LISTENING SECTION DIRECTIONSThe Listening section measures your ability to understand conversations and lectures in English. You will hear each conversation and lecture only one time. After each conversation or lecture, you will answer some questions about it. The questions typically ask about the main idea and supporting details. Some questions ask about a speaker’s purpose or attitude. Answer the questions based on what the speakers state or imply.

You may take notes while you listen. You may use your notes to help you answer the questions. Your notes will not be scored. In some questions, you will see this icon:  This means that you will hear, but not see, part of the question.

Some questions have special directions, which appear in a gray box. Most questions are worth one point. If a question is worth more than one point, the directions will indicate how many points you can receive.

At the real test, you will not have a transcript. However, to help you analyze your score, we’re including the transcript below. Do not look at the transcript before you complete the test.

You will now begin part 1 of the Listening section.

Listening 1

Questions 1 – 5
Conversation

Listen to a conversation between a student and a music professor.

M: Hi, Professor Casey. How are you?

W: Fine, thanks, Michael. I heard you got the scholarship for the summer program at Silverwood. Congratulations!

M: Thank you. I mean, thank you very much—I’m sure your recommendation helped me a lot.

W: I was happy to do it. So are you ready for summer?

M: I wish it was next week, but I…uh…still have a lot to do before exams. But I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be studying oboe with Peter Stanley—he heads the woodwind ensemble there.

W: I know him. You couldn’t ask for a better teacher. That’s great. I’m really happy for you.

M: Thanks. I’m looking forward to it. He was on the panel for my interview. I’ll be studying oboe with him, and also orchestra—Dr. Fine is the conductor— and I’m hoping to do the French horn, too, and maybe take up the krummhorn—it has such a cool sound. They’re supposed to have an early music specialist there, but I forgot her name.

W: The krummhorn!

M: Yeah.

W: That’s right. You did tell me of your interest in medieval and Renaissance music. I hope you get a chance to pursue that. There’s been a revival of interest there. Well, Michael, it looks like you’ll have a full plate this summer.

M: I know. I’m sure I’ll be working hard! But it’ll be great.

W: So what comes after that? What are your plans for next year? You’ll be a sophomore, right?

M: Right. I’ll be coming back here, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing you. You’ll still be teaching theory and composition, right?

W: Of course I will. And I look forward to having you in class.

M: What will you be doing this summer?

W: I’ll be teaching Theory I and II, and coaching voice. M: Uh–huh. You’re also in a band, aren’t you? I mean, outside of school?

W: Yes, I am—a jazz quintet. We do mostly standards. I play piano and sing. For me, that’s fun and relaxation time.

M: My girlfriend said she heard you at the Back Alley. W: Yes, we play there every Wednesday night. You should come hear us sometime.

M: I’d like that. I’ll bring my girlfriend. She says you were really good.

W: Well then, I hope to see you some Wednesday night.

M: I’ll be there. Well … I gotta go now. I’m supposed to meet my German teacher in fifteen minutes. And thanks again for the recommendation.

W: It’s my pleasure, Michael. You’ll make the most of it, I’m certain. Good luck!


