FCE Listening Practice Test 18

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. B
2. A
З. C
4. C
5. C
6. B
7. B
8. B
Part 2
9. woodwork
10. detective
11. (old) photos/photographs
12. theatre/theater
13. Japan (and) Canada
14. (an) electric light/ (a) light/(electric) lights/lightning
15. 140 cm(s)/centimeters
16. windows
17. paper
18.
(of) (the) pollution
Part 3
19. D
20. B
21. E
22. C
23. A
Part 4
24. C
25. C
26. B
27. A
28. A
29. B
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
In the main summer months, the weather in the capital city is hot and the humidity is terrible. If you’re there then, the best thing to do is either sit in a pool all day or surround yourself with air-conditioning. You could, however, head higher where it’s cooler. The Citra Mountains behind the north-east coast have stunning scenery, but the majority never seem to make the effort to get out of the capital [1], which is a pity because the coast and the mountains are much pleasanter.

Question 2
Although it’s popular worldwide, chewing gum is a uniquely US product, discovered during the search for rubber materials in the 1860s. [2] The basic raw material for all chewing gum is the natural gum, chicle, obtained from the sapodilla tree found in Central America. Recently, man-made substitutes have come into widespread use and popular types of chewing gum now include a soft-chunk bubble gum and a gum filled with flavoured liquid. In the US alone, sales of chewing gum total over $800 million a year, and worldwide some several billion.

Question 3
Woman:Go ahead, David. What have you got to say?
Man:Well, I’m 55. I was a bank manager until ten years ago, and then I lost my job. I was angry, I can tell you. But you can’t just sit about feeling sorry for yourself – like most of your callers. Can I just say to anyone listening: my story will give you heart. [3] A bank manager has to be a good listener, right? So I thought, ‘How can I use that skill?’ – maybe I could be a counsellor of some sort – you know, help people deal with their personal problems. I’m busier now than I’ve ever been!

Question 4
The first rule about buying a painting is to immediately put aside any notion that this will make you enough money to keep you in your old age. The overriding factor is that you must really like the work itself. Ask yourself, can you imagine it on the wall next to the TV? Are you happy to have this painting as a fixture in your life? With this in mind, you can now set about looking into the art market. You should do your homework. Fine tune your taste; visit a student exhibition; flick through some contemporary art magazines. [4]

Question 5
My mother could see I was artistic and she would never have stood in my way, but she was desperate to ensure that I would do well in life, financially I mean, as she had always struggled [5]. So she helped me with my science homework – she really pushed me – if it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I feel, deep down, I do have a more natural talent for art, rather than science; I even won some awards for my pictures… and I still paint whenever I can. But I suppose, when I was growing up, I didn’t think I would ever earn enough as an artist, so I studied science at university, then spent a few years in the States working as a researcher in the oil industry.

Question 6
My day starts at 6 o’clock – it’s somewhat chaotic at home early in the morning as we’re all rushing around! I try to help my husband feed the animals, and then there’s the twins to get ready for school, and I get to the surgery at around 8 a.m. There’s always a lot of paperwork to do. Then it’s seeing patients all day. [6] We’ve got a trainee watching us at the moment for six months, so I spend some time with her, making sure she’s making sense of it all – I enjoy working with students.

Question 7
When you teach beginners, in a sense you have to tailor-make a course for each of them – getting the objectives right for each day’s course is fundamental – age or sex makes little difference, it’s attitude [7]. Some are delighted if they manage to get their knees on a surfboard, or maybe standing up in the first session is enough. Most can learn to stand up in half a day because of the foamy boards we use. Others just keep going until they’ve succeeded. Some make daft mistakes like putting their arms through the legs of their wetsuits, but most beginners are quite sensible!

Question 8
Interviewer:Now John, you write around four historical crime novels each year. How do you manage it?
John:Well, although the characters and stories themselves are made up, I want my books to be historically correct in the details of everyday life I describe. [8] And the further back in history you go, the fewer actual details survive. So, I’m careful to keep them to a similar length, and then I’m less tempted to invent things. And, let’s face it, if a detective takes more than 80,000 words to solve a crime, he begins to look a bit dim, doesn’t he?

