IELTS Listening Practice Test 24

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

Sarah: Good morning. Burnham Coaches, Sarah speaking. How can I help you?
Paul: Ah. yes. Good morning. I’m a teacher at the Down Language School. We have a bit of a problem and I was wondering if you could help us out.
Sarah: What is the problem exactly?
Paul: Well, we normally take our students on an excursion at the end of their course, but unfortunately the coach firm we normally use has let us down. It seems they’ve gone out of business.
Sarah: I’m sorry to hear that. I suppose you are looking for a replacement?
Paul: Well, yes. We won’t need a very large coach, actually. There will be 30 students and four teachers.
Sarah: So that’s 34 in all. [1] And what dates did you have in mind?
Paul: The last Saturday and Sunday of this month. That’s the 28th and 29th.
Sarah: The 28th and 29th. Does that mean you are planning to stay somewhere overnight?
Paul: That’s right. Actually, we want to do the same excursion that we do every year. We usually visit Stonehenge, Salisbury and stay overnight in Bath. It’s a historical tour, really.
Sarah: It sounds interesting! Let me just see what we have available. Oh dear, I’m afraid all our coaches are booked out for the 28th. It’s the busiest time of the year for us, actually.
Paul: I was afraid that would be a problem. But do you have a coach available for the 29th?
Sarah: Yes, we do. And its available for the 30th as well, if that’s any help to you.
Paul: I’m afraid not. Sunday is the last day. The students go home on Monday. [2] I think we’ll just have to change our plans a bit and leave out Salisbury. Its a shame, but I don’t think we can fit in all three places in one day.
Sarah: So you would like to book the coach for the 29th. visiting Stonehenge and Bath. Is that right?
Paul: Yes. I think so.
Sarah: Right. I just need a few details, sir.
Paul: Okay. My name is Paul Scott.
Sarah: S-C-O-T?
Paul: It’s double T, actually. [3]
Sarah: I’m sorry. And it’s the Down Language School. Could you give me the address for that, Mr. Scott?
Paul: Yes, its Down House, Hill Street, Brighton. Do you need the postcode?
Sarah: No, that’s not necessary, but I do need a contact number. [4]
Paul: Of course. The number for the school secretary is 01273 512 634. You can contact her if you need to speak to anyone. [5]
Sarah: Right. And what time would you like the coach to pick you up?
Paul: Well, I think we’ll have to make an early start. Would 7.30 be alright?
Sarah: Yes, no problem at all.[6] What time do you want to be back?
Paul: Oh, any time between ten and eleven will be alright. Not later than eleven, though. [7]
Sarah: Right, I’ll make a note of that. 11 pm latest. There’s just one more thing I need to know. Presumably you’ll be visiting Stonehenge first. How long do you want to stay there?
Paul: Well, we normally stay about an hour. The main objective of the excursion is for the students to see the Georgian architecture in Bath, really. [8]
Sarah: Yes, Bath is lovely, isn’t it? I was there myself a couple of years ago. I thought the Royal Crescent was absolutely stunning. I hadn’t realised how large it is. Well, I think that’s all I need to know, Mr Scott. Thank you for booking with us.
Paul: Just a minute, there’s one thing you seem to have forgotten. How much will this cost?
Sarah: Oh! I’m terribly sorry. I was thinking about Bath. Just bear with me a moment… Yes, it’s a round trip of 300 miles and a total time of 16 hours for the driver. For a 45-scater coach, that will be a total of £500, including tax and insurance. [9]
Paul: Do we have to have such a large coach? There are only 34 of us.
Sarah: We don’t have any smaller coaches. I’m afraid.
Paul: Oh, well. At least we won’t be cramped for space. When do we have to pay?
Sarah: We require a 20% deposit to confirm the booking. I suggest that you do that as soon as possible – today, if you can. The balance you can give to the driver, if you’re paying by cheque. Have the cheque made out to Burnham Coaches.
Paul: I think that’ll be alright. I will have to check this with the school accountant, but if all is well I’ll arrange for someone to bring you the deposit within the next two hours. [10]
Sarah: That’ll be fine, Mr Scott.
Paul: Well, thank you very much indeed. Goodbye.
Sarah: Goodbye.

