FCE Listening Practice Test 23

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. A
2. A
3. B
4. A
5. C
6. A
7. C
8. C
Part 2
9. circle (around them)
10. a brain/brains
11. stress
12. feelings
13. read
14. reward
15. 52 teeth
16. two days
17. sound wave(s)/sound(s)
18.
(fishing) nets
Part 3
19. E
20. F
21. C
22. D
23. B
Part 4
24. A
25. C
26. B
27. A
28. A
29. C
30. B

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
Man: Is Mark Hobson here?
Woman: He’s got a crisis at work and couldn’t come. But Julie’s here somewhere. Did you know he married Julie? You know, the girl who could never spell anything!
Man: Oh, right.
Woman: It’s their wedding anniversary today, actually. She says she’d rather be here with her childhood friends than waiting at home for Mark to finish work! [1]
Man: Has he changed much?
Woman: Well, he looks much the same as he did all those years ago.

Question 2
Man: Hello, Jean!
Woman: Mike Carstairs! My favourite customer. You haven’t been in for ages.
Man: No, I haven’t, that’s right.
Woman: How are you?
Man: I’m fine. I heard you weren’t well.
Woman: Well, I was away for a couple of weeks. But I’m fine now. Ah! You were going to the States, weren’t you?
Man: That fell through.
Woman: Oh, did it?
Man: What I’ve been doing is reorganising the whole department non-stop since I saw you. Just haven’t had a moment to myself. This is the first time I’ve been in here since Christmas. [2]
Woman: Well, it’s good to see you. Are you ready to order?

Question 3
It was really awful and I’d been so looking forward to it. Don’t get me wrong, the music was brilliant and the show itself was really well done, but I’m sure they let too many people in – it was ever so crowded. I was right at the front and everyone was pushing me against the stage. I couldn’t breathe and I was so scared I thought I was going to faint. [3]

Question 4
I was brought up with a respect for books, you know, always having clean hands, not bending the pages down, etc. and I certainly try to make sure mine are as well made as possible. I like to pick them up by the wrong bit and throw them around and so on, you know, to make sure they are strong. I think it’s the permanence of books that sets them apart from the other media, don’t you? [4] Of course, what’s more important is that you have good literature and good images and, I suppose, whether that’s actually on a compact disc or in a book doesn’t matter.

Question 5
Husband: You see, right from the time we first met it was obvious that Natalie and I wanted a particular kind of holiday – the trouble was, it wasn’t the same! I like going off and doing my own thing. You know, history and museums – that’s what interests me.
Wife: Well, I love markets and looking for bargains – so we end up sort of hating each other for two weeks or so, instead of having a really nice time together. The odd thing is that we see eye to eye all the rest of the time. It’s just when we step on that plane – then the trouble starts! [5]

Question 6
Interviewer: Now it’s a bit suspicious that this research about glasses has been paid for by a contact lens company, isn’t it? Is it genuine or are you having us on? [6]
Researcher: Not at all. [6] We asked about a thousand people, most of whom wore glasses, some of whom didn’t, and really asked them what they thought of glasses. Their responses were interesting, but didn’t come from us; it’s what they told us answering open-ended questions. And most of them said, while they thought that glasses could be, you know, pretty trendy and that some of them looked quite cool, that they didn’t much like them.

Question 7

Well, the whole point was to build confidence and I’m sure most feel it succeeded, even if only partly. I must say I found it all very enjoyable, although I can’t say I’ve benefited greatly. [7] There was plenty of opportunity to get to know other people in the business, though, if you wanted to – you know the sort of thing, trips to restaurants and the theatre in the evenings.

Question 8
Man: So, shall we move on to the next subject?
Woman: I’m sorry, but I do think it’s necessary to go through this again for the benefit of your listeners. Look, this is a crucial point and I don’t think it can be stressed enough. [8] As I was saying, the first thing that anyone with a complaint about their pension should do is put it in writing.

Part 2

Newsreader: And for our last news item today, a special report from Diane Hassan on an animal that is rapidly becoming known as ‘man’s best friend’, the dolphin.
Diane: Last week, a twenty-eight-year-old diver who went swimming in the Red Sea with a group of dolphins learnt the hard way just how caring these creatures can be. When the diver was suddenly attacked by a shark, they saved him by forming a circle around him and frightening the shark away. [9] It’s not the first time such a rescue has happened and it’s been known for some time that dolphins will do for humans what they do for their own kind. They are, in fact, the only animals in the world whose brains match ours in terms of size, and their intelligence and ability to feel emotion continue to fascinate scientists and doctors alike. [10] For some time now, their healing powers have been well known. A swim with a group of dolphins, for example, is a recognised ‘medical’ activity for everyday problems such as stress [11]. But some dolphins are playing a far more serious medical role for us than that.

Amanda Morton, who suffered from a life-threatening illness, argued that being with dolphins saved her life because they were able to read her feelings. [12] ‘They knew how I was feeling,’ she was quoted as saying. And it’s the idea that they actually ‘care’, that they are gentle, happy creatures that want to befriend us, which has led to projects with children as well. In one such project, dolphins are being used to help children who are slow learners learn to read. [13] The dolphins do things like carrying small boards on their noses. These boards show words or pictures which the children are asked to identify. When the children get it right, they spend more time swimming with the dolphins and touching them and they see this as a reward. [14] So what is it that makes contact with dolphins so powerful? They certainly have an engaging smile… in each jaw they have up to fifty-two teeth [15], but rather than frightening us to death, it’s one of the warmest greetings in the world! They’re also fantastic swimmers to watch… the spotted dolphin has been observed reaching twenty miles an hour and keeping this up for two days at a time [16]. And they know they’re good at it so they show off in front of humans by diving in and out of the water and showing us just how much fun they’re having.