Part 2

My job is model-making. I make small copies of large buildings and other structures. It might seem a strange job, but I knew when I was at school that it was what I wanted to do. So I did a college course, not in art or architecture as you might expect, but in woodwork. [9] Because of the concentration on fine detail it requires, it was ideal for a model-maker. Although later, of course, I had to adapt my skills to other materials as well. When I make a model of an old building, often original parts of the building have been damaged or even completely demolished over the years, so I have to work hard to find out what they must have been like. Actually, I think there’s quite a lot in common between what I do and what a detective does… tracking down clues, working things out… [10]

I’ve done quite a few jobs now. The toughest commission I’ve ever had was from Ireland. I was asked to do a model of part of a large house which had burnt down years before. They just gave me a few old photos to use, as there was no actual building to copy. [11] I’ve done all sorts of buildings since, everything from grand castles to the most ordinary farmhouse. The one I liked most, though, was where I had to rebuild a theatre. [12] The original building was gone, but this time there were detailed drawings to work from. My model was then shown in an exhibition called ‘All the World’s a Stage’ here in London. It was fun because I could go and look at it every day if I wanted to; see how people were reacting to it. Generally, though, I don’t see my models again after I’ve delivered them, as 80% of them are shipped out to Japan or Canada [13], with the rest shared between England and France. I do try to give pretty careful instructions, however, about how the models should be displayed. The height at which they should stand, how large the space around them should be, and also about lighting, because the colours and details come out most clearly if there’s electric light directly above them. Daylight’s too pale. [14]

And that’s particularly true of my most recent project, a model of a very interesting old building called Marney House. The owners decided to open it to the public and wanted a model to display for visitors. The detail work was very challenging indeed, as I had to reduce the original to a model just one hundred and forty centimetres high [15], which is seventy-six times smaller than the real building… that’s small, yet everything has to be there. It actually took longer than any model I’ve ever done before, mainly because I had to do all of the 150 windows… a real test of patience! [16] There were times, to be honest, when I found myself regretting the fact that I’d ever taken the project on in the first place. On top of that, I had to make every single one of the thousands of roof tiles individually out of paper [17]. Mind you, when I had finished that process, I knew the hardest part was over, and that the rest would be quite fun. Doing things like the statues along the front was enjoyable, because every one’s different… and I spent some happy hours playing around with colours to get the exact reproduction of the original interior walls. When I’d finished all that, the only remaining problem was that, of course, the whole thing looked like a model of a new building. So I did what I usually do, which is to carefully wash the outside of the model with watercolour, so that it looks as if, over the years, it’s been affected by wind and rain, and also pollution, of course. [18] The owners were very pleased with the result, and I’m glad I can go and see it from time to time. Model-making is a great job, and I’d recommend it to anyone with patience and an eye for detail.

Part 3

Speaker 1
Woman: We chose this hotel because we knew that the owners had young children of their own. The room could have been a bit bigger, but then it was quite inexpensive. They provided an early supper if you told them in good time, so that the parents could eat in peace later in the cosy dining room. [19] There were hundreds of toys for the children to play with, a huge garden with a playground, ponds and a playhouse. We hardly saw our two all week.

Speaker 2
Man: We always have difficulty finding hotels which welcome our children. This one was particularly good because the bedroom had a separate sitting room so we weren’t all squashed together in one room. Although it wasn’t the cheapest around, far from it in fact, it was worth it. [20] Our teenage kids loved the outdoor heated swimming pool and the mountain bikes, which were provided free by the hotel. Apparently, the owners’ kids, who’ve grown up and left home now, had been mad on mountain biking. There was also an all-weather tennis court. Another thing we liked was the separate dining room for people with young families.

Speaker 3
Woman: We’d had a bad experience the year before at a hotel which didn’t cater for children. But this year we were very impressed by the hospitality of the hotel. The rooms were large enough to accommodate four beds comfortably and there was an adventure playground in the garden for the younger kids. You don’t have to pay for children under ten sharing the room – even meals were free for them, so that was another bonus. There was lots to do including horse riding and tennis. But if you wanted to swim you had to go to the local leisure centre, which the kids loved. [21]

Speaker 4
Man: In the hotel we went to, we had a family suite which was very spacious. There was an outdoor heated pool and large grounds so the kids spent most of the time in the pool. So long as your children like swimming you’re alright ’cos there wasn’t much else for them to do. I did think that they could have put in a playground too. [22] Young children under ten aren’t allowed in the dining room but there was an early supper for them. This meant that we could have a quiet dinner for two when they were in bed.

