The test is in 4 part: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Now, look at Part 1.
1. Section 1
You will hear a woman asking a shop assistant about DVD players. You now have 30 seconds to read questions 1 to 4.
Customer: Hello! I'm interested in buying a DVD player. Can you help me, as I don't know very much about them.
Shop assistant: Of course. We sell quite a range. Actually, we're doing a customer survey at the moment. So I wonder if I could fill in this form about you and that will actually help me to advise you on the best DVD player for you.
Customer: Oh! Okay.
Shop assistant: First of all, your occupation.
Shop assistant: Okay. Then, have you already got a DVD player?
Customer: No, I've never had one before.
Shop assistant: Aha! And how much do you think you want to spend on a player?
Customer: I'm not sure really but I have got a budget. My friend said I should allow about a hundred pounds, but I can't afford over 85 pounds. So that's what I'm working on.
Shop assistant: Uhmm...And do you watch DVDs very often?
Customer: Er….. Depends what you mean by often? I don’t know what the norm is. Is it about two a week? I suppose I watch three a month. That's enough for me.
Shop assistant: Yes (laughs). What sort of films do you like watching then? Action movies?
Customer: (laughs) Not really. My boyfriend always insists we watch science fiction movies, but I prefer thrillers - something to get your teeth into.
Shop assistant: Okay, just one more. Do you watch other DVDs? - Ones that are not films, like music or something?
Customer: Not much because I don't want to spend the money on something I can watch on TV. But I occasionally rent out comedy programs, and I fight with my boyfriend over all the sports DVDs he watches.
You now have 30 seconds to read questions 5 to 10.
Shop assistant: Okay, let me explain a bit to you about the DVD players that are in your price range. First, there's the DB 30 which has only got basic features, but it is a bargain at 69 pounds. Now all the DVDs come with an after-sales service that starts when the guarantee runs out. As it's so cheap, the DB 30 comes with a limited after-sales service as it only includes parts. You would have to pay for most of the repair.
Customer: Oh… Seems okay.
Shop assistant: Then a slight grade up from that is the XL 643. This comes with an additional feature in that it has an extra button allowing you to record. That's quite useful.
Customer: Oh, yes, that would mean spending less on DVDs to watch.
Shop assistant: Yes. So you'd make the extra money back on it that it costs. Let me see how much it is. Oh, yes, that one's actually reduced at the moment from 79 pounds to $71.99. I think it's worth the extra myself.
Customer: And is that the same level of after-sales service as the other one?
Shop assistant: Well, you get a bit more for your money because what we're offering is a discount on labour. So you don't pay the full price if you have to call an engineer out.
Customer: I see.
Shop assistant: Then the last one is this TriX 24. It is a very good player, and you can use it to listen to your CDs as well as watch DVDs.
Customer: It looks nice, but I bet it's expensive.
Shop assistant: No, it's not top of the range. Let's see. Yes, it's 94 pounds, but what you have to remember is that... that includes insurance so you don't have to pay extra for that. And it comes with a guarantee that's valid for three years as opposed to the usual one. What do you think?
Customer: Mmmm….. Maybe...
That is the end of Part 1. You now have half of minute to check your answers. Now turn to Part 2.
2. Section 2
You are going to listen to a talk about au pair in the UK. First, you have some time to look at questions 11 to 15. Now, listen carefully and answer questions 11 to 15.
What is an au pair? An au pair is a single girl without any dependents, who comes to the UK to learn English and to live as part of an English-speaking family. She is not a domestic servant but may help in the house for up to 5 hours a day for pocket money. Suitable tasks would be light housework and taking care of children. She should have one day each week completely free, and she should be free to attend language classes and religious services if she wishes. Pocket money should be between 15 and 20 pounds per week, and she should have her own room.
Before she arrives, she should have as much information as possible about the home she's going to, and what she will be expected to do. She will find it helpful to have a letter from a hostess explaining the arrangements to show the immigration officer when she arrives.
Before you hear the rest of the talk, you have some time to look at questions 16 to 20.
An au pair must be a single girl aged at least 17, and no older than 27 when she first becomes an au pair. She must be a national of a Western European country which includes Moto, Cyprus and Turkey. The longest a girl may stay in the UK as an au pair is two years. A girl who has been in the UK before as an au pair will be allowed to come to the UK again as an au pair - only if the total period is not more than two years. An au pair is not allowed to take a job in this country. The light household duties which are part of the au pair arrangement are not regarded as employment.
An au pair who is a national of a country which is not in the Commonwealth or European community – EC, and who is admitted for longer than six months will normally have to register with the police. This was shown in her passport, she must take her passport and 2 passport-sized photographs to a police station. She will have to pay a fee - about 25 pounds. If an au pair wishes to stay longer than the time stamped in her passport, she may apply either by post to Lunar House, Croydon or in person at one of the public inquiry offices.
