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Cambridge English Official Practice Test: First For

This is the Cambridge First Certificate in English for Schools
Listening Test.
Practice Test One.
A1There are four parts to the test. You will hear each part twice. For each part of the test, there will be time for
you to look through the questions. You will be given extra time to check your answers after Part Two, and there
will be time for you to check all of your answers at the end of the test.
Now turn to Part One.
A2For each question, one to eight, there is a short
For each question, listen and choose the correct
answer (A, B or C).
What did he enjoy most about it?
A learning new activities
B making new friends
C sharing a tent
You will hear two students talking about studying
What is the girl’s opinion of the subject?
A She finds it relevant.
B It’s easy to understand.
C The teacher makes it interesting.
I hate geography – it’s so boring.
FNo, it’s not! I know our teacher could be more
inspiring – but it’s not her fault she has to do all the
dull bits as well as the interesting bits.
MBut all that stuff about mountains and rivers and
things is so hard to remember.
FWell, yes, I admit physical geography can be a
bit hard going. But I love learning about people’s
situations in other continents. It gives me a sense
of my place in the world. Alright, you have to
concentrate – seeing how all the different aspects
fit together is quite challenging. But it’s worth
making the effort.
You will hear a young actor talking about his work.
How does he feel when he’s waiting for a call from
his agent?
I guess one of the worst things about being an actor is
waiting for that phone-call from an agent to tell you if
you’ve got the role you desperately wanted. I manage to
stay cool. Tell myself nothing bad will happen if you don’t
get the part. It’s not a failure. It’s just that you weren’t
what they were looking for – perhaps not the right height
or build or voice. Your friends will still like you and in any
case you’ll get another chance. Everything’s out of your
hands. So my attitude is: ‘Why take it personally?’
You will hear a boy talking about a summer camp
he went to.
I went on a summer camp this year which was cool – five
days away from my family! I went with about fifty other
kids. I didn’t know any of them, but because we all got
along really great, we were good mates by the end of it,
and that was what made it totally brilliant. We stayed in
large tents, which I’d never done before, so that was a bit
of an adventure. I didn’t get much sleep though cause
some of the older boys were chatting till late. The activities
were more challenging than I’d expected, but then I guess
that’s the whole point really. Yeah, I’ll definitely go back
next summer.
You will hear a girl talking to her father about a visit
she’s making to another country.
How does she feel about the visit?
Aworried she might have problems reaching her
Bconcerned that she won’t understand her hosts
C uncertain whether she will like the food
All packed?
I think so, but I’ve forgotten something.
The family you’re going to sounds nice.
FYes, I had a talk with them on the phone. They
spoke slowly, so it wasn’t a problem catching what
they said. I never thought I’d be able to speak a
foreign language in real life!
MAnd you won’t be fussy about the food there?
FOh I don’t mind about that. I’ll be very polite and
eat everything on my plate. Honestly, I’ll be fine
once I’m there. It’s the journey that bothers me.
I’ve got to change trains, and I could easily mess
that up.
You’ll be fine.
You will hear a teacher making an announcement
about a school trip.
What is he telling the class?
A to keep the purpose of the trip in mind
B how to behave on the trip
C to prepare well for the trip
Just a quick word about our trip to Northsea Castle on
Thursday. It’s an ancient monument so please ensure
that you don’t climb on the walls and walk carefully at all
times, though I don’t think you need to be told that, do
you? You shouldn’t forget that the visit is going to be the
basis of a project on the sixteenth century, so you need
to take notes while you’re there and you’ll have a few
questions to answer as you go round the building. And I
know you’ve read some background information on the
castle, and that’ll certainly help you understand what
you’re going to see.
You will hear two friends talking about a film they
have just seen.
What do they agree about?
A The story was difficult to follow.
B The acting wasn’t good enough.
C The special effects could have been better.
You will hear a boy leaving a phone message about
a TV programme he’s seen about diving.
Why is he phoning?
A to say why his friend should watch it
B to tell his friend about something new he learnt
C to suggest going on a similar diving trip together
Hi Matt. That programme about the diving trip was great.
