FCE Listening Practice Test 25

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. C
2. A
3. B
4. C
5. B
6. B
7. B
8. C
Part 2
9. homes
10. her mother
11. ingredients
12. good cooks
13. to help
14. magazine
15. loan
16. food
17. her house
18. proudest moment
Part 3
19. E
20. D
21. F
22. C
23. A
Part 4
24. C
25. A
26. C
27. C
28. C
29. C
30. A

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
France and Germany did not have a good relationship, even before the first World War. The beginning of the problem can be dated to some 40 years earlier, to 11 May 1871. [1] On that day, in the Swan Hotel at Frankfurton-Main, Otto von Bismark, the German Chancellor, signed the treaty which awarded all of Alsace and most of Lorraine to Germany. To the French, including those in Alsace and Lorraine, it was a loss which they would never come to accept. Tourists to the area today will meet locals who still talk about it with great sadness.

Question 2
When your car stops on a country road it can be a nightmare, and it will be expensive to repair, too. With the RAC you can have help and security from as little as £29 per year. Over 80% of our patrols arrive within an hour of your call and 85% of repairs are made on the spot. Tows to local garages are free. [2] Our labour is free, too – you pay only for the parts. Don’t wait. Call us on 0800 492 2673, and know your car is in good hands.

Question 3
… and Foinabhon hits the front half a mile from home. He’s followed by Turnip Trump, ridden by Martin Evans, who almost missed the race after his car broke down on the way … Now they’re coming up to the second last fence and Foinabhon clears it ahead of Turnip Trum p-oh! and Shandy Dandy’s down! Jockey Peter Llewellyn seems to be okay – he’s up and walking around [3] … Foinabhon and Turnip Trump well clear of the field now, and it’s between these two, with Father Christmas in third place 10 or 12 lengths back…

Question 4
Good morning. How may I help you?.. Certainly, sir. Would that be a single or a double?.. A double with a bathroom en suite… Yes, the price includes breakfast, which can be taken in our dining room or in your own room. [4] We offer a traditional English breakfast or a Continental breakfast. Our food is the best in the city… No, the building’s very modern. It was constructed two years ago… Certainly, sir. We look forward to seeing you.

Question 5
Now standing at platform 1 is the 6.45 for Swansea, calling at Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend, and Swansea. Passengers for Newport should travel in the front three carriages only. A shuttle bus service from Newport to Swansea Airport departs from the station forecourt. [5] For passengers requiring refreshments there will be a buffet car until Cardiff.

Question 6
Shopkeeper: A pound of plums. That’s 66 p. Will that be all, Mrs Figg?
Figg: No, I want some apples, too – half a dozen. [6]
Shopkeeper: Granny Smiths be all right? Or Golden Delicious?
Figg: Not the Golden Delicious, they taste like cotton wool. Granny Smiths will be fine.
Shopkeeper: There you go. That’s £1.87. What about some potatoes?
Figg: No, thanks. I think I have everything I need until the weekend.
Shopkeeper: Fine. That’ll be £1.87 … Thanks very much … and 13p change.

Question 7

When I was a student I wanted to be a social worker, do a job where I could help people. I suppose I wanted to feel useful to society. But after I left university, I realised I didn’t have the, the proper skills to do this – I can’t communicate very well, because I’m rather shy. [7] So that’s why I decided to become an accountant. I spend most of my day just looking at figures.

Question 8
Yeah, it was a really fantastic holiday. You know, I’d never been abroad before, so it was so exciting – the different culture, the delicious food, the weather. And the flight was wonderful – I liked that most of all [8]. But one problem was the language. If only I’d made an effort to learn some phrases before I went, I would have chatted to the locals. That’s what I like to do most, meeting new people.

