FCE Listening Practice Test 8

Answer Keys

Part 1
1. B
2. B
3. A
4. C
5. C
6. A
7. A
8. A
Part 2
9. (great) name
10. chest
11. northern
12. forests
13. (the) winter
14. (the/some) human(s)
15. berries
16. (a) platform
17. (small/little) mice
18. (funny) diary
Part 3
19. G
20. B
21. A
22. H
23. F
Part 4
24. C
25. B
26. C
27. A
28. A
29. A
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

1.
John: Oh hi it’s me, John. Sorry to miss you – you must’ve already left for work. Look, I wondered if you wanted to come away for the weekend [1]. There’ll be about 10 of us including someone called Sam Brent who says he was at college with you – and he remembers that you were brilliant at rock and roll! They’ve decided it’ll be on October 9, Friday night till Sunday. Anyway, I’ll put the details in the post. I know you’re busy at the moment, so don’t feel you have to come, but just let me know one way or the other when you can. Talk to you soon. Bye.

2.
Woman: So how did you like the new sports centre?
Man: Well, there’s a wide choice of things to do… It’s just that their advertisements said ‘something to suit all the family’. I wish they’d had water games for the under fives. There was nothing really suitable for them. [2] But you can learn to windsurf or sail, and you have the freedom to go anywhere in the lake …
Woman: Isn’t that a bit dangerous?
Man: Not really. Nobody’s allowed in the water without a lifejacket, and a rescue boat is on hand all the time.
Woman: Sounds great.
Man: It was

3.
Interviewer: Are you ever annoyed by interviewers?
Star: Well, I’m often asked about the financial side of things. I don’t mind, but I can honestly say, for many tournaments, I don’t even know what the prize money is. I just focus on playing to my full potential. They must find that answer disappointing! No, the ones I have a problem with are those who assume it’s all about partying and gossip. [3] I wish they’d ask about the real lifestyle: practising day in, day out, and getting from tournament to tournament. I probably do around a hundred long-haul flights a year. It sounds exciting, but it wipes you out and actually ruins your social life!

4.
Poet: I’ve been slowly writing more and more poems for kids over the last few years. Talking to young people in schools, which I’ve been doing for some time now, reinforces my belief that they need and want the same range of subjects that older people do – relationships, work, family, etc. Often it’s something that only emerges after my poems are finished, but quite a few of them in my new collection were first thought of as poems for adults, until I realised that they might work just as well, or better, for kids. But I hope it’s a book that adults will enjoy too. [4]

5.
Woman: Did you watch that programme about the Gobi Desert last night? I thought it’d be really interesting because it’s a part of the world I know very little about.
Man: The photography was brilliant, wasn’t it?
Woman: Yes, you could really feel how harsh the life was there.
Man: Overwhelmingly grey, I thought. It’d be hard to feel cheerful living in that landscape.
Woman: It was a bit short on facts though, wasn’t it? [5]
Man: I don’t think it was that kind of programme. They just wanted you to be amazed at the fantastic landscape. I guess that’s why there wasn’t much commentary.
Woman: You’re right. I hadn’t thought of that.

6.
Man: So, your first live ice-hockey game. Glad you came?
Woman: Well, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but it was so cold – I had no idea that it would be like that. I wish I’d brought my thicker coat!
Man: That’s normal! At least it was a really exciting game – our team was doing much better than usual.
Woman: Well, perhaps that accounts for the noise! I knew it would be loud, but it was incredible. [6]
Man: What do you expect? We have to support them!
Woman: Well I can say I’ve done it – just don’t expect to see me here next week!

7.
Man: I can see why people really rate the place.
Woman: Yeah. They really know how to bring out the flavours in the different dishes. They also put a lot of thought into combining unusual ingredients. And as a restaurant it’s not too stuffy and formal. It’s got a really lively feel about it.
Man: Perhaps a little too lively. It was quite hard to hear each other above the din. I’m not sure it’d be the place to come for a romantic dinner. Great food though, and so visually appealing on the plate. [7]
Woman: They’ve made a lot of effort with that. It really adds to the experience, doesn’t it? [7]

8.
Radio: As a result of heavy snow, there has been major disruption to rail services this morning. A number of breakdowns have been reported in the west, with people stranded on some trains. In this region blizzard conditions are making driving conditions hazardous. A severely restricted train service will be operating within the next few hours into the capital and delays are expected on all lines in the south of the country. [8] In the north, there is some snow, but services have been able to continue, with only a few cancellations reported.

