FCE Listening Practice Test 16

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. B
2. C
3. C
4. В
5. A
6. B
7. C
8. A
Part 2
9. travel agent(‘s)/travel agency
10. poster
11. changes
12. (local) (African) farmers
13. three/3 weeks
14. motorbike/motorcycle
15. (the) (local) women
16. traffic (noise)
17. (pieces of) furniture
Part 3
19. E
20. A
21. D
22. B
23. F
Part 4
24. C
25. C
26. B
27. A
28. A
29. C
30. В



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.

Part 1

Question 1
As restaurant manager, I feel responsible for the quality of the food we serve. So it’s up to me to check the ingredients that have been delivered overnight to make sure they are of sufficient quality, and to produce a menu for the day. The cooks arrive at about ten a.m. to prepare lunch and I’ll take them through the menu. Because lunch is concentrated over a short period of time it can get very busy and very hot. But unlike some kitchens, we tend to divide the jobs up according to who likes doing what, and that includes cleaning pots and pans and clearing the place before dinner [1].

Question 2
It’s a factual book, a chronicle of the twentieth century and it’s wonderful. I mean it’s terribly bitty and it’s not going to give you a lot of information nor be good for school work. That’s what’s really nice about it. Here is a reference book which is fun to dip in and out of. [2] It’s hardly going to help anyone write an essay and it avoids being geared to any school syllabus, unlike so much of what is published today. But for anyone who likes little details, you know, you can look up your date of birth, for example, and see what else happened then, it’s a very good book.

Question 3
Man: So, there’ve been some dramatic events in Victoria Street this past week, what with Mariela deciding not to marry Jason, and Stephen leaving home in the middle of a family row. Are next week’s episodes as exciting?
Woman: Well, I can’t give away the whole story, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! I can tell you that Stephen’s mother is forced to tell her husband the secret she’s been hiding for years [3], which leads to more fireworks and a few tears. And Jason refuses to accept Mariela’s decision, so you’re going to hear a lot more from him, and look out for some surprises there.

Question 4
We get people to the taxis, that’s the first priority, and to the trains. We make sure they get on early and get comfortable seats. These days many passengers have a lot of luggage and they want assistance with it. So we provide a much-needed service. [4] We even take people down to the Underground or to places in the surrounding streets. But the majority of users are airline passengers with a lot of bags and perhaps accompanied by elderly relatives, young children and so on. Obviously they can’t manage everything on their own.

Question 5
I exercise in the form of dance. At one time, I did aerobics because exercise is more interesting with music, but I’ve since moved on to line dancing. It’s less energetic, but I go three times a week. I run my own business, work hard, and it’s just a way to cut off rather than watch television. It’s also a challenge keeping up with the new steps. I think young people sometimes take exercise too far, get over-concerned with how they look, when they’ll never be able to keep it up at that sort of pace. Whereas line dancing struck me as something I could sustain as part of my normal life. [5]

Question 6
Man: Well, what did you think of that, then?
Woman: Brilliant! I’ve never tasted anything like it! I wish now I’d tried this place sooner. [6] I mean, I’ve been walking past it for years.
Man: Why didn’t you?
Woman: Well, to be honest, I never thought I’d be able to afford it, but it’s actually quite reasonable. Mind you, I think they could have tried a bit harder with the presentation. I think if food looks good on the plate you automatically expect it to taste good. Yours was okay, but I think they could have made more of an effort with mine.

Question 7
In practical terms, the place I’m in doesn’t matter too much. As long as I have the necessary tools, you know, pencil and paper and, of course, my keyboard. Once I’m started, I go over things again and again – must be very dull if anyone’s listening. I change a few notes here and there [7], but basically I tend to stick with an idea once I have it. I guess home’s the best place in a way because there I’m relaxed enough to let my imagination flow and that’s what you need to do, in order to produce a good piece…

Question 8
Well, I’m sharing with two other girls… I know, it was supposed to be me and one other person, but there’s a shortage of accommodation, apparently. Anyway, the room’s rather cramped. But it’s great. There’ve been three parties so far, and it’s still the first week. It’s an incredibly noisy place, with doors banging and people laughing and shouting till the small hours. Yes, I suppose we’ll have to get down to work soon, though I don’t know how we’ll be able to, packed into that little space [8] – none of us is very tidy…