Part 2

Host: It’s a long way from cooking dinner every day for the family to preparing half a million meals a week in a purpose-built, £5 million factory of your own design, but Anita Lee has made the jump in just a few years. The Chinese meals she used to make for her husband David and two young daughters are now enjoyed in millions of homes all over Britain [9]. It’s not something that’s easily done, so where did she start and why?
Anita: I started making my own Chinese food because I didn’t like what I could buy. The Chinese meals I bought in the supermarket didn’t taste like Chinese food to me, and they were nothing like my mother’s cooking, back home in Hong Kong [10]. Even meals from the local Chinese restaurant seemed to have been adapted to suit English tastes. So I looked around for proper Chinese ingredients and cooked for myself. [11] And when I cooked for my family and friends, they all said how much better things tasted and how much they enjoyed them.
Host: Well, many of us are good cooks at home, but that doesn’t make you Businesswoman of the Year overnight. So, what was so special about your cooking that made it so enormously successful?
Anita: Oh… one of our friends owned the local Chinese restaurant, and whenever he visited our house he liked my home-made noodles so much that he wanted to use them in the restaurant. They were a big success and he encouraged me to try out other things for him, like sweet-and-sour sauce and crackers. He always had trouble getting good cooks, and even more trouble keeping them, so he liked to buy in the sauces ready-made. [12] He liked the arrangement, and so did I. Anyway, I started taking on people to help, and then I took a unit on an industrial estate in Cowbridge to cope with the demand. [13] It all grew from that, really.
Host: As easy as boiling an egg. But in fact it wasn’t always plain sailing for you, was it?
Anita: Strangely enough, we had trouble when the company became really successful. Gourmet magazine had given us its top prize for ethnic cuisine, and contracts were coming in from all the big supermarket chains. [14] We needed to expand, but didn’t really have the capital to do it. I was reluctant to go to the bank for a loan [15], and Lania Foods came along and offered us the funds we needed. It seemed too good to be true.
Host: And it was, wasn’t it?
Anita: Sorry?
Host: Too good to be true.
Anita: Oh. Yes, yes it was. You see, at first it seemed that Lania Foods was willing to provide the necessary funds and be seen as an equal partner. But then, very soon, they tried to take over control of the company… they even wanted to alter the food production, change some of the ingredients in the recipes, things like that. [16]
Host: Mm… nasty…
Anita: Yes, that time was like a living nightmare. I really had to fight to protect my products and the business I’d struggled to build up. Luckily, I had a very loyal workforce who backed me all the way. I eventually managed to get a bank loan, but I also had to sell my house to afford to buy out Lania Foods. [17] It took a whole year, but at least I got my company back. By then our sales had skyrocketed, and they continued to do so for the next five years. I was able to pay back the loan, buy an even bigger house … then I became Businesswoman of the Year. That was my proudest moment [18]. It made all the hard work worthwhile.

Part 3

Speaker 1
I’ve been teaching Maths for thirty-five years, and naturally I’ve seen a lot of changes in that time. I’ve attended a number of in-service training courses to make sure I’m up to date with new methods of teaching Maths. It’s useful to hear about different ways to teach successfully. I think that’s important. [19] And, of course, it’s the computer age now, so that’s taken quite a lot of getting used to. I have to admit, some of my students seem to know a lot more about computers than I do!

Speaker 2
I went to Cambridge University and trained to be a teacher, to get the best possible background for a successful teaching career. I regularly take magazines like Modem English Teacher and English Teaching Today, and I even write articles for them. I like to give new teachers some ideas to help them. I’d like to think my own colleagues at school look to me for guidance on matters of methodology. I like to pass on my experience to my department. [20] Of course, I don’t want to dictate to my colleagues, but I always appreciated the help I was given as a new teacher.

Speaker 3
I teach History, and I think most of my students find it an interesting subject. I hope we give the students an overall view of the subject. The department believes in choosing a topic, for instance, the Romans, and looking at it not just from a purely historical point of view – you know, names and dates – but the geographical and sociological angle as well. The students do a lot of project-based work, and by doing this, they get more involved in the topics. We also have a lot of trips to museums and other places of interest, and this motivates students enormously. It helps for them not only to read books, but to see where historic events took place. [21]

Speaker 4
Yes, the music department isn’t bad. We encourage all the pupils to play an instrument and sing in one of the choirs. It’s very pleasing that most of them do. We had to create a third orchestra to cope with the demand. The boys and girls like to take exams, too – that’s a change from when I came. We have a pass rate of well over 90%, by far the best in the area. Oh, they’re so gifted, some of these children. [22] We always get five or six with music scholarships to university or music college. And one of our violinists won the British Young Musician of the Year a couple of years ago.

