9. street lights
11. (total) silence
12. get up
14. Internet (connection)
15. (mobile) (phone) calls
16. bus stop
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.
Radio: This movie has been widely advertised as the big cinema event of the autumn and it certainly has its positive aspects. For instance, the photography is superb, particularly in the outdoor scenes, and the soundtrack perfectly matches the setting and the content throughout. Rather frequently, though, I lost track of the plot, as – I suspect – did many others in the audience . In fact, it was just as well that all the leading actors put in such strong performances or I would have lost interest long before the final third of the film, when the tension – and with it the volume of the music – really starts to rise.
Man: If a group of us travel together, we might be able to get something off the standard rates for fares to other countries, because it’s becoming impossible without some sort of discount .
Woman: There would have to be a lot off, the way prices are going . It’d be worth it, though, to see a bit of the world.
Man: I don’t know. There are lots of fun things you can do here in summer, and you don’t add to global pollution by flying everywhere.
Woman: You can take a train, or a bus. Or even go by ship. None of those leaves much of a carbon footprint.
Woman: I often used to listen to that travel programme on the car radio, and although apparently they once mentioned Dolphin Bay I don’t recall it. So it wasn’t until last summer that I became aware of the existence of that wonderful place thanks to a TV documentary , following which I went to see it for myself. Since then I’ve discovered a whole website about it, with lots of fantastic photos, a video of dolphin families in the clear blue water, and links to blogs by other people who love the place as much as I do.
Woman: After I’d been waiting in the queue for ten minutes I thought that while I was there I might as well also get some stamps for another parcel I need to send quite soon, but then I realised I didn’t have any cash on me. This one, the one I was actually there to pick up , had been sent some time ago and delivered to my house yesterday, but as there was no-one in they left a note saying it would be here from this morning.
Woman: It’s essential we ensure that no more hedges are cut down.
Man: I mentioned that at a council meeting, but someone from the transport department said hedges prevented drivers from seeing other vehicles approaching, which could cause accidents.
Woman: That’s just ridiculous, isn’t it?
Man: Yes, it is. And there are people who’ve moved here from the city saying they don’t want the views from their country homes spoilt by tall hedges.
Woman: They really don’t know how vital they are, how many species depend on them as a place to live. And they would probably be the first people to complain if some of those species started disappearing .
Motorcyclist: It was a lovely sunny morning in autumn when I set off for the North, and for the first hour it was a wonderful feeling riding round the long, fast bends on such a powerful bike. But suddenly it started to rain and the temperature dropped alarmingly. Within minutes I was frozen, and I had to slow down because of wet leaves on the road. It’s at moments like that when some start to wonder whether they should’ve bought a car instead, but I’ve never felt that myself. Though I do admit that on that occasion it might have been sensible to find a more comfortable way to travel .
Student: I didn’t really want to change college, even though this one’s a slightly shorter walk from my house than the old one, and to be honest I’m still not used to the way maths and science are taught here . I’d also wondered, before the term started, whether the other students might be a bit suspicious of me because I’d come from a rather exclusive college, but in fact they couldn’t have been more welcoming. That’s made it a lot less difficult to settle
Instructor: Well, you’re definitely making progress and you should be ready to take your test within a month or so. There are just a couple of points. Firstly, you’re quite right to stay well below the speed limit, but on the other hand you shouldn’t be holding up the traffic either. You would’ve realised that if you’d checked in your mirror on Kings Road, which you should’ve done . Actually, I was also wondering whether you’d spot that ‘keep left’ sign as we approached the end of the main road, but clearly you did and that was a definite plus.
Fiona Doyle: My parents now both work from home so they made the decision to move from our city-centre flat to the countryside, although it meant big changes for the whole family. It was a winter evening when we first went to the village, and as we walked along the pavement I remarked on how dark it was without the street lights of the city, and how bright that made the lights of the cars seem  as they approached. I also noticed the sound of running water, and when we reached the house I was delighted to discover that it stood next to a little bridge over a stream. I soon decided I liked the house. It has thick stone walls, high ceilings and wooden floors. The central heating keeps the temperature in all the rooms pleasant throughout the year, although during the colder months those in the basement tend to get a bit damp , probably because of the stream. My room is actually on the other side of the house so I don’t hear it at night, which is a pity, really. I was used to the constant big-city background noise of traffic and voices, and for a while after we moved in I’d keep waking up in the middle of the night owing to the total silence there . It doesn’t bother me now, though, and these days I look forward to settling down for the night in my large, comfortable bed. I rarely stay up any later than when I was in the flat, and in the mornings I normally wake up at the same time, but there aren’t the sounds of the city telling you it’s time to get up so I’m usually in far less of a hurry to do so . The atmosphere here is so relaxing, and I have a wonderful view from the window of my room. Whereas before I’d see city wildlife like cats, dogs and maybe the occasional fox, here I start the day to the sound of distant farm animals and the sight of rabbits in the open fields . Apparently there are also deer around, though I haven’t actually spotted any yet. The pace of life in the countryside is certainly slower, but I think I’ve adjusted pretty well to it. I must confess, though, that I can get a bit fed up with the speed of the Internet connection here , compared with how fast it was in the flat downtown. In spite of that I still manage to chat online with my friends there more or less whenever I want, so I don’t have the feeling of missing them that I thought I might have before I moved. There is, though, fairly weak mobile reception out here – sometimes no signal at all – and when that happens I may not receive calls they’re trying to make to me , which can be annoying. I suppose poor public transport is another disadvantage of living in the country. There isn’t a railway station within five kilometres, it’s nearly a two-kilometre walk to get to a bus stop , and taxis charge a fortune to come out here. It’s so different from where I grew up, where the buses stop right outside your home or you can take the Underground.
