FCE Listening Practice Test 24

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. C
2. B
З. A
4. B
5. B
6. A
7. C
8. B
Part 2
9. south of France
10. 1970
11. famous people
12. (young) children
13. (about) 50%
14. under (the) water
15. breathe (out)
16. (try to) float
17. (feeling) confident
18. 3 hours/lessons
Part 3
19. C
20. B
21. D
22. F
23. E
Part 4
24. C
25. A
26. B
27. C
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
The airport staff looked everywhere for it. It was terrible. I thought the plane was going to go without me. At first I thought someone must have taken it. Although my money wasn’t inside, I’d bought some nice presents for the family. [1] Then I remembered that I’d been to the washroom and I must have put it down in there. Luckily, I had my documents and boarding card in my jacket pocket and, to cut a long story short, I had to get on the plane without it. The airport staff sent it on to me three days later. [1]

Question 2
The Fretlight is a fully functional guitar that comes in acoustic and electric models. Built into its body is an on-board computer and a hundred and thirty-two lights that show you where to put your fingers. Simply flip a switch and choose the chord or note that you would like to play, and the finger positions for making the appropriate notes will be promptly displayed on the neck of the guitar. [2] Beginners can get a real feel for the fingerboard, while the more experienced players will be able to discover lots of new musical possibilities…

Question 3
Whether you have just one large meal a day, or a number of small meals, there are some basic steps to keep you in good health. Ideally, eat food as soon as it is cooked or prepared. If you are preparing food for later use, keep cold foods in the fridge and hot foods hot until they are ready to be eaten. Piping hot, that’s how cooked food should be, especially when it’s reheated. And remember, prepared foods left at room temperature will not keep long, however fresh the ingredients you have used. [3]

Question 4
Woman: Do you know what they were doing in town the other day? I had to rush away because it set my teeth on edge, but they were chipping the chewing gum off the paths with sharp tools.
Man: You know, I only realised recently that all those black spots on the ground are actually old chewing gum.
Woman: I mean, it’s disgusting, isn’t it?
Man: Deeply. [4]
Woman: And what a nasty job!
Man: Well, I was actually there when the city once tested out a machine for this and, I had to laugh, it needed such a powerful suck to get it off, it lifted the stones themselves.

Question 5
Shop assistant: And you ordered it two weeks ago? Well, I can’t find anything in the order book… Oh, yes, here it is. Well, it seems we chased it up after you phoned and they said they couldn’t find the order, so we gave them the details again. It hasn’t turned up though. Oh, perhaps… here’s a note on the order form. They then told us there’s nothing under the number you gave us, I’m afraid.
Customer: Well, I noted it down very carefully. Look.
Shop assistant: Uh-huh. Oh, I see. Two figures are the wrong way round on our form, that’s why they couldn’t find the disc. [5]

Question 6
Man 1: Not many here today, are there?
Man 2: I guess it isn’t as popular as it used to be. A few years ago it was so crowded here, you were lucky if you could see over all the heads. This is the first time I’ve been this season. I was expecting to see them lose – as ever – but I can’t wait for the second half if they carry on playing like this. [6]

Question 7

It’s funny, I’ve had loads of maths teachers and they all seemed to be the same – really clever with figures but useless at dealing with children. That’s why I used to play about in lessons and do anything for a laugh. But Mr Jones is something else. He’s quite serious and he makes us work really hard and gives us loads of problems to solve, but what I like is he relates everything to real life. [7]

Question 8
Man: Oh, by the way, what’s this all-island trip like then?
Woman: It lasts all day and you get picked up from the hotel at about seven thirty and they take you around the island to look at the sights.
Man: Do you think it’s worth going on then?
Woman: I’d say so. You see all the sights and have lunch in a restaurant by the sea. The price includes everything, you know, like the museum and everything. The whole family enjoyed it when we went. [8]