Shame you missed it. It was a bit like that time we went
diving together, remember? The sea they went in was
much deeper, though. And they were swimming with
sharks – remember how we wondered what we’d do if
we saw one? But the small sharks they saw were just
curious, not nasty at all. Anyway, it said that if you do see
sharks, you just have to give them some space and they’ll
go away! Amazing, hey? So at least we’d know what to do
now! I’d really love to see one someday, wouldn’t you?
MWell, that was marginally better than I’d expected
– though I had no idea what was going on half the
time – but it was probably just about worth it. At
least the special effects were amazing.
FNot that that made up for the plot – it really was
pretty confusing. The actress who played the
heroine was impressive though – first time I’ve
seen her in a big part.
MShe’s never going to get an Oscar though, is she?
– though the male lead might and the rest of them
weren’t that bad either.
FI wouldn’t mind seeing it again – I’d like to give it a
second chance!
Hi, everyone. As you know, we had to do a project about
an animal, and I’m going to talk about dolphins, which
are the animals I chose. I’ll be telling you some really
interesting stuff I’ve found out about them.
You will hear two friends talking about after-school
What do they agree about the new activity on
A It might be worth trying.
B It’s likely to be very popular.
C It could be at too high a level.
FI’ve just had my piano lesson. I’m always so busy
after school.
MMe too. I do drama and choir at the youth club.
Have you been? They offer plenty of things, from
sport to website design.
FWell if we’re talking about sport, I’d rather go to the
pool. But I didn’t know they did the web stuff. That’ll
certainly bring people in.
MNo doubt about that – it’s just started apparently –
who knows how good it’ll be though. I’m not sure I
want to be the first to try somehow.
FIn case it’s all too hard and technical, you mean?
MNo way! … in case it’s too basic!
That is the end of Part One.
A12 Now turn to Part Two.
You’ll hear a boy called Sam giving a class
presentation about dolphins.
For questions nine to eighteen, complete the
Write your answer into each space.
You now have forty-five seconds to look at Part
Two, and you will also have 1 minute to check your
answers at the end of Part Two.
First of all, why dolphins? Well, I chose them as the topic
for my project because my aunt works in a laboratory
in Hawaii, where they’re doing research into dolphin
behaviour. My grandfather took me and my older brother
to visit her last month and we brought back all sorts of
interesting stuff.
As well as picking up some leaflets and other information
about the laboratory and the dolphins they work with, we
shot some amazing videos, which I’ll show you later on
if you like. There’s also a website that tells you how the
research is going. I’ve given you the address for that on
the handout I passed round just now.
loads of fascinating facts, then I’d go to Young Zoologists
Dolphins live in groups which are called pods, but these
are not like human families because these pods are
generally made up of a mother dolphin and her babies,
which are called calves. Apparently, other animals do
this, like elephants, but generally fish in the sea don’t.
So, any questions? [fade]
In Hawaii, the research they’re doing is trying to find out
how dolphins communicate with each other, especially
parents and their young. And you can actually hear
the dolphins communicating with one another. In one
experiment, a mother and baby were put to swim in
separate tanks connected by a microphone. You can
hear the two animals making squawks and chirps and
responding to one another, just as if they were chattering
on the phone. It’s brilliant!
But dolphins don’t just use sounds to communicate
with each other. Just like us, they also use gestures, like
moving their heads and bodies in particular ways that
mean something to other dolphins. I specially like the
way they blow bubbles at each other – they seem to do
that to show friendship – and they have other things they
do, perhaps to show anger or give each other a warning.
Actually, scientists are trying to find out much more
about what exactly dolphins mean when they use
specific sounds or gestures. No one really knows
anything yet for sure, but there are lots of different
theories. One zoologist working in the Bahamas says
she’s convinced they give each other information about
their age, and about whether they’re happy or sad or
whatever. I wonder if they even give each other names!
I’d love to study dolphins in the wild myself, but it’s quite
difficult. I read a really interesting article by a scientist
who’s comparing different types of dolphin. She said that
studying dolphins is a good job for someone who enjoys
detective work. And she’s right because it’s not going
to be easy working out what the signs and sounds of
dolphin language mean. But she’s confident that one day
we’ll get to the bottom of it. Perhaps we’ll even learn to
talk in dolphin language ourselves!
