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 a flight attendant talking about taking long flights.

      What is he doing?

      A   warning against certain passenger behaviour

      B   explaining why passengers should do certain things

      C   complaining about a certain kind of passenger

2   You hear a patient talking to a diet expert about taking vitamins.

      The expert thinks that the patient should

      A   approach a doctor for further advice.

      B   focus his efforts on cooking healthy food.

      C   be aware of the expense of taking vitamins.

3   You hear two friends talking about a yoga class they have attended.

      What do they agree about?

      A   how unfamiliar the exercises were

      B   how tiring the exercises were to do

      C   how likely they are to practise the exercises

4   You hear a university student leaving a message for a department secretary.

      What is the purpose of the student’s call?

      A   to apologise for missing a class

      B   to request feedback on her presentation

      C   to arrange a meeting with her tutor

5   You hear a woman talking to her colleague about leaving her job.

      How does the woman feel?

      A   proud of what her colleagues have achieved

      B   satisfied she has made a success of her role

      C   pleased she has made some good friends

6   You hear a student talking about his idea for a project with his tutor.

      The tutor is concerned that the student.

      A   will need to widen his topic area.

      B   has forgotten about part of the process.

      C   hasn’t done enough background reading.

7   You hear a man telling a friend about his work.

      What does he say about it?

      A   It is often misunderstood.

      B   It isn’t as creative as he’d like.

      C   He’d prefer to do something else.

8   You hear part of a radio talk about training horses.

      The woman is of the opinion that

      A   horse-training is better left to experts.

      B   training a horse isn’t as hard as it seems.

      C   horses can react well to training.

Answer & Audioscript

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


1   You hear a flight attendant talking about taking long flights.

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from air passengers is lack of leg-room. No one wants to sit scrunched up in a ball for hours on end. Checking the seating plan of the plane you’re taking will help you identify areas where there’s space to stretch out – usually at the back, though there’s increased engine noise there. Passengers tend to stand and move around in the aisles – I won’t advise against this as it keeps blood moving round the body – though we do need to keep asking them to sit down while we’re serving refreshments.

2   You hear a patient talking to a diet expert about taking vitamins.

A:   What do you think about taking vitamin pills?

B:   I’ve always believed that if you eat a balanced diet, there’s little reason to. It depends how much effort you put into preparing healthy meals, which is what I’d encourage. It’s tempting not to bother if you’re taking vitamin supplements – you rely on them instead.

A:   So, you’re against the idea?

B:   I wouldn’t say that exactly. Occasionally your doctor might prescribe you a particular vitamin if your body’s lacking in something. Anyway, it’s up to you. Vitamin pills tend to be more affordable than they used to be – but check the recommended daily amounts carefully.

3   You hear two friends talking about a yoga class they have attended.

A:   I hadn’t expected yoga to be that hard!

B:   Don’t you feel energised now, though?

A:   Come to think of it, I suppose I do. I can see how it builds strength – some of the positions are pretty difficult to hold. I thought I was going to fall asleep when we did the meditation, though – closing your eyes, breathing deeply …

B:   Mm. I haven’t come across the techniques the teacher used before, and I guess it was like a trip to a foreign land for you

A:   … as a complete newcomer, you mean? True. Whether I’ll go again remains to be seen …

4   You hear a university student leaving a message for a department secretary.

Hello, my name’s Carla Flanders. I’m enrolled on the finance course. I couldn’t attend today’s lecture I’m afraid – my tutor excused me. The thing is, he was meant to be giving back our latest essays today. Obviously without being there I couldn’t pick mine up from him. I need his comments on it – there are no classes now until after the break but I really want to do some work on preparing my presentation in the meantime. Is there any chance of coming in for a chat with him over the holiday? Can you ask him to ring me to set it up? Sorry to cause any inconvenience.

5   You hear a woman talking to her colleague about leaving her job.

A:   I hear you’ve resigned! Are you moving on to better things?

B:   I wouldn’t put it like that! I’ve loved my job here – and I wouldn’t have got the new one without the experience I’ve acquired at this company.

A:   How so?

B:   By polishing my management skills – they’re much improved. The toughest lesson I’ve learned here is not trying to be everyone’s friend. I don’t mean not being approachable or kind, I just mean maintaining a professional distance – give people direction, then back off and let them get on with the task – being available if needed.

A:   Pity you’re going!

6   You hear a student talking about his idea for a project with his tutor.

A:   So, you’ve chosen a topic for your French project?

B:   Yes, I was thinking about doing something on social greetings – what people say in different situations.

A:   That sounds achievable within the word limit. Do you have any access to native French speakers to collect the data? Remember you’re doing original research. Relying on relevant literature isn’t sufficient for this project.

B:   I’ve got some French friends, actually. I’m thinking of recording them speaking.

A:   Will that work, given that you need to compare both informal and formal settings? Have you overlooked that?

B:   Ah … I have, haven’t I?

7   You hear a man telling a friend about his work.

A:   Do you like painting people’s walls for a living?

