Mock Test 18 | Listening Test

This is the Listening Section. Please play the audio by clicking the Play button.


Part 1:

A conversation between two men, talking about renting an apartment with a third man.

Before you listen again, you have 30 seconds to read questions 1 to 6.


Peter: Hi Jack. Sorry I’m late.

Jack:  No problem, Peter. We’re still waiting for Mike.

          So, what did you think about 96 Hobson Street?

Peter: It’s great.

Jack:  You don’t think the building’s too noisy, so close to the motorway?

Peter: It depends on which apartment we take.

Jack:  What are our options?

Peter:          At the moment, there are two apartments available: one on the fourth; the other, higher up.

Jack:  Do they get views?

Peter: Apartment 1520 does.

Jack:           Last night, I went online and took a virtual tour of the building. One thing I noticed was that three-bedroom apartments have only one double bedroom.

Peter:          Mostlt, that’s true, but apartment 414 has (1) two.

Jack:           What about bathrooms?

Peter:          A single bathroom in each apartment.

Jack:           And (2) balconies?

Peter:          Four fourteen has two small (2) balconies off the bedrooms.

Jack:           The kitchens in the tour looked good, but I can’t remember whether they come with a dishwasher and a washing machine.

Peter:          Yes, they do.

                   The kitchen in 1520 is quite small, but there’s a (3) large L-shaped living room to compensate.

Jack:           I know Mike’s got a car. Is there a (4) garage?

Peter:          Secure (4) parking is limited to tenants who pay over $600 a week.

Jack:           How much is the rental on the apartments you saw?

Peter:          Four Fourteen is $450, and 1520 is (5) $610.

Jack:           That’s quite a difference.

Peter:          Yeah.

Jack:           And 1520’s only got one double bedroom, right?

Peter:          Uh huh. But it’s facing away from Hobson Street, so it’ll be quite, and Mike’s car would be safe.

Jack:           Right.

Peter:          I’m planning to sign the lease on Friday.

                   The agent wants it to start in the second or third week of March.

Jack:           I’ll be away until the seventh.

Peter:          All right. Let’s have it start on the (6) ninth.

Jack:           The (6) ninth sounds fine.


Narrator:     Before you listen to the rest of the conversation, you have 30 seconds to read questions 7 to 10.


Jack:           Looks like Mike won’t be here for another 20 minutes.

Peter:          That’s a pity.

                   I wonder if we could use his car to move?

Jack:           I’m sure we’ll be able to.

                   (10 useful and useless) My dad said he’d lend a hand too, and he’s got a truck.

Peter:          That’s be good. With a truck we could move everthing in one go.

Jack:           He’s also got lots of stuff he doesn’t need anymore- plates bowls, pots and pans, and a big old wooden desk.

Peter:          (7) I doubt that a large desk would fit in any of the bedrooms.

                   What we really need is couch and some things to decorate the living room.

Jack:           When I rented last year, we spent lots of time before we moved in choosing nice furniture and decorations, but we neglected the basics, like rubbish bins and cleaning supplies. (10 useless) Then, there was the problem that some people gave us weird things, like a device my aunt bought for chopping onions. I mean, all you need is a sharp knife, right?

Peter:          Yeah.

Jack:           But we did do one great thing, which we should try again: we invited the neighbours to lunch one Sartuday.

Peter:          Complete strangers? (8) What about the cost?

Jack:           The meal doesn’t have to be fancy, and not everyone we ask will come.

Peter:          Why bother? Especially when (8) I’ll miss the football.

Jack:           It’s just a way to show that, even though we’re students, we’re generous and approachable.

Peter:          OK.

Jack:           And it does pay off. One night I came home in a taxi very late. Suddently, I realised (9) I couldn’t pay the driver because I’d left my wallet somewhere, so I ran upstairs, knocked on my neighbour’s door, and he lent me some money.

Peter:          Lucky you.

                   All right. To sum up: we’re borrowing your dad’s truck; (10) useful we’re accepting some useful things from relatives; and, we’re getting to know our neighbours.


Narrator:     You now have 30 seconds to check your answers.

                   That is the end of Part 1.



Part 2:

You will hear a man talking about beeekeeping for beginners.

Before you listen, you have 30 seconds to read questions 11 to 15.