Part 2

Interviewer: And now for our sports section, and I have with me today Paul Collison who is a swimming instructor with a rather unusual approach. Thanks for taking the time during your holiday to come and talk to us, Paul.
Paul: It’s very kind of you to invite me.
Interviewer: Paul – you’re the swimming instructor at the Palace Hotel in the south of France. How long have you been there? [9]
Paul: Oh, well I started working there in 1970 when I was eighteen years old. [10]
Interviewer: And you’ve never moved?
Paul: Nope – I get to meet a lot of famous people there and… I guess I enjoy that. [11]
Interviewer: And of course a lot of them go there because they want you to teach them to swim!
Paul: That’s true, but I teach plenty of other people too – and not all my students are beginners.
Interviewer: But we’re not talking about young children, are we?
Paul: Not usually – there isn’t the same challenge teaching children. They have an almost natural ability to swim. Adults are afraid, and helping them overcome that is hard but much more fun somehow. [12]
Interviewer: But don’t a lot of people just give up trying to learn once they reach a certain age?
Paul: Not at all. I get hundreds of calls from people looking for ‘sympathetic’ instructors. I would estimate that about fifty per cent of the adult population can’t swim – but they’re still keen to learn. [13]
Interviewer: So it’s just fear that holds them back?
Paul: Basically, yes. I come across it all the time and it isn’t just beginners. I have students who can swim a bit, but don’t make any progress because – like all of them – they hate going under water. [14]
Interviewer: Hmm… So what’s the secret, Paul?
Paul: Well, you’ve got to relax in the water and that means that you must control your breathing.
Interviewer: And I understand you have a special technique to help people do that.
Paul: Yes, before my students even go into the pool I teach them how to breathe and to do that I give everyone a salad bowl.
Interviewer: A salad bowl? Right…
Paul: Everyone in the group gets one of these… each full of water. First, I get them to breathe… slowly through the nose and mouth… just normal controlled breathing.
Interviewer: To calm them.
Paul: Uh-huh… and then – they all have to put their faces in the bowl and breathe out under water. [15]
Interviewer: How does it go?
Paul: Well, they’re all terrified at first. So we repeat the exercise many times and in the end they become quite competitive about who can keep their face down the longest!
Interviewer: And that means they’ve started to forget about their fear.
Paul: Exactly. When I’m sure they’re more confident about breathing, I move the group into the pool and I tell them that they are going to begin by trying to float with their faces in the water. [16] Once I’m sure they’re OK, I start them off and I teach different swimming strokes to different pupils depending on which one I think they’ll find easiest. The swimming technique itself is far less important than feeling confident in the water. [17]
Interviewer: Great. So how many lessons would I need to learn to swim?
Paul: Well, all my lessons are an hour long and generally it just takes three to overcome the fear and get people swimming. [18] A few never make it but I’d say ninety per cent end up swimmers.
Interviewer: So there’s hope for us all yet… and now on to…

Part 3

Speaker 1
I’ve got a brand-new rowing machine. I won it actually, about two months ago, and it’s still in its box. [19] It’s got an electric timer on it which tells you how much rowing you’ve done and all that. So anyone who’s into exercise can do lots of rowing and keep fit and healthy. It folds up really small, so, you know, it won’t take up too much space in, like, a bedroom or anything. I mean, I’ll never use it because I was after the holiday which was won by whoever came first in the competition. [19] So I’m looking for around forty-five pounds and my number is…

Speaker 2
I’ve got a kidney-shaped bath, colour soft cream, for sale. It’s still in its original packing case because I ordered the wrong colour, you know, it didn’t go with the rest of the bathroom suite I’d got. [20] So, I contacted, you know, the suppliers who said they’ll send me a replacement, at a price, of course! But I’ve now got to get rid of this one. It cost originally a hundred and seventy-five pounds and I’m letting it go for fifty if anyone’s interested. OK? My number’s…

