FCE Listening Practice Test 17

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. C
2. В
З. B
4. A
5. A
6. C
7. A
8. C
Part 2
9. National Museum
10. final/last
11. glass work/glass
12. industrial
13. gun
14. waiter
15. film(s)/movies
16. computer company
17. metal
18.
(old) maps
Part 3
19. B
20. A
21. C
22. D
23. E
Part 4
24. B
25. A
26. C
27. A
28. B
29. C
30. C

Tapescript

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
Listen, about Jimmy’s school project. I spoke to the computer department at work about borrowing a laptop, and apparently they’re only supposed to give them out to people on company business. So I guess Jimmy will just have to write it all out by hand and type it out when we get back. That’ll only give him two days, but what can we do? I know he’s been at home all summer, but that’s Jimmy for you, and he’s only twelve. [1] I just wish his school was a bit more understanding about people’s holiday arrangements.

Question 2
Woman: Go ahead, Paul, I’m listening.
Man: Well… I’m fed up with listening to all your callers moaning on about the new traffic scheme. I mean, that woman who said it took fifty minutes to cross the city by car instead of her usual thirty. Poor thing! Why doesn’t she leave the car at home and use the bus service instead? Anyway, the aim of the new scheme isn’t to make car journeys quicker; it’s for shoppers and pedestrians and cyclists and bus passengers, and it’s working. I recommend everyone to have a walk in the city centre and see for themselves. [2] That’s all I wanted to say.

Question 3
I do sometimes think about moving, I can’t deny it, but when you’ve lived in a house for as long as I have, you learn to accept its drawbacks and you stop always trying to change things. Here, the garden is a bit big for me to cope with as I would like, but now I’ve got someone who comes in once a week to help me out, and things have definitely improved [3], so I think I’ll be staying put for just a little bit longer.

Question 4
Man: I had dinner at Mark’s house last night. His father made a delicious Italian dessert.
Woman: Oh, yes, his parents are Italian, aren’t they? I keep forgetting that because Mark’s English is so good.
Man: Of course it is! He was born in Texas. And his mother’s not Italian, she’s French. That’s what they all speak to each other [4], though they used English when I was there. Mark has to go to classes on Saturdays to learn to read and write Italian. To hear him speak on the phone to his grandmother in Rome, you’d think it was his first language!

Question 5
As a child all our holidays were in Scotland because my father was very keen on climbing and he insisted we went climbing every day. One day the weather stopped us going climbing, much to my relief [5], so we hired a rowing boat on the lake. My father complained it was uncomfortable and slow (he preferred motorboats) but I sat there and thought, ‘This feels good!’ – even though the boat was old and creaky. After that, I just got the bug really… and I’ve been rowing ever since. And the boats now are better than that first one in Scotland!

Question 6
As any parent or childcarer knows, it’s pointless buying drums or expensive instruments for small children; give them a wooden spoon, a saucepan lid and a cardboard box, and they’ll happily bang away for hours. So you could say that the group named Thump are simply having their second childhood. Just over seven years ago, this small band of street performers from the north of England decided to turn their routine with metal rubbish bins and bicycle chains into a stage show. They now have five separate groups working nightly across the country and are just about to begin their first tour of the USA. [6]

Question 7
Woman: Mark, this new project you’ve got, this flat agency, has this arisen from your own experience, or what?
Man: Both from bitter personal experience of having to find somewhere to live in Edinburgh over the last few years – crossing the city from one corner to the next and turning up at hundreds of places which weren’t suitable… and also it was taken from an idea in Australia where a similar service was set up and I thought, ‘Well, let’s try and take out some of the misery of trying to find a flat here in Scotland.’ [7]

Question 8
Woman: And now, Mr Harman, what I want to ask you is in which of Shakespeare’s plays does the character Queen Titania appear?
Man: Mmm, now let me think for a moment. Well, it was one of the comedies. I believe she was a fairy…
Woman: I can tell you that it was performed at the Regent Theatre last year starring Eveline Thomas and had excellent reviews.
Man: I don’t remember that. Now, is it Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare?
Woman: Indeed it is. [8]

Part 2

And now a look at some of this evening’s programmes on Radio Pearl. At 7.30 we have Art Review, a programme which has fast become a favourite among our listeners, with its mix of in-depth reports on artistic events, and revealing interviews with the artists who regularly come into the studio. Today we’ll be going to London to the National Museum, which holds approximately five events a year [9], and this particular one is always popular because it features work by student artists.