You can live quite happily there without a car, but not here . People say ‘why not go by bike?’, but the reality is that it’s just too far to ride anywhere from here – and dangerous on those country roads, especially in the dark. I’ll just have to rely on my parents for lifts everywhere until I pass my driving test, which I hope will be before I go to university next year. Fortunately, it’ll be a shorter drive from here than from where I used to live , and I’ll avoid the awful traffic on the roads in and out of the city, too!
There was a storm blowing as I walked along the cliffs, and down below I noticed a rowing boat being thrown about by the huge waves. I took out my phone to call the rescue services, or the police, but there was no signal. If the boat had hit the rocks it would have been smashed to pieces, so I ran along the cliff top until I came to a small bay. I ran back and shouted to the crew to row towards it as hard as they could, and eventually they managed it . There the waves pushed their boat into the bay, where they were able to take shelter.
It was my first night out in that city, and when I saw the last bus home disappearing round the corner I knew I had a problem. It was cold and I couldn’t afford a taxi, but I didn’t want to bother my host family by asking them to pick me up so I set off on foot, telling myself it’d only take me an hour or so. Four hours later I was still walking. I was soaked through and my hands were frozen. When I eventually reached the house the family said how worried they’d been, and asked why I hadn’t phoned. By then I wished I had .
I realised straight away I’d been overcharged, but it was only by a small amount and my first thought was to forget about it as I was in a hurry. Then I noticed the assistant glance at me and somehow I knew it had been deliberate . I gently pointed out the error, but he became quite aggressive. Not wanting to get into a row about it, I asked to speak to the manager, and when she came over I explained that I hadn’t been given the correct change. The assistant angrily denied this, but the manager pointed to a security camera right above us. He immediately gave me my money.
Carlos, Alfonso and I had been camping in the mountains, and it was time to leave. Just then a dense mist descended and soon we realised we were completely lost. I was in favour of keeping going along the path, while Carlos suggested heading downhill. Alfonso, though, wanted to phone Mountain Rescue for help. The two of them had just started arguing when a shepherd appeared. I asked him which way we should go and he said we’d taken a wrong turning at the bridge, so we headed back the way we’d come , turned left by the river instead of right, and within twenty minutes we’d reached the village.
I was doing a cross-country run when suddenly I tripped and fell, feeling a sharp pain in my ankle. As I lay there I wondered whether I’d be able to stand on it, maybe even carry on running, but I remembered what I’d been taught as a nurse so I kept it still, checking to see if it was broken . It didn’t seem to be so I decided against calling an ambulance, but I didn’t want to take any chances so I phoned my sister. She immediately offered to come and collect me, and within fifteen minutes she was able to help me to the car and take me home.
Interviewer: Could you tell us, Amy, about the first time you travelled abroad, and why?
Amy: I was just eighteen, and back in those days I had no confidence in my ability to travel on my own and pick up other languages, much less actually live and work abroad as I do now. So when Carla and Nicky asked if I’d be interested in joining them for a few weeks somewhere sunny, I immediately said ‘yes’  and we chose a holiday on the Spanish island of Ibiza.
Interviewer: Why Ibiza in particular?
Amy: I love seeing new places, and as it was somewhere neither Carla nor I had ever visited before, Nicky agreed she’d like to go back there even though it’d cost a bit more than going to a Greek or Turkish island, say. I suppose what appealed to us was that it offered such a wide range of activities , including of course its famous nightlife. So we found a reasonably-priced package holiday for three, booked it, and on the first of July I headed for the airport.
Interviewer: How did you feel as your journey began?
Amy: To be honest it didn’t start terribly well. I was too late for the airport bus and ended up taking a taxi so as not to miss my flight, only to find at the terminal that it’d been delayed for
two hours. So I spent the morning shopping there, until I suddenly noticed my wallet was half empty, and I hadn’t even left the country yet . Feeling a bit angry with myself, I decided to get something to eat, but the high prices put me off and I wished I’d brought some sandwiches, as the other two had.
Interviewer: And how did you get on?
Amy: Quite well at first, but then there were a couple of disagreements, including one between the other two about who should go out for bread. I don’t eat it much so I wasn’t really bothered, nor was I particularly concerned about Carla’s habit of accidentally locking herself out of the flat, but I did get irritated when I kept seeing used cups , saucers and plates lying around next to the sofa or armchair where she’d been sitting . It’s not something anyone in my family would have done.
Interviewer: Were you missing them?
Amy: Yes, I didn’t want to admit it but I was.
Interviewer: So did you stay in touch with them while you were away?
Amy: Well, before I left, my parents had asked me to phone them while I was away and I’d said I definitely would, but whenever I felt like doing so somehow I couldn’t. I wanted to be able to tell them what a great time I was having, but as soon as they heard my voice they’d know I wasn’t . I felt guilty because they’d topped up my phone for me, so there was no way I could use lack of credit as an excuse.
Interviewer: Did things improve later in the holiday, or did you wish you’d organised things differently?
Amy: A bit of both, really. We decided we’d each make lunch every third day, and that worked pretty well, I found. I was also glad I didn’t have to buy much while I was away because I already had most of the things I needed in my suitcase. I did feel, though, that a fortnight would’ve been enough, and I could have done without the third week there . Still. I was the one who’d actually made the reservation so I couldn’t complain.
Interviewer: How did you feel about it all on your return home?
Amy: I had mixed feelings, really. I knew I’d made mistake but I also felt sure I’d been taught some important lessons which would benefit me the next time I went away . And that gave me the confidence to try again, perhaps with different friends or – more likely – on my own. Because somehow I knew that one day, once I’d graduated in a few years time, I’d return to Spain and get a job there. Which is exactly what I ended up doing.
Interviewer: Thank you, Amy.