HomeAdvanced Listening Part 3


  • Part 3 consists of a recording with two or more speakers (e.g. an interview or a discussion).
  • The recording lasts approximately four minutes and is played twice.
  • You have to answer six four-option multiple-choice questions about the recording.
  • The questions focus mainly on the speakers’ feelings, attitudes and opinions.
  • Some questions will also focus on detailed or gist understanding of the recording.
  • The questions follow the order of the recording.

Understanding distraction


Study the multiple-choice question and the extract from the recording script, and answer the two questions which follow.

Interviewer: Thanks for being my guest today, Rose! Tell us, when did you start writing for children?

Rose: I’ve been writing children’s books since I was a child myself! Seriously, I was one of those kids always writing and illustrating stories, and this has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was an English undergraduate at Middleton University – where my youngest started last term – and took the two children’s literature courses offered at the time. I had a patchwork quilt of jobs after graduating and getting married, including working in a college office, writing for newspapers and magazines, helping out in an art gallery and selling a few watercolours of my own, working for a horse-riding for the disabled project, and teaching English part-time. With the publication of my first book in 2010, I began walking this path full-time, apart, that is, from the occasional day in my cousin’s restaurant when she needs extra staff for some reason. And I hope that’s the way I’ll be able to continue.

  1. What is the correct answer?
  2. Why might you be distracted by the other options?



  • In multiple-choice questions, there will always be something in the recording that suggests each of the distracting options, but only one option will exactly match what the recording says.
  • Listen carefully to everything that the speaker says before choosing your answer. Aspects from each option may be mentioned, but only one will reflect exactly what is said and answer the question.


Look at the next question and listen to the next part of the recording. Which is the correct option?

[google-drive-embed url=”https://drive.google.com/file/d/15KvJr5Hg52dgn2eO2DlGQWRz_GKXi9hT/preview?usp=drivesdk” title=”06.mp3″ icon=”https://drive-thirdparty.googleusercontent.com/16/type/audio/mpeg” width=”100%” height=”65″ style=”embed”]

Listen again. Why might you be distracted by each of the other options?

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

Interviewer: I understand you also occasionally volunteer at a wildlife reserve, working with deer. How did that come about, and how has it inspired your writing?

Rose: Well, my children have been fascinated by deer ever since they were tiny, though I must admit that wasn’t an enthusiasm I initially shared. However, Alison Greaves, an old classmate of mine, opened a reserve for them and invited me along to have a look – before I knew where I was, I was working there two days a week and really enjoying being outside. Alison was desperate for extra help at the start. But working with the deer has been an amazing blessing and has enriched my life in many ways. A couple of creative projects inspired by them have taken shape but haven’t yet found a publishing home.




  1. Use the preparation time to read the questions carefully and think about possible answers.
  2. Underline key words in the question or statement introducing the options to help you focus on what you have to listen for.
  3. Choose all the correct answers you can the first time you listen to the recording.
  4. Do not worry about missing a question: leave it and listen for the answer to the next question.
  5. Check your answers when you listen to the recording the second time. Answer any questions you have missed.
  6. Do not leave any answers blank. Make a guess if you are not sure.
  7. At the end of the test, carefully transfer your answers to the answer sheet.


You will hear part of a radio interview with a travel writer called Marina Vardy. For questions ❶-❻, choose the answer (Ⓐ, Ⓑ, Ⓒ or Ⓓ) which fits best according to what you hear.

  • Remember that the questions follow the order of the recording.

[google-drive-embed url=”https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qnH-NsSySESpLb9RQnjm0NO7GOMVZ7BD/preview?usp=drivesdk” title=”07.mp3″ icon=”https://drive-thirdparty.googleusercontent.com/16/type/audio/mpeg” width=”100%” height=”65″ style=”embed”]

❶ What made Marina start travelling?

(Listen to everything Marina says about why she started travelling and pick the option which exactly matches what she says.)

❷ What is Marina’s main reason for being happy about her decision to go on that first journey?

(All these ideas are suggested in the recording, but which does Marina actually say is the main reason why she feels no regrets?)

