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Test 1 / 20

Extract One

You hear someone speaking about being an astronaut.

1) What does the speaker say about sleeping in space?
2) What parameters, according to the speaker, can affect the quality of your sleep in space?

Extract Two

You hear someone speaking about playing computer games.

1) What does the speaker feel about the future of games with a sexist bias?
2) What is the mindset of game creators, according to the speaker?

Extract Three

You hear someone speaking about working in Antarctica.

1) How does the speaker feel about working in Antarctica?
2) How does she feel about Antarctic summers?
Extract 1

(0:03) Sleeping on station was actually pretty comfortable. (0:05) When we would go up on shuttle missions, we’d sort of have a camp-out scheme, where you’d get your sleeping bag out in the morning and put it on the wall, or the ceiling, or sleep in the airlock. (0:15) And then in the morning, you’d roll your sleeping bags up.

(0:17) But when you stay on space station, you have your own sort of small closet, if you will, your crew quarter, that you can put your sleeping bag up on the wall and leave it there. (0:28) And I used bungees to hold myself into my sleeping bag. (0:31) They’re big elastic cords, so they’re kind of like big, monster, huge rubber band-like cords that have some elasticity to them.

(0:38) So I would put the bungees around my sleeping bag, and then the bungees would provide a sort of a force that would hold me to the wall. (0:48) Sleeping in space is something that, if you’re only there for a short term, it’s really difficult to adjust. (0:53) But when you’re there for a longer term, it seems very natural.

Extract 2

(0:02) When it comes to the development of video games, I think the majority of games are created from the masculine perspective. (0:09) Obviously it’s bad because it’s unnecessary and it’s not inclusive. (0:14) We know that many of the female players love these games.

(0:17) It’s not about the mechanics and it’s not necessarily even about the story, but if you have sexualized characters, in particular from a masculine perspective, I mean the guys probably think that the male characters are sexualized too, but it’s still from a masculine perspective. (0:34) So they will create male characters that they want to be, but they also create the female characters that they feel attracted by. (0:42) So if we had a more diverse development team, for instance, and I think we’re going in that direction, I think that this will almost certainly happen.

(0:53) I think the sexist games will always be there because there is an audience who really love those games, but I think that most game developers have started to think that if we avoid that part, we will actually broaden our consumer base. (1:08) 

Extract 3

(0:02) I have worked in Antarctica a few times and there are two aspects here. (0:08) The first is just how isolated it is. (0:11) Once you’re deployed, you’re always in Antarctica.

(0:13) You can’t go home for the weekend, you can’t go home after work, so you’re always on duty, even when you’re off duty. (0:21) But you’re always with work people, which is both wonderful and sometimes slightly stressful. (0:26) And the second aspect is just the cold.

(0:30) So that every time you want to go outside and need to go outside to work on something for work, you have to think a lot harder about things that should be really simple, like I need to go outside maybe to tighten a screw, which should take five minutes. (0:47) But sometimes once you think about gloves and protective gear and all that stuff, it takes a lot longer. (0:53) It’s the Antarctic time factor, we call it, and I think takes longer than it should.

(0:59) But during the summer months, when I was there last year and when I will be there, because of course the Antarctic summer is starting now, its coldest is around minus 20. (1:11) And it also depends on what the wind is doing. (1:14) And that’s kind of at the beginning of the end of the summer.

(1:17) In the middle of the summer last year, it got up to just above zero for a few days. (1:23) And actually, there’s no wind, that feels very warm, because the sun just beats down on you. (1:29) And it’s really nice, and you can walk around in t-shirts, but with lots of sunscreen.

Test 2 / 20

Extract One

You hear two people talking about their work as website designers

1) How does the man feel about the work?
2)What do they both think about the job?

Extract Two

You hear two cyclists talking about their sport.

1) The man thinks his success as a cyclist is due to
2) When talking about cycling in a velodrome, the woman reveals her

Extract Three

You hear a man called Roy talking about bees on a phone-in programme.

1) Why has he phoned the programme?
2) When talking about gardens, he is

Extract 1

Man: As a kid, I was always messing around on computers, so ended up doing a degree in computer science. Though strictly speaking it isn’t necessary for this job, it did mean I could walk straight into it. What companies want is people who can come up with ideas. I get a buzz from that side of it, even when it’s hard. It’s a fluid working environment, so hours aren’t fixed and can be long in relation to the salary. I generally like to work on my own, but a web designer can’t produce stuff in a vacuum, because by its very nature it’s a collaborative effort.

Woman: I didn’t go the university route but worked part-time with different companies and made loads of contacts who’ve come in handy – got my foot in the door so to speak – then I got a full time job offer that got me on the ladder. It wasn’t easy, and considering what you put in the job’s not the big earner that people assume it is – at least not at the beginning! I supplement it by writing reviews of other people’s sites, but I enjoy the flexibility. I like working with other people, and that’s key.

Extract 2

Woman: How long have you been cycling then?

Man: I started road cycling when I was six, and got hooked immediately. I’d practise sprinting between two streetlights over and over. I’ve always been competitive, and I work harder than anyone else. If I don’t win I need to know why. I copy the person who beat me. I won’t stop till I’m better than them. The stiff competition in the cycling world is what drives me. You’ve been to the velodrome, haven’t you?

Woman: Yeah. The track itself is amazing – such a steep angle and the bikes have no brakes. If you stop pedalling it stops! Although I’m not such an experienced cyclist as you, I jumped at the chance to try it and, wow! From the position of the start line that steep slope looks like a mountain! I was told the faster you go the safer you are, so I pedalled like mad, and managed one lap. I kept going and started to enjoy it; so much so I forgot to pedal, and immediately fell off!

Man: So you’ll go be going back?

Woman: You try stopping me!

Extract 3

Interviewer: So, Roy, what do you want to talk about on the programme today?

Roy: I want to talk about bees. Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, they’re friendly creatures and they’re declining in numbers. For what it’s worth, my own experience is much like that of other callers who’ve reported near normal numbers of bumble bees but virtually no honey bees. I think there’s a distinct lack of wasps, too. I’m at a loss to know why, though I’ve read interesting articles about the domestication of bees and poor practices of modern beekeepers, but it seems clear that we can’t discount what others see as the number one culprit – the overuse of chemicals by gardeners.

Interviewer: So what do you suggest gardeners do, Roy?

Roy: Well, the best thing anyone lucky enough to have a garden can do is provide a ‘bee friendly’ area. And the good news is bees prefer ‘lazy’ gardeners, which I suspect is most of us. A wild garden providing a natural habitat is the way forward. Choose what you plant carefully. It doesn’t have to be hard work but it could make a big difference! And buy your honey from local suppliers you know and trust.