| Listening Section 1|
2 19th May
4 Mixed breed
6 020 3634 7957
9 medical history
10 veterinary hours
| Listening Section 2|
11 beauty and serenity
12 main gate
13 ten weeks
14 film night
15 main hall
16 garden office
20 study centre
| Listening Section 3|
21 chain supermarket
22 clothes shop
23 (very) busy schedule
24 rigorous (recruitment)
25 six/6 months
26 on the job
27 Italy or France
28 5 (years)
29 external training
30 too short
| Listening Section 4|
31 romantic notions
32 80/eighty journalists
33 read a lot
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with the tests, please refer to IELTS Listening tips.
EMPLOYEE: Pet Protect UK, how can I help?
CUSTOMER: Oh, hello, there. I’m calling to inquire about your pet insurance plans.
EMPLOYEE: Of course, just give me a second, please.
EMPLOYEE: So, have you checked our website already to see the options we offer?
CUSTOMER: I’ve had a quick glance, and I think I’m interested in the Basic Plan.
EMPLOYEE: Great. I just need to ask a few questions first, then. Is your pet a dog, a cat or a rabbit?
CUSTOMER: It’s a dog.
EMPLOYEE: And is it a puppy, or. .. ?
CUSTOMER: No, he’s three years old.
EMPLOYEE: Right. May I ask, has your dog been insured before? I just adopted him from the rescue centre last week and I think he’d been there a while, so I doubt it.
EMPLOYEE: OK. So you’ve had him for a week, then.
CUSTOMER: That’s correct.
EMPLOYEE: Great. I apologise for asking this, but your dog … What’s his name, by the way?
EMPLOYEE: Fenton. Is that spelled with an F?
CUSTOMER: Yeah, F-E-N-T-O-N. 
EMPLOYEE: Great, thank you for that. So, according to the rescue centre, has Fenton ever attacked, bitten or been aggressive towards a person or another animal?
CUSTOMER: No, not at all.
EMPLOYEE: Excellent. And is he a guide dog, or … ?
CUSTOMER: No, just a house pet.
EMPLOYEE: Great. And you said he’s three years old. Do you know the exact date of birth?
CUSTOMER: Oh, yes, it’s on the adoption certificate. Just give me a sec. Um, it’s May 19th , 2013. 
EMPLOYEE: And do you know, has Fenton been neutered?
CUSTOMER: Yes, he’s been castrated. 
EMPLOYEE: Excellent. And final question, what type of dog is Fenton? Is he a pedigree, a crossbreed or a mixed breed?
CUSTOMER: A crossbreed, I think.
EMPLOYEE: Right. Cross… breed…
CUSTOMER: Wait, sorry. What’s the difference between the three?
EMPLOYEE: A pedigree is a dog whose parents are of the same breed. A crossbreed is from two different breeds, while a mixed breed is three or more.
CUSTOMER: Then he’s a mixed breed. Sorry about that. 
EMPLOYEE: Right, no worries. So, could I take your full name, please?
CUSTOMER: My name is Peter Pischinger. That’s P-I-S-C-H-I-N-G-E-R. 
EMPLOYEE: Right, thank you for that. And your address?
CUSTOMER: That’s 27 Cherry Drive, NW8 3HD.
EMPLOYEE: 3… H… D… And finally a telephone number, please?
CUSTOMER: 020 3634 7957. 
EMPLOYEE: Thank you. Now, you said you were interested in the Basic Plan, is that correct?
CUSTOMER: Yes, that’s correct.
EMPLOYEE: May I ask, are you planning to switch insurance providers after the first year of your pet insurance, or is there a possibility you might renew with us?
CUSTOMER: I haven’t really thought about it. Why?
EMPLOYEE: The reason I’m asking is because if you plan to renew with us, it might be worth considering our Premium or Ultimate Premium plan. With the basic plan you will have to pay the same fee of £8 per month  regardless of how long you stay with us. If you choose one of our other two plans, though, you will receive a discount for the first six months-you’ll only have to pay £12 for Premium and £15 for Ultimate -, and then depending on your circumstances you might be eligible for further discounts after your first year, depending on how many expenses you claim.  If you claim less than £300, you’ll have to pay the same as for the Basic plan, but receive the cover provided by the Premium plan. 