❸ How did Marina first get into writing?

(Try reading the question and then listening to the recording before reading options  to . Does this help you to find the right answer without being distracted?)

❹ What does Marina say is her greatest challenge?

(Listen to everything Marina says about the challenges she faces and do not jump too quickly to conclusions.)

❺ Marina says that aspiring travel writers must ensure that they.
(You may feel that Marina is implying several of the options, but you must go for the one that she actually says.)

❻ What does Marina say she finds particularly rewarding about being a travel writer?

(Think about the gist of what Marina is saying – which of these options conveys that idea?)

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

Interviewer: With me in the studio today I have travel writer Marina Vardy. Marina, how did you get started travelling?

Marina: People often think that those who travel are running away from something. They’re right. Aged 24, I decided to run away from a dull job, and a life that had grown stagnant. I set out to find something more, though I had no idea what ‘something more’ looked like. Thanks to a chance encounter, I met a woman in a café who had a humble sailboat and a dream of exploring the world. Against my better judgement, I decided on the spur of the moment to accept her spontaneous suggestion to join her,
despite the fact that I’ve always had a morbid fear of deep water.

Interviewer: And you didn’t regret it?

Marina: At times I did, especially at the beginning, but, rather to my own amazement, I got used to putting up with all sorts of physically difficult situations. That voyage changed the course of my life. It turned me into a travel writer and an adventurer, but above all it made me an optimist. I couldn’t have asked for more.

Interviewer: Mm. What made you get started in writing?

Marina: Oh, that happened a good while before I set off travelling and I was inspired to write by what I saw. At about 12, I wrote a little verse that included the line: ‘People say I take after my dad. He went bald and grey in his twenties. Great!’ My mother stuck it on the fridge, people laughed, and so began my passion for entertaining people with words. I’ve never been one for keeping my thoughts private, I’m afraid.

Interviewer: As a travel writer, what’s your biggest challenge?

Marina: My greatest passion in life is a midday sleep in a hammock, but people don’t want to read about that! So in order to get a good story, I end up doing things that most people avoid due to their ridiculously high risk. But, to be honest, the worst thing’s the fact that I constantly battle self-doubt over whether or  not my work is any good. You really don’t know till you get it done and others read it and pass their verdict. When you’re penning your life story, it can seem like you’re being very self-indulgent. ‘She’s supposedly writing a masterpiece, but she hasn’t bothered to brush her hair in weeks!’ my family say in hushed whispers behind my back. Or they do in my imagination, at least.

Interviewer: What advice would you give to someone who is considering going into travel writing?

Marina: Always assume that your travel experiences are only going to be interesting to your grandma. Attention spans are slim, and there has to be more than a description of what you saw. Nowadays, with all the other calls on people’s attention, you have to work harder than ever to keep your readers engaged. How can you give universal appeal to your story? How can you make it a page turner? Can you make your readers laugh? Cry? Think of your travels like the backdrop to a greater story that grips the reader, not the story itself. After all, you’re trying to grab the attention of an internet-obsessed generation, which means you’ve got a big job on your hands.

Interviewer: Mm. What’s the biggest reward of life as a travel writer?

Marina: Writing teaches you to experience life as an observer. No matter what situation you’re in, there’s always that tiny author sitting in the back of your head, narrating the events around you. Bad encounters make good stories, and they’re cathartic to write about. Did some horrible person treat you badly? Not to worry – put him in your next story. And I’m nice about kind people too, of course. Channelling your experiences into art is deeply enriching, I find.

Interviewer: Thank you very much, Marina.

That is the end of Part 3.



All authors must admit to a dependence on the work of others. We are no exception. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the publications and reference sources that we have consulted and adapted for educational purposes. It would also have been quite impossible to have produced the material on this website without adapting a variety of authentic resources that we have regularly referred to. While every effort has been made, it has not always been possible to identify and cite the sources of all the material used or to trace all copyright holders. We will be happy to omit any contents or include any appropriate acknowledgements when they are brought to our notice.

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