IELTS Listening Section 2

Sally Jackson: Good morning everybody, and welcome to Upton University! I hope you are settling in and beginning to find your way around. I know how confusing it can be when you start life at university, and that’s why we have Freshers’ Week to help you find your feet.

Before I go any further, I should perhaps introduce myself. My name is Sally Jackson and I am the secretary of the Students’ Union, which has organised this week of events for you. You will usually find me in the office on the first floor of this building when I’m not attending lectures! [11] Anyway, down to business.

Of course, there are a few things that you are obliged to get done during your first week here, but once you’ve opened a bank account (if you haven’t got one already) [12], seen your Director of Studies to discuss which courses you are going to take and signed up with a doctor, there will be plenty of time left to enjoy the events we have arranged for the week.

And have we got a lot lined up for you! Throughout the week from Monday to Friday, every morning starting at 10 am, there will be orientation and welfare events. These will include tours of the campus which, as you have probably noticed, is the size of a small town with 9,000 residential students, as well as sessions on developing study skills. [13] We also have tours of Upton itself arranged for you, with a bus leaving from outside this building every afternoon at 5 o’clock. There are a number of interesting things to do and see in and around Upton, so you can expect visits to the castle and museum as well as the popular ghost walk. [14] You’ll need to sign up for this one, as numbers are limited. Just put your name on the list on the notice board in the entrance lobby.

An important event is scheduled for Monday, that’s the day after tomorrow, when we will be holding the Academic Fair. This is an opportunity for you to speak to students and academic staff about the courses that are on offer. [15] The academic fair starts at one o’clock, by the way.

There are a couple of other fairs that I think will interest you. First of all, we have the Societies Fair on Tuesday the 16th, which I think is an absolute must. You might not believe it, but the university has over 150 societies and sports clubs you can sign up for [16], so you are sure to find something of interest to you. That also starts at one o’clock, and it will be here in the Union building.

Also in this building is the Trade Fair on Wednesday, from two until five in the afternoon. [17] This one might sound a bit strange because you will find a load of banks and other businesses here trying to get your custom. You will find plenty of bargains and, best of all, a lot of the businesses give away stuff for free!

We’ve also got a great entertainment programme lined up for you, starting tonight with our welcoming party. We have a top band lined up for your entertainment, but I’m not allowed to say who they are. [18-20] All I can say is that I am sure you will not be disappointed. So come along to Blackmoor Hall at nine o’clock this evening to get your university experience off to a flying start! Just one point – I’m afraid this event is limited to freshers only. Because of space restrictions you can’t bring a friend tonight. Sorry about that!

There’s more fun and games on Monday in the Cotswold Theatre here on campus. We have booked two of the cleverest comedians in the country, Paul Frasier and Jenny Brown, for a three-hour show. Paul has assured us that he and Jenny have packed the show with new material and as they always get rave reviews for their shows, I think we can look forward to an evening of great entertainment. That’s in the Cotswold Theatre on Monday evening at 7:30.

Moving along a bit, on Thursday there is an important date for your diaries. This is the official freshers’ opening ceremony, when the Dean welcomes you to Upton University. So remember, Thursday the 18th from 2.30 to 3.30 in Blackmoor Hall. [18-20] You certainly should go to this one and by the way, light refreshments will be available.

At the end of the week, on Saturday, you have the chance to dress up in your smartest evening wear for the official freshers’ ball. Actually, although it’s called a ball, it is quite a relaxed affair so we are more than happy if you turn up wearing jeans and a T-shirt. The important thing is to relax and enjoy yourselves. [18-20] Time and place are the same as for this evenings party – Blackmoor Hall from nine in the evening to three o’clock in the morning.