Questions 6 – 11
Geology: Fossils
Listen to part of a lecture in a geology class. The professor is talking about fossils. Although the existence of fossils had been known for centuries, it wasn’t until the early nineteenth century that their significance as geologic tools became evident. That was when a British engineer and canal builder made an interesting discovery. He noticed that each rock layer in the canals he worked on contained fossils that were unlike those in the rocks either above or below. Each layer held fossils of different types of ancient plants or animals. Furthermore, the engineer noticed that the characteristic fossil content of each layer could be used to determine the age of the rock. Rock layers from some areas could be matched to the layers in other areas. The process of comparing sedimentary rocks at different locations to determine the relationship between them is known as correlation. Correlation involves comparing the rock types, the sequence of rock layers, and the fossils in different places. Correlation gives us a better understanding of geologic history. By correlating the rocks from one place to another, we’ve been able to develop a geologic time scale that applies to the whole planet. This leads us to one of the most important principles in historical geology: the principle of fossil succession. The principle of fossil succession states that fossil organisms succeed one another in a definite order. Fossils show a definite succession, a progressive change from simple to complex. Thus, fossils document the evolution of life through time. Therefore, we can identify the time period of rock layers by the types of fossils we find there. The principle of fossil succession tells us that different groups of fossils are found in different layers of rock. Fossils found at the base of a rock formation may extend part way up and then disappear. After a fossil has disappeared in a rock formation, it never reappears in a higher layer of that formation. The fossils at the bottom don’t appear at the top, and those at the top don’t appear at the bottom. This pattern means that fossil species existed for specific periods of the earth’s history, and then they became extinct. Extinction is forever; thus, certain fossils disappeared from the record. Fossils are the most useful means of correlating rocks of similar age in different regions. We pay particular attention to certain fossils called index fossils, such as trilobites and fishes, which point to various ages in the evolution of life. For example, we can see an Age of Trilobites—small sea creatures—quite early in the record. Then, in succession, we find an Age of Fishes, an Age of Reptiles, and an Age of Mammals. These “ages” refer to life forms that were especially plentiful during particular time periods. This same succession of organisms, always in the same order, is found in rock formations on every continent. In addition to being important time indicators, fossils are important environmental indicators. We can learn a great deal of information about past environments by studying the fossil record. For example, when we find the fossils of certain shells, we can assume that the region was once covered by water. In the deserts of the American Southwest, fossils provide clues that the environment was much wetter in the past than it is today. We’ve found sandstone with ripple marks—delicate, wavy ridges that formed millions of years ago when mud and silt at the edge of a shallow sea were rippled by the action of the water. There are also numerous fossils of oyster shells and water–loving plants such as ferns.

Questions 12 – 17
Biology

Listen to part of a talk in a biology class.

M: Until recently, we knew almost nothing about how important bees are in maintaining natural diversity. Now we know more about them. We know, for example, that honeybees are the dominant pollinators because they play a role in pollinating four out of five food crops in North America. We also know that honeybees—along with the other insects, bats, and birds that transfer pollen between flowers—all together they contribute more than ten billion dollars a year to fruit and seed production on North American farms. Pollination is one of nature’s services to farmers. So think about this: if you eliminated the pollinators, it would take the food right out of our mouths. We biologists never imagined we’d see the day when wild plants or crops suffered from pollinator scarcity. But, unfortunately, that day has come. In fact, farmers in Mexico and the U.S. are suffering the worst pollinator crisis in history. So … what happened? Any ideas? Alicia?

W: Is it … um … because of natural enemies? I read something about a kind of parasite that’s killed lots of bees.

M: It’s true. An outbreak of parasitic mites has caused a steep decline in North American populations of honeybees. But parasites aren’t the only factor.

W: What about the pesticides used on farms? All those chemicals must have an effect.

M: Most definitely, yes. Pesticides are a major factor. Both wild and domesticated bees are in serious trouble because of pesticides. In California, farm chemicals are killing around ten percent of all the honeybee colonies. Agriculture in general is part of the problem. Think about this for a minute: the North American continent is a vast collection of “nectar corridors” made up of flowering plants. These corridors stretch for thousands of miles, from Mexico to as far north as Alaska. And every year, there’s an array of migratory pollinators flying north and south with the seasons, following the flowers. The migratory corridors—the flyways—are like … uh … something like a path of stepping–stones for the pollinators, with each “stone” being a collection of flowering plants. But our system of large–scale agriculture has interfered. During the past fifty years, millions of acres of desert in western Mexico and the southwestern United States have been turned into chemically intensive farms, planted with exotic grasses, creating huge stretches of flyway that are devoid of nectar–producing plants for migratory pollinators. What we have now are huge gaps between the stepping–stones—patches of plants here and there. A couple of migratory pollinators are worth noting. One is the lesser long–nosed bat, and another is the most famous pollinator—what is our most famous pollinator? Or I should say our most beautiful pollinator.

W: Oh, I know. It’s the monarch butterfly!

M: The monarch butterfly—yes. Millions of monarchs from all over the U.S. and southern Canada fly south every year in late summer. The monarch is the only butterfly that returns to a specific site year after year. Unfortunately, the herbicides used on the milkweed in the Great Plains are taking a toll on monarchs, and fewer of them are reaching their winter grounds in Mexico. Another important pollinator is the long– nosed bat. These amazing animals feed on cactus flowers. What they do is, they lap up the nectar at the bottom of the flower, and then when the bat flies off to another cactus, the pollen stuck to its head is transferred to that plant’s flower. But the long–nosed bat is having a tough time, too. Some desert ranchers mistake them for vampire bats, and they’ve tried to poison them, or dynamite the caves where they roost.

