You will hear a conversation between an optometrist and a patient who has come for an eye test.

Optometrist:      Good morning, can I help you?

Simon Lee:          Yes. I’m here for an appointment at ten o’clock with the optometrist. I’m a little early. I know it’s only ten to ten.

Optometrist:      Are you Simon Lee?

Simon Lee:          Yes, I am.

Optometrist:      I’m Rachel White, the optometrist here today. Come in and take a seat.

Simon Lee:          Thanks.

Optometrist:      Before we test your eyes, I just need to get a few details from you. So, Simon, what’s your full name?

Simon Lee:          Simon Anthony (Q1)— that’s A-N-T-H-O-N-Y. And my family name is Lee: L double E.

Optometrist:      And your date of birth, Simon?

Simon Lee:          The 1st of June, 1989. (Q2)

Optometrist:      The 21st of June.

Simon Lee:          No. The first of June.

Optometrist:      Whoops… sony! 1989 – ah, same year my son was born! What’s your current address?

Simon Lee:          I’m living at a hall of residence.

Optometrist:      Which one?

Simon Lee:          At University Hall (Q3), not far from here, in Adams terrace.

Optometrist:      University Hall… And do you have any medical insurance?

Simon Lee:          Yes, I’m fully covered

Optometrist:      And who are you insured with?

Simon Lee:          I’m with ‘Health for life’. (Q4)

Optometrist:      Healthy Life.

Simon Lee:          No. People always get that wrong. It’s Health for Life. They’re part of some big insurance company.

Optometrist:      Good! Now, Simon. Have you ever had your eyes tested before?

Simon Lee:          Yes, once. But not recently. It was when I was still at school.

Optometrist:      So roughly when would that have been?

Simon Lee:          Probably around September 2007. No, on second thoughts, it must’ve been the year before – September 2006 (Q5). And my eyesight was fine then.

Optometrist:      But you’re having a little difficulty now, are you?

Simon Lee:          Well, yes … since I started at university, I’ve been having difficulty with distance vision. I can’t always see things in the distance. (Q6)

Optometrist:      Well, let’s have a look. Now I’m just going to cover your left eye. Can you read the top line?

Simon Lee:          Yes. R… B… Q… S…

Optometrist:      Well, Simon. Your eyes have obviously got a little worse since your last test and I think you’re going to need to wear glasses … er… not all the time and … not so much for reading or close work but definitely for driving. (Q7)

Simon Lee:          Right. Yes. I thought that was probably the case.

Optometrist:      So now you need to choose some frames. There’s a wide range to choose from, as you can see.

Simon Lee:          Can you give me some idea of the difference in cost? I quite liked the idea of some frameless glasses.

Optometrist:      Mm… Did you? Well, the prices vary enormously, like everything, but the frameless ones are the most expensive. The cheapest are the ones with the full frame. (Q8)

Simon Lee:          Mm, perhaps I’d better go for those.

Optometrist:      Or why not try these ones with the half frame?

Simon Lee:          They’re not too bad.

Optometrist:      Yes. They look quite nice and they’re strong (Q9) far less likely to break than the frameless ones.

Simon Lee:          Oh, that’s a good point. OK, I think I’ll take those ones.

Optometrist:      If you pop back next Monday, I should have them ready for you. And you can pay for them when you pick them up.

Simon Lee:          Thanks very much. Can I pay by credit card?

Optometrist:      You can, but there will be a slight charge if you do that.

Simon Lee:          Right. I’ll pay by cash (Q10) then, if you don’t mind.

Optometrist:      No problem. Cash, credit card, debit card. All the same to us. See you on Monday.


You will hear an extract from an audio guide to the Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal is the most popular tourist attraction in India. It is also one of the most spectacular buildings of the world, and is considered as a symbol of love. But how many people realise that it was actually built as a tomb or burial place for the Emperor’s wife?

The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan to commemorate his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal when she died, and, although this was not his original intention, for he had planned to build a black marble tomb for himself, they both lie side by side in the tomb (Q11) today. Emperor Shahjahan’s two greatest passions were architecture and jewellery and both are represented here in all their splendor.

The most skilled architects and craftsmen came from across India and countries as far away as Persia and Turkey. Much of the structure was built in white marble that was carried by a thousand elephants all the way from the Indian region of Rajasthan (Q12) some 300km away. Crystal and jade came from China, sapphires from Sri Lanka and turquoise from Tibet.

