Practice Test A - Listening Transcripts
Time remaining: 999 seconds
Part 1: Listening to Problem Solving

You will hear a conversation between a woman and a man. The man is a bus driver and the woman is a passenger trying to get somewhere.

Section 1:
MAN: This is the last stop. Watch your step on the way out, ma’am.
WOMAN: Thanks, driver! Do you happen to know where the little kids’ playground is? I know it’s in the park somewhere. Too bad I forgot my smartphone.
MAN: There are a few playgrounds here . . . Do you mean the one next to the water fountain?
WOMAN: No, the one I’m thinking of is just beside a petting zoo. You know, where there’s goats and rabbits?
MAN: Hm . . . yeah I know there’s a petting zoo, but I don’t know where it is exactly. Anyway, I’m pretty sure there’s a children’s playground over there, past the restaurant. Maybe you could take a look over that way?
WOMAN: Okay, great. Sounds good, thanks very much.

Now answer questions 1-3.
  1. What is the woman eventually hoping to find?
  2. What best describes the driver’s response?
  3. What will the woman probably do next?

Section 2:
WOMAN: Oh, it’s you again. What a coincidence. Are you finished work for the day?
MAN: No, I wish! I’ve got a half hour break before my next trip, so I thought I’d get out of the bus and get some fresh air. My directions didn’t help, eh? Are you lost?
WOMAN: Yes! I’ve been looking but I don’t see any signs or maps posted.
MAN: Tell you what. I’ll look up the map on my smartphone. [Pause] Yikes. You’re nowhere near the playground. It’s way on the other side of the park.
WOMAN: Oh, no! I have to meet someone there really soon.
MAN: Yeah, looks like quite a hike . . . If you walk, you’ll be late. But it says here that a free shuttle bus goes there every 5 minutes. That must be it over there, see?
WOMAN: Do you mean that green bus?
MAN: That big one? No, that’s a tour bus. The shuttle bus would be the little red one.

Now answer questions 4-6.
  1. How did the woman meet the man again?
  2. Which statement is true?
  3. How should the woman get to the playground?

Section 3:
MAN: You’re back! What happened? I thought you were catching the shuttle bus!
WOMAN: I tried to, but it was broken down and out of service. There were lots of angry people, I can tell you.
MAN: I’m glad you aren’t one of them! Hop on, then . . . you’ve got the bus all to yourself. I’m leaving now. I’ll drop you off at the north gate.
WOMAN: Is that near the playground?
MAN: Yup. I checked because I don’t want to give bad directions again. Sorry about that!
WOMAN: So where should I go when I get off the bus?
MAN: Okay, here’s the deal. The north gate is right outside the petting zoo. Walk straight through the petting zoo and you’ll see the playground right behind it. You’ll be there in 5 minutes.
WOMAN: So I won’t be late after all.

Now answer questions 7-8.
  1. Why does the bus driver tell the woman he is glad?
  2. Will the woman go to the playground?
Part 2: Listening to a Daily Conversation

You will hear a conversation. The conversation is between two co-workers. The woman is having some challenges finishing a project.

MAN: You don’t look so good, Anne. You look pale. Is everything all right with you?
WOMAN: I’m OK. I just haven’t slept much lately and I guess it’s starting to show. I’ve been working on a couple of projects and the work is taking much longer than I thought it would. I’ve been up most nights writing the reports that are due the next week.
MAN: You should get some more sleep. Why don’t you finish the reports after work, before you go home for the day?
WOMAN: I can’t. I have to pick up my son at the daycare right after work, and when I get home I have to fix dinner and watch my son until he falls asleep around 10.
MAN: That’s such a late bedtime!
WOMAN: I know. He’s 5 months old, and we are still struggling with bedtime.
MAN: Can your husband help you?
WOMAN: He helps around the house a lot; he takes care of the cleaning, the laundry and cooks breakfast after work every day, but I’m on my own with the bedtime routine unfortunately.
MAN: Breakfast after work?
WOMAN: Yes! He works the night shift. He gets home around 6:30 in the morning and he cooks us breakfast before he goes to bed.
MAN: Sounds like a very stressful situation. Can you ask for an extension on the project?
WOMAN: It is pretty stressful, but I can’t really ask for an extension. I’m being considered for a promotion and I’m afraid that if I ask for one, my boss might think I’m not competent to take on more responsibilities. I don’t want to risk my chances, and if I get the promotion my husband will be able to work day shifts again, which would be more convenient for our family.
MAN: Is there anything I can do to help you?
WOMAN: Not really, but thanks for the offer. My husband is taking Friday off, and my mom is picking up my son for the weekend so I can finish the reports and hopefully get some sleep.