Right, I think I’ve covered the most important and exciting events we have lined up for you, but there will be plenty of other things going on throughout the week, so remember to check the notice board in the entrance lobby regularly. Enjoy the rest of the day, and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible this evening at the welcoming party.

IELTS Listening Section 3

Tutor: Good afternoon, I hope everything is going well? Right, we’ve been looking at problems some people have with eating and today I’d like to focus on one you’ve probably come across in your reading. It is sometimes called binge eating disorder, or BED. As you know, I am not a particular fan of these acronyms, so I will refer to it by the alternative name, compulsive eating disorder. Has anybody heard of it?
Mary: Yes, I have. In fact, I read a case study of a first-year university student who was diagnosed with it.
Tutor: Do you remember what the symptoms are?
Mary: Well, of course, one symptom is that the person eats too much, although that’s true for other eating disorders as well. [21-23] They also put on weight. [21-23]
Tutor: That’s right, whereas in some other conditions, such as bulimia, they don’t, and can actually lose weight. One thing that compulsive eating disorder and bulimia have in common, though, is that the person with the condition often becomes clinically depressed. [21-23]
Peter: Are you saying that everybody who is overweight is suffering from the disorder?
Tutor: Not at all. What makes the compulsive cater different is the pattern of the disorder. Initially, as we’ve said, the compulsive eater starts eating too much. This seems to be because the sufferer finds comfort in food and eating is seen as a way of coping with problems. They don’t eat because they feel hungry. Mary, in the case study you read, was there any reference to what triggered the problem?
Mary: I seem to recall that the student was suffering from stress because she was revising for exams, and she started eating snacks [24], junk food, while she was studying. Soon, she was eating snacks all the time and it just got worse from there.
Tutor: Yes, that sounds plausible, although compulsive eating often starts a lot earlier than the case you describe. Anyway, once the condition has been triggered, often by constant snacking as you mentioned, it becomes progressively worse. Over a period of time, the sufferer loses control of their food intake, they become preoccupied with food, and the binge eating increases. [25] Overeating blocks out negative emotions such as loneliness, worries about work, depression and so on, but it is only a temporary effect. Apart from the physical discomfort that overeating often causes, the sufferer begins to feel embarrassed by their behaviour. [26] They then take drastic action to try to compensate. In an attempt to lose weight, compulsive eaters will try extreme diets, skipping meals or going without any food at all for a day or more. [27]
Peter: Not a healthy way to try to lose weight, obviously.
Tutor: Absolutely. And, of course, the person has to start eating again at some point. [28]
Mary: In other words, it becomes a vicious circle?
Tutor: That’s right. Binge eating, extreme dieting or attempts to lose weight by other means, and then binge eating again.
Peter: What are the long term effects of compulsive eating?
Tutor: As you might expect, these are similar to those for people suffering from obesity. Diabetes is frequently reported. [29]
Mary: What about treatment?
Tutor: The disorder can be treated, certainly, but there’s always the possibility that the patient will suffer a relapse and start bingeing again.
Mary: What does treatment involve? Medication?
Tutor: No. It normally involves sessions with a therapist experienced in treating eating disorders. A nutritionist will often be involved as well.
Peter: Are there any self-help organisations? I mean, organisations like Alcoholics Anonymous?
Tutor: Yes, there are, and you might want to follow this one up for your research. One organisation is called Overeaters Anonymous, [30] and they have what they describe as a twelve-step programme to help people overcome the disorder. You can find out more from the organisation’s website. Right, I think that’ll have given you plenty to follow up, so I’ll sec you at the same time next week.

IELTS Listening Section 4

Lecturer: Male lecturer: I’d like to start by thanking so many of you for attending this, my first public lecture at this magnificent university.