But there’s a lot more to the Taj Mahal than just the tomb, so let’s have a look at the overall plan before we take a walk through the magnificent gardens. Your tour begins here at the point marked with an X on the plan. This is known as The Main Gateway (Q13). Walk through the gate and you come into an magnificent garden. There are two marble canals studded with fountains, which cross in the centre of the garden, dividing it into four equal squares. Each of these four quarters is then subdivided into flower beds. So there are 16 flower beds (Q14) altogether. The tomb stands majestically at the north end, not in the centre as you might have expected Instead, at the centre of the garden, halfway between the tomb and the gateway, there’s a raised pond (Q15) which provides a reflection of the Taj Mahal. It’s a magnificent sight. On either side of the tomb there are buildings made of red sandstone. The one to the west – to the left on our plan – is a mosque (Q16). It faces towards Mecca and is used for prayer. On the east side of the Teg is a building known as the Rest House. It’s like the twin of the mosque, but because it faces away from Mecca, it was never used for prayer.

Many people have asked what the Rest House was for. Was it a place for pilgrims to stay? Was it a meeting hall of some kind? Perhaps the most likely answer to this question is that its purpose is purely aesthetic, to act as a visual balance for the mosque and to preserve the symmetry of the design (Q17) of the whole complex.

Let’s have a look at some of the engineering features of the garden. For one thing, they require a constant supply of running water. When it was built, water was drawn from the river (Q18) manually, using an elaborate rope and bucket system, pulled by a team of bullocks. The water was then brought through a broad water channel and held in a number of supply tanks (Q19). These tanks were at varying heights off the ground and were ingeniously designed to store the very large amounts of water required. Using an elaborate system of underground pipes, the water was then distributed from the supply tanks to each of the fountains (Q20). To ensure that the water pressure was the same throughout the garden, there was a copper pot under each fountain connected to the water supply. It was undoubtedly a brilliant system.



You will hear a tutor and two students discussing the crop rice.

Tutor     Good morning, everyone. So … following on from our tutorial on European agriculture last week, Daisy and Erik are going to talk about the most commonly grown crop in Asia, which is, of course, rice. Erik, can you tell us what you’ve been working on?

Erik        Yes, sure … We’ve been looking at the role of rice in a number of countries, how it’s grown, ways of increasing production. As I’m sure you know, rice is the staple diet throughout Asia and, in fact, 90 per cent of the world’s rice is grown and eaten there. Daisy’s got some background on that.

Daisy     Um … well, rice was originally a wild plant which started out in the tropical regions of Asia, but there are literally hundreds of varieties today and each with different qualities. For instance, one will survive floods, while another will grow in relatively dry conditions (Q21). A third has a really lovely smell. But wherever it grows, rice needs a lot of water.

Tutor     What do you mean by ‘a lot’?

Erik        Well, it takes about 5,000 litres to get a kilogram of rice. This can be supplied either naturally or by irrigation. And as most rice​growing countries suffer from unpredictable weather, including drought – water management really is the key. (Q22)

Daisy     Research has become so important now that each rice-growing country in Asia has its own research institute, whether we’re talking about Japan, China or Bangladesh … and they’re all co-ordinated by a group in the Philippines (Q23) called the International Rice Research Institute.

Tutor     Interesting.

Daisy     Bangladesh, for instance, has been successfully using different rice varieties and fertilizers for 30 years. But because it’s such a flat, delta country, it’s very difficult for the water to drain away after the monsoon season, so they need to find special rice crops that can survive the floods (Q24). And with global warming, the situation is more urgent than ever.

Erik        Now I’d like to move on to our comparative study. As you can imagine, China is the world’s biggest rice producing country (Q25). Collectively the Chinese people probably eat more than three billion bowls of rice every day!

Tutor     Quite a statistic!

Erik        And of course, rice plays an important cultural role too.

Daisy     We then compared China to Thailand. You know, even though Thailand only has about 64 million people, it is the world’s number one exporter of rice (Q26). Not China as you might imagine.

Tutor     Is that so?

Erik        Yes. They send their rice everywhere … in particular to Europe, as well as Africa and the Middle East. Apparently the fact that ‘jasmine rice’ is growing in popularity is one reason why Thailand’s rice export industry is doing so well. People want something a bit different.

Daisy     And, of course, Thailand is well suited to rice growing-good climatic conditions, and lots of fresh water.

Erik        Going back to China for a minute, we should mention that at the rice research institute in Hangzhou they are working on ways of improving rice yields, using less water.

Tutor     By yields you mean … the amount they can grow?

