Transcript | TOEFL listening practice test 2018 | Test 1

Transcript | TOEFL listening practice test 2018 | Test 1


Narrator: Listen to part of a conversation between a student and a librarian.

Student: Hi, um…, I really hope you can help me.

Librarian:That’s why I’m here. What can I do for you?

Student: I’m supposed to do a literature review for my psychology course, but um… having a hard time finding articles. I don’t even know where to start looking.

Librarian:You said this is for your psychology course, right? So your focus is on …

Student: Dream Interpretation.

Librarian: Well, you have a focus, so that’s already a good start. Hmmm… well, there’re a few things… oh wait… have you checked to see if your professor put any material for you to look at on reserve?

Student: Aha, that’s one thing I did know to do. I just copied an article, but I still need three more on my topic from three different journals.

Librarian: Let’s get you going on looking for those then. We have printed versions of twenty psychology journals in the Reference Section. These are the ones published within the last year. Then I think about it… there’s a journal named Sleep and Dream.

Student: Oh, yeah, the article I just copied is from that journal, so I’ve got to look at other sources.

Librarian: Ok, actually, most of our materials are available electronically now. You can access psychology databases or electronic journals and articles through the library’s computers, and if you want to search by title with the word ‘dream’ for example, just type it in and all the articles with ‘dream’ in the title will come up on the screen.

Student: Cool, that’s great! Too bad I cannot do this from home.

Librarian: But you can. All of the library’s databases and electronic sources can be accessed through any computer connected to the university network.

Student: Really?! I can’t believe I didn’t know that. It still sounds like it’s going to take a while though, you know, going through all of that information, all of those sources.

Librarian: Maybe, but you already narrow your search down to articles on Dream Interpretation, so it shouldn’t be too bad. And you probably notice that there’s an abstract or summary at the top of the first page of the article you copied. When you go into the databases and electronic sources, you have the option to display the abstracts on the computer screen, skimming those to decide whether or not you want to read the whole article should cut down some time.

Student: Right, abstracts! They’ll definitely make the project more durable. I guess I should try out the electronic search while I’m still here then, you know, just in case.

Librarian: Sure, er… that computer’s free over there, and I’ll be here till five this afternoon.

Student: Thanks, I feel a lot better about this assignment now.


Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in a contemporary art class.

Professor: Ok, I’m going to begin this lecture by giving you your next assignment.

Remember I said that at some point during this semester I wanted you to attend an exhibit at the Fairy Street Gallery and then write about it?

Well, the exhibit that I want you to attend is coming up.

It’s already started in fact, but it’ll be at the gallery for the next month, which should give you plenty of time to complete this assignment.

The name of the artist exhibiting there is Rose Frantzen.

Frantzen’s work may be unfamiliar to you since she’s a relatively young artist.

But she’s got a very unusual style, compared to some of the artists we’ve looked at this term.

But anyway, Frantzen’s style is what she herself calls Realistic Impressionism.

So you’ve probably studied both of these movements separately,separate movements, Realism and Impressionism, in some of your art history courses.

So who can just sum these up?

Student: Well, Impressionism started in the late 19th century.

Um…the basic impressionist style was very different from earlier styles. It didn’t depict scenes or models exactly as they looked.

Um… Impressionist painters tended to apply paint really thickly, and in big brushstrokes, so the texture of the canvas was rough.

Professor: Good. What else? What were the subjects?

Student: Well, a lot of impressionist artists painted everyday scenes, like people on the streets and in cafes, lots of nature scenes, especially landscapes.

Professor: Good. So when you go to the exhibit, I really want you to take a close look at a certain painting.

It’s a farm scene. And you will see it right as you enter the gallery.

The reason I think this painting is so important is that it stresses the impressionist aspect of Frantzen’s style.

It’s an outdoor scene, an everyday scene.

It’s kind of bleak, which you can really see those broad brushstrokes and the blurry lines.

The colors aren’t quite realistic.

The sky is kind of, well, in a natural… pinkish yellow. And the fence in the foreground is blue, but somehow the overall scene gives an impression of a cold, bleak, winter day on a farm.

So that’s the impressionist side of her work.

Oh, and speaking about farms, that reminds me.

One interesting thing I read about Franzten is that when she first moved back to Iowa after living abroad, she often visited this place in her town called the Sales Barn.

And the Sales Barn, it was basically this place where the local farmers bought and sold their cattle, their farm animals.

And the reason Frantzen went there, and she later on would visit other places like dance halls, was to observe people and the ways that they moved.