This year is no exception as everything is the work of final-year art students from a local college. [10] You’ll be surprised at the variety of things you can see. Exhibits range from curtains to glass work, and I understand there are a total of nearly 2,000 works on display. [11] There is an excellent use of raw materials and of course many exhibits demonstrate how industrial technology can be employed in art. [12] If you want to buy any of the exhibits, it will cost you anything from ?25 up to ?2,000. So for more information on what can be seen, where and for how much, tune in to Radio Pearl tonight at 7.30. Then at 8.00, there’s another in our series of classic plays and tonight it’s The Vanishing Lady, starring Margaret Louden.

Briefly, two young people become caught up in a thrilling adventure when they are walking through a carriage on a train and suddenly hear a noise that sounds to them like a gun being fired. [13] They rush into the next carriage which is completely empty with its doors swinging backwards and forwards. Then in the restaurant car they ask the first person they meet – who happens to be a waiter – if he also heard the sound.

‘No’, he says, and goes on to tell them that an old lady is in the carriage – he just saw her going back in there. [14] But when they return, of course, she’s gone. Some say the lady never existed but others are sure they saw her. Who’s telling the truth, or is everyone on the train lying? Find out at 8 o’clock tonight. It’s a brilliant play by Porten and also his last before he moved on to writing for films. [15]

Finally, for those of you who like sailing, Business Scenes at 9.30 p.m. brings you the ‘unsinkable’ boat and a chance to meet its maker, Canadian businessman Peter Field. In 1995, Peter was a manager in a computer company but he left that job to go on a world cruise. [16] He had wanted a stress-free life but ended up back in the rat race, building boats. His new company has many products including luxury boats costing from $1-2 million, which Peter claims will suffer no serious damage even if they hit an iceberg at full speed… It’s all in the type of metal you use, as he explains tonight. [17]

And we also hear about Peter’s unusual collection. You would think that a man in his line of work would collect model boats and ships, rather than the old maps which are his real passion! [18] If you tune in this evening, you’ll find out how he started his collection and how he hunts for items to add to it! Well, back to this afternoon’s programmes…

Part 3

Speaker 1
Girl: I must say, I’ve never found it easy to study at home. I’ve tried all sorts of places. One of my friends prefers to study outside, lying on a rug in the garden. I try that from time to time and it’s nice and airy, though my concentration tends to wander a bit and I find I’m looking at the trees, or people passing by, rather than at my notes. I think better in my bedroom, where it’s nice and quiet. I’ve got a large desk there to put my computer on, and I set my alarm early and work with a fresh mind before everyone else’s up. [19]

Speaker 2
Boy: You know how sociable I am normally? Well, it’s strange but I find people talking really puts me off when I’m trying to study, so I hardly ever work with a classmate, although it’s much more fun. You’d think that the faculty library would be the best place for me then – an academic atmosphere and no distractions. You always get a few people whispering and coughing though and that annoys me. What I frequently do instead now is put on my personal stereo and have something blasting away, it doesn’t matter what. That blocks out everything else and I get through the work in no time. [20]

Speaker 3
Girl: When I do my homework I have to feel right. After sitting on a hard chair all day, I need to stretch out with my head on a pillow. [21] Mum says I cannot possibly concentrate like that, but actually I don’t fall asleep as long as I don’t go on too late and I have the window open to get some fresh air. I’d love to work with music on, a lot of my friends do, and they say it really helps them concentrate. The point is I like music too much – it takes over from whatever I’m supposed to be doing.

