Cambridge IELTS 12 Listening Test 3 Answers

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Section 1

1. Answer: travel/travel(l)ing

2. Answer: history

3. Answer: study

4. Answer: teenagers

5. Answer: kitchen

6. Answer: crime

7. Answer: appointment/booking

8. Answer: sugar

9. Answer: stamps

10. Answer: parking

Section 2

11-12. Answer: D 55-64 years, E over 65 years

Which TWO age groups are taking increasing numbers of holidays with BC Travel?

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • In terms of age groups, the over-65s are an important market,and one that’s increasing steadily year on year. The fewest holidays are taken by the 31 to 42-year-olds, and that figure shows no sign of rising. The biggest market at present is still the youngest group, the 16 to 30s, but this group’s also seen the biggest drop over the last few years, whereas there’s a noticeable growth in the number of holidays taken by the 55 to 64-year-olds. As far as the 43 to 54-year-olds are concerned, bookings there are steady, but I have to say we haven’t seen the increase we expected.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answers (D&E):
    • increasing = growth/rising
  • Explanation:
    • Remember that the question is about the age groups that are taking INCREASING number of holidays, not those that are taking the MOST holidays. Because the over-65s age-group is increasing steadily and the 55-64-year-olds is growing noticeably, the correct answers are D and E.
  • The answers are D&E.

13-14. Answer: A Clients make new friends, C Clients learn about a difference culture

Which TWO are the main reasons given for the popularity of activity holidays?

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • Activity holidays usually involve rather less high-risk sports, or things like art and music. They’re not necessarily cheaper than ordinary holidays, often the opposite, in fact. But they do often take place outside the main tourist centres, which gives an opportunity for clients to find out more about the local people and customs, and many say this is one of the most positive features of these holidays. Of course, they offer the chance to develop a new skill or talent, but clients often say that more than this, it’s the chance to create lasting relationships with other like-minded people that’s the main draw.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answers (A&C):
    • friends = like-minded people
    • culture = local people and customs
    • learn = find out
  • Explanation
    • According to the speaker, “Activity holidays usually involve rather less high-risk sports” and there is no mention about the excitement of customers towards risky activities, so D is incorrect.
    • This type of holiday is usually more expensive than an ordinary one, so E is also incorrect.
    • Be careful with answer B because it is said in the recording that clients can develop a new skill, but in fact this feature is less appreciated than the chance to create relationships with like-minded people, or “friends”. So A is the correct answer.
    • The speaker also says that an activity holiday provides the opportunity to “find out more about the local people and customs”, meaning customers can learn about a new culture, so C is correct.
  • The answers are A&C.

15. Answer: C. by employing more teachers

How does BC Travel plan to expand the painting holidays?

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • Our painting holidays take place in four different centres in France and Italy and they’re very popular with clients of all abilities from beginners onwards. We’ve got an excellent team of artists to lead the classes – some of them have been with us from the start, and five additional ones will be joining us this year so that we can offer a greater number of classes in each centre.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (C):
    • more = additional
  • Explanation
    • The speaker mentions different locations and levels but these will not change in the future. What will change is that five more teachers will be employed, increasing the number of classes. We have to understand that the artists who lead the classes are the teachers.
  • The answer is C.

16. Answer: B. They have an international focus

Why are BC Travel’s cooking holidays unusual?

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • As far as cooking holidays are concerned, I know a lot of agents offer holidays where clients cook recipes related to one particular country, usually the one they’re staying in, but we focus on dishes from a great many different ones. Apart from that you’ll find the usual emphasis on good quality, organic ingredients – that’s more or less a given nowadays – and there are generally some meat-free recipes included.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (C):
    • foods = ingredients
    • vegetarian = meat-free
    • dishes = recipes
  • Explanation
    • Although organic foods, and vegetarian (“meat-free”) recipes are mentioned in the recording, these features are not exclusive to BC Travel (‘it’s a given nowadays’). What makes BC Travel different from others is that they focus on dishes from many cultures, which means that the dishes are “international”. 
  • The answer is B.

17. Answer: A. Clients receive individual tuition

What does the speaker say about the photography holidays?

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • Groups are small, no more than eight, so clients can have one-on-one tuitionduring the holiday, and excursions are arranged with fully-trained guides.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (C):
    • individual = one-on-one
  • Explanation
    • The holiday offer trained guides, but it is not stated whether these guides are also tutors or not, so B is incorrect. 
    • C is irrelevant because there is no mention about selling the photographs, but about the exhibiton instead.
    • Lastly, “clients can have one-on-one tuition” (“one-on-one” means individual) so the answer has to be A.
  • The answer is A.

