Listening 1

You will hear people talking in eight different situations. For questions 1-8, choose the best answer A, B or C.

1   You hear two travel agents talking about the holidays people choose.

      What do they agree about?

      A   People like travelling in groups.

      B   Good accommodation is important.

      C   Cities are the most popular places to visit.

2   You hear a writer talking about his job.

      What does he say about it?

      A   It is the perfect job for him.

      B   It is not as difficult as people think.

      C   It is the only thing he ever wanted to do.

3   You hear two people talking about a TV programme they both watched.

      What sort of TV programme was it?

      A   a travel documentary

      B   a comedy series

      C   a sports programme

4   You hear a woman talking about her first day working as a restaurant chef.

      How does she feel now?

      A   anxious about her performance

      B   irritated with her colleagues

      C   worried about her job prospects

5   You hear two members of local government talking about a park.

      What does the man say about it?

      A   It is very well looked after.

      B   It is pleasant to sit in.

      C   It is a good place to see wildlife.

6   You hear a decorator talking to his colleague about moving some furniture.

      What is he doing?

      A   requesting help from his colleague

      B   agreeing with his colleague’s suggestion

      C   giving his colleague advice on something

7   You hear two chemistry students talking about their course.

      What is the woman’s opinion of it?

      A   It is taught in an interesting way.

      B   All the topics are thoroughly covered.

      C   They are being well prepared for future jobs.

8   You hear a student talking about the room she rents.

      According to the woman, the room is

      A   too small for all her things.

      B   too noisy in the evenings.

      C   too expensive for her.

Answer & Audioscript

1 B   2 A   3 C   4 A   5 C   6 B   7 C   8 A


1   You hear two travel agents talking about the holidays people choose.

A:   It’s interesting to see what holidays people choose, isn’t it?

B:   Yes – they tend to love all the coach tours and trips where they can be with lots of other people all the time.

A:   You’ve been finding that, maybe, but I can’t say I have.

B:   Well they certainly appreciate staying in nice hotels at a reasonable price.

A:   Can’t argue with that, but you can do that travelling alone, can’t you? I’ve noticed more people are looking for trips to major cities.

B:   I’ve been dealing with people looking for something a bit different – usually involving beaches!

2   You hear a writer talking about his job.

People often assume that being a novelist is something you do because that’s what you’ve always dreamt of doing, and in many cases that’s absolutely true. In mine, though, it was more of a process of trying out a few different things first, then finding myself having a go at writing something. And I knew almost immediately it was exactly the right thing for me as a career. The books I’ve written so far are by no means perfect, but that’s hardly surprising. When people say it must be tough to be a writer, I tell them they’re wrong: it’s a whole lot worse than tough!

3   You hear two people talking about a TV programme they both watched.

A:   Did you watch that programme on Channel 4 last night?

B:   Yeah! And those shots of penguins in Antarctica – weren’t they funny!

A:   Yeah, when they were speeding through the water, then leaping out when they got to the edge of the ice – it was brilliant!

B:   And then they slid down those icy slopes, or just fell over!

A:   That really made me laugh. They’re so fit and fast when they’re swimming – they’d easily beat the best Olympic swimmers – and then so clumsy on land! But that was the point, wasn’t it? To show how world-class swimmers can learn from animals – in the water, at least.

4   You hear a woman talking about her first day working as a restaurant chef.

I can’t say my first day went very well. I know it wasn’t my fault at all, and I did my best. And I don’t blame anyone else in the kitchen, in fact. We were all working as fast as we could and the restaurant was absolutely full. There were also some staff off sick and we just couldn’t keep up with the orders. Of course I’m a bit concerned about that, even though the manager told me not to be and that it was just bad luck. But I can’t help it because after all, chefs are supposed to be able to deal with things like that.

5   You hear two members of local government talking about a park.

A:   Have you read that report on Chester Park?

B:   I have, lots of people say it’s a great place for a walk after work.

A:   That’s good.

B:   One thing they mention is that it’s all a bit overgrown, so people who like their parks neat and tidy aren’t keen! But as a result, it’s full of birds that you wouldn’t find elsewhere in the city.

A:   It sounds perfect, sitting under a tree on a park bench …

B:   Well there were lots of complaints about the benches being old and broken, I’m afraid.

A:   Oh well, we can easily sort that out!

6   You hear a decorator talking to his colleague about moving some furniture.

I’m going to decorate the living room today, and if I need your help, I’ll ask, of course, but I think I can manage to move most of the furniture out on my own. It shouldn’t take long and none of it’s that heavy. If I were thirty years younger, like you, it would be even easier, but I’ll be fine. But I will take your advice on one thing, and it’s nice of you to think of it – I’ll leave the piano where it is, as it’s so heavy, and just cover it while I do the decorating. You’ve got plenty to do yourself, I know.

7   You hear two chemistry students talking about their course.

A:   So what do you think about the course so far, then?

B:   Not bad at all. It’s a bit dull at times, but it’s all pretty useful, I think.

A:   Absolutely.