EMPLOYEE: Is that something you might be interested in?
CUSTOMER: I’ll have to think about it. Is it possible to switch to one of the other plans later on?
EMPLOYEE: Yes, of course, you can always upgrade.
CUSTOMER: Let’s stick to the basic plan for now, then, and then I might call you back to switch.
EMPLOYEE: No problem.
CUSTOMER: So, what happens now?
EMPLOYEE: Well, first we would need you to come over with little Fenton so we can have a look at his documents and medical history.  We’d also need you to get him to the vet for a quick check-up, all of this is standard procedure before we can proceed with the insurance plan, and then when all that’s done you can either set up a direct debit in person or you can call us back and do it over the phone.
CUSTOMER: Right. And the basic plan will cover…
EMPLOYEE: Well, the basic plan covers veterinary fees, obviously, plus a few more things such as boarding costs, loss by theft or straying, advertising and reward, death by accident or illness… You can find a comprehensive list on our website, or I could forward it to you via email if you prefer. 
CUSTOMER: Thanks, I’ll check the website.
EMPLOYEE: No problem. So, shall we book you an appointment so you
can come over…
Instructor: Good morning everyone, and welcome to Climb Summer School. Now, I know most of you have travelled a long way to get here and you’re probably looking forward to settling into your rooms, so I promise I won’t keep you long, but we’ve got to get through this very brief induction just to make your stay here as pleasurable as possible.
Now, as you can see, while we’re located very close to the centre of London, we’re actually quite cut off from the main road, and we’ve got plenty of space for our facilities and our students. This was part of our founder’s vision, Jasmine Climb, who thought that the best environment for teenage students would be a place that combines the comforts of a big, cosmopolitan city with the beauty and serenity of a quiet, remote site.  Now, back in 1983 when our school was founded, this all here was an abandoned warehouse, and classes were held in the main building that you can see over there. There were no trees, no conifers surrounding the property, there wasn’t even a main gate!  It took years and a great deal of effort to get our school to where it is today, and I’m sure that if you take a look at page 34 in your brochures, where you can find a picture of what the school used to look like back then, you’ll agree that the changes we’ve made are more than impressive.
But it’s not just the facilities that make Climb Summer School special, obviously, and I’m certain you already know this. Over the following ten weeks, you’ll receive an assortment of classes on a variety of topics ranging from language, literature and poetry to creative writing, communication, and project management.  All of these modules have been designed to improve your chances of getting a place in the universities of your choice while also giving you the opportunity to learn, excel, and of course also socialise with people from all over the world. I can tell you, just among the thirty of you, we’ve got about 21 different nationalities.
So, what happens now? First of all, I’ll be handing out a map of the premises for you to have a look at, and explaining where everything is. Once we’re done here, you’ll all be taken to your rooms where you can unpack and relax for a couple of hours, and later on we’ll be having our first activity of the day, a mix-and-match lunch in the main hall where you’ll have the chance to meet your new classmates. Later on in the afternoon we’ll be handing out your first project assignments and splitting you into teams, and tonight we’ll be having our very first film night, starting with an early 20th century special. 
So, let’s get on with the map. You’ve already got a version of it in your brochures, so if you can open them to the last page so we can have a look… Very well. As I showed you before, the actual school is right over there in the middle. That’s where you’ll be having most of your classes. Adjacent to it you’ll find the main hall, which is where we’ll be hosting most events, such as today’s lunch. 
On the left from the main building you’ll find a smaller building, which is where the accommodation and welfare offices are located. This is labelled as the Garden Office at the front, and it’s easy to spot because it has a green door. 
Each of you is assigned to a different residence hall. We’ve got three residence halls in total, one on the left and two on the right. The one right next to the garden office is Ursula Hall, named after our founder’s sister, while the other two are Peter Hall and William Hall. 
