B2 First (FCE)
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Test 1 / 30

You will hear people talking in eight different situations.

1.You hear a message on a telephone answering machine.

Why is the speaker calling?

2. You hear a man talking about a water-sports centre.

The man says the centre should

3. You hear a professional tennis player talking about her career.

What annoys her most about interviewers?

4. You hear a poet talking about his work.

What is he doing?

5. You hear two people talking about a programme they saw on TV.

The woman thinks the programme was

6. You hear two people talking about an ice-hockey game they’ve just seen.

How does the girl feel about it?

7. You overhear two friends talking about a restaurant.

What do they both like about it?

8. You hear a man on the radio.

What type of information is he giving?

John: Oh hi it’s me, John. Sorry to miss you – you must’ve already left for work. Look, I wondered if you wanted to come away for the weekend. There’ll be about 10 of us including someone called Sam Brent who says he was at college with you – and he remembers that you were brilliant at rock and roll! They’ve decided it’ll be on October 9, Friday night till Sunday. Anyway, I’ll put the details in the post. I know you’re busy at the moment, so don’t feel you have to come, but just let me know one way or the other when you can. Talk to you soon. Bye.

Woman: So how did you like the new sports centre?
Man: Well, there’s a wide choice of things to do… It’s just that their advertisements said ‘something to suit all the family’. I wish they’d had water games for the under fives. There was nothing really suitable for them. But you can learn to windsurf or sail, and you have the freedom to go anywhere in the lake …
Woman: Isn’t that a bit dangerous?
Man: Not really. Nobody’s allowed in the water without a lifejacket, and a rescue boat is on hand all the time.
Woman: Sounds great.
Man: It was

Interviewer: Are you ever annoyed by interviewers?
Star: Well, I’m often asked about the financial side of things. I don’t mind, but I can honestly say, for many tournaments, I don’t even know what the prize money is. I just focus on playing to my full potential. They must find that answer disappointing! No, the ones I have a problem with are those who assume it’s all about partying and gossip. I wish they’d ask about the real lifestyle: practising day in, day out, and getting from tournament to tournament. I probably do around a hundred long-haul flights a year. It sounds exciting, but it wipes you out and actually ruins your social life!

Poet: I’ve been slowly writing more and more poems for kids over the last few years. Talking to young people in schools, which I’ve been doing for some time now, reinforces my belief that they need and want the same range of subjects that older people do – relationships, work, family, etc. Often it’s something that only emerges after my poems are finished, but quite a few of them in my new collection were first thought of as poems for adults, until I realised that they might work just as well, or better, for kids. But I hope it’s a book that adults will enjoy too.

Woman: Did you watch that programme about the Gobi Desert last night? I thought it’d be really interesting because it’s a part of the world I know very little about.
Man: The photography was brilliant, wasn’t it?
Woman: Yes, you could really feel how harsh the life was there.
Man: Overwhelmingly grey, I thought. It’d be hard to feel cheerful living in that landscape.
Woman: It was a bit short on facts though, wasn’t it?
Man: I don’t think it was that kind of programme. They just wanted you to be amazed at the fantastic landscape. I guess that’s why there wasn’t much commentary.
Woman: You’re right. I hadn’t thought of that.

Man: So, your first live ice-hockey game. Glad you came?
Woman: Well, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but it was so cold – I had no idea that it would be like that. I wish I’d brought my thicker coat!
Man: That’s normal! At least it was a really exciting game – our team was doing much better than usual.
Woman: Well, perhaps that accounts for the noise! I knew it would be loud, but it was incredible.
Man: What do you expect? We have to support them!
Woman: Well I can say I’ve done it – just don’t expect to see me here next week!

Man: I can see why people really rate the place.
Woman: Yeah. They really know how to bring out the flavours in the different dishes. They also put a lot of thought into combining unusual ingredients. And as a restaurant it’s not too stuffy and formal. It’s got a really lively feel about it.
Man: Perhaps a little too lively. It was quite hard to hear each other above the din. I’m not sure it’d be the place to come for a romantic dinner. Great food though, and so visually appealing on the plate.
Woman: They’ve made a lot of effort with that. It really adds to the experience, doesn’t it?

Radio: As a result of heavy snow, there has been major disruption to rail services this morning. A number of breakdowns have been reported in the west, with people stranded on some trains. In this region blizzard conditions are making driving conditions hazardous. A severely restricted train service will be operating within the next few hours into the capital and delays are expected on all lines in the south of the country.  In the north, there is some snow, but services have been able to continue, with only a few cancellations reported.

Test 2 / 30

You will hear people talking in eight different situations.

1.You hear a young man talking about his hobby of rock climbing.

How does he feel about it?