If she applies by post, it is a good idea to send any valuable documents by recorded delivery post. She should apply before the time limit on her permitted stay runs out. She must show that the arrangements are still those of an au pair. She may change host families during her time in the UK providing that the new arrangements are also those of an au pair.
That is the end of Part 2. You now have half a minute to check your answers.
Now turn to Part 3.
3. Section 3
Narrator: You are going to hear Dr. Joanne Robinson, the course director of a Language Learning Centre, answering questions from reporters from the student newspaper. First look at questions 21 to 26. As you listen to the first part of the talk, answer questions 21 to 26. Write no more than three words or numbers for each answer.
Dr. Robinson: Welcome to the Language Learning Centre. I’m Joanne Robinson. You must be the reporters from The Examiner. Please come in and sit down.
Cheryl: Hello Dr. Robinson. Yes, we’re from The Examiner. I’m Cheryl Perkins and this is Don Klim. May I start with a question? Did this college really start with Brazilian students?
Dr. Robinson: It did. The language Learning Centre was founded in 1985 to look after a group of students from Brazil who wanted to study here. Those twenty students soon grew to 60, and, as you can imagine, we had severe accommodation problems.
Don: Somebody said you were in the old amenities block, right near the engineering school.
Dr. Robinson: They have a good memory! Yes, we were there, because the university hadn’t believed we would expand so quickly. The problem wasn’t solved until we moved into these new premises in Bancroft House in 1987.
Don: When did you start taking students from other countries?
Dr. Robinson: About 1990. We now have students from 13 different countries enrolled, and we expect a large group from Turkey next month.
Cheryl: Yes, we’ve noticed a lot more advertisements for Turkish restaurants in our advertising section.
Dr. Robinson: Well, 40% of our students come from Turkey, by far the largest single national group, and I believe there’s been an influx to the rest of the university. There are a lot of Turkish students studying hospitality.
Cheryl: Do you offer anything special to the students?
Dr. Robinson: Yes, we do. There are several things which make us rather different from other language schools. English is certainly not restricted to English for academic purposes here! Sometimes we have extra classes for students who have particular courses in mind, and we have just said goodbye to a group of 30 Indonesian students who were preparing for a university course in agriculture. They came to us for English for farming, and they were with us for a long time. We miss them!
Cheryl: How long do students usually stay at the Language Learning Centre?
Dr. Robinson: It varies, so I’ll talk about the average. Most of our courses last for 5 weeks, but to make any real progress a student needs to be here for at least three terms, that’s 15 weeks. The students do better if they have a little time to settle in at the beginning of the course, and we offer an orientation course that lasts a week. Most students take it. It helps them to settle down, and it gives us plenty of time to test them and place them at the right level.
Don: How many people are in each class?
Dr. Robinson: We sometimes go up to 18, but our average class size is 14 students, and some classes have as few as 7 participants. It depends on the needs of the group.
Cheryl: You were saying that you miss your students when they go. How do you attract students? I mean, how do they hear about the Language Learning Centre in the first place?
Dr. Robinson: We’re included in the university advertising and marketing, and we have our own website. The thing which works best for us, though, is word of mouth. Students who leave us often send us their friends. In fact, a student who arrived today was carrying a photograph for me of a former student and his baby!
Cheryl: It sounds like a nice place to be!
Dr. Robinson: It is! A lot of our students make lasting friendships while they’re here.
Narrator: Now look at questions 27 to 31. As the talk continues, answer questions 27 to 31.
Cheryl: Making friends with other students sounds special enough! I’d like to emphasize that in the student newspaper.
Dr. Robinson: We do try to get our students to be part of the wider university.
Don: How do you do that? Do you encourage them to join the Sports Centre, for instance?
Dr. Robinson: Indeed we do! The Sports Centre is always looking for active participants, particularly in soccer. Oh, and something else. You might like to mention that we don’t teach just English here. I mean, we’re a language centre, not an English language centre. You may learn Spanish, Mandarin, and Russian here, and we can sometimes offer other languages. This means we can have some students who are native speakers of those languages as conversation partners for English-speaking students.
Cheryl: Who can do these courses?
Dr. Robinson: At this time, any native speaker of English.
Cheryl: What about the people who are learning English? Can they do a non-English language course?
Dr. Robinson: At this time, only if they’ve almost finished their English language course. You see, we try very hard to involve students who are native speakers of English as conversation leaders and we encourage our students to join groups on the campus. For instance, if they enjoy music, there is an active jazz group available to everyone, and that’s a lot of fun. On the other hand, elementary students can’t go to the drama group, their English just isn’t ready for that sort of activity, but the university choir welcomes all the singers it can find. They often do large productions that need a lot of voices.