Part 2

Interviewer: Visitors to the small Devon village of Whimpie might be forgiven for looking twice as they pass the garden of Elizabeth Holmes. In the middle of the garden there stands a traditional African hut, a reminder of the two years Elizabeth spent in Africa as a volunteer. Elizabeth, what persuaded you to leave your secure job in a travel agent’s and go to Africa? [9]
Elizabeth: Well, I’d been feeling restless for ages. I wanted to see the real world, not just tourist places. Then, I was at the dentist’s one day, waiting to go in, and I’d read all the magazines in the waiting room, so I started looking at a poster – it was all about volunteers working in Africa. [10]
Interviewer: And it interested you?
Elizabeth: Yes, I took down the name and address and applied. I had an interview locally and did some aptitude tests. Then just before I left for Africa, there was a training weekend in London, which they call ‘Changes’ and which gives you some idea of what you’re letting yourself in for. [11]
Interviewer: What particular skills could you offer?
Elizabeth: I had a degree in economics and I had done some teaching at one time. What they wanted to send me to Africa to do was to train local farmers in the marketing of their produce. [12] I flew out with fifteen other volunteers, all going to do different things, like nursing, teaching, and so on. When we got there, we were supposed to have a four-week course at a training centre learning something about the local culture and the basics of the language – you know, greetings and things like that. Anyway, there was a problem and it only lasted three weeks in the end – not enough really. [13]
Interviewer: Did it take a long time to get used to your new lifestyle?
Elizabeth: I found it quite difficult for the first few weeks, but after that I settled in very well. My area covered 1200 square kilometres, and I had a truck for long-distance travel, but for more local trips I rode a motorbike. [14]
Interviewer: How did you get on with the local people?
Elizabeth: Very well. The men were very polite but they tended to keep their distance – unlike the women, who were always inviting me to meals. [15] They showed me how they wove and dyed material to make clothes for themselves and their children. I used to get magazines sent from England and we’d spend ages looking at them.
Interviewer: I expect you found it very different when you returned to England?
Elizabeth: Yes, I certainly did. After two years of living very simply, I found the supermarkets especially overwhelming – just the enormous choice of food. Also, the traffic disturbed me. [16] I had to move from my flat in the city to a small cottage in the country just to get some of the peace and quiet I’d become accustomed to in Africa.
Interviewer: And what are you working on at the moment?
Elizabeth: Well, I didn’t want to just go back to working in someone else’s office so I set up my own business, which I run from home. I deal in African furniture. [17] I brought some small pieces back with me as souvenirs and everyone loved them in Britain. However, I’m still in touch with the organisation that sent me to Africa as a volunteer. I organise events to raise funds and give talks about my experience to encourage other people to go.
Interviewer: Has the experience in Africa changed you at all?
Elizabeth: Oh yes, in many ways. I used to spend all my time working, but now I make sure I have more time for gardening – my favourite hobby. [18]
Interviewer: Well, I’d like to thank Elizabeth for coming into the studio today. If you’re interested in…

Part 3

Man: Some people still think that leaders are born, not made. They say, no matter how hard you study and how many diplomas you collect, at the end of the day, if you’ve got natural skills, such as a strong character, that’s all you’ll need. I think that’s nonsense. Leadership is all about commanding respect. If a boss says to me, for example, ‘Look, your computer skills need upgrading’, I’ll think, ‘Right, this person has a degree in computing, I don’t, so he must be right’. [19] But if it’s the other way round, then you feel, well, maybe I should be boss!

Speaker 2
Woman: Well, the sort of leaders that I actually admire… are not the… top dogs in suits… with a degree in management and a belief that nobody can do things as well as they can. One thing I’ve learned from all my experience in different jobs is that, to be a really good boss, you have to be good at encouraging the people under you to decide on important issues… creating a situation in which other people can shine. [20] Of course this does not mean the boss’s job is any easier; it’s still a challenge, but so much more rewarding for everyone.

Speaker 3
Woman: Since I left school, I’ve done a number of short-term office jobs, and I must say I’m beginning to realise how important it is to have the right sort of person directing your work. To develop all my potential, I need to be told when I’m doing something well, and also the areas where I could improve [21]… I think the earlier you get formal and informal feedback, the better. Otherwise you develop bad habits… some of my workmates don’t agree with me, when I say it’s good to meet regularly with your boss, they think I’m trying to be better than them.