B:   Of course! People always compare painting people’s rooms with being an artist and think it’s what would-be artists do when they discover they have no talent! I haven’t done a drawing since I left school. I could draw quite well but I never had any intention of being an artist. People often overlook what a skilled job painting and decorating is. It probably doesn’t seem like it requires any imagination – but I’m often asked for advice about colour schemes when clients can’t make up their minds.

8   You hear part of a radio talk about training horses.

For the uninformed, it’s easy to think horses behave in unpredictable ways. Yes, they’re highly sensitive creatures, and yes, you do need to put some real work into training – but you’ll find they respond positively on the whole. You don’t have to be a qualified trainer to understand how horses react to humans. Horses are aware of subtle movements and eye contact, so if you’re nervous, your horse is nervous – guaranteed. Get to know your horse – and your horse will get to know you.

Listening 2

You will hear a radio interview with a student architect called Claire Hirst. For questions 24-30, choose the best answer A, B or C.

24   What does Claire say she has enjoyed learning on her course?

      A   how to explain her ideas to her fellow students

      B   how construction workers actually put up a building

      C   how architects combine practical and creative skills

25   Claire says that in their final year of studies students find they

      A   work on their own more than previously.

      B   get more advice from the tutors.

      C   have fewer projects to do.

26   How does Claire say doing work placements has helped her?

      A   It has allowed her to make a decision about the future.

      B   It has developed most of the skills she already had.

      C   It has confirmed what she imagined about the job.

27   What does Claire say about the project she is currently working on?

      A   She knows the building will be constructed one day.

      B   She is pleased with the work she has done on it.

      C   She is glad the materials she chose have reduced costs.

28   Claire says that when designing people’s homes, architects should

      A   imagine living there themselves.

      B   try to make them interesting.

      C   consider who will live in them.

29   What does Claire say about finding a job as an architect?

      A   Having interview experience is useful.

      B   Phoning architects’ offices is effective.

      C   Recommendations by tutors can help.

30   What does Claire say people thinking of studying architecture should know?

      A   Make sure you can afford the extra course materials.

      B   You can expect to socialise a lot on your course.

      C   It is a very long course and the work is difficult.

Answer & Audioscript

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


Interviewer:   I’m talking to Claire Hirst today, a student architect. Hi Claire.

Claire Hirst:   Hi.

Interviewer:   Claire, first of all, are you enjoying your course?

Claire Hirst:   Yes, I am. I chose architecture because it is such a creative, yet practical, profession, and I’ve certainly learnt loads. We’ve done technical drawing and construction skills, to know what’s going on at the sites, and I’ve loved that. We’ve had to design buildings, and present our ideas to the other students on the course. So presentation skills are essential – both through speaking and drawing – that’s been quite stressful.

Interviewer:   You’re now in your last year of studies, and architecture is a long course. Does this final year feel different?

Claire Hirst:   It’s definitely more intense. Some of the people who started on the course have dropped out, and everyone who’s still left knows they’re in it for the long haul – they know this is the career for them. You have to be self-motivated – there are no tutors telling you what to do and how to do it. They just give you tasks to complete – often several at once – and a set of deadlines, then check on you every week or so, so you really have to be well-organised.

Interviewer:   You’ve done work placements as part of your course. Was this useful?

Claire Hirst:   It’s the only way of really finding out what life is like as a professional architect. Of course, there’s some design involved, but you soon realise that your time is mainly spent doing things like talking to people on the phone and having meetings. A work placement means that at the end of it, you’re much more likely to know whether or not you want to carry on with your course – that was the case for me, anyway.

Interviewer:   Can you tell me about a project you’re working on at the moment?

Claire Hirst:   Yes, at the moment I’m designing a city apartment block. I’ve done a lot of research into the materials I could use. Some of them are expensive, and I have to work out if the block would be economical to build, and how long the construction would take. It would be great if it could be built, because I think it’s looking good, but of course it’s just a student project.

Interviewer:   What do you think about architects’ approach to designing people’s homes?

Claire Hirst:   Most typical families in the local area aren’t looking for anything very unusual. Architects can sometimes forget that ordinary people, not necessarily other architects, are going to live in the homes they design, so the design should suit the people, not the other way round! If you’re sitting in an office and looking at perfect images on a computer all day, you can lose sight of that if you aren’t careful.

Interviewer:   And how will you go about finding a job once you’ve graduated?

Claire Hirst:   You can ring all the local architecture practices, which is what some of my friends who graduated last year did. I must say it took ages and none of them was offered an interview, so I don’t think I’ll do that. The tutors are contacted by practices, too, and asked about good students they think might be suitable for a particular vacancy. The students still have to go through the application process, of course, but at least they have a chance of getting an interview that way.

Interviewer:   And finally, Claire, do you have any advice for people thinking of studying architecture?

Claire Hirst:   Don’t go into it for the money! Often the hours can be very long and the income relatively low. Find out as much about it as you can – read books and magazines, check out websites, visit buildings. Also, be prepared to work hard and play hard. You get to know your course mates extremely well because you spend so much time together.

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