FCE Listening Practice Test 26

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. A
2. B
3. B
4. A
5. A
6. C
7. B
8. B
Part 2
9. British adults
10. business decisions
11. character
12. foundation or base
13. choice of career
14. artists and entertainers
15. less obvious
16. winter
17. disappointing
18. effects of nature
Part 3
19. D
20. F
21. A
22. B
23. C
Part 4
24. A
25. A
26. C
27. C
28. B
29. A
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
Every thirty seconds, somewhere in the UK, this happens… Sometimes this happens, too… It is certain that if you drive a car, sooner or later you will have to make an emergency stop. Even if you always drive carefully; even if you never touch a drop of alcohol, something will happen. Whether it be another vehicle, a child crossing, or an unexpected bend in the road, a good set of tyres with at least five millimetres of tread can and will save your life [1].

Question 2
Man 1: I just don’t know what the referee was going on about. There was never an off-side just before the end of the first half!
Man 2: Well, you couldn’t exactly see from where we were standing.
Man 1: But we were the better team; we should have won. I mean the Liverpool defence are rubbish. Man. United are far better than that, but last night, we couldn’t even get near the goal. [2]
Man 2: Look, I’ve been supporting this team longer than you have. I’ve seen this before. They were just having an ‘off day’.
Man 1: That was no ‘off day’, the match was fixed!

Question 3
… with a tarnish resistant, rotating, aluminium, serrated cutting edge. And, of course, you’ve all seen it before on TV anyway, haven’t you ladies?… and here it is before your very eyes, exactly the same quality as all the others with one important difference, ladies and gentlemen… because you won’t find it anywhere at this superb knock-down, bargain-basement price of only ?9.99. [3]

Question 4
When George told me somebody had agreed to marry him, well, frankly, I was amazed. [4] Then he told me it was to be Samantha, and this is what happened… I regained consciousness in the hospital with a big bump on my head… And that was when I realised the true enormity of the problem that Samantha will be taking on. You see, ever since we were at school together [4], George has had the most hideously smelly feet… and that is why I have bought him one of these…

Question 5
Well, I suppose it wasn’t a total disaster, I mean the scenery was nice and some of the local people were friendly but they should have told us we’d be staying in the city centre… and they should have told us how hot it was going to be… and they should certainly have printed the right departure time on the ticket… [5] and that hotel manager should be sacked right away. In fact, I’ve got a mind to write to Tomlinson’s right now and tell them just what I think of them.

Question 6
Hi. Is that Crown Paper Company?.. Yes, I’d like to ask about an order that you delivered to our offices this morning… No, no everything was supplied as ordered… No, it was for this morning, so that’s fine… Well it’s just that the amount stated on the invoice for the six items mentioned is $35, so you have overcharged us by $14. [6] What I want to know is why on earth you have done this?

Question 7
Yes, hello, is that ‘Well-Bred Sandwiches and Confections’?… I’d like to order some filled rolls… Yes… it’s for the offices of T.J. Smith and Sons… OK then. We’ll have cheese, ham, sausage, mayonnaise and crispy lettuce on brown and cheddar cheese, chicken and chutney, and roast beef, horse radish and cucumber, both on white. Have you got that? [7]

Question 8
And finally, on a happier note, the Paganucci family were reunited today with their exceptionally streetwise pet dog, Dino. When the Paganuccis moved from Naples in southern Italy to Hamburg in Germany, naturally, they took Dino with them. But after two days in Hamburg, Dino went missing. Two weeks later, the family had all but given up hope of ever seeing Dino again when a letter arrived from a former neighbour in Naples where Dino had turned up looking for them. Apparently, Dino had decided that Germany was not for him. [8]

Part 2

Host: We have with us today the psychologist Simon Calvin who has recently created quite a stir with some rather unlikely claims about Astrology. Simon, are you indeed claiming that our lives are ruled by the stars?
Simon: No, not at all. I would not for one minute say that all of our lives are affected by the movements of stars in the heavens. My research really concerns things that are far more down to earth. But, before I start, I should just say that by no means do the majority of people in general totally disbelieve the value of astrology. An incredible 62% of British adults say that their stars are of some interest to them [9] although only 3.5% would use them to choose a husband or wife, and only 2.9% of people would refer to them in making business decisions [10]. But anyway, coming back to what I said before, I’m not so interested in the stars themselves, as I am in the time of year somebody is born. Psychologists now widely agree that both early life experiences and time of birth are a great influence on the development of a person’s character. [11] Of course, this does not make the whole of a person’s character, but rather the foundation or base on which later changes are made. [12] However, these later changes in character are not connected with the person’s time of birth. So the question is, then, after all these personality changes have happened, can we look at an adult and see any of this foundation or base as part of their psychological make-up? The technique I have been using to do just this is a very simple one, but I believe, very effective. I have simply made a statistical comparison between people’s choice of career and their zodiac sign. [13] Where somebody has made a strong choice in favour of a particular kind of career, I believe that this indicates something very important in their character. If you look at a particular profession, say entertainers for example, and find that more than 15% of them were born in a certain short period of the year, it suggests that their choice of that profession is in some way connected with their birth at that particular time of the year. And this is, in fact, the case. An astonishing 20% of artists and entertainers were born in the period between the 12th of July and the 20th of August. [14] This, in fact, is the most positive connection we have found so far. But there have been others although they have been less obvious. [15] We looked at keen sports players participating more than five times a week and found a sizable number were born in the winter months of January and February. [16] Another group of people we looked at were frequent travellers, who we discovered were more likely to have been born in early spring while accountants, bankers, executives and people generally in financial professions more frequently have birthdays in the late spring.