18. Answer: stress

also reduces …

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • In Ireland and Italy we run one-week general fitness classes for all ages and levels of fitness.  Clients start the course with a consultation with a trainer, and together they draw up an individual programme.  As well as improving general fitness, clients find that they end up losing much of the stress they’ve built up in their daily lives.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (C):
    • reduce = lose much of
  • Explanation
    • After mentioning that the client ‘draws up’ = designs an individual programme with a trainer, the other advantage is mentioned – ‘losing much of the stress’ from their daily lives.
  • The answer is stress.

19. Answer: weight

… control

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • In Greece, we have a two-week holiday for clients who want to do something about their weight.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (C):
    • reduce = lose much of
  • Explanation
    • The holiday in Greece is for clients who ‘want to do something about’ their weight. We understand that they want to lose weight or control it.
  • The answer is weight.

20. Answer: families

one holiday that is specially designed for …

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • Finally, we offer several holidays in Morocco.  One very popular one is the mountain biking holiday. Bikes are provided and there are different routes according to people’s ability.  We offer one which is tailored to the needs of families, which is particularly popular.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (families):
    • designed for = tailored to the needs of
  • Explanation
    • The holiday in Greece is for clients who ‘want to do something about’ their weight. We understand that they want to lose weight or control it.
  • The answer is families.

Section 3

21. Answer: C

Locate and read relevant articles, noting key information and also …

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • DAVE: Did you remember to keep a record of where you got the information from?
    • NATALIE: Sure. I know what a pain it is when you forget that.
  • Explanation: The places or people where you get information from are your ‘sources’.
  • The answer is C – sources.

22. Answer: E

Select interviewees – these may be site …

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • DAVE: And then think about who we’re going to interview to get more information.
    • NATALIE: OK. So who’d that be? The people who work there? And presumably some of the tourists too?
  • Explanation: The people who work at a site or place are the employees.
  • The answer is E – employees.

23. Answer: H

visitors or city …

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • DAVE: But we might also do some of our interviewing away from the site – we could even contact some people here in the city, like administrators involved in overseeing tourism.
  • Explanation: The administrators in the city who are responsible for tourism are the officials.  
  • The answer is H – officials.

24. Answer: B

Check whether … of interviewees can be used

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • DAVE: But Dr Baker also said we have to establish with our interviewees whether we can identify them in our case study, or whether they want to be anonymous.
    • NATALIE: Oh, I wouldn’t have thought of that.
  • Here are some 
    • names = identify them
    key words that help you to get the correct answer (B):
  • Explanation: Some interviewees may wish to be anonymous, that is they may not want to give their names.
  • The answer is B – names.

25. Answer: A

Select relevant information and try to identify …

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • : OK, once we’ve got all this information, I suppose we have to NATALIEanalyse it.
    • and : Yes, put it all together and choose what’s relevant to the problem we’re focusing on, DAVEanalyse carefully to find out if we can identify any trends or regularities there.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (A):
    • patterns = trends on regularities
  • Explanation: Some interviewees may wish to be anonymous, that is they may not want to give their names.
  • The answer is A – patterns.

26. Answer: F

Do NOT end with …

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • DAVE: Then the case study itself is mostly quite standard; we begin by presenting the problem, and giving some background, then go through the main sections, but the thing that surprised me is that in a normal report we’d end with some suggestions to deal with the problem or need we identified, but in a case study we end up with a question or a series of questions to our readers, and they decide what ought to be done.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (F):
    • solutions = suggestions to deal with the problem
  • Explanation: We have to be careful with this answer. The report will end with questions, for the readers to answer.  So, D is not correct. Instead, the report must NOT end with solutions, even though a normal report usually does this.
  • The answer is F – solutions.

27. Answer: A the publicity is poor.

Natalie and Dave agree one reason why so few people visit Horton Castle is that 

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • NATALIE: So basically, the problem we’re addressing in our case study of the Horton Castle site is why so few tourists are visiting it. And we’ll find out more from our interviews, but I did find one report on the internet that suggested that one reason might be because as far as transport goes, access is difficult.
    • DAVE: I read that too, but that report was actually written ten years ago, when the road there was really bad, but that’s been improved now. And I think there’s plenty of fascinating stuff there for a really good day out, but you’d never realise it from the castle website – maybe that’s the problem.
    • NATALIEYes, it’s really dry and boring.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (A):
    • publicity = website
    • get to = access
    • of interesting = fascinating
  • Explanation:
    • Natalie says that the reason could be “difficult access”, which means that the castle is “difficult to get to” but Dave disagrees, saying the information is too old and is no longer true. So B is not the answer.
    • And the fact that “there’s plenty of fascinating stuff there” contradicts answer C that “there is little there of interest”, so C is wrong too. 
    • Why the castle is visited by so few people is their “dry and boring” website which does not show off the best of the castle, so tourists do not realise how much there is to see and do. Therefore the problem has to do with “publicity” (how people see and acknowledge the place). The correct answer is A.
  • The ANSWER: A

