The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with FCE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Climber: It’s not for everyone, but I love the physical aspect. I started almost by accident – my uncle took me to an indoor climbing wall and I was hooked. The start of any climb still gives me a real buzz. I’ve never settled for being less than the best at anything I’ve tried, and that’s what pushed me to the standard I am now – which doesn’t mean I don’t think I can still improve! I get a huge sense of achievement when I finish a particularly demanding climb , and though other climbers get nervous sometimes, like when there’s ice, or the weather’s bad, that never puts me off.
Sonia: Attention, everybody. This is Sonia Lee and I’m events manager for today at Seaworld Centre. If you hurry to Zone D you can catch the spectacular ‘riding with dolphins’ event. The next one’s on at 5 past 11, but don’t worry if you miss that, because you’ve got three more chances to see it today. We’ll now be feeding the sea lions at 2.15, that’s 45 minutes later than scheduled according to your programmes . And whatever you do, don’t miss the ever-popular Penguin Walkabout. That starts in half an hour. You’ve never seen anything like it! See you there!
Woman: I enjoyed that.
Man: It was a bit too businessy for me. I know everything’s about profits these days, but I still think producing books should be more about creativity than making money .
Woman: Everything’s going the same way, whether you like it or not. A friend of mine did a course on book illustration, and she said the first lecture was about costs.
Man: Anyway, this speaker said if we’re going into the book trade, we should get practice in as many aspects as possible .
Woman: I agree with that. They need an editor for the sports page on the student newspaper, and I think I’ll go for it.
Woman: Well, what did you think of that film?
Man: I had mixed reactions really. From what I’d read, I expected it to be funnier. 
Woman: I know what you mean – just shows how different people’s tastes can be I guess.  Good twist at the end though. I wasn’t expecting that, were you?
Man: I kind of guessed what was coming to be honest. There were a lot of references to other films in the storyline I thought.
Woman: Oh, you think so? I wasn’t quite sure what message it was trying to convey, though. One minute it seemed to be saying one thing and the next it was saying the opposite.
Man: Yeah, I agree.
Woman: Steven, this new environmental project you’re running, what are you hoping to achieve?
Man: Well, Susie, the town I live in, Melbury, is a very pleasant place to live – clean and tidy. The problem really isn’t with Melbury as such but is a wider problem – that of the dangers of rubbish to wildlife. So I got all the retailers in the town together and showed them a film I’d made on this subject and as a result they’ve agreed to use paper bags instead of plastic ones.  Recycling was introduced very successfully last year so I’m hoping that my new project will have similar success.
Man: Professional salespeople can sell anything to anyone and they do this by using very basic psychological techniques. Buyers normally have certain requirements by which they will judge the suitability of a product. The seller therefore attempts to find out what these conditions are by building a bond – asking questions about hobbies, family and the like; but you need to remember, the seller is only interested in ‘closing the deal’.  At its most extreme, salespeople will even attempt to mirror the body language of the buyer. If the buyer laughs, then so will the seller.
Man: The college website is up again. Have you seen it?
Woman: Yes, they’ve been working on it for a month and it’s better now. I thought, if they’d got sponsorship from local companies, there’d be too many advertisements, but it’s OK.
Man: Yeah. That’s not a problem. They must’ve got someone in from the design department to work on it, because there’re some real improvements, it’s not so dull. 
Woman: Especially the artwork on the home page.  They want people to send in ideas so they can change the layout regularly.
Man: OK, so long as it doesn’t get too complicated and you waste time figuring out how to get to the page you want.
Woman: How did you find the competition?
Man: Tough, but I really enjoyed it. I was convinced the dishes I’d chosen to prepare would go down well. I decided to focus on using local ingredients as people nowadays worry a lot about what they’re eating and it’s really important to know where the food comes from. It was my first time competing against others and it was fun being under pressure to come up with things under strict time limits. I hadn’t expected to be so worn out though, I think it was having to be on my feet for so long , but it’s definitely something I’ll do again.