Now, so far, we haven’t found any professions containing large percentages of one particular star sign, which is a little disappointing [17], but this is, no doubt, because our modern technological world has removed us further and further from the effects of nature [18]. If, as was the case in the past, many people lived closer to nature, we could be seeing percentages as high as 40 or 50 or even more. This of course would mean that we would have…

Part 3

Speaker 1
Well, I suppose some of it was quite nice but it really could have been so much better. After all, I went to a lot of effort this year to make it something special, but somehow it didn’t quite work. I mean everybody had masses to eat, there were eight of us sitting down to dinner, and we must have spent a fortune on presents this year, but looking around the room, you couldn’t see it in people’s faces. And then there was all the quarrelling over what we were going to watch on TV, and I don’t seem to remember a single person actually saying thank you and really meaning it. [19]

Speaker 2
I was all set to have another unexciting Christmas in the bedsitter where I’m living now. Of course, I’d sent my kids Christmas presents but I knew I wouldn’t be hearing from them. My ex-wife doesn’t allow it. So I’d bought myself a two pound chicken from Dewhursts and a four-pack of Lion Brand Extra and I got a stack of pound coins for the electric meter so that at least I could be warm and watch some telly. And then, just as I was just putting the chicken into the oven, there was a knock at the door and it was the father of the family just across the road saying they’d noticed that I was going to be alone that day and would I like to join them. And of course, I had a wonderful time. [20]

Speaker 3
It isn’t over yet. I mean, we’ve had the actual festivities on the 25th, but there’s so much more to Christmas than that. [21] Our parish church is putting on a festival of 9 lessons and carols on Sunday evening. And if that’s not your cup of tea then there’s the Charitable Association Santa Claus pram-race on Monday, although I won’t be taking part in that this year. And this Christmas it’s even been snowing so I’ll be taking my grandchildren up to Connerston Hill for some tobogganing or they can build a snowman if the snow’s good enough. That’s on Tuesday and then…

Speaker 4
It wasn’t as good as it’s been in the past. For a start the telly was pretty disappointing, especially after last year’s. I mean we had ‘Terminator’ last Christmas Eve, but all we got this year was ‘Robocop’ again. And the weather, huh, the weather’s been really bad, so most of the football was cancelled and then to top it all, our video machine broke down on Christmas day so there’s been nothing to watch all Christmas. And then, just to finish off any last chance of a decent holiday, someone suggested we all played Monopoly. Well, I went out to walk the dog in the snow. [22]

Speaker 5
Well, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it. I spent the three days before the twenty-fifth standing outside Fielding’s pet shop with a placard trying to stop people buying pets as presents. And did they listen? People were going in and out of the pet shop all day and you should have seen the number of baby cats, dogs and rabbits that people were buying as presents. And you know what’s going to happen to them. The same as every year. A week after Christmas they’ll be out on the streets fending for themselves in temperatures well below zero. But what’s most distressing is the tropical birds. These beautiful animals can die in a matter of hours if left outside. [23]

Part 4

Ivan: I say, waiter. We’re ready to order.
Hannah: Not so loud, darling – people are looking. [24]
Ivan: Ah, there you are. What kept you? er… Jo-elle.
Joel: Just a little mix-up with one of the other orders, sir.
Ivan: I’m not surprised. I don’t know who wrote this load of nonsense but it’s all Greek to me…
Hannah: Darling, it’s perfectly plain and obvious. I’ve just explained it. You choose a starter from list A, a main course from list B and dessert from list C and the prices are all colour-coded.
Ivan: Well, what if I wanted two starters.
Joel: I’d have to ask the manager about that, sir and I don’t think he’d be too happy. [25]
Ivan: No, no, there’s no need for that Jo-elle, we’ll just order one of everything as my wife said.
Joel: Well, do you know what you’d like, sir?
Ivan: Well, my wife will have the garlic mushrooms and a T-bone steak well-done on both sides and…
Joel: Sorry, sir. You have to give me the numbers. You see the garlic mushrooms are A36 up here.
Ivan: Oh, I see. Well, you could try writing the numbers a bit more clearly. Er, can you deal with this, dear? I’ve left my reading glasses in the car. [26]
Hannah: Uh, uh. Now, where were we?.. Oh yes. We’ll have one A36, one B7 and one C15 and my husband will have A12, B3… oh hang on, did you want to ask about the quiche, dear?
Ivan: Ah, oh yes. Does the quiche contain animal fat, Joelle?
Joel: I’ve never really thought about that – I used to be a vegetarian but I eat almost everything now. [27]
Hannah: I’m sure the quiche is fine, dear. We’ll have one B3, Joelle.
Joel: It’s Joel actually, you don’t pronounce the ‘E’.
Ivan: I could go for something else. Can you see anything, dear?
Hannah: Oh, sorry. Er, yes. There’s a nut roast – number B33 and it’s with lemon sauce – sounds nice.
Ivan: Lemon sauce? That’s a bit odd. Is it any good er… ‘Joel’?
Joel: I don’t know, sir. I don’t eat nuts myself – they don’t agree with my digestion.
Ivan: I wasn’t asking about you Joel, I just wanted to know if it’s popular.
Joel: Ah, it’s one of our most popular dishes, sir.
Ivan: Okay then, nut roast and lemon B33 and one banana split.
Hannah: That’s C11.
Ivan: Thank you, dear – and don’t forget the extra cream. [28]
Joel: I’m sorry, sir, but all our meals are assembled in advance and nothing extra can be added – or removed. [29]
Ivan: What kind of restaurant is this?
Hannah: Ivan, calm down. He’s doing his best.
Joel: Will that be all then?
Ivan: Suppose it’ll have to be.
Joel: Well, if you’ll wait just one and a half minutes, I’ll bring you your food.
Ivan: My word, that’s very efficient. Even the officer’s canteen in Stanbroke isn’t that fast. Just shows what a bit of organisation and… [30]

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