I’ve always known that dolphins have plenty of
intelligence. But I never expected that they’d travel at
such a speed. Dolphins, like killer whales, can go through
the water at up to forty kilometres an hour. That’s quite
impressive, don’t you think?
Dolphins, as you’d expect, eat mostly fish, although they
eat all sorts of different types. But I found out that they
have an incredible two-hundred-and-fifty teeth, and that
perhaps explains why they have such a big wide mouth.
Lots of people like dolphins because they think they are
smiling all the time – but actually I reckon it’s probably
because they’re always hungry!
Well, that’s probably all I’ve got time for now, but there’s
lots more interesting stuff about dolphins around. There
are some brilliant books in the school library. Also, if you
want to see some great dolphin photos, then you can
go online and do a search. And if you want to find out
A13 Now you will hear Part Two again.
That’s the end of Part Two. You now have 1
minute to check your answers to Part Two.
A14 Now turn to Part Three.
You will hear five school students talking about
situations where they have to work together with
For questions nineteen to twenty-three, choose
from the list what each speaker says.
Use each letter only once.
There is one extra answer which you do not need.
You now have 30 seconds to look at Part Three.
A15 Speaker 1
I joined the school orchestra a few years ago. The
pieces of music we played were very challenging at
first, and sometimes I felt frustrated when I saw that a
few members of the orchestra weren’t really working
together or were just thinking about themselves. So I’ve
become more helpful if someone needs to practise a bit
more, and I’ve started to think about what’s good for the
orchestra and not focus on my problems all the time.
What I’ve really learnt is the importance of the phrase
‘together everyone achieves more’ which, to be honest,
I never really believed before I was in the orchestra.
A16 Speaker 2
I’m in my school football team and last season we only
won four games. It didn’t feel great to end up losing
when you knew you’d trained quite hard. But that wasn’t
the worst part. When we got back to school on Mondays
everyone wanted to tell us how badly we played – even
if they hadn’t been at the match! Of course, we were
desperate to win every week, but we were playing some
strong teams. But I’ll tell you something: all the criticism
didn’t mean we started blaming one another. In fact,
when things didn’t go well, the team felt much stronger
and we just supported one another all the more.
A17 Speaker 3
At the end of last term, we had to help tidy up the
classrooms and other places in the school. We had to
work in small teams to make sure the classrooms were
nice and tidy, and pick up all the rubbish left lying around
the place. I didn’t like doing it much and didn’t hit it off
with some of my teammates, mainly because everyone
wanted to be the boss, and we were arguing all the
time about who did what, though we did get the work
done quite quickly in the end. It was meant to be quite
competitive because the most efficient team got a prize.
A18 Speaker 4
At my school we’ve got a maths club where we meet up
and solve mathematical problems – for fun! Last term we
entered a competition against some other local schools. I
knew that good teamwork was essential if we were going
to do well, and though I was the youngest member of the
team, they gave me a lot of responsibility – like having
to answer some of the trickier questions. They seemed
to expect a lot of me and so I really pushed myself.
Unfortunately we didn’t win, but we came quite close –
and I think next time we can do better because I’ve still
got something to prove to everyone!
A19 Speaker 5
I joined a drama club a few months ago. It’s quite a small
group actually but even if you can’t act, it’s fun to be part
of it. We were all friends after the first meeting. Although
at the beginning everyone was quite shy, we relaxed
quite quickly. We put on a school play last term. It wasn’t
brilliant to be honest, but nobody really minded. Working
with my mates made me less scared of being in front
of people I don’t know. I can feel that it’s made me a lot
more sure of myself and that helps me in lots of ways, not
just when I’m on stage performing.
A20 Now you’ll hear Part Three again.
That’s the end of Part Three.
A21 Now turn to Part Four.
You will hear part of an interview with a woman
called Anna Mendes, who works as an astronaut.
For each question twenty-four to thirty, choose the
correct answer (A, B or C).
You now have 1 minute to look at Part Four.