She really found that this helped her work—that it gave her an understanding of body movements and actions, how humans move, and stand still, what their postures were like, too.

So, what about Realism? What are the elements of Realism we should be looking for in Frantzen’s work?

Student: Um… real honest depictions of subject matter, pretty unidealized stuff, and pretty everyday subject matter, too.

Professor: Good. One other painting I really want you to look at is of a young woman surrounded by pumpkins.

You will notice that the woman’s face is so realistic looking that it’s almost like a photograph.

The woman’s nose is a little less than perfect and her hair is kind of messed up. This is realism.

But then, the background of the painting, this woman with the pumpkins is wrapped in a blanket of broad thick brushstrokes, and, it’s all kinds of zigzagging brushstrokes and lines, kind of chaotic almost when you look at it close.

And there are vibrant colors.

There’s lots of orange, with little hints of an electric blue peeking out.

I find Frantzen to be a very accessible artist.

I mean, some artists, to appreciate them, you have to know their life story.

But here’s a little bit about Rose Frantzen’s life anyway. She attended art school, but was told by one of her instructors that she was not good at illustration, that she should go into advertising instead.

So she took advertising classes and fine arts classes too, until she was convinced by the head of an advertising agency that her work was really good, that she could be an artist.

But of course, it’s not as easy as that, and so Frantzen had to paint other people’s portraits at places like art fairs just to make money to buy paint for her more series of art work.

No matter what, she never stopped painting.

And now, Frantzen is doing extremely well.

And her work is being shown all over the country. So I think most of us would be discouraged if we had to face challenges and difficulties like that.

But what’s important is that you keep at it that you don’t give up. That’s what is really important to remember.


Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in a geology class.

Professor: Ok, let’s get started.

Great. Today I want to talk about a way in which we are able to determine how old a piece of land, or some other geologic feature is – dating techniques.

I’m going to talk about a particular dating technique.

Why? Good dating is a key to good analysis.

In other words, if you want to know how a land formation was formed, the first thing you probably want to know is how old it is. It’s fundamental.

Um… Take the Grand Canyon for instance.

Now, we geologists thought we had a pretty good idea of how the Grand Canyon in the southwestern United States was formed.

We knew that it was formed from sandstone that solidified somewhere between 150 and 300 million years ago.

Before it solidified, it was just regular sand. Essentially it was part of a vast desert.

And until just recently, most of us thought the sand had come from an ancient mountain range fairly close by that flattened out over time.

That’s been the conventional wisdom among geologists for quite some time.

But now we’ve learned something different, and quite surprising, using a technique called Uranium-Lead Dating.

I should say that Uranium-Lead Dating has been around for quite a while. But there have been some recent refinements.

I will get into this in a minute.

Anyway, Uranium-Lead Dating has produced some surprises.

Two geologists discovered that about half of the sand from the Grand Canyon was actually once part of the Appalachian Mountains.

That’s really eye-opening news, since the Appalachian Mountain Range is, of course, thousands of kilometers to the east of the Grand Canyon. Sounds pretty unbelievable, right?

Of course, the obvious question is how did that sand end up so far west?

The theory is that huge rivers and wind carried the sand west where it mixed in with the sand that was already there.

Well, this was a pretty revolutionary finding.

Um… and it was basically because of Uranium-Lead Dating.

Why? Well, as everyone in this class should know, we usually look at the grain type within sandstone, meaning the actual particles in the sandstone, to determine where it came from.

You can do other things too, like look at the wind or water that brought the grains to their location and figure out which way it was flowing.

But that’s only useful up to a point, and that’s not what these two geologists did.

Uranium-Lead Dating allowed them to go about it in an entirely different way.

What they did was: they looked at the grains of Zircon in the sandstone.

Zircon is a material that contains radioactive Uranium, which makes it very useful for dating purposes.

Zircon starts off as molten magma, the hot larva from volcanoes. This magma then crystallizes.

And when Zircon crystallizes, the Uranium inside it begins to change into Lead. So if you measure the amount of Lead in the Zircon grain, you can figure out when the grain was formed.

After that, you can determine the age of Zircon from different mountain ranges.

Once you do that, you can compare the age of the Zircon in the sandstone in your sample to the age of the Zircon in the mountains.

If the age of the Zircon matches the age of one of the mountain ranges, then it means the sandstone actually used to be part of that particular mountain range.

Is everybody with me on that?