Speaker 5
Woman: What we liked about our hotel was its size. It was only a small hotel and we were looked after like family. The room had loads of soft toys, wooden toys and books, which the children loved. The guest lounge and conservatory was a child-free zone after seven thirty which suited us fine ’cos there was a special children’s supper at six, which meant that they could go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. Older children aren’t really catered for and this hotel is probably better for those with younger kids. [23]

Part 4

Presenter: In some sports, the players seem to be getting younger and younger. My guests today are 14-year-old Alice Winters and her coach, Bruce Gray. Alice, as National Junior Tennis Champion, has been described as ‘the most talented young player for years’. Alice, Bruce, welcome.
Alice/Bruce: Hello.
Presenter: Let’s start by talking about money. Have you found it easy to get help in that respect, Bruce?
Bruce: Not really. We’ve applied to local companies for sponsorship but they would sooner put their money into something which gets them publicity – Alice isn’t that well known yet. So we’ll probably have to get there without it, and I reckon that, with Alice’s talent, there’s no reason why we can’t. That’d be an even greater achievement, wouldn’t it? [24]
Presenter: Now Alice, you must do a lot of training? Is it sometimes a bit too demanding for someone of your age?
Alice: Well, a lot of players my age might ask themselves, ‘Why can’t I be like everyone else?’, you know, free in the evenings and at weekends, but that side of it doesn’t bother me. I must admit though that there are times when I just don’t fancy it – you know, freezing cold winter mornings when Bruce comes round to take me on a training run and I think, ‘Oh go away and leave me alone!’ [25]. But apart from that, well, I do it because I enjoy it. Nobody’s making me do it, are they? So I don’t really see it as making sacrifices.
Presenter: And what about your schoolwork?
Alice: Well, I’m managing to keep up with that at the moment, although I can see that if I do get more successful the sport might get in the way of academic work, but, well, I know which comes first for me. After all, if I make it to the top in tennis, I won’t need any academic qualifications. [26]
Presenter: Now Alice, when you’re competing in a tournament, is it all terribly serious or do you have fun?
Alice: Well, I’m only there for one reason really. I mean, I can’t see the point otherwise. I’m not one of those people who think that taking part matters more than winning. I mean, I know I can’t win every time, especially up against people a lot older than me, but that’s always the aim [27]. And if I lose, well, I look at my performance with Bruce, look at ways of improving it, and well, I don’t let it get to me. I’m just more determined next time.
Presenter: Bruce, what do you think makes Alice different from other players of the same age?
Bruce: I’ve never come across any young player quite like her in all my years as a coach. What amazes me is – you can watch her play and she doesn’t seem to be trying, even though of course she is. With other players you can see the effort involved but with her, well, she’s just so gifted. [28]
Presenter: So Alice, how do you see your future?
Alice: Well, I’d love to turn professional, but it’s a bit early to think seriously about that. I mean, I’m a big fish in a small pond at the moment, but as I get older, well, there are going to be a lot of tough players out there. If I do end up doing it full time… the lifestyle looks glamorous from outside, but it might just be too hard for me and I might decide to get out. But it’s hard to say. [29] Some people stay at the top for years, don’t they?
Presenter: Bruce, do you and Alice get on well? Is she an easy person to coach?
Bruce: You know, sometimes I find it difficult to remember how young she is because she’s got an old head on young shoulders. [30] We’ve had the odd… shall I say… disagreement but she doesn’t have much of a temper, it soon passes. She doesn’t have a great deal to say, I guess, when we’re working or travelling to tournaments. She has friends outside the game, but she doesn’t have much time for a social life at the moment.
Presenter: Well, Alice and Bruce, thanks for being my guests and good luck for the future.
Alice/Bruce: Thank you.

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