Speaker 3
I’ve got a real bargain. It’s a Lieberstein electric organ and it’s got two keyboards and a rhythm section. It’s in good condition, plays quite well, and it’s not difficult to use or anything. But, what with us having a baby on the way, it’s got to make way for more essential items, as we’ve only got a tiny flat at the moment. [21]So, as I say, if anyone wants it, they can make me an offer. The only problem is, anyone interested would have to come and collect it. The number to ring is…

Speaker 4
Hello. I’ve got a lady’s cycle for sale. I’ve got back trouble and I’ve been advised not to ride it, so rather than be tempted, I’ll get rid of it. [22] I hate the idea, because we’re not well served with public transport out here and I used it quite a lot, but as I daren’t ride it any more, I think it would be a mistake to hang on to it, you know, in case I had second thoughts. So, it’s a Raleigh Chopper, pink, and I’d like thirty-five pounds for it, please. I can be contacted on…

Speaker 5
I’ve got two frying pans, you know, the sort for cooking stir-fry in, and a seven-piece tool set to go with them. All boxed and everything. Anyway, they’ve hardly been used because at one time I was intending to do a lot of this type of cooking because I’ve only got a small kitchenette, like, no oven. But I’ve been given a microwave instead now, so much easier to use. So, that’s ten pounds for both pans and the tools and my number is… [23]

Part 4

Interviewer: Matt Ryan makes models. He’s worked for television and various other companies for many years. I went to his studio in London to talk to him. Matt, could I ask you to tell listeners a bit about your background and your early career?
Matt: Sure. Well it’s strange really, ’cos at first I never thought about model-making as a career. Fairly early on in my life I worked for a television channel… I really wanted a full-time job there, but the best I could get was holiday relief work, filling in for people while they were away. I started off in the photograph library and we had to collect pictures for the news, and it was a good way of getting into the business. [24]
Interviewer: So how did the career come about?
Matt: I think it was an interesting time altogether really. It was the sixties and everyone was talking about going to the moon. There were comic books about space and models of astronauts. [25] Where I was working we had photographs which were used in television reports on the subject. The scenes fascinated me and I thought why not build some three-dimensional kits or models of the views instead of these flat photos that were mostly black and white.
Interviewer: And what happened to them?
Matt: Something quite incredible really. I still think back on it with a lot of pride. During one of the space trips to the moon, the camera on the spacecraft burnt out and we had no pictures back in the television studio to put on the news. So they used a total of fifteen of my models as a substitute and they were broadcast to everyone at home. [26]
Interviewer: Do you think that marked the beginning of a career with television?
Matt: Yes, because shortly after that, I was asked to go to a meeting with one of the TV heads. It was a time when they were looking for more people and I think nowadays that type of thing wouldn’t happen – you’d need two degrees and about six years’ experience! But they put me straight onto one of the biggest TV series at the time. [27]
Interviewer: What was that?
Matt: It was called Bright Star and it was a children’s programme they produced about a time traveller. You know the kind of thing… each week he had a different adventure in the twenty-first century and each time there would be monsters or strange creatures that he’d have to deal with, and I made most of the models for these. And I was just one of a whole load of people… you’d need make-up artists and scene-makers and costume designers… it was incredible. [28]
Interviewer: Can we move on to some other programmes that you’ve worked on because they haven’t all been science fiction, have they?
Matt: No. In fact the afternoon children’s programmes were very demanding too. I made a regular appearance on these where I might talk about how to make your own toys or create your own set for a story, or run a competition based on space research. [29]
Interviewer: And you were also involved in documentaries at the time, weren’t you?
Matt: Yes… to be honest I did so many of them that I’ve lost count but my favourite was Heart of Darkness for which I won television prizes. [30] That was quite funny because at the time it wasn’t possible to get an award for what I did… you know, you could be best actor or best director but there was no category for special effects – well, only in films, not television – so they put my name forward for a lot of other things and I actually won seven of them!
Interviewer: Matt, thank you for a fascinating interview.

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