Good. So, in this case, Uranium-Lead Dating was used to establish that half of the sandstone in the samples was formed at the same time the granite in the Appalachian Mountains was formed.

So because of this, this new way of doing Uranium-Lead Dating, we’ve been able to determine that one of our major assumptions about the Grand Canyon was wrong.

Like I said before, Uranium-Lead Dating has been with us for a while.

But, um… until recently, in order to do it, you really had to study many individual grains.

And it took a long time before you got results.

It just wasn’t very efficient. And it wasn’t very accurate.

But technical advances have cut down on the number of grains you have to study, so you get your results faster.

So I’ll predict that Uranium-Lead Dating is going to become an increasingly popular dating method.<BR>

There are a few pretty exciting possibilities for Uranium-Lead Dating.

Here is one that comes to mind. You know the theory that earth’s continents were once joined together and only split apart relatively recently?

Well, with Uranium-Lead Dating, we could prove that more conclusively.

If they show evidence of once having been joined, that could really tell us a lot about the early history of the planet’s geology.


Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in an archeology class.

Professor: OK, we’ve been talking about early agriculture in the near east.

So let’s concentrate on one site and see what we can learn from it.

Let’s look at Catalhoyuk. Ah… I’d better write that down.

Catalhoyuk, that’s about as close as we get in English.

It’s Turkish, really. The sites in modern day Turkey, and who knows what the original inhabitants called it.

Anyway, uh…Catalhoyuk wasn’t the first agricultural settlement in the near east, but it was pretty early, settled about 9000 years ago in the Neolithic period.

And … umm… the settlement…ah…town really, lasted about a thousand years and grew to a size of about eight or ten thousand people.

That certainly makes it one of the largest towns in the world at that time.

One of the things that make the settlement of this size impressive is the time period.

It’s the Neolithic, remember, the late Stone Age.

So the people that lived there had only stone tools, no metals.

So everything they accomplished, like building this town, they did with just stone, plus wood, bricks, that sort of thing.

But you got to remember that it wasn’t just any stone they had, they had obsidian.

And umm… obsidian is a black, volcanic, well, almost like glass.

It flakes very nicely into really sharp points.

The sharpest tools of the entire Stone Age were made of obsidian.

And urrr… the people of Catalhoyuk got theirs from further inland, from central Turkey, traded for it, probably.

Anyway, what I wanna focus on is the way the town was built.

The houses are all rectangular, one storey made of sun dried bricks.

But what’s really interesting is that there are no spaces between them, no streets in other words, and so generally no doors on the houses either.

People walked around on the roofs and entered the house through a hatchway on the roof, down a wooden ladder.

You can still see the diagonal marks of the ladders in the plaster on the inside walls.

Once you were in the house, there would be one main room and a couple of small rooms for storage.

The main room had the hearths, for cooking and for heat.

It would’ve been pretty cold during the winters. And it also looks like they made their tools near the fire.

There tends to be a lot of obsidian flakes and chips in the hearth ashes, but no chimney.

The smoke just went out the same hatchway that people used for going in and out themselves.

So there would have been an open fire inside the house with only one hole in the roof to let the smoke out.

You and I would have found it a bit too smoky in there.

You can see on the walls, which they plastered and decorated with paintings.

They ended up with a layer of black soot on them, and so did people’s lungs.

The bones found in the graves show a layer of soot on the inside of the ribs.

And that’s another unusual feature of Catalhoyuk, the burial sites.

The graves have all been found under the houses, right under the floors.

And it maybe this burial custom that explains why the houses were packed in so tightly without streets.

I mean, you might think it was for protection or something, but there has been no evidence found yet of any violent attack that would indicate that kind of danger.

It maybe they wanted to live as near as possible to their ancestors’ graves and be buried near them themselves.But it makes a good point.

Based on excavations, we can know the layout of the houses and the location of the graves, but we’re only guessing when we tried to say why they did it that way.

That’s the way it is with archeology.

You are dealing with the physical remains that people left behind.

We have no sure access to what they thought and how they felt about things.

I mean it’s interesting to speculate. And the physical artifacts can give us clues, but there is a lot we can’t really know.

So, for instance, their art.

They painted on the plastered walls and usually they painted hunting scenes with wild animals in them.

Now they did hunt and they also raised cereal crops and kept sheep, but we don’t know why so many of the paintings are of hunting scenes.

Was it supposed to have religious or magical significance?

That’s the kind of thing we can only guess at based on clues.