2.You hear a public announcement at a family theme park.

What does the announcement contain?

3.You hear two people talking about a course they have attended.

What was the topic of the course?

4. You hear two people talking about a film they have both seen.

What do they agree about?

5. You hear a man being interviewed about a new project he has set up in his home town.

What is the purpose of the project?

6. You hear a man talking on the radio about salespeople.

What does he say about them?

7. You hear two friends talking about a student website.

What do they agree about it?

8. You hear a chef talking about taking part in a cookery competition.

What did he find surprising?

Climber: It’s not for everyone, but I love the physical aspect. I started almost  by accident – my uncle took me to an indoor climbing wall and I was  hooked. The start of any climb still gives me a real buzz. I’ve never  settled for being less than the best at anything I’ve tried, and that’s  what pushed me to the standard I am now – which doesn’t mean  I don’t think I can still improve! I get a huge sense of achievement  when I finish a particularly demanding climb, and though other  climbers get nervous sometimes, like when there’s ice, or the  weather’s bad, that never puts me off.

Sonia: Attention, everybody. This is Sonia Lee and I’m events manager for  today at Seaworld Centre. If you hurry to Zone D you can catch  the spectacular ‘riding with dolphins’ event. The next one’s on at 5  past 11, but don’t worry if you miss that, because you’ve got three  more chances to see it today. We’ll now be feeding the sea lions  at 2.15, that’s 45 minutes later than scheduled according to your  programmes. And whatever you do, don’t miss the ever-popular Penguin Walkabout. That starts in half an hour. You’ve never seen anything like it! See you there!

Woman: I enjoyed that.
Man: It was a bit too businessy for me. I know everything’s about profits these days, but I still think producing books should be more about creativity than making money .
Woman: Everything’s going the same way, whether you like it or not. A friend of mine did a course on book illustration, and she said the first lecture was about costs.
Man: Anyway, this speaker said if we’re going into the book trade, we should get practice in as many aspects as possible .
Woman: I agree with that. They need an editor for the sports page on the student newspaper, and I think I’ll go for it.

Woman: Well, what did you think of that film?
Man: I had mixed reactions really. From what I’d read, I expected it to be funnier.
Woman: I know what you mean – just shows how different people’s tastes can be I guess.  Good twist at the end though. I wasn’t expecting that, were you?
Man: I kind of guessed what was coming to be honest. There were a lot of references to other films in the storyline I thought.
Woman: Oh, you think so? I wasn’t quite sure what message it was trying to convey, though. One minute it seemed to be saying one thing and the next it was saying the opposite.
Man: Yeah, I agree.

Woman: Steven, this new environmental project you’re running, what are you hoping to achieve?
Man: Well, Susie, the town I live in, Melbury, is a very pleasant place to live – clean and tidy. The problem really isn’t with Melbury as such but is a wider problem – that of the dangers of rubbish to wildlife. So I got all the retailers in the town together and showed them a film I’d made on this subject and as a result they’ve agreed to use paper bags instead of plastic ones.  Recycling was introduced very successfully last year so I’m hoping that my new project will have similar success.

Man: Professional salespeople can sell anything to anyone and they do this by using very basic psychological techniques. Buyers normally have certain requirements by which they will judge the suitability of a product. The seller therefore attempts to find out what these conditions are by building a bond – asking questions about hobbies, family and the like; but you need to remember, the seller is only interested in ‘closing the deal’.  At its most extreme, salespeople will even attempt to mirror the body language of the buyer. If the buyer laughs, then so will the seller.

Man: The college website is up again. Have you seen it?
Woman: Yes, they’ve been working on it for a month and it’s better now. I thought, if they’d got sponsorship from local companies, there’d be too many advertisements, but it’s OK.
Man: Yeah. That’s not a problem. They must’ve got someone in from the design department to work on it, because there’re some real improvements, it’s not so dull.
Woman: Especially the artwork on the home page.  They want people to send in ideas so they can change the layout regularly.
Man: OK, so long as it doesn’t get too complicated and you waste time figuring out how to get to the page you want.

Woman: How did you find the competition?
Man: Tough, but I really enjoyed it. I was convinced the dishes I’d chosen to prepare would go down well. I decided to focus on using local ingredients as people nowadays worry a lot about what they’re eating and it’s really important to know where the food comes from. It was my first time competing against others and it was fun being under pressure to come up with things under strict time limits. I hadn’t expected to be so worn out though, I think it was having to be on my feet for so long , but it’s definitely something I’ll do again.

Test 3 / 30

You will hear people talking in eight different situations.

1.You hear a hotel manager talking about the staff who work for her.

What does she say about them?

2. You overhear a student talking on the phone.

What does he say about life at college?