They’re great communicators too. They make all kinds of fascinating high-pitched noises. They catch fish, for example, by sending out sound waves which tell them everything they need to know – where it is, what it is and how big it is. [17]

The only creatures that concern dolphins, in fact, are sharks and man. We don’t necessarily harm them on purpose, but we trap them in fishing nets and we pollute the water they swim in. [18] Pollution, in fact, is one of the dolphin’s greatest problems. So with all the good they do for us, isn’t it time we started caring about them?

Part 3

Speaker 1
It’s strange looking back because at the time you don’t always appreciate people and certainly I think that’s true of your teachers and particularly a head teacher. I mean she was always encouraging us not to drop litter and to think about things like preserving the countryside and so on, and she’d say, ‘Don’t you want your children to live in a better world?’ [19] But when you’re fifteen, you can’t imagine having a family – all you care about is getting your homework done and going out with your friends!

Speaker 2
I don’t know if it’s the same in all countries, but where I live your head teacher usually teaches classes too and we had our head for athletics. In one way it was exciting ’cos she was very good at it herself, like she could out-run any of the boys in our class, but whatever we were doing she was always pushing us to do it faster than anyone else or jump higher than our friends regardless of the talent or ability we had [20] – and with some it was pointless.

Speaker 3
I think if it hadn’t been for our head teacher, I’d be doing something quite different now. She used to assess our Art exams and although there were people in my class who were really talented artists… you know, they could paint anything from real life and it looked brilliant… she always preferred the more unusual stuff – she said it showed we had ideas of our own, and she really liked that, so, I did well. [21] I mean, now I make a living putting designs on greeting cards.

Speaker 4
I always felt that our head teacher was under-valued and that she might have done better in a different environment… her own staff held her up a bit. They all seemed… oh, I don’t know… maybe they just didn’t like the idea of change… but I remember she wanted to introduce a new teaching method for French classes and the department head just dismissed the idea… and so many ideas she had which were never taken up are being used in schools today. [22] I sometimes wonder how she feels.

Speaker 5
I’ve got some friends who say they left school and they suddenly felt lost. They’d spent a long time ‘getting an education’ but didn’t know what to do once they’d got it. I think we were lucky because our head teacher built up a good network of contacts with local people and so they didn’t mind giving us an insight into what it might be like, say, working in a hospital or office. I know it wasn’t a new idea or anything but I think she gave us a good sense of direction which I’ve valued all my life. [23]

Part 4

Announcer: And now for The Holiday Programme with Mandy Rice.
Mandy: Today I’m talking to Don Nicholson, a tour leader who spends ten months of the year looking after groups of up to eighteen tourists in southern Africa. They travel together in the back of a truck, put up their own tents and cook their own food. Welcome to the programme, Don.
Don: Thanks.
Mandy: This is a holiday with a difference, isn’t it? Tell us, first of all, what sort of people go on a camping trip in Africa… and a long one at that… it is a month each trip?
Don: Yes. Well it sounds a sort of studenty thing to do, but in fact the majority of our passengers are people like doctors and lawyers. [24] We do get some students but they tend to be the ones that are studying something like conservation or wildlife.
Mandy: And when do they all first meet?
Don: The evening before we set off. They fly in and I pick them up from the airport and immediately before we start sorting out places in the truck we go through what they’ve brought with them. [25] Amazingly, every now and then we get somebody who genuinely doesn’t realise it’s a camping tour, so I have to rush out and get them blankets and a sleeping bag.
Mandy: It must be difficult – a whole group of strangers coming together and then having to live together like that.
Don: Hmm. It goes surprisingly well, but I always think the first day is critical because it sets the tone for the whole trip. We’ve had the odd nightmare start where we’ve got a flat tyre twenty minutes after we set off or it’s dark and pouring with rain and people just can’t get their tents up. Yeah, once we were making pasta late at night and the cook put in a tin of strawberry jam instead of tomato paste – those are the bad starts! [26]
Mandy: Basically everyone has to take part in the domestic chores, do they?
Don: Yes. The brochure makes it clear that people have to work on a rota system and they usually do about an hour’s work a day. We get a few who don’t want to muck in but more often they are just untidy and I’ve got a bit of an eye for that because… well, they might leave a fork lying on the ground, for example, and okay, it’s just a fork, but in a lot of places in Africa you can’t get forks, so I’m quite possessive about the equipment. [27]
Mandy: And do people really get on?
Don: A lot of people have never lived in a tight community situation like this before and you do get conflicts and personality clashes. The best approach is to observe it from afar. [28] If it gets out of hand, I might point out in front of the whole group that there’s a problem between certain people.
Mandy: Shame them a bit…
Don: Mmm. Sometimes it works. To be fair, conflicts are rare but small problems can mount up in that kind of environment. Evening noise, for example. Some people want to go to sleep early and others don’t. On occasions I’ve had to be the sort of go-between and impose a ‘lights out’ time if things start getting out of hand. [29]
Mandy: What about getting up, because that’s something we’re really not keen on on holiday?
Don: If we’re going into a wildlife park we might have to be on the road by six AM but people still ask why they have to get up so early. I’ve learnt how to do it now. If they’re a quick group I’ll get them up at five, but if they’re slow I won’t shout and scream at them – I just get them up at four thirty. [30]
Mandy: Well, perhaps now we should go on to talk about what there is to see in some of those game parks that you have to get up so early for.

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