Part 2

Thanks for inviting me tonight. As you know, my main interest is in conservation and I’m lucky enough to work with lots of different organisations looking after animals both in captivity and in the wild.

I’d been fascinated by all kinds of bears for a long time before I started working in this field. But it was the spectacled bear that really attracted me – some people find it appealing because of its size and shape, and it’s less well known than other types of bear, but for me I thought it was such a great name! [9] It comes from the patches of yellowish fur around the bear’s eyes which grow in a sort of circle shape, like glasses, although these golden markings vary greatly from one bear to another and may not be limited to the eyes – they can extend as far as the bear’s cheeks or even chest. [10]

I’d like to explain what we know about this bear, and why I find it so fascinating. It’s the only survivor of a type of bear that once ranged across America during the last Ice Age. We thought that it was only found in certain places in Venezuela and Chile, but I was thrilled to read some reports that suggested it might also be living in northern parts of Argentina and eastern Panama. [11]

It’s quite difficult to find spectacled bears in the wild because they are quite shy animals, and tend to live in a wide variety of habitats, which can range from dry coastal deserts to high mountain areas above 4,000 meters. They are most commonly found in forests, though. [12] Being such timid animals they tend to come out at night, which is another thing that makes them difficult to see, though, like me, you may be surprised to learn that they don’t sleep all through the winter as many other types of bear do. [13]

We’re not sure about the actual number of spectacled bears that remain in the wild, but it’s been estimated that there are only about 2,400 still around. The bears are endangered not so much because they are hunted by other animals, but what I find really sad is the fact that humans destroy their habitat. [14] Spectacled bears are quite small compared with other bears, and of course they do have other enemies – these mostly include mountain lions and jaguars – but they remain a smaller threat.

The bears are primarily vegetarian, and their normal diet is tree bark and berries. [15] On rare occasions though they eat honey, which I thought was just something in children’s books. I was interested to find that they are incredibly good climbers, and one thing I found really funny is that they’ve been known to sit up a tree for days – they make a platform – why? – I couldn’t guess [16], but they’re waiting for fruit to ripen so they can eat it! It’s quite surprising that although they rarely eat meat they have extremely strong jaws and wide, flat teeth. Very occasionally they do eat meat – something like birds or insects though they like small mice best if they can get them! [17]

We’re really trying to make people more aware of the bears, and we’ve made a television series about one man’s efforts to make people understand the dangers facing the animals. He spent a long time in Peru studying them, and has published a very funny diary of his time there. [18] I hope everyone will read it, and support our efforts to help these fascinating creatures!

Part 3

Speaker 1
We spent a day exploring the shops and markets in the city, and bought some souvenirs. Then we wanted to see some of the area outside the city, and discovered it was easy to get to loads of places by train, including the mountains, where we were told there were great hostels. You can do bushwalks out there and apparently the scenery is stunning. But it can be dangerous – we were warned to have the right gear and tell other people where we were going. So we decided to give it a miss. Anyway, we weren’t short of things to do in the city! We were spoilt for choice [19].

Speaker 2
We were pretty tired when we first arrived so we were glad just to relax. We’d booked late and I have to say that the room wasn’t the best I’ve stayed in. But we had a view of the lake, which was a real treat – we were really impressed by the forests and mountains around the city. [20] We made good use of the swimming pool, though we were too lazy to go to the famous markets. We didn’t take advantage of all the shows either. Lots of people told us how good they were so that was a pity. And the theatres themselves were supposed to be impressive.

Speaker 3
One of my main ambitions was to see inside the big concert hall – and in fact we managed to get in to a concert there, which was pretty special. The acoustics were amazing! The city was divided by a river, and getting round had its problems, especially as we didn’t really understand the city plan. The best way was the ferries – I was really impressed that they were always on time and provided good views in the city. [21] The trams were good too, and the local commuters seemed happy to chat to us and give us ideas for the best things to do and see. We didn’t have time to do everything, though.

