IELTS Listening Practice Test 17

Tapescripts

The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets []. If you still struggle with IELTS Listening tests, please refer to IELTS Listening tips.

IELTS Listening Section 1

Woman: Good morning, Travel Link. How can I help you?
Man: Good morning. I live in Bayswater and I’d like to get to Harbour City tomorrow before 11 am.
Woman: Well, to get to Bayswater…
Man: No, no. I live in Bayswater – my destination is Harbour City.
Woman: Sorry. Right; so that’s Bayswater to Harbour City. Are you planning to travel by bus or train?
Man: I don’t mind really, whichever option is faster, I suppose.
Woman: Well, if you catch a railway express, that’ll get you there in under an hour… Let’s see – yes, if you can make the 9.30am express, I’d recommend you do that. [1]
Man: Great. Which station does that leave from?
Woman: Helendale is the nearest train station to you. [2]
Man: Did you say Helensvale?
Woman: No, Helendale – that’s H-E-L-E-N-D-A-L-E
Man: What’s the best way to get to the Helendale station then?
Woman: Well, hang on a minute while I look into that… Now, it seems to me that you have two options. Option one would be to take the 706 bus from the Bayswater Shopping Centre to Central Street. [3] When you get there, you transfer to another bus which will take you to the station. Or, the second option, if you don’t mind walking a couple of kilometres, is to go directly to Central Street and get straight on the bus going to the train station.
Man: Okay. Which bus is that?
Woman: The 792 will take you to the station. [4]
Man: I guess the walk will be good for me so that might be the better option. What time do I catch the 792?
Woman: There are two buses that should get you to the station on time: one just before nine o’clock and one just after. But look, at that time of the morning it might be better to take the earlier one just in case there’s a traffic jam or something. The 8.55 is probably safer than the 9.05.
Man: Yeah, I don’t want to the miss the train, so I’ll be sure to get on the five-to-nine bus [5]

Man: By the way, how much will I have to pay in fares?
Woman: Well, you can get a ticket on the bus for $1.80 cash [6] and you’ll need $10 each way for the train. Wait, do you have a Travel Link Card?
Man: No, but I can get one before tomorrow.
Woman: Okay, well that’ll make it considerably cheaper then. The bus will cost $1.50 each way, and the train will be – the train to Harbour City will … still cost $10.00 because you’ll be travelling during peak hours in the morning, so no savings there, I’m afraid. However, if you could come back at an off-peak time …
Man: What does that mean?
Woman: Well, if you could start your return journey before 5pm or later than half past 7 in the evening … [7]
Man: Actually, I wasn’t planning on coming back till at least 8 o’clock anyway.
Woman: In that case, you can make quite a saving if you use your Travel Link Card. You did say you were planning to purchase one, didn’t you?
Man: Yes, I’ll pick one up later today.
Woman: Good – that would mean that your return train journey would only cost you $7.15 with your card. [8]
Man: Thank you.
Woman: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Man: Actually, there is. Do you know if I can use the Travel Link Card on ferries?
Woman: If you’re thinking of the Harbour City ferries that go back and forth between the north and south bank, those are the commuter ferries, then yes [9]. A one-way trip costs $4.50 but with your card you’d make a 20% saving and only pay $3.55.
Man: So, $3.55 for the commuter ferry …What about the tour boats?
Woman: You mean the tourist ferries that go upriver on sightseeing tours? No they only take cash or credit card. They’re not part of the Travel Link Company.
Man: Oh, I see. I don’t suppose you know the cost of a tour?
Woman: In actual fact, I do, because I took a friend on the trip upriver just last week. We decided on the afternoon tour and that was $35 each but I understand that you can do the whole day for $65. [10]
Man: Thank you. You’ve been a great help.
Woman: My pleasure. Enjoy your day out.

IELTS Listening Section 2

SPEAKER: Hello everyone. I’m the counselling administrator here at St. Ive’s College and I’ve been asked to come and talk to you about our counselling team and the services that we offer.

We have three professional counsellors here at St. Ives: Louise Bagshaw, Tony Denby and Naomi Flynn. They each hold daily one-on-one sessions with students, but which counsellor you see will depend on a number of factors.

If you’ve never used a counsellor before, then you should make an appointment with Naomi Flynn. [12] Naomi specialises in seeing new students and offers a preliminary session where she will talk to you about what you can expect from counselling, followed by some simple questions about what you would like to discuss. This can be really helpful for students who are feeling a bit worried about the counselling process. Naomi is also the best option for students who can only see a counsellor outside office hours. [14] She is not in on Mondays, but starts early on Wednesday mornings and works late on Thursday evenings, so you can see her before your first class or after your last class on those days.

Louise staffs our drop-in centre throughout the day. If you need to see someone without a prior appointment then she is the one to visit. [11] Please note that if you use this service then Louise will either see you herself, or place you with the next available counsellor. If you want to be sure to see the same counsellor on each visit, then we strongly recommend you make an appointment ahead of time. You can do this at reception during office hours or by using our online booking form.