Cheryl: I imagine the special conversation groups are open to all your students …
Dr. Robinson: I wish they were. I’m sorry to say they’re a special service we provide for elementary students only. Is there anything else I can tell you? I’d be really pleased if you could write about the courses we offer in foreign languages.
Cheryl: I think our readers would be very interested in that. Thank you for your time. Dr. Robinson.
Don: Yes, thank you very much.
Dr. Robinson: Goodbye. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about the centre. It’s always good to let the rest of the students at the university know what goes on in our classrooms, and outside them! After all, many of our students leave us and then study for degrees in various disciplines on this campus.
Narrator: That is the end of Section 3. You will now have some time to check your answer. Now turn to Section 4.
4. Section 4
Narrator: You will hear part of an earth sciences lecture. First you have some time to look at questions 31 to 36. Now listen carefully and answer questions 31 to 36.
Good morning and welcome to this earth sciences lecture. We’ve been looking recently at such phenomena as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and other natural occurrences. Today we are going to look at a lesser-known feature of the earth which is known as the supervolcano. As the name implies this is a volcano of a much larger size than what we normally imagine a volcano to be. The term super volcano has no specifically defined scientific meaning. It is used to refer to volcanoes that have generated Earth’s largest volcanic eruptions. As such, a super volcano would be one that has produced an exceedingly large, catastrophic explosive eruption and a giant caldera. The caldera being the gigantic crater that the eruption creates. Whereas normal volcano craters are measured in the hundreds of meters, a caldera can easily be as large as 40 or 50 miles wide. Around the world, there are several volcanic areas that can be considered super volcanoes such as Long Valley in Eastern California, Toba in Indonesia, and Lake Taupo in New Zealand. There are also other large calderas in Japan, Indonesia, Scotland and Alaska. Not all the calderas are active though.
Normal volcanoes are formed by a column of magma, rising from deep within the Earth, erupting on the surface, and hardening in layers down the sides. This forms the familiar cone-shaped mountain we associate with volcanoes. Super volcanoes, however, begin life when magma rises from the Earth’s mantle to create a boiling reservoir in the Earth’s crust. This chamber increases to an enormous size, building up colossal pressure until it finally erupts. An explosion like this could send ash, dust, and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, reflecting the sun’s rays and creating a cold wave lasting several years. Crops in many areas would fail and many species of animals and plants, including humans, would face extinction.
The most recent caldera-forming eruption in the US was about 650,000 years ago in the northeast United States. During that eruption, ground-hugging flows of hot volcanic ash, pumice, and gases swept across an area of more than 3000 square miles. The eruption also shot a column of volcanic ash and gases high into Earth’s stratosphere. This volcanic cloud circled the globe many times and affected the Earth’s climate by reducing the intensity of solar radiation reaching the lower atmosphere and surface. Fine volcanic ash that fell downwind from the eruption site blanketed much of North America. This ash layer is still preserved in deposits as far away as Iowa, where it is a few inches thick, and the Gulf of Mexico, where it is recognizable in drill cores from the seafloor.
Narrator: You now have some time to look at questions 37 to 40. Now listen to the rest of the lecture and answer questions 37 to 40.
It is little known that lying underneath one of The United States’ largest and most picturesque National Parks, Yellowstone Park, is one of the largest super volcanoes in the world. Volcanic activity began in the Yellowstone National Park region about two million years ago. Magma rising from deep within the Earth has produced three cataclysmic eruptions more powerful than any in the world’s recorded history. The first caldera-forming eruption occurred about 2.1 million years ago. The eruptive blast removed so much magma from its subsurface storage reservoir that the ground above it collapsed into the magma chamber and left a caldera larger than the state of Rhode Island. The huge caldera measured as much as 50 miles long, 40 miles wide and hundreds of meters deep, extending from outside Yellowstone National Park into the central area of the Park.
Scientists have revealed that Yellowstone Park has been on a regular eruption cycle of 600,000 years. The last eruption was 640,000 years ago so the next is overdue. The next eruption could be 2,500 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. Vulcanologists have been tracking the movement of magma under the park and have calculated that in parts of Yellowstone the ground has risen over point seven of a meter this century. This means the magma is rising.
Geologists have called for a task force to be set up to consider emergency management in the event of a massive volcanic eruption, or super-eruption. Experts say such an event would have a colossal impact on a global scale.
The fallout from a super-eruption could cause a “volcanic winter”, devastating global agriculture and causing mass starvation. One past super-eruption struck at Toba in Sumatra 74 thousand years ago and is thought by some to have driven the human race to the edge of extinction. Signs from DNA suggest human numbers could have dropped to about 10,000, probably as a result of the effects of climate change. The volcanic winter resulting from a super-eruption could last several years or decades, depending on the scale of an eruption, and according to recent computer models, could cause cooling on a global scale by 5 to 10 degrees celsius.
Narrator: That is the end of Section 4. You now have half a minute to check your answers.