I’d spent a weekend trekking in the mountains with friends. That was something of a bonus, really, because what’d initially attracted me to it was that it offered a contrast in every respect to my day job as a cab driver in a noisy, polluted city centre [22]. And although it’s certainly not the cheapest of activities, I find it so relaxing that I always feel it’s worth every penny.

Speaker 5
Gardening had always seemed to me as just a way of passing the time, of doing something completely different from office work, or perhaps even – for the really keen – of winning a prize for the largest home-grown vegetable. So it was only by chance that I became interested in it, when the old lady next door asked me to look after her garden while she was away. On her return she was so delighted by my efforts that I felt I’d done something really worthwhile, so I then offered to garden for other neighbours in their 80s and 90s [23]. They sometimes offered me money, but I always refused to accept it.

Part 4

Interviewer: Adriana, what originally made you decide you wanted to be a professional wildlife photographer?
Adriana: Well, unlike some who eventually take it up as a career, I wasn’t a particularly talented photographer, but I was fascinated by what living creatures do and why [24]. I developed my skills as a photographer while I was actually doing the job, and it wasn’t until then I realised my work could take me to all kinds of distant places.
Interviewer: So beginners don’t need to take budget flights abroad to improve their photographic skills?
Adriana: No, they can usually do that in their local countryside, where there’ll probably be just as wide a variety of wildlife as anywhere, really. Actually, learning has if anything become simpler. For instance, the cost of good-quality digital cameras and other essential items has fallen dramatically in recent times, enabling far more people to take good photos [25]. Studying photography can certainly help improve one’s technical ability, though I’d do that at college rather than by signing up for one of those online courses.
Interviewer: And of course you need practical experience.
Adriana: Yes, there are things you can’t learn sitting in a classroom. I remember I once spent all night trying to photograph owls after it’d been raining heavily.
Interviewer: That can’t have been very comfortable.
Adriana: No, the ground was very wet and muddy, though fortunately I had a good pair of boots on and there was a fence that made a good seat, but I found it hard to keep still because of the mosquitoes [26]. By morning my face and hands were covered in bites, but I did get some great pictures.
Interviewer: So it’s a job that requires patience.
Adriana: Definitely. I was once in tropical Australia trying to get a shot of a huge crocodile as it opened its mouth. I’d been lying there for ages and in that heat some might have got sleepy or bored, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off that magnificent creature. I was quite close to it, but I knew that species of crocodile was normally harmless to humans and my main concern was whether it would actually open its mouth at all before I had to leave [27]. In the end it did, though, and it was worth the wait to get a picture of all those teeth. Of course some animals are difficult to photograph at all.
Interviewer: For example?
Adriana: Well I hadn’t actually got round to photographing tigers until recently, when 1 was sent to a National Park in India. And from there I travelled to northern China and managed to get some great pictures of a snow leopard hunting in the mountains. It’d been my intention to go on to northern Russia to try to get my first-ever shots of polar bears, but things didn’t work out as planned [28] so I’ll have to do that some other time. I’ve taken photos of brown bears, of course, but they’re much easier to locate.
Interviewer: It certainly sounds a great job to have, but does it have any negative aspects?
Adriana: Well, the agency may expect you to go to some fairly unpleasant places, though if it’s a country where there’s armed conflict going on I normally refuse. And being completely on one’s own in the jungle or desert can get some people down, but I can’t say it bothers me. Spending so much time away from my daughters, though, is a different matter, but unfortunately it goes with the job [29]. Whenever I’m home I always try to make up for that by spending as much time as I can with them.
Interviewer: Tell me, how easy is it to get a job as a wildlife photographer?
Adriana: Well, it’s certainly an attractive career, and nowadays there are just so many people out there doing it to such a high standard that it’s difficult to get into [30]. On the other hand, the public don’t show any sign of losing interest in pictures of wildlife, and even though you can find millions of them online, people always seem to want new ones.
Interviewer: Thank you, Adriana.