Tony is our newest addition to the counselling team. He is our only male counsellor and he has an extensive background in stress management and relaxation techniques. [13] We encourage anyone who is trying to deal with anxiety to see him. Tony will introduce you to a full range of techniques to help you cope with this problem such as body awareness, time management and positive reinforcement. Each semester the counselling team runs a number of small group workshops. These last for two hours and are free to all enrolled students.

Our first workshop is called Adjusting. We’ve found that tertiary education can come as a big shock for some people. After the structured learning environment of school, it is easy to feel lost. In this workshop, we will introduce you to what is necessary for academic success. As you might expect, we’re targeting first-year students with this offering. [15]

Getting organised follows on from the first workshop. Here, we’re going to help you break the habit of putting things off, get the most out of your time and discover the right balance between academic and recreational activities. [16] With Getting organised, we’re catering to a broader crowd, which includes all undergraduates and postgraduates.

Next up is a workshop called Communicating. The way people interact here may be quite different to what you’re used to, especially if you’ve come from abroad. We’ll cover an area that many foreign students struggle with – how to talk with teachers and other staff. We’ll cover all aspects of multicultural communication. International students tend to get a lot out of this class, so we particularly encourage you to come along, but I must say that sometimes students from a local background find it helpful too. [17] So, everyone is welcome!

The Anxiety workshop is held later on in the year and deals with something you will all be familiar with – the nerves and anxiety that come when exams are approaching. Many students go through their entire academic careers suffering like this, but you don’t have to. Come to this workshop and we’ll teach you all about relaxation and how to breathe properly, as well as meditation and other strategies to remain calm.  [18] We’ve tailored this workshop to anyone who is going to sit exams.

Finally, we have the Motivation workshop. [19] The big topic here is how to stay on target and motivated during long-term research projects. This workshop is strictly for research students, as less-advanced students already have several workshops catering to their needs. [20]

Well, that’s it, thanks for your time. If you have any questions or want more information about our services, do come and see us at the Counselling Service.

IELTS Listening Section 3

Tutor: Hello Lorna, Ian. Glad you could make it. You’re the only two who put your names down for this literature tutorial so let’s get started, shall we? I want to run over some aspects of the novel, The Secret Garden, with you before the test next week. [21] Be sure to take some notes and ask questions if you need to.
Ian: Hey Lorna, have you got a spare pen?
Lorna: Sure, here you are.
Tutor: Okay, so, the story follows two key characters – you should refer to them as protagonists – who go by the names of Mary Lennox and Colin Craven. The story is set shortly after the turn of the twentieth century [22], and the narrative tracks the development of the protagonists as they learn to overcome their own personal troubles together.
Lorna: That’s quite a common storyline, isn’t it?
Tutor: Yes, you’re right, Lorna. So, what can you tell me about the character of Mary?
Lorna: Well, in the beginning she is an angry, rude child who is orphaned after a cholera outbreak and forced to leave India and move to the United Kingdom to her uncle’s house in Yorkshire.
Tutor: That’s right – and there she meets Colin who spends his days in an isolated room, believing himself to be permanently crippled with no hope of ever gaining the ability to walk. [23] The two strike up a friendship and gradually learn – by encouraging each other – that they can both become healthy, happy and fulfilled in life.
Ian: Will we need to remember a lot of these details for the exam?
Tutor: Just the basic outline. Examiners don’t want to read a plot summary – they know what the book is about. Focus on narrative techniques instead, such as point of view.
Lorna: What’s that mean?
Tutor: It’s all about how we see the story. This story, for example, is written from the perspective of what is called an “omniscient narrator”. Omniscient means all-knowing. So, as readers we get to see how all the characters feel about things, what they like and don’t like, and what their motivations are in the story. [24]