And hopefully, further excavation of Catalhoyuk will yield more clues. But we’ll probably never know for sure.


Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture in a biology class.

Professor: For today’s discussion, we’ll review the case study on how some animals have behaviorally adapted to their environments.

Now you had to read about two animal species, the Eastern marmot and the Olympic marmot.

Marmots are rodents. They are large ground squirrels, about the size of an average house cat.

And they live in a variety of habitats. And even though they spend the significant portion of the year hibernating,

according to this case study, marmots are still considered excellent subjects for animal behavioral studies. Why is that?

Student: Well, when they are not hibernating, you can find them in open areas.

And they are pretty active during the day, which makes them easy to observe, right?

Professor: Uh-ha, so first let’s discuss the Eastern marmots.

They reside throughout the eastern region of North America where there is a temperate climate, where the growing season lasts for at least five months of the year, which is when they do all their mating, playing and eating.

Student: Oh, I see. At first I wasn’t sure what growing season meant, just from the reading.

But now I get it. It’s the amount of time it takes for them to grow, right? So it would be five months?

Professor: Umm? Oh, uh… I’m sorry but no.

It has nothing to do with that. It’s not about the time it takes for Eastern marmots to grow.

It’s when the food is available. That is when it’s not covered in snow and there is no frost covering the grass and, umm, vegetative parts of a plant’s herbs and the flowers the marmots like to eat.

So growing season refers to the availability of the food they eat, OK?

So now how would you describe the Eastern marmots’ social habits?

Student: Well, they are really territorial, and loners, and just so aggressive even with other Eastern marmots.

And their mating ritual is just so impersonal.

Professor: Uh-ha? Now when they emerge in the spring from hibernation, the mating process begins.

For them, well, they come together to mate and then they go their separate ways.

Then about six to eight weeks after birth, the offspring leave their mothers.

Student: Really? Just six weeks? Is that possible for the offspring to make it on their own so young?

Professor: Well, it’s not as if they aren’t ready for the real world because they are.

Remember, they mature quickly and the weather’s nice. Also they live in open fields where there is lots of edible vegetation.

So roughly six weeks after birth, Eastern marmots are just old enough to take their chances of surviving in the temperate environment. So how does this relate to their behavior?

Student: Oh, I get it. Since the climate’s not too bad, the Eastern marmots don’t have to rely on each other too much and they really don’t need to stay together as a family to survive either.

Professor: Uh-ha. Any contrast, the Olympic marmots? What about them?

Student: Well, they live together as a family and take care of their young until they are at least two years old.

They’re really friendly with each other. And what I really like is that they even have greeting ceremonies.

And they are not at all aggressive and territorial like the Eastern marmots.

So their social behavior is so different from Eastern marmots because of the climate where they live? That seems so bizarre.

Professor: Well, the Olympic marmots inhabit meadows high in the Olympic Mountains where the weather conditions are much harsher.

So there is a lot more wind and snow. The growing season only lasts about two to three months.

So in that much shorter period of time, all the Olympic marmots, male and female, eat, play, work and nurture the young together.

Because the climate is so harsh, cooperation increases the survival rate of the Olympic marmots.

They keep their young at home until they are physically able to survive on their own.

This could explain why the social behavior of the Olympic marmots is so unlike that of the Eastern marmots.

16 thoughts on “Transcript | TOEFL listening practice test 2018 | Test 1

    1. Hi, I think i am making progress so i want t share it with you.
      I know it sounds like clinched that i tell you this but take notes while you are listening. it is not a easy thing but do not have to be perfect in the first play. If you need, just pause and play the part you do not get again. people do not actually ask you detail questions, they often ask hight light information question. take note even when you think you are not getting any good information,OK? Trust me on this on. I used to be so so sleepy when i listened to lectures but now, it is getting better. Take notes until the lecturer ends. if something is so obvious then do not write it down, your shor-term memory will help you do that.

  1. Hi, there appears to be some errors in the transcripts.
    – “durable” in “They’ll definitely make the project more durable” (Conversation 1, second to last student lines) should be “duable”;
    – “larva” in “Zircon starts off as molten magma, the hot larva from volcanoes” (Lecture 2) is to be “lava”;
    – “a plant’s herbs and the flowers” in “That is when it’s not covered in snow and there is no frost covering the grass and, umm, vegetative parts of a plant’s herbs and the flowers the marmots like to eat” (Lecture 4, professor) may be “umm plants, herbs, and flowers”.
    I’m not sure about the last point.

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