Hi everyone,

Here's a video I made with a sample FCE listening test.

Of course the quality isn't quite as good as from Cambridge, but it's free, and I'll explain all the answers. Pretty good, right?

Answers and Explanations

A reminder of the options:

a - My partner left me for my sister
b - I didn't like my partner's new hobby
c - My partner developed a strange smell
d - My partner became obsessed with the movie 'Titanic'
e - My partner's mother was too bossy
f - I found someone more attractive
g - My partner lost all our money
h - I discovered my partner had another relationship

Speaker 1

We were watching a movie, I think it was called ‘Perfume’ and it was all about smells, you know, and it was then that he decided to tell me. I’ve been gambling, he said, and at first he was up, but then he was down. Turns out our life savings had gone out the window in one hand of poker. I should have listened to my sister - she always told me I should leave him.

The first thing is a distractor - all that talk about movies - maybe the answer is D? No, the movie isn't the reason she left her partner, and anyway, she mentions a totally different movie.

The mention of the sister at the end is another distractor, because the real answer is G. The guy lost all their money playing poker.

Speaker 2

It just sort of crept up on me... first there was the websites, then came the meetings. Before I knew it, she was dressing up and going to conventions. I mean, who walks around in public dressed like a Minion? She was obsessed with those little yellow things! It wasn’t the expense that bothered me, it was the voice. When she was in costume she wouldn’t speak English, just make stupid noises. That’s why I dumped her. I had to!

What's going on here? Well, the girlfriend becomes interested in the Minions and ends up dressing up like a Minion and talking like a Minion. That makes B the right answer. The mention of 'expense' is a distractor - some students would choose G because it seems to be about money.

Speaker 3

We’d been together for three years. He was an English teacher - very glamorous lifestyle - lots of traveling. You know, parties, private jets, luxury hotels. Typical for a language teacher. So he was away a lot. But it was still a shock when I found out he was already married. They even had a little farm with two pigs! I always thought he smelled a bit strange, like pork, somehow. Anyway, it’s over now and I met a farmer of my own.

There's a distractor here about the smell - but answer C says 'developed a smell' and speaker 3 says that the man always had a smell.

Of course the right answer is H, because the partner already had a relationship - he was married.

Speaker 4

Yeah, so, my ex, she was good looking, right, like Kate Winslet from that movie where she’s on a boat... I forget the name. And her sister was even better looking! Really my type. But I was at a meeting of top business people in a luxury hotel - I’m an English teacher so that sort of thing is normal for me - when along comes Scarlett Johansson! I mean, I’m not really shallow but she was much hotter than my ex so I sent a quick email ending that relationship and made my move. Hey, baby! Know what I mean?!

This starts with a distractor by mentioning Titanic (answer D) - but that's not the reason the couple broke up. There's also mention of the sister (answer A) but the guy didn't change from one sister to another. No, he met someone hotter, meaning more attractive, and ended the relationship he was in.

Speaker 5

We had an apartment with two showers. My boyfriend, and I don’t know why, let his mother come to stay with us for two weeks. She decided she didn’t want to use the shower in her room and wanted to use the one in our bedroom. I mean, come on! I said no and we all had a huge fight. The problem was she was always telling him what to do. And that was my job! That relationship was like the Titanic - doomed from the start.

Another mention of Titanic - surely it's the answer this time? No, it's just a comparison of the relationship and the ship. The real answer is E, because telling people what to do is the same as being bossy.

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