Speaker 4
Boy: I’m hopeless at doing school projects. I make timetables so that I can complete the project well before the deadline, but I don’t stick to them. I’ve tried everything – strong coffee, quiet rooms, fresh air. Even though I’m wide awake and there’s nothing to disturb me, the work still doesn’t get done. I was getting really worried last week, when Mary came round and asked if she could work in my room – hers is too dark and stuffy. I’ve never worked with a friend before and so I said ‘No’, but she was desperate. Eventually, I gave in and it really worked out for us both. I couldn’t believe it! [22]

Speaker 5
Girl: I really like some of the subjects I’m doing this year, particularly maths and physics. I don’t mind studying them at all, although some of the homework assignments we’re given are quite tricky, so I need to be able to work undisturbed. That’s often a bit difficult in our house, unless I put it off until everyone’s in bed. [23] Did you know that my younger brother, Fred, plays the guitar in a band? I love some of their music, it’s really cool, you’d love it too, but it’s pointless trying to work when he’s playing.

Part 4

Man: Good afternoon. Thank you for coming to this public meeting which has been called to discuss the idea of creating a nature reserve in the city – that is, an area where wildlife is protected, and to begin with, local teenager, Tricia Simpkins, is going to tell us some of the background to the idea. Tricia.

Tricia: Yes. Hello… I’d like to start by saying that, like many city teenagers, I don’t have much contact with the countryside. I live off a busy, polluted shopping street, full of people and cars, in the middle of a crowded city and I’d never given any thought to wildlife. Even though every house down my street has got a bit of a garden and we have trees along the road and a piece of waste ground at one end, it seemed nothing out of the ordinary, and I took it all for granted. [24]

My attitude started to change when we had to do a survey of the wildlife in the city as part of a school project. [25] We chose ten families from the street and we asked them just to write down all the animals, birds, insects and so on that they could remember seeing in their garden or down the street during the last
couple of years.

All sorts of surprising things soon started coming out of that survey [26]; like that we have twenty different sorts of butterfly, fifty different types of birds, and all sorts of animals, even some quite large ones like foxes and deer. At first we wondered what it meant, like was it a world record or something?

We’d no way of knowing. So what we did, we got in touch with a nature reserve out in the country, and asked them what you could see there. And that’s when we realised that we’ve as much, if not more wildlife than they do. And that’s what really got us interested in the idea of a nature reserve here.

Because what worries us now is that we may be losing our local wildlife. One specially worrying thing has been all the cutting down of trees in the streets. We’ve got really big old trees here in this part of the city, and of course if one gets damaged in a storm or gets a disease, it has to be removed. But this year alone, over one hundred of these trees have been chopped down. Now the reason given for this is that the trees have really extensive root systems which makes it difficult for people laying gas pipes, electricity cables and things. But we think these problems are not as serious as they are made out to be, and there’s no need for all this destruction. [27]

What’s more, although the local council has agreed to plant new trees in place of the old ones, what they’re planting are these little ornamental trees that look nice, but the birds and animals just don’t use them in the same way. [28] And they’re not even saving money, because more suitable trees cost just the same.

Another example of what can happen is the wasteland at the end of our street. It belongs to the city council and as children we all used to play there [29] and we thought it was really great because it was so covered in bushes and wild flowers that you could get lost if you went off the little muddy tracks. Then, a few years ago, no doubt thinking they were doing the right thing, the council decided to tidy it up. Now it’s just an area of grass where people go to exercise their dogs. There are a few little trees, but basically there’s not a lot there any more.

So, what I’d like to propose this afternoon is that we use this space to create a nature reserve. We think it should be allowed to go back to its natural condition [30], thus providing a refuge for the local wildlife which may be suffering from the loss of trees in the area. This would, of course, also be a leisure amenity for people who want to get away from the stresses of city living, which is hardly something we would want to deny them.

So, I would like you…

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