B:   I mean, once we’ve qualified, and we’re employed in a lab, or wherever, what we’ve been taught here will mean we really do know what we’re doing.

A:   Right. There are some things, though, which I’d hoped we might look at in a bit more depth.

B:   Yeah, but I suppose they have to make sure we have all the basics, and then we can specialise later on, in the final part of the course.

A:   That’s true.

8   You hear a student talking about the room she rents.

The good thing about the room I rent is that it’s only ten minutes away on foot from the university campus, so I always get to lectures on time. The downside is that during the day there’s lots of traffic in the street below, so I have to have the window closed so that it’s quiet enough for me to work. But it’s fine in the evenings. It’s certainly not spacious, though, so I’ve had to leave some of the stuff I wanted to bring at my parents’. There’s plenty of room there. And of course, I wish the rent was a bit lower – but it’s manageable.

Listening 2

You will hear an interview with a man called Ben Chadwick, who is a mathematician, talking about the work he does. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   When people find out Ben is a mathematician, they are

      A   interested to find out more about his job.

      B   unsure of what they should talk to him about.

      C   disappointed he doesn’t do what they expected.

25   When asked about the maths-music link, Ben expresses

      A   annoyance at people’s lack of desire to work hard.

      B   understanding of people’s hope that a link exists.

      C   confusion over some people’s fear of maths.

26   When asked for his opinion, Ben says the link between maths and music

      A   is not as complex as it first appears.

      B   is demonstrated in schoolwork results.

      C   is different to what people might expect.

27   To prove that mathematicians are better than other people at music, Ben will

      A   research mathematicians’ backgrounds.

      B   consider who to involve in a study.

      C   learn more about music himself.

28   What does Ben want to know about mathematicians who play the piano?

      A   which structures they prefer music to have

      B   why they prefer the piano to other instruments

      C   which composers’ music they would rather play

29   When comparing maths and languages, Ben says that people

      A   find the connection between them uninteresting.

      B   think languages are more emotional than maths.

      C   prefer studying languages to maths.

30   What does Ben say about liking maths?

      A   He enjoys discovering the truth.

      B   He wants to inspire other people.

      C   He finds it a good mental challenge.

Answer & Audioscript

24 B   25 B   26 C   27 B   28 C   29 A   30 A


Interviewer:   Today we’re talking to mathematician Ben Chadwick about a possible connection between maths and music. First Ben, tell us what it’s like being a professional mathematician.

Ben Chadwick:   Well, it’s a bit of a conversation stopper! People tend not to know what a professional mathematician does on a daily basis, and they rarely know how to respond. Inevitably, they assume that I must be a teacher, which has never been the case. What I do do, is research, testing theories. When I say this, some people look uneasy, as if they’re worried I’m about to ask them some complex mathematical question.

Interviewer:   Now, could you explain the theory that maths and music are linked?

Ben Chadwick:   The idea is that if you play classical music to young children, they’ll become good not only at music, but at maths, too. I guess the theory came about because of the idea that you have to be able to count in order to play a rhythm. Unfortunately, some people are scared of maths because they think it’s hard. If they can help their children succeed without them having to put in too much effort, they’ll go along with anything they think might work – and who can blame them, really?

Interviewer:   What’s your personal opinion about the maths-music theory?

Ben Chadwick:   Well, I don’t think it can be as simple as just listening to music to improve your marks in maths. Both maths and music deal with abstract structures, so I believe that what connects the two is being good at dealing with abstract structures. This is where the connection comes in – but it isn’t the one many people believe it to be.

Interviewer:   Can you prove, for example, that mathematicians are better than other people at music?

Ben Chadwick:   I’m going to do a study on this! If you look at someone who becomes a professional mathematician, they probably come from a family who believe in academic study – which includes learning music. There seems little point comparing mathematicians to everyone else as not much would be proved. If you’ve studied both subjects seriously, you’re bound to be better at them than people who haven’t.

Interviewer:   I’ve read that mathematicians who are musicians are attracted to the piano more than other instruments. Why’s that do you think?

Ben Chadwick:   I’m writing a paper about that and my personal belief is that they like listening to music that appears to have a particular set of patterns in it. What remains to be seen is whether they are collectively likely to prefer playing the music of particular composers. I’ll look forward to that discovery.

Interviewer:   Is there a connection between maths and languages?

Ben Chadwick:   Languages deal with abstract structures, too – such as grammar. Grammar seems a bit like maths – building up blocks of meaning – which is why no one’s surprised that a mathematician might also be a good linguist. Because music is more emotional, and anyone can enjoy it, it appears to have less in common with maths – so a connection between them seems fascinating, unlike the connection between maths and other subjects, like science.

Interviewer:   And finally, what is it that you love so much about maths?

Ben Chadwick:   Good question. It was the one subject I could get a 100 per cent in – and I didn’t have to work too hard at it! By the time I realised that wasn’t always the case, I’d invested years of study in maths and had developed a love for the theoretical aspects of the subject. It isn’t so much that I want to prove people wrong – I just want to prove a theory right!

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