3. You hear a caller on a radio phone-in programme.

Why has she phoned?

4. You hear a man talking about a wildlife documentary.

What aspect of it disappointed him?

5. You overhear two people talking in a cafe. 

The man has just come from

6.You hear a man talking about how he designs light shows for music concerts.

He usually gets his ideas by

7. You hear two friends talking about a new ‘free bike-hire’ scheme.

What do they agree about?

8. You hear a woman talking about her favourite movie.

Why does she like it?

Woman: I think I’ve managed to build up quite a good team of staff here at the hotel, although of course there’s always more you could do. When I started, there was a bit of a tendency for leaving early among some of them and I had to be firm in putting a stop to that. I don’t think people should get fixed in one particular role, so I have them rotating their duties – reception desk, waiting, cleaning – from week to week, and if I see someone shows talent, I recommend they try for further training or something like that.

Man: So well it’s OK Mum. I’ve not done much actual studying yet. More just registering for the library, things like that. I’ve got as far as meeting all my teachers, and I’m happy that they all seem nice. And I’ve settled into my room now, you know, got pictures up on the walls. It’s really close to everything, the centre, the campus.  There are loads of other students in the same building, of course, and they seem OK, most of them, so I expect I’ll get to know them over the next few weeks.

Woman: Yes, I’m calling about the way some colleges are cancelling training courses. I was listening to the last caller and I thought it’s terrible, this business of simply telling people no, sorry, it’s not running after all. In my case, I’d paid a deposit, I’d arranged to have the time away from work, so when the course was cancelled it was really bad news. I’m sure there are other listeners out there with the same experience. So, what can be done about it? Who’s responsible?

Man: Overall, this documentary is worth watching. I’m not sure it’s going to win an award this year, however, since it’s short of being really inspirational. The locations are great, but in some ways the camera work lets the rest of it down. I’m not saying there’s anything actually poor, but by today’s standards, I’d have expected tighter close-ups, a few more night scenes using infra-red techniques.  I think this is particularly true if you’re going to feature the kinds of smaller animals that they went for here, ones that don’t naturally fill the screen. The voice-over was strange, very downbeat, almost flat, which actually gave an odd sense of excitement to it.

Man: I’m so sorry I am so late…
Woman: Don’t worry. I was fine, checking my messages here…
Man: I got here as quickly as I could, but just as I was leaving the office, I got a call from the camera shop to say my photos of my friend Richard were almost ready… but they had some questions – ‘just take a moment, sir’ – well, it was a funny kind of moment!
Woman: No problem…
Man: Anyway, they’ll be done just in time to pick up tonight, so I can take them over to Richard’s house after this.
Woman: I’m sure he’ll be pleased.

Man: Well every show’s different, of course, a fresh challenge. What works brilliantly in one venue may flop in another, so I always focus on the idea of the audience, how they will experience the performance… and then I try to bury myself in the music they’ll be playing, playing it over and over again, until it’s inside me, until I start to get a main idea , and then I refine that. I might also look at some classic films, like old black-and-white ones, to get ideas about light and dark, contrast… it depends on the kind of music I’m dealing with.

Woman: What this city needs is a free bike-hire system, like they have in some other places. It would do a great deal for the quality of life here. And it’s up to the local government to pay for it. It’d probably reduce bike thefts as well as reducing traffic congestion!
Man: Well, I’m not sure about the crime angle, but the environmental benefits for the city would be clear. But I think it needs wider involvement than just the local council. It’s such a serious issue…
Woman: Well, it’s not a national issue like gun crime or something, is it?
Man: No, but it’s a deeper problem than people seem to appreciate.

Woman: Yes, I’d say that is my favourite film of all time. Ever. There is no limit to how many times I could watch it, and every time I watch it, I’m still absolutely hooked, to the exclusion of all else. I mean, yes, I fully acknowledge that not that much actually happens. Maybe it is a tiny bit slow by today’s standards, but the laughs still work, the jokes are still well delivered, and there’s just enough romance involved to make the whole thing quite sweet – and the last line is still one of the best in any film.

Test 4 / 30

You will hear people talking in eight different situations.

1.You hear a woman talking on her mobile phone about a missing piece of furniture.

How does she feel?

2. You hear two students talking about their current course topic.

What do they agree about?

3. You hear two business people talking about a contract.

How does the man feel now?

4. You hear an artist telling a friend about an art prize he’s just won.

What is he doing?

5. You overhear a women talking to a friend on her mobile phone.

Why is she phoning?

6. You hear a guitarist talking about his profession.

What is the purpose of his talk?

7. You hear a woman talking to a sales assistant.

Why can’t she have a refund for her trainers?

8. You hear a woman talking about a radio chat show.

What does she like about the show?