Now answer questions 1-5.

  1. Why was the man concerned?
  2. What did the man suggest?
  3. Why hasn’t the woman slept lately?
  4. Why can’t the woman ask for an extension?
  5. What is her husband doing to help her finish the reports?
Part 3: Listening for Information

You will hear a conversation. A man is interviewing a woman about perfectionism in the workplace.

MAN: Thanks Dr. Burns for speaking to us about perfectionism in the workplace. To get us started, perfection is typically seen as a positive thing. I mean, to be perfect is to make something the best it can be. However, do you think perfectionism is always positive?
WOMAN: Well, not always. Although perfectionism is generally associated with success, it can also be very negative.
MAN: Can you explain more about that?
WOMAN: Our study has found that perfectionists tend to spend much more time on a task than non-perfectionists.
MAN: Isn’t the quality of the work better, the longer you spend on a task?
WOMAN: Not necessarily. Because perfectionists have such a high standard, they devote too much attention to details. In our study it was common for perfectionists to run out of time and fail to complete their tasks. We also found that perfectionists had difficulties sharing work. Perfectionists tended to do all the work by themselves.
MAN: Did that create problems in the workplace?
WOMAN: Most definitely. First, we found that perfectionists are having trouble staying employed in large companies. They are seen as less cooperative and less capable. Second, we found that perfectionists feel more socially isolated. This leads me to our third main finding: those who strive for perfection in the workplace are more prone to severe anxiety and even depression.
MAN: Is it fair to say that perfectionism causes stress and may even cause depression?
WOMAN: No, it’s not a direct cause. We believe time management is the key to this puzzle. Our participants’ anxiety and feelings of depression were often associated with fear of not having enough time to finish the task.
MAN: So, if they managed their time better, anxiety and depression could subside?
WOMAN: We believe so, and that’s the focus of our next research project.
MAN: That is fascinating. Until then, any advice for perfectionists?
WOMAN: I’d say to start with a careful and realistic plan; prioritize what is needed to bring a project to completion and not spend too much time on details. I’d also suggest that they try to work in groups, and discuss their difficulties with other people.

Now answer questions 1-6.

  1. What is the woman’s occupation?
  2. What does the woman say about perfectionists in her study?
  3. According to the woman, what can perfectionism in the workplace do?
  4. Why do perfectionists feel anxious?
  5. What does the woman suggest perfectionists should do?
  6. What is the focus of the woman’s next project?
Part 4: Listening to a News Item

You will hear a news item about a unique medical procedure.

Scientists from Bionic Vision Australia reported that they were successful at implanting the world’s first artificial eye. This eye is a very small computerized device that allows patients who lost their eyesight to have some vision. Dianne Ashworth, who lost her sight 10 years ago, was the first of three patients to receive the device. Dr. Allen states Dianne’s early results are very promising and expects two more patients will receive the eye by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Dianne Ashworth spoke to reporters about the moment when scientists turned the device on. She described it as an amazing experience, and told reporters she hoped that two other patients will have similar results.

Dianne has not regained her full sight yet. She is only able to see shapes, such as the outlines of objects, and to detect movement. According to Dr. Allen, who installed the device, the present device is just a prototype. The prototype will be switched for a much better and clearer artificial eye in three more years.

Part 5: Listening to a Discussion

You will watch a discussion between three people at a cafe. They all belong to a conversation club where some members are improving their English and some are improving their French.