I’m going to be talking to you today about nuclear fusion. Before I proceed further, I would like to apologise on behalf of some of our newspapers for the sensationalist and hopelessly inaccurate articles that have been published on the subject over the years. I must confess that my own interest in the subject was actually stimulated by an article published more than 50 years ago in a popular Sunday tabloid with the impressive title: ‘Power from the Sea.’ [31] Today, most people would probably interpret such a title as an introduction to a discussion on the latest developments in renewable energy sources such as wave technology or generating electricity from tidal flows, but back then little, if any, progress had been made in these fields since the invention of the water wheel.

As I recall, following coverage of the opening of the world’s first commercial nuclear power station, more than 50 years ago now, at Calder Hall in 1956, the article promised that we would have limitless, almost free, electricity within ten years. [32] It claimed that we could do this using an isotope of water, deuterium, from the sea. This would be used in reactors to combine simple molecules of hydrogen to form helium, releasing energy in the process. Of course, this is different from the process of nuclear fission, which today’s nuclear reactors use.

I wouldn’t like to say that the article I read as a boy was totally inaccurate. It’s true that the concept of producing energy from nuclear fusion, essentially reproducing the reactions by which our sun and other stars produce energy, depends on fusing atoms of hydrogen, but the time-scale suggested was hopelessly wrong. To this day, despite some very embarrassing false claims from scientists who should have known better, we have not been able to produce energy from nuclear fusion in a controllable way. Let me make clear what I mean by this statement, before some journalist in the audience gets hold of the wrong end of the stick! Yes, we have been able to fuse hydrogen atoms to produce helium and a release of energy, but the balance account has always been negative – we’ve always had to put more energy into the reaction than we’ve ever succeeded in getting out. [33] We know the theory works, but we still do not know if we can get fusion to work for us and solve the problem of our energy needs.

Here, I will briefly explain these problems before going on to give you a summary of the innovative ways being tested to overcome them. First of all, we have to try to understand the incredible physical conditions that exist inside a natural nuclear fusion reactor such as the sun. To start with, we have to create temperatures never experienced on our planet. Indeed, if we had experienced the temperatures required, then our planet would never have formed. We have to generate temperatures of at least 100 million degrees Celsius in a carefully-controlled environment before we can even hope to produce a fusion reaction. [34] The problems are immense, but it can be done. Many of you will know that you can put your hand into a very hot oven and not get burnt, provided you do not touch any of the surfaces. I won’t go into the reasons for this phenomenon here, but we are applying roughly the same principles in designs for fusion reactors. I think I can promise you that the heat will be confined to a very small area!

The other major problem we have to find a solution to is pressure. The pressures in a massive body like the sun arc vast, and this is what brings the hydrogen atoms into such close proximity to one another that they fuse into helium. We may not have to achieve the same pressures in a fusion reactor, but even so it is a huge technological problem. [35]

What, then, makes me hopeful about the future of energy from nuclear fusion? Perhaps surprisingly, it is developments in laser technology. We can now use lasers to control the nuclear fuel pellets [36] so that they remain suspended inside the reactor [37], without touching the sides. Remember that these pellets are quite small, and because they contain atoms of deuterium and tritium, the two isotopic forms of hydrogen that can be used in these reactions, they are quite light. The lasers will also compress the fuel pellet to raise the pressure to that required to initiate the fusion reaction. [38]

Another, far more powerful, laser will be used to heat the fuel pellet to the temperature required. This laser, if you like, will act as the trigger to start the reaction. Once started, it is hoped that the reaction will produce enough energy to maintain itself and also that it will produce a surplus in the form of heat that can be used to produce the steam needed to drive turbines in order to generate the electricity the world needs. [39] To give you some idea of how much energy we can produce, it has been calculated that just one kilogram of fusion fuel is capable of producing the same amount of energy as 10,000 tonnes of fossil fuel. [40] I think you would agree that such an objective is worth working towards. I believe, and I am not alone in this, that nuclear fusion could supply the world’s energy needs for centuries to come.

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