28. Answer: C dealing with planning restrictions.

Natalie and Dave agree that the greatest problem with a visitor centrecould be

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • : OK. And as we’re thinking of suggesting a visitor DAVEcentrewe’d also have to look at potential problems. I mean, obviously it wouldn’t be cheap to set up.
    • NATALIE: No, but it could be a really good investment. And as it’s on a historical site it’d need to get special planning permission, I expect. That might be hard.
    • DAVE: Right, especially as the only possible place for it would be at the entrance, and that’s right in front of the castle.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (C):
    • Planning restrictions = special planning permissions
  • Explanation:
    • Dave mentions a possible problem of cost (“it wouldn’t be cheap to set up”) but Natalie thinks that is not a problem because the centre could attract investors. So A is incorrect.
    • The two talk about the place for the centre, but there is a big enough space in front of the castle. So, B is incorrect.
    • Instead, they worry that getting “special planning permission” (the same as “planning restrictions”) could be hard because the centre would be in front of the castle. Thus, C is the answer.
  • The ANSWER: C

29. Answer: B There are few people of working age.

What does Dave say about conditions in the town of Horton? 

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • : But it could be a good thing for the town of Horton. At DAVEpresent it’s a bit of a ghost town. Once they’ve left school and got any skills or qualifications, the young people all get out as fast as they can to get jobs in the city, and the only people left are children and those who’ve retired.
  • Explanation:
    • Young people with skills and qualifications could be considered as “skilled workers”. Because they all left Horton for jobs in the city, it can be inferred that the town does not offer opportunities for them, so C is wrong. 
    • There is no mention about how many people are working/not working so “unemployment” is irrelevant, thus A is incorrect. 
    • However, the speaker says that the only people left in Horton are children and retired citizens, who are not of “working age”, indicating that there are not many people of working age here.
  • The ANSWER: B

30. Answer: B make visitors keep to the paths.

According to Natalie, one way to prevent damage to the castle site would be to

  • Here’s what the speakers say:
    • : Right. Something else we could investigate would be the potential damage that tourists might cause to the castle site, I mean their environmental impact. At NATALIE the tourists can just wander presentround wherever they want, but if numbers increase, there might have to be some restrictions, like sticking to marked ways. And there’d need to be guides and wardens around to make sure these were enforced.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (B):
    • Keep to = stick to
    • Paths = marked ways
  • Explanation:
    • When the speaker says “if numbers increase” you might think that the solution would have to do with “limit visitor numbers”, however it is not the case. In fact, the speaker suggests some restrictions, marked ways to be specific. So, “marked ways” can be considered a type of “path” that the visitors have to “stick to” (or “keep to”) so the answer is B. Note that “guides” are mentioned but they are employed to make sure tourists do not stray away from the paths, not to accompany them, so A is wrong. 
  • The ANSWER: B

Section 4

31. Answer: insects

It has also recently been found to affect birds which feed on …

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • But the problem is that the amount of mercury in the environment’s increasing………Some of this gets deposited into lakes and rivers, and if it’s ingested by a fish, it stays in the fish’s body and it enters the food chain.  So it’s been known for some time that birds which eat fish may be affected, but what wasn’t known until quite recently is that those that eat insects can also be affected.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (insects):
    • feed on = eat
  • Explanation
    • It has been known for quite a long time that birds which eat fish may be affected by mercury.  Recent research has also found that birds which eat insects can also be affected by mercury.  
  • The answer is insects.

