FCE Listening Practice Test 29 - EngExam.info
FCE Listening Practice Test 29

FCE Listening Practice Test 29

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. C
2. B
3. A
4. C
5. C
6. A
7. B
8. C
Part 2
9. Business Administration
10. aeronautical engineering
11. Western Europe
12. Private Pilot’s Licence
13. across the Sahara
14. over the Alps
15. Zanussi
16. balloon manufacturing capital
17. the highest level
18. degree
Part 3
19. D
20. E
21. A
22. F
23. C
Part 4
24. B
25. A
26. A
27. C
28. A
29. B
30. C


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
Lecturer:… which was highly controversial anyway and of course if you consider the implications of this new law… uh… yes?
Student: Excuse me. I’m sorry to interrupt. You said something very important about the core laws and I was just wondering…
Lecturer: Actually, they were the corn laws – you know the agricultural plant.
Student: Oh, sorry… I missed some of what you said, it was very fast. Could you possibly go back over this? [1]
Lecturer: Well, no. You’ll find all of that in my book. Price fifteen ninety-nine at the college book shop. Now, where was I?

Question 2
No doubt, all of you listening are worried about taxes and so you should be. The Christian Democratic Alliance have said nothing about their plans to alter the tax brackets and these are changes that will go straight to the pockets of hardworking people like yourselves, and we all know where the Social Liberal Democrats stand on this issue. They’ll be taxing everything in sight. However, we in the L.D.P. believe in a fairer approach to administering the national economy. [2]

Question 3
Hello, Half-Way Hotel. Can I help you?… Yes, we take bookings… um… er… well, actually, I’m very sorry, but I don’t think we’ll be able to manage that. I suggest you try ringing the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. They have over twice the number of rooms we have and offer very much the same facilities and standards, although you will end up paying rather more. [3]

Question 4
… and now we’re just dying to see the next episode to see if they really… Kylie! Put that down! It doesn’t belong to you. I said, put it down! How many times have I told you not to touch things that don’t belong to you? [4] Now, where were we?

Question 5
Anyway, the CD was in the machine. I couldn’t get it out, I couldn’t play it and I was worried because I wasn’t sure if it was still under guarantee. I was also furious because it was Angie’s favourite album. So, I took the whole machine along to Luntham’s service counter expecting to hear the worst, and they were wonderful. Said they’d been getting quite a lot of the same complaint about that model, and he fixed it right there in front of me, and I didn’t have to pay a penny. [5] Not like some shops I could mention.

Question 6
Yes, hello… I’d like a taxi… Yes, just one taxi… The name is Carter… Yes, I’m at the Half-Way Hotel… I’d like to go to Radleigh Road number two-six-nine… How soon can you send a cab?… OK then, that’s fine. [6] I’ll be waiting outside the main entrance. Thank you

Question 7
That station-master was really helpful, wasn’t he? I mean, he didn’t have to tell me about the young person’s travel card. I’ve just saved three pounds off the full price. This ticket would have cost me nine pounds fifty but with the card it’s only six fifty, which is, in fact, a lot less than I paid last year and that was before the fares increased. It was seven fifty then. Mind you, I did also have to pay ten pounds to buy the card, but it’s going to be very useful over the next few months what with travelling to Scotland… [7]

Question 8
And that, of course, was the latest single from the Vegetables and that is currently at number nine in the charts after six weeks in the top 10. And still at number one for the seventh successive week, the song that everyone loved when they first heard it, but I think we’re all ready for a new number one, aren’t we? [8] Well, if you’re not, here it is again, ‘Husky Lady’ from Rap It Up.

Part 2

Speaker: Douglas Finch is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration [9] in recognition of his outstanding scientific, design, and entrepreneurial achievements and their important contribution to the history and reputation of Bristol.

