HomeAdvanced Listening Part 2


  • Part 2 consists of a monologue (for example, a talk, a lecture or a broadcast) providing factual information and opinion.
  • The recording will last approximately three minutes and is played twice.
  • On the question paper, there are eight sentences about the recording, each with a gap.
  • The sentences focus on specific information and stated opinions in the recording.
  • You must complete the gap with an appropriate word or short phrase from the recording.
  • Questions follow the order of information in the recording.
  • You must spell the words correctly, although some minor variations are allowed in Part 2. UK and US spellings are both accepted.

Choosing the right answer

Often you will hear several words that could fit the gap, but only one matches the meaning of the sentence.

Look at this question from a Listening task.

The speaker’s interest in playing music was first awakened by his .

Write down six words that could complete the sentence.

Now look at the first part of the recording script. Which four words from the script could fill the gap in Exercise ❶? Which of these words is actually the correct one? Why are the others not correct?

Look at the next two questions. Listen to the next part of the recording and note down the answers.

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  1. When he was eight years old, the speaker played a piece called  in a school concert.
  2. His piano teacher said that his performance at the concert was .

Listen again and answer these questions.

  1. Which words could be mistaken for the answer in each case?
  2. Why are those words incorrect?

[spoiler title=’TRANSCRIPT’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

The first time I performed in public was when I was only eight. My primary school put on a show for our parents, and all the kids had to either play an instrument or sing. My older sister opened the event by playing the violin. She did a piece called Summer Time, a pretty melody that I still love. Then my best friend, Sam, sang Raindrops, a very appropriate little song, as it was pouring that day! I accompanied him on the piano. I don’t remember much about the rest of the concert – I guess I was too overwhelmed by my own performance. My class teacher said I was excellent, and my parents called it wonderful. My
piano teacher was a bit less enthusiastic, but she did say it was satisfactory. That was, for her, actually quite high praise!


exam practice


  1. Read the introduction and the title to help you understand the context and topic.
  2. Use the preparation time to read the questions carefully before you listen.
  3. Try to predict what sort of word is needed in each gap. For example, is it a noun? If so, is it singular or plural?
  4. Remember that the answers will come in the order of the questions.
  5. You will hear a word or phrase in the recording that matches something on the question paper. This will give you a clue that the answer is coming soon.
  6. Remember that the answers are short – usually one to three words – and are often nouns.
  7. You do not need to make any grammatical changes to what you hear.
  8. Never leave a blank. Make a logical guess – you may be lucky.
  9. At the end of the test, carefully transfer your answers to the answer sheet. As you transfer your answers, check your spelling and grammar and that what you have written makes sense.


You will hear a musician called Anita Kumar talking to a group of students about her life.
For questions ❶-❽, complete the sentences with a word or short phrase.

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Anita plays the ❶  in an orchestra.

Anita studied ❷  at university.

Anita had a job as a ❸  when she joined her first orchestra.

Anita’s orchestra has just returned from a tour in ❹ .

Anita is particularly proud of the person who is the ❺  in her orchestra.

What Anita enjoys most about playing in an orchestra is ❻ .

Her orchestra has recently appeared in a film called ❼ .

Anita says that the word ❽  sums up her work best.


Anita names two instruments. Which is the correct one?

Two possible subjects are mentioned, but which is the one that Anita studied?

Do you need to write a word for a job or a place here?

Several countries are named. Make sure you listen carefully for the correct one.

The question makes it clear that you are listening for a person who has a specific role in an orchestra.

Two possible aspects of working for the orchestra are mentioned – remember that the question is asking about what Anita enjoys most.

Two films are named, but which is the one that has already been made?

Anita uses a number of adjectives, but which one fits the question?

[spoiler title=’TRANSCRIPT’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

I’m here today to tell you about my life as a musician in an orchestra, as I understand some of you may be considering this as a career. If you play the flute, like me, then I’d certainly recommend it as a great way to become a professional musician. I used to wish I played the violin as my sister does, as that’d offer
more opportunities for work as a soloist, but now I don’t think I’d exchange orchestra work for a solo career – even if I had the opportunity and the talent.

Some of you are studying for a degree in music at the university here. I was very tempted by that option, but in the end my parents persuaded me to do maths instead. They thought it was more likely to lead to a steady job.

After graduating, I was considering becoming a teacher but decided to take a job in a bank first while I made up my mind. Being a cashier during the day left me with plenty of time and energy in the evenings, and I began to play in my local orchestra. I loved it, and when someone suggested I try for one of the bigger national orchestras, I jumped at the chance.

It’s extremely enjoyable and I love the path I’ve chosen, but it’s certainly not an easy life. I spend a lot of my time living out of a suitcase. We spent last month playing a series of concerts in Australia, for example. We got back last week and are off again next Monday. To Canada. Then later in the year, we’re off to France.

The orchestra I play for is one of the best known in the country. And that’s not just because we’ve got a pretty good marketing manager. The thing is we have a brilliant conductor. He’s still quite young and he has an amazing future ahead of him, I’m sure. We all feel very fortunate to have the chance to be working with him.

Although I love travel, I wouldn’t say that’s the best part of my job. It’s often fun, but it can be exhausting. But what I do love is the companionship. It’s great to spend one’s life with a group of people who share the same passion for music.

Although we spend most of our time giving concerts in this country and abroad, we did have one rather unusual experience last year when we featured in a movie. You may have seen it – it was called Storm – and it was about a touring orchestra that got stuck on a Caribbean island during a hurricane. The same director says he’s going to use us in his adaptation of a novel called Piano, which he’s planning to start shooting next year.

I hope this has given you some idea of what life in an orchestra is like. I’d say it can best be described as being fulfilling. I feel incredibly lucky to be paid for doing something I love so much. At times, of course, it’s exhausting and difficult, but it’s never boring and I have no hesitation in recommending it as a career. So, I’d be happy to answer any questions …

That is the end of Part 2.




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