Beekeeper:  Good morning.

                   As you may be aware, all over the world, bees are under threat. For their (11) survival, the goodwill and hard work of enthusiasts like you is vital.

                   Today, I’ll present some facts about bees and beekeeping. Then, I’ll show you a Langstroth hive, which is a type commonly used by beekeepers.

                   Bees and bee products can be eaten, and beewax used to make candles and cosmetics. And if course, bees pollinate plants, so are essential in agriculture.

                   There are many kinds of bees: solitary and social. Social bees live in colonies in the wild, and can be cultivated in hives.

                   The word (12) eusocial describes the organisation of bee society. It’s spelt (12) EU plus social. It means there’s one single reproductively active female to several males. It also signals a division of labour, and co-operative  care of the young by non-breeding individuals. In addition to honeybees, there are (12) eusocial ants, termites, and naked vole rats.

                   Before humans cultivated honeybees, wild colonies were raided, and sadly,this continue today. In Spain, 8,000-year-old rock drawings depict such raids while Egyptian tomb paintings from (13) 4,500 years ago show domesticated bees. However, the ancient Egyptians did not understand bee society, and killed most of their insects in the quest for honey. Hives with moveable parts that ensure continual honey collection and the safety of the queen were designed just 170 years ago by the American, Lorenzo Langstroth.

                   It is only in the last 300 years that the functions of the different part of a bee colony and of the three types of honeybees, themselves, have been understood.

                   A queen honeybee is the largest and most important member of honeybee society. She lives far longer than the other bees, up to (14) thre years; and, her pheromones control the colony. Drones, or male honeybees, make up around ten percent of a colony, and live for just four months. They mate with queens and forage, but do little else. Female worker honeybees, constituting 90% of a colony, have a mere six-week (14) lifespan, yet they are the busiest creatures: guarding, cleaning, nursing, fanning, and foraging.

                   The queen lays eggs after she has been inseminated by a (15) drone while flying in the open air. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs at one time. When unmated queens hatch from those 2,000 eggs, they will fight to the death, or one will fly away with a swarm to form her own colony elsewhere. The beauty of a Langstroth hive is that a beekeeper can separate out the laying queen, and easily kill egg cells containing potential queens.


Before you listen to the rest of the conversation, you have 30 seconds to read questions 16 to 20.


                   So let’s look at some slides of a Langstroth hive. I can’t open my own outside as it’s winter, and not much is happening, but also because we’d all need to be wearing (16) good protective clothing. Bee sting, remember, and their venom is poisonous. Two percent of people who are stung experience an uncomfortable allergic reaction, and, without medical intervention, a tiny minority die from toxic shock. Anyone who’d like to keep bees must first determine (17) their allergic reaction first.

                   OK. Here’s a Langstroth hive with nine elements. It stands at 1.5 meters, and contains (18) extractive boxes, from where you take the honey, and (20) brood chamber, where the queen breeds. This hive’s got two extractive boxes, but you can build it up to five.

                   The hive is wooden, with a cover and a stand at top and bottom. There’s always a wooden lid, letter B on your diagram, and, (19) if keepers collect venom, there’s a sheet of glass below the lid. (18) The extractive boxes are shallow because they’re frequently handled. They hold 30 kilos of honey each, and a beekeeper couldn’t lift one if it were any deeper. The thin screen beneath (18) the lower extractive box has holes that drones and worker bees can crawl through, but which are too small for the queen. She, therefore, remains in (20) the deep brood chamber, where the eggs are laid. The final element, above the stand, is a board that prevents other animals from getting inside.


Narrator:     You now have 30 seconds to check your answers.

                   That is the end of Part 2.


Part 3:

You will hear two post-graduate students talking to their professor about their research into academic essay-writing.

Before you listen, you have 30 seconds to read questions 21 to 26.


Professor:    Come in, Sylvia. Come in Jim.

                   How are you?

Sylvia:        A bit tired, actually. I read 75 of essays about smoking over the weekend.

Professor:    And you, Jim?

Jim:             I’m fine. I’ve read 20 so far. They’re pretty interesting- a really good sample for our research.

Sylvia:        Yes, I found them stimulating.

                   (21) On the whole, their content is rather good. The students have done a fair bit of research.