Douglas Finch was born near Glasgow and attended Allan Glen’s School before reading aeronautical engineering at Glasgow University, from which he graduated in 1961 [10]. He gained a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering at Cornell University, USA in 1963 before returning to the United Kingdom and joining the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

He joined the Bristol Gliding Club and in 1965 received the Silver ‘C’ Gliding Badge. In 1967 he helped build the ‘Bristol Belle’, a red and white striped balloon which made its first flights at Weston-on-the-Green near Oxford. It was the first modern hot air balloon in Western Europe. [11] In 1968 Doug Finch was issued with the first ever Private Pilot’s Licence for Hot Air Balloons. [12]

The success of Doug Finch in translating his ballooning expertise into a commercial concern is reflected in the birth and success of his company, Finch Balloons of Bristol, which was formed by Finch in 1971 – five years after he constructed his first balloon. The new company was based in Dutton, Bristol, where a total of twenty-nine balloons were made in the basement of the property. 1971 also saw Finch build Golden Falcon, a balloon designed specifically to fly across the Sahara. [13]

In 1972 Doug Finch received the Royal Aeronautical Club Bronze Medal, the first awarded for hot air airships. A year later he was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Club Silver Medal for the first balloon flight over the Alps. [14] In the same year he received the Lighter Than Air Society (USA) Achievement Award for the development of the first hot air ship. Five years later he attempted the first Atlantic crossing by balloon for which he received the Royal Aeronautical Club Gold Medal. In 1978 his attempt to make the premier Atlantic crossing by balloon ended when bad weather forced his heated helium balloon ‘Zanussi’ down after a 2,000 mile flight from Canada. [15]

The Finch company moved to its present site in Gellingborough in 1983 and in the following years all of the records for distance and duration were taken by pilots flying Finch balloons. In 1989 Finch Balloons Limited received the Queen’s Award for Export, confirmation that Doug Finch had made Bristol the undisputed balloon manufacturing capital of the world. [16] During the 1990s interest in becoming the first to fly around the world by balloon became intense and almost all the contenders have used Finch helium or hot air balloons.

Doug Finch has advanced the science, technology and art of balloon flight to the highest level. [17] His factory in Bristol is the world’s largest and last year he was awarded the Prince Philip Design Award.

Doug Finch will receive his Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration at the award ceremony at Bristol Business School [18] on Tuesday 20 November at 11.30 am at Bristol Cathedral.

Part 3

Speaker 1
People tell me I should cash in on it, sell up and move out to the country. Prices have gone up so much around here that I could get a lovely place somewhere rural. I don’t know though, it had never really occurred to me before. I’ve lived half my life here and don’t really see much reason for a change. But while you might say the area has gone upmarket and improved, with these new bistros and shops, well it’s lost something too. A lot of the character it used to have… I mean, now I don’t even know my neighbours’ names and they don’t know mine. So I’m not sure if I should stick around now. Moving… well, it’s food for thought. [19]

Speaker 2
There was a time around here that you could leave your front door open morning, noon and night. Kids just played in the street unsupervised and only came home when it got dark or their dinner was on the table. Everybody knew everybody else… and their business… so it wasn’t all great!… But over the last few years it’s got worse and worse and I’ve no idea why, I really don’t. Mrs Peters at number 36, she was mugged just last Thursday, 50 pounds and her mobile phone she lost. [20]

Speaker 3
When we saw it we just fell in love with it. The old wooden floors, the heavy oak doors, the delightful bay windows… and the garden… the garden’s going to be glorious in spring. We’ll have picnics, maybe even barbecues. Of course there’s lots of work to be done before it’s perfect, if it ever will be… But we seem to be settling in. [21] Most of the local shopkeepers seem to know our names now and most people say hello in the street. It’s such a change from living in the city. And when the kids go back to school there’s a really good one at the other end of the village. I’ll probably have to walk them there though… the high street is very busy with cars and I don’t want to risk them crossing a busy road on their own.