Listening 2

Questions 1-5
Conversation

Listen to a conversation in a university bookstore.

M: Is there something I can help you with?

W: Uh, yes, as a matter of fact. I’m trying to decide what to do. I’m taking a physics class, at least I’d like to take the class, but I was put on the waiting list because it was overenrolled.

M: Okay, so you—

W: I don’t know if I’ll actually end up in the class, so I don’t know if I should buy the book yet.

M: If you do get in the class, the registrar’s office will let you know right away. As soon as there’s an opening in the class, if someone drops out, then whoever’s next on the waiting list gets in automatically. They’ll let you know as soon as that happens. They’ll send you a message by e–mail.

W: Right. That’s what they told me. Anyway, I … um … I heard this course is kind of demanding. I talked to the professor, and he said it’s important to keep up with the reading, and that a lot of important concepts are covered in the first two weeks. So, to make a long story short, I think I want to buy the textbook now— assuming I will get into the class—so I can get started on the reading.

M: Okay.

W: ButI…um…in case I don’t get in…um…would I be able to return the book and get my money back? M: Sure. That is, if you haven’t written anything in it. We give a full refund if you return it by the end of the first week of the quarter. In the second and third weeks, we refund half of your money.

W: Really? Is that all? That seems kind of stiff. I mean, this book costs ninety dollars!

M: I know, I know. But unfortunately, that’s the bookstore’s policy. I know … it’s kind of unfair in your situation. Sorry.

W: Only half your money back. Wow. That does make it more complicated. Now I don’t know what to do. If I don’t start reading the book, and then get in this class, I’m afraid I’ll fall behind. But I can’t afford to buy a book I don’t need.

M: But if you do get in the class, you usually know that by the end of the first week … sometimes by the second week.

W: Well, then maybe I should just buy the book anyway. There are only a few copies of it left on the shelf.

M: Is that right? Thanks for letting me know. I’d better check it in back and see if we have any more. This must be a popular course.

W: It is. It’s required for pre–engineering students.

M: Oh, so you want to be an engineer?

W: Yeah.

M: That’s great! My brother’s in engineering school. He’s a teaching assistant for Doctor Kelly.

W: Really! Doctor Kelly teaches the class I want to get into! He’s the best professor in the whole department.

M: It’s true. I’ve heard other people say that too.

W: If I don’t get his class this quarter, maybe next quarter I will.

M: And you’ll have gotten an early start on reading the book, that is, if you buy it today.

W: Right. You talked me into it. Thanks for your help.

M: No problem. Good luck getting into the class!

Questions 6-11
Art

Listen to a discussion in an art class.
M1: Today I want to talk about the act of painting, I mean, controlling and manipulating the paint as you apply it. There are several elements that contribute to the ease or difficulty you have in controlling paint as you’re brushing it on paper or canvas. One factor is the quality of the liquid material in the paint itself. Another is the nature of the surface to which it’s applied. Now, think about the painting surface—the paper or canvas. When you’re selecting the right surface to paint on, what should you be considering? Lisa?

W: I think you’d want to think about—if you’re painting on paper—it seems the type of paper would matter. Is your paper smooth or is it coarse? That would make a difference in how well the paint would stick.

M1: Yes, that’s a good point. The coarseness of the surface—and this is true for both paper and canvas— the coarseness is related to how the paint is absorbed. Liquid paints are literally taken from the brush by the coarseness of the surface. On very smooth paper, the low absorbency of the surface causes the paint to flow easily across the surface because the paper doesn’t absorb it readily. On coarse papers, on the other hand, your brush drags more because the paper takes the paint thirstily from the brush. The coarse paper literally drinks up all the liquid paint. Each type of paper and each technique of painting has its own special requirements that will ease your control of the paint. Yes, Tom?

M2: I just thought of something else. Another important thing is the quality of the brush you use. I found that out the hard way because I used to always use cheap brushes. Then I realized that cheaper brushes just don’t apply the paint very well. Some of my brushes would just plop down all the paint at once and leave a big blob in one place. Now I have better brushes. They’re expensive, but it’s worth it.