Now as you can see there are three more buildings to the left of the semi-circle here, and one more building on the right-hand side next to William Hall. So that one, which is shaped a bit like a dome, is the Pavilion.  This is where all of your letters will be delivered, and in the basement floor you’ll also find a laundrette-please make sure you’ve got plenty of £1 coins, as you’ll need one for the washing machine and another for the dryer.
And that row of buildings on the left, the one closest to us here at the gate is the canteen, where you’ll be able to buy snacks, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner on days when we don’t have an event with food provided.  The next one is the gym, which is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday and until 10 p.m. at the weekend, and the last building, right over there, is the study centre, where you’ II find plenty of computers and books , as well as a great selection of DVDs and magazines that you can borrow with only a small, refundable deposit of £5.
Now, please remember to keep your student card with you at all times, as you’ll need it to access most of these facilities, and…
LECTURER: James, Carol, thank you for coming in. Have a seat. So, I take it both of you have completed your interviews with the managers?
JAMES, CAROL: Yeah.
LECTURER: Right. Great. Remind me, who was supposed to do the interview with the manager from the chain supermarket?
JAMES: That was me.
LECTURER: Right, so that means you were going to do the interview with the clothes shop. Carol, right?
CAROL: Yeah, but we decided to swap in the last minute so I did the supermarket instead. [21,22]
LECTURER: OK, so let’s start with you first, Carol. If I remember correctly, you reported that your interviewee was difficult to get through to, is that right?
CAROL: Yeah, he had a very busy schedule so it was hard for him to fit me in and show me around the store and everything. We had to reschedule about three times before I finally managed to do the interview with him. 
LECTURER: And how was it for you, James?
JAMES: Oh, I had no issues at all. I just went in on a weekday and the shop was empty, so we did it right there and then.
LECTURER: Great. So, Carol, how did you find the management scheme? Let’s start with how they recruit their trainees.
CAROL: So, according to the manager, the way it works is that graduates go through a rigorous recruitment process that includes an interview with a panel and a trial day.  Then they have to go through a probationary period of three months, and if their performance is satisfactory during those three months, they’re offered a place in the scheme.
LECTURER: And yours, James?
JAMES: Well, it’s quite similar to Carol’s actually, the only differences are that they’re on probation for six months, and there are three individual interviews instead of a panel.  Oh, and you don’t need to be a graduate-sometimes they recruit people internally for the scheme, if their performance suggests they could be a good fit for it.
LECTURER: OK. And how about the training offered? Carol?
CAROL: It’s all very on-the-job. Trainees start at the bottom as shelf stockers or delivery merchandisers, then they slowly move up the ranks by becoming cashiers, shift supervisors, assistant managers and, finally, managers.  It’s actually very similar to what any employee would have to go through if they wanted to become managers; the only difference is the time scale. The whole process would normally take more than five years, but in the scheme they cram it down to three.
LECTURER: Right. James?
JAMES: Well, again, very similar to Carol’s. The only thing is that there’s also plenty of external training involved; people on the management scheme are sent abroad for six months, usually to Italy or France, to witness first-hand the production of a new season’s collection.  So they spend some time with the designers, and they tour the factories where the clothes are produced. They also receive training on management skills through college courses paid for by the company.
LECTURER: And how long would it normally take someone on the scheme to become managers?
JAMES: It depends on their performance, but normally about two years. There’s also the part-time option, though, which would take about four… No, sorry, five because their probation period is a year instead of six months. 
LECTURER: Great. So, what was your overall impression of the scheme from your interviews with the managers?
CAROL: Well, the manager I spoke to was very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. He’d been through the scheme himself and he attested to its efficiency and helpfulness. The only criticism I’d have is what James said-in their company there’s almost no external training involved  and I think it would be useful to send graduates to courses at further education colleges to improve their general knowledge and understanding of management skills. But overall, yes, very positive.
LECTURER: Great. And you, James?
JAMES: The same as Carol, the manager I spoke to was incredibly friendly and eager to promote her scheme. She hadn’t actually gone through it herself, but she was very involved in the process, both in training and in recruitment. She’s actually on of the three people who do the interviews for the new trainees. And I really like the structure with the classes at college, I think that’s very useful and it improves the trainees’ chances of getting another job eventually, should they decide to leave the company in the future. The only thing I have to say against it is that two years is too short in my opinion-it should really be closer to three years, as I imagine the trainees would get exhausted fairly quickly with all this information fired at them in such a short span of time. 