MAN 1: Well, that was a good session, eh? All twenty-four members present, eight conversation groups of three—a full house. How did it go for you, Diane?
WOMAN: Our group spoke French for more than half the time. 40 minutes of French and 20 minutes of English. But, hey, I’m not complaining! I need all the French I can get.
MAN 1: Hey, your French is just as good as mine. Keep practising. A few more weeks and you’ll sound like Nicolas here.
MAN 2: And remember, it’s even harder for the allophones here. They’re learning a third language!
WOMAN: Allophones?
MAN 2: They’re people whose first language isn’t English or French. Like . . . Marta. She’s an allophone. She grew up speaking Ukrainian, then she learned English, and now she’s trying to pick up French.
WOMAN: Marta was in my group! She’s amazing! Her French is way better than mine. She said her friend wants to join.
MAN 1: Well, that makes six new members who want to join, and they’re all allophones! The problem is . . . we can’t ask people to start bringing their own chairs. Maybe we need to look at a bigger restaurant.
MAN 2: I think we should just limit the membership to twenty-four. It . . . Can’t we start a waitlist? There’s enough turnover. Colleen and Liam are going back to Germany next week.
WOMAN: The thing is, if you put prospective members on a waitlist, they might just join a different club. I know from working at the community centre, waitlists are unreliable. You can have six people on a waitlist, but when you call them, none of them are interested anymore. So, when people ask to join, we should let them in right away. How about meeting at a second location on different nights?
MAN 2: Well, if all the new members are allophones, maybe we should change the format. Right now, each conversation group has one native English speaker, one native French speaker, and one allophone. But maybe in the new location, it should just be for allophones.
MAN 1: No, we need to mix them in with native speakers like we’re doing now. The allophones kind of . . . inspire the others by their example, and they’re great translators. For the next little while, we’ll just have some groups with three and some groups with four until we get more native speakers in. We’ll need to find a second location for a meet-up on alternate nights. Some people can meet on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The new group could meet Wednesdays and Sundays.
Part 6: Listening for Viewpoints

You will hear a report about a controversial bill being proposed to reduce jail time for prisoners

A new bill proposed by Paul Carter from the New Democratic Party is bound to stir a great deal of controversy. Mr. Carter, who represents a project called Reading for Freedom, proposes a novel way to approach jail terms: some prisoners would be able to shorten their sentences by up to 36 days a year—by reading books. Inmates in provincial prisons in Ontario would receive 3 days off their sentence for each book they finish reading. They could choose from a selection of 12 works of literature, philosophy, science, and classics, such as Shakespeare and Tolstoy.

But reading alone would not be sufficient. In order to demonstrate that prisoners have read and comprehended each work, they would be required to write an essay that must make use of paragraphs, proper grammar and spelling. Prisoners’ access to the program would depend on the type of crime they committed and also prisoners’ behavioural record after incarceration. The key purpose of the project is to reduce conflict among prisoners and encourage personal development.

Though innovative, the project has already met strong opposition from politicians, law enforcers and the general public. Many wonder how reading novels can genuinely prepare prisoners for real-life after being reintroduced in society. They asked how reading Shakespeare could help the prisoners find jobs after prison. Finally some, like Evelyn Brech, a political science student at University of Toronto, questioned how fair the system would be for those who are already disadvantaged. People who did not have access to proper education in the first place, or are not fluent in the English language, would not be able to read these books. This would be unfair for many Aboriginals and immigrants. According to Evelyn, the program does not give equal opportunities to everyone and could further victimize the ones whom the system has already failed.

Chris Kendhi, who directs the library system at penitentiaries in Ontario, is more optimistic about the project and says the main strength of the program is that it can change the prisoners' viewpoint. He says an inmate can leave prison more bitter and knowledgeable about crime, or enlightened by the world and the meaning of life. He adds that in his 20 years of experience working in prison libraries, he has seen books absolutely change people’s lives and he truly believes this program will do just that.

The first reading of the provincial legislature is scheduled for Thursday and the debate will continue in the weeks to come when representatives from the general public and different branches of government are consulted. If the bill passes, it will come into force as early as next year across the province.

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