M1: Tom, you learned a lesson that all artists learn sooner or later. A good brush makes all the difference in the world. All painters—I mean you should all have a supply of the highest–grade brushes you can find. Brushes are one part of your equipment where you shouldn’t skimp because poor–quality brushes are a severe handicap to good painting.

W: The brushes sold in the university bookstore, are they, uh, in your opinion, are they high quality?

M1: Yes. All the brushes in our bookstore are very good. W: But how can you tell that? Can you tell a brush is good by looking? Or is it the price that tells you?

M1: You can tell by the brush’s appearance. A high– quality oil painting brush is made from the best grades of bleached animal hair: hogs’ bristles. You can tell if a brush is good by looking closely at the tips of the hairs. Of course, the quality of the brush will also be reflected in the price. The tip of a high– quality paintbrush is made up of the natural split ends of the hair or bristle of a hog. The tips are never cut or trimmed. All shaping and trimming is done at the root end, where the bristles are attached to the handle. Hog–bristle brushes hold the paint in the hair’s split ends. Poor quality brushes lose their hair, or they don’t apply paint properly, as Tom
pointed out. Sometimes brush companies trim the bristles excessively so the brush looks good, but without split ends, the brush won’t pick up and place paint properly. Bristle brushes come in three major shapes: rounds, flats, and brights. The shape, of course, refers to the shape of the bristles—whether the bristles are round—arranged in a circle—or flat—arranged in a flat line. Flat brushes are more versatile than round ones, so the flats are much more popular. The third type of brush, the bright, is sometimes confused with the flat brush because the bristles are actually flat, but much shorter. A bright is essentially a shorter version of a flat, with the bristles arranged in a flat line. The brights are designed to give you a little more control, especially with thicker paints. They’re the most effective brushes for applying oil paints that have a consistency like butter.

Questions 12-17
United States History

Listen to a lecture in a United States history class.

The battle at Antietam Creek in 1862 was the bloodiest twenty–four hours of the Civil War. Nearly 8,000 men lost their lives and another 15,000 were severely wounded. No single day in American history has been as tragic. Antietam was memorable in another way, too—it saw the advent of the war photographer.

The best known pictorial records of the Civil War are the photographs commissioned by Mathew Brady, a leading portrait photographer of the time. Brady owned studios in New York and in Washington, and was known for his portraits of political leaders and celebrities. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he turned his attention to the conflict. He wanted to document the war on a grand scale, so he hired twenty photographers and sent them into the field with the troops. The battlefield carried dangers and financial risks, but Brady was persistent.

Brady himself did not actually shoot many of the photographs that bore his name. His company of photographers took the vast majority of the pictures—images of camp life, artillery, fortifications, railroads, bridges, battlefields, officers, and ordinary soldiers. Brady was more of a project manager. He spent his time supervising his photographers, preserving their negatives, and buying negatives from other photographers.

Two days after the battle at Antietam, two photographers from Brady’s New York gallery took a series of photographs that ushered in a new era in the visual documentation of war. This was the first time that cameras had been allowed near the action before the fallen bodies of the dead were removed. Within a month of the battle, the images of battlefield corpses from Antietam were on display at Brady’s gallery in New York. A sign on the door said simply, “The Dead of Antietam.” America was shocked. The exhibition marked the first time most people had ever seen the carnage of the war. The photographs had a sensational impact, opening people’s eyes as no woodcuts or lithographs had ever done.

The New York Times wrote, “If Mr. Brady has not brought bodies and laid them in our door–yards, he has done something very like it.” Thousands of people, especially mothers and wives of men serving in the Union forces, flocked to look at these first dramatic images of death and destruction. Suddenly the battlefield was no longer comfortably distant—the camera was bringing it closer, erasing romantic notions about war.

Mathew Brady’s work was the first instance of the comprehensive photo–documentation of a war—the Civil War—which as a result became the first media war. Photography had come of age, although it was still a relatively new technology with several limitations. For example, the exposure time of the camera was slow, and negatives had to be prepared minutes before a shot and developed immediately afterwards. This meant that it was not possible for photographers to take action pictures. They were limited to taking pictures of the battlefield after the fighting was over. Another limitation was that newspapers couldn’t yet reproduce photographs. They could print only artists’ drawings of the scene. Nevertheless, photography made a huge impact, and media coverage of war—and public opinion about war—would never be the same again.



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