LECTURER: Thank you both. So now you know you need to compare your two interviews and decide which scheme would be most beneficial to someone from a disadvantaged background, especially those who…
Lecturer: Good evening. As I assume most of you are already aware, I have been asked to come here and talk to you, essentially give you a quick overview of the life of a foreign correspondent, along with a few tips on how to become a successful international reporter yourself, should this be a career choice you elect to pursue. So, let me start by this: don’t. Don’t become a foreign correspondent. At least not due to the romantic notions that come attached to this job, or what you’ve seen in the movies. 
Being a foreign correspondent does not mean exotic adventures. It doesn’t mean finding yourself at the heart of the action and putting yourself in danger to inform the world. Let me just tell you this: 80 journalists are killed each year in the line of duty.  Many more find themselves in prison, or are attacked. You need to think hard: is this the sort of career I want? Is this the kind of reporting I’m interested in? And only after you’ve carefully considered all the pros and cons should you decide.
But let’s focus on those of you who believe that, yes, you’ve got what it takes to be a foreign correspondent, and this is definitely why you decided to study journalism here. You’re all third-year students, which means I don’t need to waste my time telling you the basics. Of course you need to read a lot – books, novels, newspapers, blogs -, and of course you need to be acceptably proficient in various media skills. But what is it that’s going to separate you from normal journalists and reporters? 
There are four things that’ll make you different. The first thing is your experience of the world. You can’t call yourself an international reporter unless you’ve been around and seen different places and different cultures. Seize every opportunity to visit other countries, meet people from around the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s business or leisure, just hop onto a plane and go everywhere. This will expand your horizons and sharpen your mind – something that, as a foreign correspondent, will help you understand better the culture of the country you’ll be covering. [34-37, C]
And speaking of culture: this is a term you need to make sure you fully understand. What’s culture? What makes a country’s culture? Explore the culture of the country you ‘re interested in, the music, the literature, the religion. Are there any cultural practices or conflicts you need to be aware of? Are there any tensions within the country? Why? [34-37, A]
The most important element of culture, of course, is the language. Do yourselves a favour, whether you ‘re planning to become foreign correspondents or not: learn a foreign language. [34-37, G] So many of us are culpable for sticking to just English, and while English is a very important language in the world, and it would be foolish to think it’s the only one. Pick a language whose sound you enjoy, a language you find interesting. Trust me: your future CV will thank you for it.
And, finally, history. Don’t expect to be given a job as a foreign correspondent if you don’t know anything about your target country’s history. No piece of news is disconnected from the past; the whole world tells a story, and your coverage will suffer if you attempt to arrive in the middle, with no reference to or understanding of what came before. [34-37, D] The hows and whys always lurk in the past; seek them.
Now, there’s something else you need to understand. The world of international journalism is changing, like every other industry, due to the Internet. The arrival of globalisation brought with it a whole new set of rules, and you’ll do well to comprehend what they mean for you. Unfortunately, gone are the days when a newspaper would hire you and deploy you to a country. Increasingly newspapers around the world are beginning to favour freelance journalism, offering opportunities to local reporters with the necessary chutzpah and an understanding of the zeitgeist in their region.  What this means for you is that you won’t just have to start at the bottom; if you want to sustain yourself as an international reporter, you’ll also have to pursue many different avenues at once. You’ll need to persevere and push and build contacts everywhere. 
An old student of mine, a terrible student at university but an incredibly intelligent woman, she came to find me at a conference that was recently held in Yemen, where I delivered a speech on the future of journalism. She was working for three different newspapers as a freelance foreign correspondent, one of them The Times, and she told me that the one piece of advice I gave her that stayed with her and helped her with her career was this: don’t be afraid to fail. It will happen, over and over again. It’s how you deal with it that matters most. So keep this with you, this one piece of advice.  Oh, and don’t forget: your passports need to be kept current at all times. Thank you very much for listening.