Speaker 4
Before we went we couldn’t decide where to stay – so many people recommended different places, and there seemed to be loads of different and unusual possibilities, like old traditional farms converted into guest houses – so we decided to move around and try something different every couple of nights. That worked out really well, and they were all excellent. [22] Although we’d been told that getting round on the buses was easy and cheap in the city, we decided to rent a car so that we could get out into the countryside – we didn’t want to miss out on the views driving along by the ocean.

Speaker 5
Even though we had a city plan we got lost several times – especially in the old town where the buildings were quite similar – though I know some people say getting lost is the best way to get to know a city! We were never short of help, though – some people were even prepared to walk with us to show us the way. [23] That was something I’ll always remember! Our hotel was all right without being spectacular, and it was a long walk in to the evening shows – we took a taxi most times. There was loads to do every day, though, and we certainly weren’t bored.

Part 4

Interviewer: This evening in our series ‘Careers with a Difference’ our guest is Rachel Reed who works for a small commercial art gallery. Rachel, welcome.
Rachel: Hello.
Interviewer: Rachel, what exactly do you do?
Rachel: Well, there’s two great things about working for a really small company. Firstly, you get to do a bit of everything. The other is that you can practically invent your job title. Mine is marketing manager – although I do a lot of other things too, it does describe the majority of what I do [24].
Interviewer: So, tell us about your day.
Rachel: Well, it all starts with the huge pile of post we get. We often get artists sending in photographs of their work to see if we’d be interested in exhibiting it. I learned very early on how to differentiate between the ‘possibles’ and those which are unsuitable.
Interviewer: But how do you tell?
Rachel: It might be the style, or sometimes the subject matter is just not going to look right in our gallery, but more often than not, it’s just that they’re not of the required standard. [25] The ‘possibles’ I pass on to the gallery manager who makes the final decision.
Interviewer: So you have quite a lot of contact with artists?
Rachel: Yes. Sometimes I spend nearly all day on the phone and about fifty percent of the time it’s artists. I send letters explaining why we can’t show their work – some of them phone up to argue about it – I find those calls very hard to deal with [26]. Artists we do exhibit also phone to find out if we’ve managed to sell anything and, if we have, when the money will be coming through. I don’t mind those so much. Most other calls are from clients. We have a new artist exhibiting here every two to four weeks and before the show takes place, we send out a catalogue to the clients on our database.
Interviewer: Obviously the catalogue’s illustrated?
Rachel: Oh yes, and as soon as the catalogue goes out, we start getting phone calls because people see something they like and want to reserve it. Sometimes they even buy things over the phone. The catalogue also contains a commentary about the artist, which I have to write and research. I try to find out what has influenced them, where they learned to paint, what the subject matter represents [27], that sort of thing, but I try to avoid quoting from positive reviews of their work; it’s not meant to be advertising as such.
Interviewer: So your job is not all administrative?
Rachel: Compared to a typical office, that side of it’s quite minimal, that’s why I can cope without an assistant. There are systems in place to deal with routine jobs. For instance, I don’t have to send out the catalogues – the company which prints them also prints the envelopes and posts them. Another company takes care of the food and drinks when we have the opening of a new exhibition. [28]
Interviewer: And are you involved in other aspects of the business?
Rachel: Yes. The company also offers a consultancy service for large companies that want to display works of art in their offices. I phone round companies, explain what we do and, if they’re interested, make an appointment for the gallery manager to go and see them. [29] It’s interesting, the companies tend to go much more for modern or abstract art than people coming to the gallery.
Interviewer: And the best part of the job for you?
Rachel: The really rewarding thing for me is that you never know how a day is going to go [30]. Some days it’ll be really quiet, other days it’s really busy and you don’t know what you’re going to have to cope with. And there’s the added bonus of working with really nice people and of course I have the pleasure of spending my days surrounded by beautiful works of art, so I can’t complain.
Interviewer: Thank you Rachel, and now we’ll move on to …

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