Speaker 4
Man: Of course we all want bosses who are knowledgeable and who bring energy to the job, and I must say, in my opinion, most people who reach top job positions do possess these qualities. However, what really matters is the ability to bring people together. [22] Leaders often mistakenly encourage people to work on their own, kind of, in isolation, because they are afraid of the strengths of groups, they think maybe they’ll criticise, or even join forces against the leader… Such leaders need to go on management courses, to look at good examples of leadership…

Speaker 5
Man: Well, in the organisation where I work, each department has a leader, a boss… and because I’ve worked in six of these departments, I’ve had six different bosses! I must say there’s been very little to complain about… except that we are being asked to do an enormous amount of extra work and some of the bosses don’t seem to be doing long hours, like the rest of us. [23] It is true that after work, they may have to attend special management courses, or meet individual members of staff to discuss performance, but this only happens occasionally…

Part 4

Interviewer: … Trina, you’re 15 and you’ve just come back from America where you’ve been making records. What was it like?
Trina: It was wonderful. I had the six-week school summer holidays and, you know, went over there for a month and then started school again.
Interviewer: What did your classmates at school think?
Trina: I just told close friends what I was doing in the States… And I thought, well, if the records were successful, then I’d tell everyone… [24]
Interviewer: And they were successful.
Trina: Right. And my friends were very good about it. Not envious, or anything.
Interviewer: Did you like being in the USA?
Trina: Oh, yes, most of the time it was great – the people are so friendly.
Interviewer: Did you manage to write any songs there?
Trina: Well, yeah, I did. Most of the stuff I’d done in England had been about the people closest to me – you know, Mum, Dad, my sister. They weren’t with me in the States, and although I missed them and silly things like the rain in England and fish and chips, being surrounded with new faces gave me lots of material for my songs. [25]
Interviewer: Now, your home in England is a long way from London.
Trina: Yes, about as far as you can get!
Interviewer: So, is it easy to get into the music business if you live that far away? Don’t you have to be in London or near a big city at least?
Trina: No, no. We did play in London once but we were actually approached at a local concert, so I don’t think it’s impossible to get noticed anywhere. [26] There are lots of record companies looking for bands, and they do go quite a long way from the cities to find them. I was lucky with my band, and there have been other bands like us that’ve been lucky as well, so you don’t have to come from a huge city to be discovered.
Interviewer: Now, in the USA you did a song with someone who was a star when I was your age, David Pearson, and you hadn’t any idea who he was?
Trina: No. It was embarrassing, actually. But he was a really pleasant guy. He was recording an album in the same studio, and he had this song that he needed someone to sing with him, and he asked me, and I was only too delighted to do it! [27]
Interviewer: But that wasn’t the only famous star you worked with in the States, was it?
Trina: No, there was Lance Lakatoff.
Interviewer: But you had heard of him…
Trina: Yes. He’s a bit of a hero of mine, in fact.
Interviewer: And you were in his TV series?
Trina: Yes.
Interviewer: And what was that like?
Trina: It was a really good experience. I hadn’t done anything like that before. And they filmed us for three or four days, you know. That was the end of it. Or so I thought! But they had made some mistakes, which was such a shame. Because I had to go back to the USA! [28] I came home to England, and then they phoned up and said they had some bad camera work, etc., and I had to fly all the way back and do it again…
Interviewer: Actually, in the USA your record did well. But not here in England. Why’s that?
Trina: Because you’ve never been able to get it over here in Britain. The record company’s never had any arrangements to sell their records in Britain, so it’s always just been the USA, which is nice in a way. [29]
Interviewer: Why do you say that?
Trina: Well, it’s good to come home and get away from it.
Interviewer: But is it that the company don’t think your style will appeal over here?
Trina: No, it’s purely the fact they don’t operate over here. But the company’s just been sold, and the new company does operate over here, so maybe they will release the record.
Interviewer: So, where do you see your career going? Will you go back to the States?
Trina: Well, not for a while I shouldn’t think, as I have another two years at school here in England. I know my schoolfriends are thinking of college but I’m not sure that’s for me, even to do music. Then, my agent has been trying to persuade me to do it full time, and my parents say it’s up to me, but I’m happy to wait a while before that happens. [30] I can still write, after all – in fact, one of my songs is in the American charts at the moment, but sung by someone else.
Interviewer: Well, the best of luck, Trina, and now