Speaker 4
Well, with the kids now, there’s just not enough room for all of us. We had to do it really. Obviously, I would have liked to have stayed here, but it’s for the best. It was just impractical really. And now we’ll have a lovely place. I’ve lived here since I left home. I never imagined then how much my life would change. Look out of the window, see that shop, that’s where I bought my first suit for my first day of work, and there’s the café where I met Karen, my wife. The idea of moving was hard at first, leaving all these memories behind. Still, it’s for the best and it’s not like we’re moving to the other side of the world. It’s only a ten minute drive and I can pop back whenever I like. [22]

Speaker 5
I realise now it wasn’t the right thing to do. We jumped in too quick; we just took one look at the cottage and the village and we fell in love. We didn’t really think about the practicalities. It all seemed so idyllic really. Country houses with beautiful gardens, cricket on the village green, the village fete, the duck pond… it seemed like we were going back in time. But once you’re used to all that, spent a year or so here… well… that’s when the realities kick in. There’s not really much to do. If we want to go to the cinema it’s a half hour drive to the multiplex on the ring road. If we want to eat in a good restaurant or see an exhibition we have to go into town, which with traffic can take over an hour and a half. And while the kids don’t mind it now, I dread to think what they’ll be like when they’re a bit older… there’s literally nothing for teenagers to do here. I guess we should have given it a bit more practical thought before we dived in and moved. [23]

Part 4

Roy (presenter): We’ve all heard of fun-runs and half marathons, maybe we’ve even competed in them… but how many of us have heard of ultra-marathons? My guest today is Stan Woodcock who is going to tell us all about ultramarathons. Hi, Stan, thanks for coming. Maybe I could start by asking you the obvious question… what exactly is an ultra marathon? [24]

Stan (the athlete): Hello Roy, thanks for inviting me onto the programme. Well, you know there’s no straightforward answer to your question. Not all ultra marathons are the same. [25] The simplest answer I can give you is that it involves running further than a normal marathon, which is 42.195 kilometres. Basically you could divide them into two types as well, those that cover a specific distance and those that take place within a specific time period, with the winner being the runner who has covered the most distance. [25]

Roy: What sort of distances and time periods are we talking about here?

Stan: Well, the timed events range from 6, 12 and 24 hours to 3 and 6 days. In terms of the distance races, the most common distances are 50 and 100 kilometres.

Roy: 6 days? Surely here in Britain, we’d run out of anywhere to run to!

Stan: No – timed events are generally run on a track or a short road course, usually about a kilometre in length.

Roy: And how popular are ultra marathons?

Stan: More popular than you’d think. In Europe alone there were more than 200 ultra-marathons last year. There are a few in Africa, including the world’s oldest, the 89 kilometre ‘comrades marathon’ in South Africa which attracts about 12,000 runners a year [26] and a 250 kilometre race in Namibia called ‘racing the planet’… it’s becoming more popular in Asia. Taiwan, Japan and Korea have all hosted ultra-marathons, and India held its first in Bangalore in 2007. There’s even an ultramarathon held in Antarctica!

Roy: And I believe you’ve just returned from the United States; tell us about that. From what you told me before the programme, it sounds impossible!

Stan: Well, I took part in the Badwater Ultra-marathon, which is a terrific test of your personal endurance. [27] It’s a 215 km course which starts at 85 metres below sea level and ends at the top of Mount Whitney in Death Valley, California… 2,548 metres above sea level. What makes it particularly tricky is that it’s held in July, when temperatures can reach 49 degrees in the shade. A guy called Al Arnold pioneered the course, first attempting it in 1974 [28], but he failed to finish due to dehydration. He tried again the following year but sustained a knee injury, but in 1977 he was the first to finish it, with a time of eighty hours. [29]

Roy: That sounds like quite a trial, Stan. Can I ask you just one last question, and I hope it doesn’t sound rude… but, why do you do it, it sounds crazy?

Stan: Don’t worry, I’m asked that all the time. Maybe I used to ask myself too. But I can tell you this… it has taught me how I can take responsibility for my life and thereby guide my own destiny instead of blaming other people and being victimised by my own imperfections. It confirmed that the anger and rage that exists in most of us is based on our inability to accept our own inadequacies. It has taught me that we all have the strength and conviction to deal with adversity – if we can just tap into it. But more than anything, it has left me feeling profoundly grateful for my family and friends, appreciation of what I have, who I am, and where I am going in my life. [30]

Roy: Stan Woodcock, thanks for coming in and speaking to us.