Jim:             That’s true.

Sylvia:        And they quote from realiable sources.

                   The problems are more with style. (22) Many of the ones I read seemed like oral presentations instead of academic essays.

Jim:             I’d agree with that.

Sylvia:        For a start, some of the vocabulary was inappropriate. Take this sentence from a conclusion: ‘To get smokers to cut down or give up, there should be more ads on TV about the health problems et cetera.’

Professor:    Yes. Students forget that ‘get’ and most phrasal verbs are spoken.

Jim:             Also, (23) they need to steer clear of ‘should’ and ‘must’. When a writer has a hypothesis to prove, he or she doesn’t want to put the readers off with sich strong language.

                   A writer needs to use verbs like ‘could’ or ‘might’ instead. (23) And avoiding adverbs like ‘always’ and ‘never’ is a must. After all, you never know when you’ll be proven wrong!

Professor:    Absolutely. Over the years, many colleagues have challenged my academic papers.

                   I see you’ve circled ‘et cetera’, Sylvia, on several essays.

Sylvia:        ‘Et cetera’ is OK in note taking but not in academic writing.

Jim:             Here’s something else related to vocabulary. It’s part of an argument about why people start smoking. At least, I think the student’s written ‘smoking’. Maybe it’s ‘smocking’?

Sylvia:        Go on.

Jim:             ‘Men who avoid cigarettes may be assigned as nerds. This ideology makes them dare to join in smocking activities to let us know they’re real men.’

Professor:    That is interesting. I mean, there’s an attempt at sophistication, (24) with ‘assigned’ and ‘ideology’, but they’re both used incorrectly.

Jim:             And ‘nerd’ and ‘real men’ are slang.

Sylvia:        Going back to the word ‘smocking’. I read five essays out of 75 in which students wrote about ‘smocking’. I must say it made me chuckle!

Professor:    (25) What it does reveal is the danger of spell checkers- they can’t alert a writer to words that really fo exist.

Jim:             What exactly is ‘smocking’?

Sylvia:        Here’s a dictionary definition: (26) ‘Ornamentation on a garment made by gathering together a section of material into tight pleats and sewing across it to make a pattern similar to a honeycomb.’

Jim:             It sounds old-fashioned to me.

Sylvia:        Yes, I had it on a dress when I was a girl.

Jim:             Whatever was it doing in an essay on smoking?


Narrator:     Before you listen to the rest of the conversation, you have 30 seconds to read questions 27 to 30.


Professor:    So, let’s discuss what good academic writers do. How do they avoid the embarrassment of writing about ‘smocking’?

Sylvia:        Simple. They check their work. They write second and third drafts.

Professor:    In redrafting, (27-28) they also reduce redundancy.

Jim:             Redundancy is a major issue. Listen to this: ‘Second-hand smoke not only affects smokers btu also people around them, even loved ones, like wives and children, and it can lead to illness.’

Professor:    What would you have written?

Jim:             ‘Second-hand smoke can lead to illness.’

Professor:    (27-28) Six words instead of 24.

                   (27-28) Good writers also avoid personal pronouns, like ‘I’ or ‘me’. After all, they’re trying to construct universal arguments, not just give their opinions.

Jim:             Some of the essays I read certainly needed more paragraphs. They were hard for me to follow.

Professor:    Indeed. An essay is not just about showing what the writer knows; (29-30) it’s about giving the reader an enjoyable experience.

                   So, when do you two think you’ll be ready to start the theoretical part of your research?

Jim:             I’m not sure. I’ll se you next week about that.

Sylvia:        I’ve already started, but I’ve got so much to read!

Professor:    It seems to me, Sylvia, you’ve collected more than enough essays to analyse, and now you’re in danger of reading too many academic articles. (29-30) I’d limit the time for your theoretical research to one month. OK?

Sylvia:        Thanks. That’s sound advice.


Narrator:     You now have 30 seconds to check your answers.

                   That is the end of Part 3.


Part 4:

You will hear a lecture on road congestion and market failure.

Before you listen, you have 45 seconds to read questions 31 to 40.


Narrator:     Sorry I’m late- the traffic was unbelievable. However, my lateness is pertinent to today’s topic: road congestion as an example of market failure. Next weeks’ examples will be carbon emissions and commercial (31) fishing.