Erik        Yes. They’re trying to find ways to get more rice from less land, improve the taste, but also have other things in it besides carbohydrates so that it’s healthier – better for you. (Q27)

Tutor     Good idea, considering it’s the staple food.

Erik        And then you’ve got Japan, which is totally self-sufficient when it comes to rice. This is basically because they have a high tariff on imported rice, so everyone buys the home​grown product. And they don’t export much.

Daisy     Yes, but you know, even though rice is a kind of sacred crop there, consumption is only half what it was in the 1960s (Q28). This trend isn’t evident in Thailand or China.

Tutor     Interesting that you mentioned how rice is almost sacred in Japan. Because I believe in Thailand it also plays an important cultural role.

Daisy     Absolutely! They have the ‘royal ploughing ceremony’ every year (Q29), which the King always attends and he actually scatters a new stock of seed to the farmers, who pour into Bangkok for the event.

Tutor     What about the global interest in organic farming? Is there such a thing as organically grown rice?

Erik        Yes – indeed. And the Japanese are getting quite a taste for it, apparently (Q30). There’s an experimental farm near the city of Akita in the Japanese rice belt – famous for its Sake, by the way – which has pioneered organic rice production, and now it’s sold all across the country. It’s a bit like the recent popularity of jasmine rice in Thailand, but that’s for the export market, of course.

Tutor     Interesting how attitudes change, isn’t it?


You will hear part of a lecture about writing for radio.

Lecturer We’re going to move on today to look at some of the key principles of writing for radio.

Of course the main thing that you have to remember is that a radio script is not written to be read, but to be spoken and heard. Now putting this into practice is more difficult than it seems because writing as we speak involves abandoning many of the normal ‘rules’ (Q31) of writing that have been taught to us from an early age. This is because we need to concentrate on how the piece sounds. Written words convey information, but they don’t convey the full meaning of what you want to say… they don’t tell you what to emphasise, what speed (Q32) something should be read at, or where the pauses should come, so these have to be indicated in a script.

Whatever is said on radio – whether it’s a link to a magazine programme, a film review, or even a voice piece in the news – needs to sound as if it is coming from the mind of the speaker – almost like part of a conversation (Q33) – rather than something that is being read.

Before you begin to write, it’s a good idea to know who you’re talking to, to visualise a typical member of the radio station’s audience. If you’re writing a film review for a local audience, for example, think about how you would tell your grandmother (Q34) about the film, or if you’re reviewing a pop concert, think about how you would tell your friend about the band.

The words have much more impact if each person feels they are being spoken to directly. So your tone needs to be informal – rather than using impersonal words like ‘listeners’ or ‘the audience’, you can make it more informal… include them in what you’re saying by referring to ‘us’ and ‘we’. (Q35)

Once you know who you’re talking to, the next thing is to work out what you’re going to say. Don’t forget that the person listening to you has no opportunity to ask questions, and in the same way, you can’t repeat (Q36) what you’ve just said. For these reasons it’s important that your script is logical and progresses smoothly.

Too many facts too close together will cause confusion, so space (Q37) them out evenly. The best scripts allow listeners to visualise what you’re describing. For example, instead of giving the physical dimensions of a field, describe it as being the size of, say, a football pitch (Q38): if you’re talking about a tall building, relate it to – perhaps – a ten-storey block of flats.

Now, all scripts need something that will grab the attention of the listener. You need something that will make them say, ‘Hey, I want to stop and listen to this.’ So the first sentence (Q39) has to do this for you … it needs to be intriguing, interesting – and then it needs to be backed up by a second sentence that explains what you’re talking about. The last sentence should also give your listeners food for thought and can be in the form of a question, or a statement that sums up the item.

After you’ve finished your script you need to polish it up and the most effective method of doing this is by reading it aloud (Q40). This also helps you to avoid tongue twisters or words that you might find awkward to pronounce.


Section 1

1 Anthony

2 1(st) June

3 University Hall

4 Health for Life

5 September 2006

6 (in the) distance

7 (for) driving

8 (the) full frame

9 (they are) strong

10 (in/by) cash

Section 2

11 C 12 A

13 (The) Main Gateway

14 (the) (16/sixteen) flower beds

15 (a/the) (raised) pond

16 (a/the) Mosque

17 C 18 river

19 (supply) tanks

20 fountains

Section 3

21 B

22 C

23 A

24 B

25 B

26 C

27 B

28 A

29 C

30 A

Section 4

31 rules

32 speed

33 conversation

34 grandmother

35 us and we

36 repeat

37 space (out)

38 football pitch

39 first sentence

40 reading (it) aloud

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