Ian: Won’t it be hard to write a technical analysis? After all, it’s a kids’ book.
Tutor: Well, it was initially pitched at adults you know, but over the years it has become seen as a more youth-orientated work. And you’re right in a sense – the simple vocabulary and absence of foreshadowing make the story very easy to follow and ideally suited for children. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t much to analyse. Look at the symbolism, for instance.
Lorna: Symbols are things, right? Material things – like objects – that stand for abstract ideas.
Tutor: Absolutely, yes. [25] And the author uses many of them. There’s the robin redbreast, for example, which symbolises the wise and gentle nature that Mary will soon adopt – note that the robin is described as “not at all like the birds in India”. Roses are used as well – as a personal symbol for Mistress Craven – you’ll see they’re always mentioned alongside her name. [26] And Mistress Craven’s portrait can also be interpreted as a symbol of her spirit.
Ian: Are symbols just another name for motifs?
Tutor: No, motifs are a bit different. They don’t have as direct a connection with something the way that a symbol does. Motifs are simply recurring elements of the story that support the mood.
Lorna: Are there any in this novel?
Tutor: Yes, two very important ones. The Garden of Eden is a motif. It comes up a few times in connection with the garden of the story. And then you’ve got the role that secrets play in the story. In the beginning, everything is steeped in secrecy, and slowly the characters share their secrets and in the process move from darkness to lightness [27], metaphorically, but also in the case of Colin, quite literally. His room in the beginning has the curtains drawn, and he appears at the end in the brightness of the garden.
Ian: Anything else we need to know about?
Tutor: Yes. Nearly all novels explore universal concepts that everyone has experienced – things like love, family, loneliness, friendship. These are called themes. The Secret Garden has a few themes that all centre on the idea of connections. The novel explores, for example, the way that health can determine and be determined by our outlook on life [28]. As Colin’s health improves, so too do his perceptions of his strength and possibility. The author also examines the link between our environment and our physical and emotional prosperity [29]. The dark, cramped rooms of the manor house stifle the development of our protagonists; the garden and natural environments allow them to blossom, just as the flowers do. Finally, this book looks at connections between individuals, namely Mary and Colin. This necessity of human companionship is the novel’s most significant theme [30] – because none of their development as individuals would have occurred without their knowing each other. Well, that about sums it up, I think.
Lorna: That’s a great help, thanks.
Ian: Yes, thanks very much.

IELTS Listening Section 4

Today, I’m going to be talking about time. Specifically I’ll be looking at how people think about time, and how these time perspectives structure our lives. According to social psychologists, there are six ways of thinking about time, which are called personal time zones.

The first two are based in the past. Past positive thinkers spend most of their time in a state of nostalgia, fondly remembering moments such as birthdays, marriages and important achievements in their life. These are the kinds of people who keep family records, books and photo albums. People living in the past negative time zone are also absorbed by earlier times [31], but they focus on all the bad things – regrets, failures, poor decisions. They spend a lot of time thinking about how life could have been.

Then, we have people who live in the present. Present hedonists are driven by pleasure and immediate sensation [32]. Their life motto is to have a good time and avoid pain. Present fatalists live in the moment too, but they believe this moment is the product of circumstances entirely beyond their control; it’s their fate. Whether it’s poverty, religion or society itself, something stops these people from believing they can play a role in changing their outcomes in life [33]. Life simply “is” and that’s that.

Looking at the future time zone, we can see that people classified as future active are the planners and go-getters. [34] They work rather than play and resist temptation. Decisions are made based on potential consequences, not on the experience itself. A second future-orientated perspective, future fatalistic, is driven by the certainty of life after death and some kind of a judgement day when they will be assessed on how virtuously they have lived and what success they have had in their lives. [35]

Okay, let’s move on. You might ask “how do these time zones affect our lives?” Well, let’s start at the beginning. Everyone is brought into this world as a present hedonist [36]. No exceptions. Our initial needs and demands – to be warm, secure, fed and watered – all stem from the present moment. But things change when we enter formal education – we’re taught to stop existing in the moment and to begin thinking about future outcomes.

But, did you know that every nine seconds a child in the USA drops out of school? For boys, the rate is much higher than for girls. We could easily say “Ah, well, boys just aren’t as bright as girls” but the evidence doesn’t support this. A recent study states that boys in America, by the age of twenty one, have spent 10,000 hours playing video games. The research suggests that they’ll never fit in the traditional classroom because these boys require a situation where they have the ability to manage their own learning environment. [37]

Now, let’s look at the way we do prevention education. All prevention education is aimed at a future time zone. We say “don’t smoke or you’ll get cancer”, “get good grades or you won’t get a good job”. But with present-orientated kids that just doesn’t work. Although they understand the potentially negative consequences of their actions, they persist with the behaviour because they’re not living for the future [38]; they’re in the moment right now. We can’t use logic and it’s no use reminding them of potential fall-out from their decisions or previous errors of judgment – we’ve got to get in their minds just as they’re about to make a choice.

Time perspectives make a big difference in how we value and use our time. When Americans are asked how busy they are, the vast majority report being busier than ever before. They admit to sacrificing their relationships, personal time and a good night’s sleep for their success. Twenty years ago, 60% of Americans had sitdown dinners with their families, and now only 20% do. But when they’re asked what they would do with an eight-day week, they say “Oh that’d be great”. They would spend that time labouring away to achieve more. [39] They’re constantly trying to get ahead, to get toward a future point of happiness.

So, it’s really important to be aware of how other people think about time. We tend to think: “Oh, that person’s really irresponsible” or “That guy’s power hungry” but often what we’re looking at is not fundamental differences of personality, but really just different ways of thinking about time. Seeing these conflicts as differences in time perspective, rather than distinctions of character, can facilitate more effective cooperation between people and get the most out of each person’s individual strengths. [40]

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