But what is market failure? Broadly speaking, it’s when the free market fails to develop or apportion (32) resources efficiently. A market may fail completely or partially.

In the case of complete failure, resources cannot be allocated to satisfy need or want because there are insufficient incentives for profit-seeking firms to enter the market. Take (33) street lighting: without state intervention, there probably wouldn’t be any, as it’s unlikely private individuals would pay for it themselves. With no revenue generated and no profit earned, no firm would enter the street-lighting market either. That’s why taxes are set aside for public goods.

There are many ways in which partial market failure occurs, but I’d like to focus on (34) over-supply, which is when markets produce too many goods or services. It commonly occurs with demerit goods, like alcohol or tobacco, and with negative externalities.

What are negative externalities? Well, the inability of consumers or producers to account for the effects of their actions on third (35) parties. Road congestion is a classic case.

(36) Oh, let me tell you something I read last night. The speed of traffic in central London has remained fairly constant over the past 100 years. Really? How can that be? Wasn’t most traffic horse-drawn in 1916? Indeed, it was. But the fact remains: in central London, giant four-wheel drives and sleek sports cars travel about as fast as wagons pulled by horse!

Back to business. There are four main ways of dealing with congestion. One, a city increases the amount of road space. Two, it improves public transport. Three, it reduces the demand for travel. Or four, it increases the cost of private travel.

In the case of London, the first measure is counter-productive. There are enormous costs associated with construction, and a long delay between planning and availability. Once built, more roads only encourage more driving, and very soon, congestion rears its ugly head again.

On the surface, improving (37) public transport seems a great idea, but even when it’s reliable, cheap, and convenient, (37) it’s viewed as an inferior good. As incomes rise, most of us leave inferior goods behind. I mean, we used to drink beer; now we drink boutique beer. We used to holiday, locally, at the seaside; now we fly to Thailand!

What about reducing the demand for travel? Unfortunately, no one seems to know how to do this.

The fourth option, raising the cost of private travel has also had limited success. In London, we’re experienced higher vehicle and fuel taxes, more expensive parking and license fees, no-parking routes, and a raised driving age, but we’ve kept on driving. Other big cities have taken a different approach. Some Chinese cities limit drivers to four days a week, based on the final number of their license plate; but, the rich just buy two cars. Sydney and Singapore have tolls on bridges and tunnels, yet people pay up, or drive longer routes to avoid tolls, creating traffic jams elsewhere.

In 2003, London opted for a congestion charge in the central city. Back then, the charge was £5 a day; it’s now £11.50. From its inception, there was a discernible decrease in traffic. Estimates in 2004 by Transport for London, or TFL, were that traffic flow was reduced by almost 20% or 50,000 cars per day. Journeys were 15% faster. The number of bus journeys rose by 15%, and cycle usage by 30. (38) TFL stated that road traffic reduced a further between 2011 and 14. However, a recent report had concluded that, by 2031, (39) congestion will have worsened by a staggering 60% even if strict measures are adopted immediately. It seems as though the cycle is similar to building more roads- a sharp initial improvement, a slower improvement over time, followed by stasis and decline.

So, to conclude: part of the reason for road congestion is an unquantifiable negative externality, exemplary of partial market failure. The free market is incapable of allocating resources efficiently. No matter what authorities do, people continue to drive. On some level, we all know congestion leads to more noise, pollution, accidents, and slower travel times, but cars are cheap and their outlay is fixed. Principally, we drive because we don’t consider our actions in relation to anyone else’s. (40) And, even if we did, I’m not sure most people would care!


Narrator:     That is the end of the Listening test.

You now have ten minutes to transfer your answers to your answer sheet.



Questions 1 - 6

Complete the notes below.

Write ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER in each gap.


                        Hobson apartments' details 


  • Apartment 414:
    - Number of double bedrooms: (1


  • - Other features: small (2
    - Weekly rental: 450 dollars


  • Apartment 1520:
    - Number of rooms: 5
    - Other features: + (3 living room


  •                            + a secure (4


  • - Weekly rental: (5 dollars


  • - Date lease commences: (6


    MARCH 9



Questions 7 - 10

Choose the correct letters, A, B or C.