32. Answer: behaviour/behavior

the effects on birds’ … or mental processes, e.g. memory

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • So a woman called Claire Varian-Ramos is doing some research on how this is affecting birds.  And rather than looking at how many birds are actually killed by mercury poisoning, she’s looking for more subtle sub-effects.  And these may be to do with the behaviour of the birds, or with the effect of mercury on the way their brain works, so whether it leads to problems with memory, for example.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (behaviour/behavior):
    • investigating = doing research
    • mental processes = the way their brain works
  • Explanation
    • This researcher is looking at the effect that mercury has on the brains of birds and their behaviour, and the problems that mercury may cause, for example in terms of memory.  
  • The answer is behaviour/behavior

33. Answer: father

the effects on bird song (usually learned from a bird’s … )

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • And she’s particularly focusing on the effects of mercury on bird song. Now, the process of song-learning happens at a particular stage in the birds’ development, and what you may not know is that a young bird seems to acquire this skill by listening to the songs produced by its father, rather than by any other bird.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (father):
    • learn = acquire
  • Explanation
    • The speaker says that this same researcher is studying/investigating bird song.  In particular, young birds seem to learn songs by listening to the songs produced by the father, not by any other bird.    
  • The answer is father.

34. Answer: complex/complicated

songs learned by birds exposed to mercury are less …

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • And Varian-Ramos has already found in her research that if young male birds are exposed to mercury, if they eat food contaminated with mercury, then the songs they produce aren’t as complex as those produced by other birds.
  • Explanation
    • If young male birds eat food which contains mercury, then this seems to affect their mental processes.  The songs which they are able to produce are not as complex as the songs of other birds.    
  • The answer is complex/complicated

35. Answer: reproduction/breeding

this may have a negative effects on birds’ …

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • So quite low-level exposure to mercury is likely to have an impact on male birds in a natural situation, because it can mean that they’re less attractive to female birds, and so it can affect their chances of reproduction.
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (reproduction/breeding):
    • have a negative effect on = affect their chances of
  • Explanation
    • Male birds exposed to mercury have songs which are less complex than those of other birds.  As a result, they are less likely to attract females, and this will have a negative effect on their chances of reproduction. 
  • The answer is reproduction/breeding.

36. Answer: control

allow more …  for the experimenter

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • She’s using a mixture of studies using birds kept in laboratories, and studies carried out outdoors in the wild.  The lab-based studies have the advantage that you don’t get all the variables you would in a natural setting, so the experimenter has a much higher level of control, and that means they can be more confident about their results in some ways.
  • Explanation
    • Using experiments on birds kept in laboratories (=lab-based studies), she is able to have more control than in the studies conducted outdoors.  There are fewer variables to consider. 
  • The answer is control.

37. Answer: ducks

Migrating birds such as … containing mercury may be eaten by humans

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • So what are the implications here for humans? Well, because many birds are migratory, they may be transporting mercury far from contaminated sites.  For example, it’s been found that ducks who’d been feeding at a contaminated site were later shot by hunters over a thousand kilometres away, and presumably eaten. But these birds likely had mercury levels high enough to warrant concern for human consumption.
  • Here are some 
    • eaten by humans = human consumption
    key words that help you to get the correct answer (ducks):
  • Explanation
    • The example given of birds which migrate (migratory birds) is ducks. These have been found to contain mercury, as a result of eating at distant contaminated sites.  
  • The answer is ducks.

38. Answer: language

Mercury also causes problems in learning …

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • In addition, going back to song-learning by birds, we saw that this may be affected by mercury contamination. Well, we also know that in humans, mercury causes developmental delays in the acquisition of language….
  • Here are some key words that help you to get the correct answer (language):
    • learning = acquisition
  • Explanation
    • The speaker says that mercury also causes problems in humans, not only in birds. The problems of birds in learning songs iscompared to the problems (= developmental delays) in learning language in humans.
  • The answer is language.

39. Answer: food

Mercury in mother’s body from … may affect the unborn child

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • But mercury contamination has other important implications for humans as well.  It’s now known that an unborn child can be affected if the food eaten by its mother contains high levels of mercury, and these effects can be quite substantial.
  • Explanation
    • The affect of eating food contaminated by mercury is discussed by the speaker. An unborn child can be affected if the mother eats food which contains high levels of mercury.
  • The answer is food.

40. Answer: costs/prices/bills

New regulations for mercury emissions will affect everyone’s energy …

  • Here’s what the speaker says:
    • It’s true there are new regulations for mercury emissions from power plants, but these will need billions of dollars to implement, and increase costs for everyone.  Some argue that’s too much to pay to protect wildlife.  But as we’ve seen, the issues go beyond that, and I think it’s an issue we need to consider very carefully.
  • Explanation
    • The speaker mentions new regulations for mercury emissions.  Because these will be expensive to implement, everyone will have to pay more for energy (from power plants).  In other words, energy costs for everyone will increase.  
  • The answer is 
  • costs/prices/bills.

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