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Some Like it Hot. Listening Comprehension (8th Form)

Directions: In this test you will carefully listen to a text read aloud twice. The text is followed by 20 tasks. You should do tasks 1 through 10 following the first reading of the text on the basis of what is stated or implied in the text. The text will be read a second time and you should do tasks 11 through 20 following the second reading of the text on the basis of what is stated or implied in the text. For each task you will choose from four possible answers (a, b, c, or d), or two symbols (+ or -) as specified prior to each task. Choose the best answer and mark the letter or symbol of your choice on the Answer Sheet.

From the article “Some Like it Hot” by Terry McCarthy, Time Magazine for Kids


  • bobcat – рись руда
  • to slither – линути
  • barren – безплідний
  • survey опитування
  • decline – зниження
  • to run out of – вичерпати

A bobcat regularly leaps onto the flat roof of Paul and Carolyn Zeiger’s house in Pima County, Arizona. Sometimes, a rattlesnake slithers onto the porch. As long as their pet terrier, Stella, is inside, the Zeigers don’t worry much. They enjoy living in the desert.

The Zeigers are not alone. Between 1990 and 2003, Arizona’s population increased 53%, making it the second-fastest-growing state in the nation. Only Nevada, another desert state, had a bigger increase. Its population grew by 87%.

Builders in these hot spots can’t put up houses fast enough. People are drawn to the desert’s clean air, warm weather and open spaces. But are they harming the very environment they love?

Deserts may look barren, but they are home to a wide variety of species. Each species has adapted to life in a desert ecosystem. These creatures can take the heat, but they are surprisingly sensitive to disturbances. Humans and their pets can cause desert species great harm.

In 1997, a survey found just 12 pygmy owls left in Arizona. One of the main reasons for the bird’s alarming decline was hunting by house cats.

The overuse of groundwater means slow death for desert plants. When plants die, animals run out of food and shelter. “Deserts have fragile ecosystems,” says William Presch, the director of the desert-studies program at California State University at Fullerton.

Once a desert landscape has been harmed, it recovers slowly, if at all. With so little rain, “it takes centuries,” says Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry.

Folks in Pima County are working together to save the desert. Last year, voters approved a $174 million plan to conserve open land. The county has also adopted rules governing the amount of water that can be used for gardening.

Carolyn Zeiger grows only native plants. “I start them with a little water, but soon they will survive on their own,” she says. With a little respect from humans, the desert can survive on its own too.

Section 1. True or False Statements (+/-). Listen to the story and decide which of these statements are true and which of them are false.

  1. Arizona’s population increased by 87% between 1990 and 2003.
  2. Nevada’s population increased more than Arizona’s.
  3. Nevada has desert land also.
  4. There are not many species in the desert.
  5. Humans and their pets can harm deserts.
  6. Only 12 pygmy owls were left in Arizona in 1997.
  7. All the plants in Arizona have died.
  8. Desert animals use plants only for food.
  9. California State University offers a desert-studies program.
  10. Desert climates are very slow to recover.

Section 2. Multiple choice. For each question, listen to the story and decide which of the statements is the best answer.

11. Who is Stella?

a) Paul and Carolyn Zeiger’s daughter;

b) an expert on desert climates;

c) a dog;

d) a Pima County Administrator.

12. Builders in Nevada and Arizona:

a) are very busy;

b) can’t build environmentally-friendly houses;

c) are very fast workers;

d) don’t like the heat of the desert.

13. People come to Arizona for many reasons, but NOT because of:

a) the clean air;

b) the open spaces;

c) the warm weather;

d) the sandy beaches.

14. Desert species have adapted to many things EXCEPT:

a) high temperatures;

b) disturbances;

c) long periods of no rain;

d) a fragile ecosystem.

15. One of the reasons the pygmy owls have been disappearing from Arizona is:

a) people are illegally hunting them;

b) cats are eating them;

c) not enough water is available to them;

d) increasingly high temperatures made them leave.

16. Plants are slowly dying in Arizona is because:

a) there is not enough groundwater;

b) the animals are eating them too fast;

c) there is not enough rain;

9) the plants are not native.

17. According to Chuck Huckleberry, how long does a harmed desert need to recover?

a) months;

b) years;

c) centuries;

d) It would never recover.

18. All of the following actions have been used to save the desert EXCEPT:

a) People are beginning to leave Arizona.

b) Some people are growing only native plants.

c) Some of the land is being protected.

d) The use of water for gardens is being limited.

19. The Zeigers do NOT:

a) like living in the desert;

b) have a house in Arizona;

c) care what plants they have;

d) have a cat.

20. Some animals were mentioned in the reading, but NOT :

a) cats;

b) rattlesnakes;

c) owls;

d) eagle.

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