(Speakers: interviewer: male could be British 30s
Astronaut: female US mid 30s)
Int:Space is less of a mystery these days, thanks
to the courageous men and women who travel
through our universe. Astronaut Anna Mendes,
who’s with us today, is one of those brave people.
Tell me Anna, when did you first think of becoming
an astronaut?
Anna:Well, as a kid I absolutely loved watching all
the flights to the Moon on TV. Women weren’t
accepted into the astronaut training program until I
was in my teens, though, so I hadn’t even thought
of it as a possible career. When I was a student at
Harvard University, I happened to hear that would-
be astronauts were being recruited onto a special
course. It struck me then that doing research in
space would be amazing and I made my mind up
to try. I didn’t apply though until I graduated two
years later.
Int:What’s the best part of working as an astronaut?
Anna:I’m fortunate to carry out a very exciting role,
which has included running experiments in space,
working in the International Space Station, and
assisting the pilot during launch and landing. But
I don’t work alone; I’m part of a team and that
close collaboration with such professional people
is what makes it for me, even above the thrill of
getting into space.
Int:How do you feel when you come back to Earth
after a space flight?
Anna:I experience a whole mixture of emotions. Firstly,
relief at being back safe and sound and seeing
my family. What always strikes me though is that
I always feel a strong sense of regret that I’m not
up there any longer, and I’m never quite prepared
for that. Then of course there’s the pride I feel in
having achieved everything I was asked to do.
Int:Does your work here at headquarters seem rather
dull compared to being in space?
Anna:People assume I sit at a desk for hours staring at a
computer screen. Computers are useful of course,
though planning the next mission can involve me
in all sorts of tasks, like flying to Florida to train
with some hardware there, or fun things like scuba
diving in our big training pool to learn about the
tasks the spacewalking crewmembers on my flight
have to do.
Int:Something I’ve always wondered – why do
astronauts need science qualifications when you
have such an expert team on the ground?
Anna:You’re right that we have fantastic support from
the folks on the ground, but communications
aren’t foolproof. My background means I can get
to grips with how the rocket systems function.
Understanding the tiniest detail isn’t my brief,
though. I need just enough to diagnose and
hopefully get around any malfunctions.
Int:What has been your most exciting moment in
space, the one that will stay in your memory?
Anna:It’s hard to pick out just one experience. However,
I do recall seeing Earth for the first time, and also
getting used to moving around and working in
zero gravity. Those were amazing experiences, but
we were in a sense prepared for them. Installing
a huge robot arm on the International Space
Station was something else. It was technically very
challenging and the risk of failure was very high so
the thrill of completing it was just awesome.
Int:Now what does the future hold for you, Anna?
Anna:Well, of course going into space is my first love.
I’ve been very lucky to do four space missions
and a fifth would be great, though my boss has
said I’ve had my share now. Instead, I’m due to get
involved in the junior astronaut program, helping
to prepare them for their first mission, and I must
say that does appeal to me. Other projects involve
travel to different countries, telling schoolchildren
about the space program. That sounds great
too, though I find being away from home for long
periods a burden now.
IntAnother thing people are curious about (fade)
A22 Now you will hear Part Four again.
That’s the end of Part Four.
A23You now have 2 minutes to check all your
You have 1 more minute.
That is the end of the test.
Compact First for Schools Online resources
Practice Test Answer Key
Paper 1 Reading
Part 1
1 C 2 B 3 A 4 B 5 D 6 A 7 C 8 B
Part 2
9 G 10 D 11 A 12 C 13 H 14 B 15 F
Part 3
16 A 17 D 18 B 19 A 20 B 21 D 22 A 23 D
24 C 25 D 26 D 27 B 28 B 29 D 30 B
Paper 2 Writing
Candidates’answers are assessed with reference to two mark schemes: one based on the examiner’s overall
impression, the other on the requirements of the particular task.