7. Peter suggests Jack's father's desk may not be useful because

  • the apartment is furnished.
  • the desk is the wrong style.
  • the space is limited.


8. Peter objects to Jack's idea about lunch because

  • he cannot cook.
  • it will be inconvenient.
  • the neighbors may not come.


9. Jack mentions his experience with the taxi

  • to suggest neighbors can be helpful.
  • to tell an amusing story.
  • to warn Peter about staying out late.


10. Overall, Peter and Jack think help from relative is

  • seldom useful.
  • sometimes useful.
  • always useful.


Questions 11 - 17

Complete the sentences below.

Write ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER in each gap.


                     Beekeeping for beginners


  • 11. Currently, the  of bees is threatened.

  • 12. In a biologically  community one female mates with many males.

  • 13. Ancient Egyptians cultivated bees at least  years ago.​

  • 14. Female honeybees can have a three-year .

  • 15. Queen bees can lay up to 2000 eggs after insemination by a/an .

  • 16. People should wear well-protected  when dealing directly with bees.

  • 17. People must consider their  reaction if you want to keep bees.




Questions 18 - 20

Label the diagram below.

Write the correct letter, A-H, next to Questions 18-20.


                        A Langstroth Hive


List of parts:

  • 18. extractive boxes: 

  • 19. optional glass: 

  • 20. brood chamber: 



Questions 21 - 26

Choose the correct letters, A, B or C.

21. Jim and Sylvia think the content of the students' essay is

  • predictable.
  • impressive.
  • reliable.


22. Sylvia says that many of the essays she read

  • lacked paragraphing.
  • seemed like oral presentation.
  • had insufficient research.


23. Jim says that good academic writers

  • often prove other academic writers wrong.
  • use expressions like 'et cetera'.
  • avoid words like 'should' and 'never'.


24. According to Professor, the word 'assigned' is

  • inaccurate.
  • slang.
  • ambiguous.


25. What is the problem with the word 'smocking' in the students' essay?

  • it is rather old-fashioned.
  • it is wrongly spelt.
  • a spell checker will not find it.


26. What is 'smocking'?

  • decoration on clothing
  • a serious illness
  • a kind of honeycomb



Questions 27 - 28

Choose TWO letters, A-E.

Which TWO things are good for academic writers according to Professor's opinion?

  • use unusual vocabulary
  • write fewer words than poor writers


  • write a single draft
  • punctuate carefully
  • avoid personal pronouns



Questions 29 - 30

Choose TWO letters, A-E.

Which TWO other things is good for academic writers and Prof asks Sylvia to do?

  • limit the theoretical research
  • collect some more student essays


  • do a lot of research
  • avoid giving opinions
  • give their readers pleasure


Questions 31 - 35

Complete the sentences below.

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS in each gap.


                  Road congestion and market failure


  • 31. Road congestion, carbon emissions, and commercial  are example of market failure.

  • 32. The lecturer defines market failure as the inability of the free market to develop or allocate  appropriately.

  • 33. The lecturer gives the example of  as a market failure due to not seeking profit within those markets.

  • 34. Markets fail partially in many ways, one of which is  when too many goods or services are produced.

  • 35. Customers and producers cannot get other  to be responsible for the consequence of their actions.




Questions 36 - 40

Choose the correct letters, A, B or C.

36. The speaker's story about London traffic in 1916 is

  • an amusing story.
  • a relevant digression.
  • an entertaining apology.


37. What connection does the lecturer make between public transport and wealth?

  • like alcohol and vacations, there are fashions in public transport.
  • as public transport becomes more convenient, more people use it.
  • use of public transport declines as wealth increases.


38. Road traffic was reduced in central London from 2011 to 2014 by more than

  • 10%.
  • 30%.
  • 60%.


39. How does the lecturer evaluate new road building and congestion charging?

  • congestion charging is less effective than road construction.
  • they are equally ineffective.
  • road construction is less effective than congestion charging.


40. The lecturer thinks most drivers who contribute to congestion are

  • unconcerned.
  • unaware.
  • undecided.



Please click the red words below for other Sections in this Mock Test:

Mock Test 18 | Reading Passage 2
Mock Test 18 | Reading Passage 3
Mock Test 18 | Reading Passage 1 


Result: / Exit

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