Chris: Hello everyone. My name is Chris Graham and I spent my last vacation working in Australia. The place I was in is a popular tourist spot so there are lots of student jobs advertised in the newspaper – from hotel work to being a tour guide. I saw my job, for a bus driver, on the Internet, and so I applied. I’d recommend you do that too.  The whole idea of getting to know another country really appealed to me and I’m really pleased I had the opportunity to go.
I worked for a company which tries to help tourists understand what life used to be like before Europeans arrived – a time before clothes, cars and electricity. Many of the local people, the Aborigines, work for the company. Studying tourism at university wasn’t essential to get the job – in fact, my subject’s history . What I did do was a short training course when I first arrived, though, to learn about the local plants and animals.
At first, I was given a room in a hotel in town but I found that I felt quite lonely so I moved into a caravan on the outskirts.  Lots of other staff lived on the site and I got to meet lots of the local people there too. Everyone was really friendly and, as there wasn’t a cinema or restaurant nearby, people frequently had a party on Saturday night and I was always invited. 
I worked six days a week, and I had to get up really early in the morning when most people, and even the birds and animals, are asleep. This is so the tourists can get to take photos of the sunrise.  I used to pick them up from their hotels around 5 AM and then head out of town and into the desert.
The tourists were from all over the world and often had no experience of the heat. They knew, of course, about covering their head and neck with a hat but often left their shoulders uncovered, which wasn’t very sensible, especially if they hadn’t been in the country for long and weren’t used to the sun. 
After we had been into the desert, I would take the tourists to the local cultural centre, where they had the opportunity to ask questions. The tourists were especially keen to find out how to distinguish the tracks of kangaroos from wallabies and wild dogs. 
After the morning session I usually went back home, had a shower and a rest, then started again around two in the afternoon. I used to take the afternoon group to a water hole, where they were shown which plants could be eaten and which were also used to make weapons for hunting. 
At one time, there were very few tourists in the particular area I worked in, because you needed to get a coach from the small railway station in the nearest large town, a good 200 kilometres away.
There’s now an airport but the local government is keen to get one built which can take more flights, especially from abroad.  I’m not sure about that, as I think it’s busy enough as it is, but it would be good for the local economy, no doubt about it.
Anyway, I really recommend working in Australia during your vacation. The busy tourist season in the area where I worked is from May to October, so you need to make sure your application is in by the January of the year you are hoping to work.  You might not hear until March as it takes a while to process the applications and get references, but make sure you don’t leave it too late.
What is happiness? From an early age, happiness for me is sitting in a boat in the middle of a like on a summer’s day and doing some serious fishing… all alone just me and my thoughts. No stress, get away from it all for an hour or so, but maybe not completely aimless – not just lying on a beach somewhere, but having some task to do. Then, when it’s all over, it’s back to normal life and problems and hassle, and having to fight to get what you want. But that brief moment of happiness helps me to reflect and make sense of my life. 
I think to be happy, you do obviously need some financial security – not rich… I didn’t say that, ‘cos there’s an important difference. Also I’d say you need humour in your life… that’s kind of obvious too. Having lots of free time to do what you want? Not sure, there. I’d say quite the reverse, actually. For me, you really appreciate your moments of leisure when you’ve done lots of hard work.  If it’s all play and no work in your life, then you don’t enjoy it. So for me, it’s all to do with… setting yourself a list of things to get through and then you’ve completed them. Now you can be happy.
I sometimes wonder if being happy is something to do with age. Very young children are happy most of the time; very old people are happy when they think of fond memories, and also they’re happy when they see their grandchildren happy. So happiness is not just specific to one age group. That’s certainly the case with my family. But in my experience happy people get through life more easily – if you take things seriously all the time, that’s when you get stressed or have health issues, maybe.  And sometimes life can be a real pain, let’s be honest.