Some areas to consider when giving marks are:
Band 5 – Candidate fully achieves the desired affect on the target reader. All the content points required are included
and expanded on. Ideas are organised effectively with a variety of linking devices and a wide range of structure and
Band 4 – Candidate’s writing achieves the desired red effect on the target reader. All the content points required in
the task are included. Ideas are clearly organised with the use of suitable linking devices. Generally, the language is
Band 3 – Candidate’s writing, on the whole, achieves the desired affect on the target reader. All the content points
required are included. Ideas are organised adequately with the use of simple linking devices and adequate range of
structure and vocabulary. A number of errors may be present, but they do no impede communication.
Band 2 – Candidate’s writing does not clearly communicate the message to the target reader. Some content points
in the task are inadequately covered or omitted, and/or there is some irrelevant material. Ideas are inadequately
organised, linking devices are rarely used and the range of structure and vocabulary is limited.
Band 1 – The candidate’s writing has a very negative effect on the target reader. There is notable omission of content
points and/or considerable irrelevance. There is a lack of organisation or linking devices, and there is little evidence of
language control. The range of structures and vocabulary is narrow and frequent errors obscure communication.
Paper 3 Use of English
Part 1
1 C 2 B 3 C 4 A 5 D 6 B 7 A 8 C 9 B 10 D
11 D 12 A
Part 2
13 Migrating 14 have 15 taking 16 Although 17 As 18 no
19 the 20 can 21 them 22 or 23 this 24 from
Part 3
25 discussion 26 impossible 27 impolite 28 fashionable 29 earliest
30 naturally 31designers 32 surroundings 33inspiration 34 variety
Part 4
35 warned them/warned the boys
37 were not allowed to eat
39 were supposed to have 41 won’t play tennis unless
36 hasn’t been any rain
38 performance was so bad
40 who this bike belongs
42 to let her
Paper 4 Listening
Part 1
1 A 2 C 3 B 4 A 5 B 6 A 7 B 8 B
Part 2
1 aunt 2 videos 3 elephants 4 microphone 5 friendship
6 age 7 detective 8 speed 9 smiling all the time 10 photos
Part 3
1 B 2 E 3 D 4 A 5 F
Part 4
1 B 2 A 3 A 4 B 5 C 6 A 7 C
The authors and publishers acknowledge the following sources of copyright
material and are grateful for the permissions granted. While every effort has
been made, it has not always been possible to identify the sources of all the
material used, or to trace all copyright holders. If any omissions are brought to
our notice, we will be happy to include the appropriate acknowledgements on
Key: l = left, c = centre, r = right, t = top, b = bottom, u = upper, lo = lower, f = far.
Paper 1 p. 2: Shutterstock/ARENA Creative; Paper 1 p. 4: Shutterstock/Edyta
Pawlowska; Paper 1 p. 7 (a): Shutterstock/propositive; Paper 1 p. 7 (b): Shutterstock/
makler0008; Paper 1 p. 7 (c): Thinkstock; Paper 1 p. 7 (d): Shutterstock/Marcin
Pawinski ; Paper 5 p. 2 (TL): © MELBA PHOTO AGENCY/Alamy; Paper 5 p. 2 (TR):
Shutterstock/Galyna Andrushko; Paper 5 p. 2 (BL): Thinkstock; Paper 5 p. 2 (BR):
Thinkstock/Buccina Studios; Paper 5 p. 3 (TL): Shutterstock/Steve Cukrov; Paper 5 p.
3 (TC): © Jason Gallier/Alamy; Paper 5 p. 3 (TR): © Ingram Publishing/Alamy; Paper 5 p.
3 (CL): Shutterstock/Tanawat Pontchour; Paper 5 p. 3 (BL):Shutterstock/auremar; Paper
5 p. 3 (BC): Thinkstock; Paper 5 p. 3 (BR): Shutterstock/mangostock.
Reading Part 1: Extract from Vertical by Janet Eoff Berend. Copyright © 2012 Breakaway
Books, Reproduced with permission; Reading Part 2: Adapted
extracts from The Teenager’s Guide to Money by Jonathan Self. Copyright © 2007
Quercus Publishing PLC. Reproduced with permission.
Cambridge University Press would also like to thank Daniel Charnock (picture
researcher), Michelle Simpson (text permissions), Robin Stokoe (copy editor)
and Marcus Fletcher (proof-reader).
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