Speaker 5
It’s so difficult with Science teaching to know if you’re doing it right. The pupils here are so clever and they really deserve every chance I can give them. I try to take the syllabus and find new ways of explaining the subjects, and I design experiments to illustrate them. I don’t know if they really work, though. I get very nervous in front of the class and I think it shows. I’m sure the other teachers are better. [23] Still, the exam results were quite good last year and the pupils gave me a present at the end of the last class before the summer holidays. It was really very nice of them.

Part 4

John: Well, Dad, it’s great to see you again after so long. Thanks for inviting us here for dinner.
Father: Not at all, John – the pleasure’s all mine. I’ve been to this place once or twice, and I thought it would be ideal for our little get-together.
John: I’ve passed it a couple of times myself and thought of eating here. I must say, it’s a lovely place. Let’s have a look at the menu, shall we? [24]
Sally: There’s certainly a lot to choose from. I think I’ll try the fish. It says here the fish is fresh every day.
Father: I fancy a nice juicy steak.
John: Well, I’m going to go for the chicken. It’s plain. All these fancy sauces are all right if you’ve got the stomach for them, but I can do without all the trimmings. [25]
Sally: Shall I see if I can catch the waiter’s eye, then, if we’re ready to order? Oh – what are we going to drink?
Father: Well, actually I ordered a bottle of champagne earlier. After all, this is a celebration. John, Sally … I’ve got something to tell you.
John: A celebration! What do you mean, Dad?
Sally: Something to tell us! Have you won some money?
Father: Not money, but I do feel I’ve won something. Look, John, Sally … I don’t see you two very often these days. You’ve both got such busy lives and careers here in London, and even though I only live twenty miles away, we’re lucky to see each other once or twice a year. [26] I know it was different when your mother was alive. Perhaps you thought it was a home then, but now you only come back as a duty, not because you want to.
Sally: That’s not true, Dad. As you say, we have stressful jobs. You do know that since I got this promotion I have to travel around the country at least two weeks every month? At weekends, all I want to do is relax at my flat – I don’t want to travel anywhere, even if it’s only twenty miles. [27]
John: OK, Sally. Just let Dad finish what he has to tell us.
Father: Yes, well… the truth is, I’ve missed your mum a lot these past five years, and to be honest, I never thought I’d ever find someone to take her place. But I… joined a club where, urn, where people who feel lonely get together with, you know, others in the same situation. I went with my friend Dave – urn, my colleague at work.
John: I hope you aren’t telling us you have a girlfriend, at your age.
Father: Not a girlfriend. A fiancee. I’m going to get married again. [28]
Sally: What? How can you even think of it? No-one could take Mum’s place!
John: And you never even told us you were seeing someone.
Father: Look, I, I know it’s a shock, but I’m sure you’ll like her. Her name’s Marjory. She’s very kind and she cares for me. And she has two children, and they’ve given me a new lease of life.
Sally: So how old is this ‘Marjory’?
Father: She’s thirty-five, and the children are ten and eight. She was widowed five years ago – her husband died in an accident.
John: What will our friends think? She’s just a couple of years older than us. [29] They’ll think you’re making a fool of yourself.  [30]
Father: I’m really sorry you feel this way. I never thought you’d worry more about your friends’ reactions than my happiness. But you’re both invited to the wedding. It’s next Saturday.
Sally: Don’t expect me there. I for one will never accept this marriage. [30]
Father: Well, I have to tell you something else. We want a fresh start for the four of us… so next month we’re emigrating to Australia. We think it’ll be a good place to bring up the children.
John: What!
Sally: Dad! How could you!

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