Happiness comes in many shapes and forms. Personally I’m happy when I’m active, doing my sports and feeling all healthy. But maybe that’s a rather self-centred view. I also get moments when I’m just, say, sitting on a train, and suddenly I think of my children’s smiling faces, and realise how lucky I am, how happy they make me – and my husband too, of course. My life could’ve turned out much worse, as it has for many people.  Will I still be happy when they’ve all grown up and gone away? I’m sure when that time comes, I’ll find a new form of happiness.
It’s sometimes said that you make your own happiness, and I’ve got some sympathy for that view. But in my experience, it’s something more than that. It might sound strange, but I honestly think it’s all about your life not being too easy. If everything in your life is handed to you on a plate by rich parents then I actually don’t think you’re as happy as someone who’s had to struggle a bit in their life. When you can share your struggles with others and laugh about how you got through them, that’s when you’re truly happy. That’s certainly how it’s worked out for me.
Woman: Today on the programme we have Mickey Smith, author of the book The Power of Practice. Mickey, in your book you talk about what makes a champion sportsperson. Your argument is that talent – a natural aptitude or skill – doesn’t exist. Right?
Man: Right. I know that’s controversial because it’s thought that people are born with natural abilities. I have my critics but the evidence from research I’ve done backs up my argument.  If you look at anyone who’s reached a high level in any complex task, you’ll find they’ve spent many years building up to it. This has started other people thinking and doing their own research. I’ve no doubt they’ll reach the same conclusions I have.
Woman: What about physical abilities like speed? Isn’t that what makes one footballer better than another, for example?
Man: There are physical issues that are significant in some activities. However, in virtually all complex tasks the limiting factor is a mental thing. People don’t become the greatest footballers because they move around the pitch quickly. While he may not realise it, the way a great footballer understands where his teammates are around him on the field is what helps him score goals, rather than speed. 
Woman: In your book you also talk about geographical areas where lots of people become experts in the same activity. Gymnastics, for example.
Man: The town I grew up in produced the top gymnasts of my generation, myself included. My initial reaction when I got to the top was, ‘Wow’, I must have been born with this ability to do gymnastics.  But what about the others? What I now understand is that this excellence was down to having access to a fantastic coach and a 7-day-a-week gymnastics club, where we transformed ourselves from ordinary to extraordinary. Opportunity’s another factor determining success.
Woman: Your argument is that to become excellent you have to practise for thousands of hours. That’s a lot of training.
Man: That’s right. How successful you are is down to how long you’re prepared to work. Evidence suggests those who make it believe excellence relies on practice. If you believe being good at something is down to natural ability, when you fail, you’ll think you don’t have enough of it – and you’re more likely to give up. If you believe excellence is about effort, when you fail you’re going to see it as an opportunity to grow. 
Woman: What approach should coaches take when training youngsters in sport?
Man: The way to go about it is to ensure the child enjoys what they’re learning – that it becomes an internal desire to progress. Coaching young people is more about psychology than it is about the technical side of things – it’s making the young performer really care about where they’re going, motivating them in the right way , that will enable them to actually get there – little difference from how you encourage adults really.
Woman: Why don’t more people who play sport try harder to improve?
Man: Well, they see sports stars and assume they were born brilliant, but there’s no evidence to suggest that . You just don’t see the painstaking process it took to get them there when they’re winning games on your TV screen. If you did, their brilliance wouldn’t seem so miraculous. The illusion is to think they got there quickly and think ‘Oh my goodness, I could never get up that slope.’
Woman: Given everything you’ve said about top performers, why do they sometimes fail at crucial moments? That’s called ‘choking’, right?
Man: Yes. It’s to do with the expectation to succeed, no matter how many times they’ve done it before. When you first practise a skill you have to exert conscious control over it. When you become proficient you’re able to do it subconsciously. When you choke you become so anxious that instead of delivering your skill automatically, you become conscious of what you’re doing and it’s like you’ve never done it before. 
Woman: Thank you very much
Click to download this FCE Listening worksheet in PDF