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TOEFL listening: A conversation between two graduate students in Biology

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    TOEFL Listening Comprehension Transcript

    Narrator
    Listen to a conversation between two graduate students in Biology.

    Charles: Morning, Renee. Sleep good?

    Renee: You bet! Like a log. That was some outing, wasn''t it?

    C: Sure was. My legs are killing me. I haven''t hiked that far in ages.

    R: No? You''re not turning into an armchair biologist already, are you? At the ripe old age of twenty-four?

    C (laughs): Not yet. But that was a long day. How far do you think we walked, anyway?

    R: I dunno. Maybe...well...down from the parking area was about a mile, wasn''t it? And then around the lake took us a couple of hours, so that must have been what? Two or three miles? And then all over through those woods! I''ve got no idea how far we walked around in there.

    C: Maybe about the same again? And then along the creek and back to the vans-- heck, it must''ve been nine, ten miles at least, all told. Anyway, I''m bushed.

    R: That''s the life of a field researcher: ''bushed'' (laughs).

    C (laughs): In the bushes. So-- what did we get for it? Have you sorted through any of that stuff we brought back yet?

    R: Just started. Gonna help?

    C: That''s what I''m here for. Otherwise, I''d still be asleep in bed, I guarantee.

    R: OK, then-- the plant press is right over there on the work counter, and I got out a new pack of specimen folders. I think we must''ve collected fifty, sixty species, at least. I started trying to sort them out by family, but I''m no botanist. They all look like Compositae to me. Can you handle them?

    C: Uh. Well, OK. I can classify the easier ones, I guess. We''ll have to wait for Sylvia to get here, though, for a lot of them. Where''s Gray''s Manual?

    R: It''s over there on the counter, too. I thought it''d help me, but I just can''t work those keys. I don''t have the vocabulary. Lobate? Falcate? Sagittate? It''s beyond me! So, if you can get on with those, then I''ll, uh...I guess I''ll start on the killing jars.

    C: Everything dead?

    R: Well, looks like. But you know bugs. They''ll wake up again after they''ve been pinned for an hour. Anyway, I''ll start sorting those into families, too.

    C: I thought we did that in the field? I was supposed to collect true bugs and beetles.

    R: Yeah-- supposed to. And I was supposed to be responsible for butterflies and moths. But we didn''t. We pretty much collected whatever we found. At least, I did. My jar''s full of everything under the sun. Even a scorpion.

    C: Really?

    R: Well, a whip-scorpion.

    C: Really?! Can I see it? I''ve never seen one of those before.

    R: Yeah, sure. Uh...let me just...empty this out on the blotting pad here... There. There he is.

    C: Neat! Look at those antennae!

    R: Those aren''t antennae. Those are his front legs.

    C: Oh. Of course, spiders and such don''t have antennae, do they? He''s going to be hard to spread, though.

    R: Oh, I can''t spread him. He''s too delicate. I''ll have to put him in alcohol.

    C: Oh. Yeah. And when we finally get all these specimens sorted out according to kingdom, class, and family-- what do we do then?

    R: Well, this is just a lab project, y''know-- so I guess we just make a list and report the, uh, "Flora and Fauna of Catfish Creek", I suppose.

    C: Aw, there must be more to it than that. Doctor Douglas is going to want something more than that, surely. I mean, that''s pretty simple-minded, don''t you think?

    R: Yeah, well...but... look, here''s the assignment sheet. "Survey the species diversity of the Catfish Creek watershed." That''s all it says.

    C: No, no-- don''t you see? The "species diversity"-- that means we need to do some analysis here. Is it very diverse? Lots of species, relatively? Lots of different kinds of species or just lots of related species? I''ll bet he wants us to try and find out why there are a lot of species-- or not so many species-- at Catfish Creek compared to some other areas.

    R: Well, then...how are we gonna do that? We haven''t got time enough to do this all over again someplace else!

    C: We probably don''t have to. First thing is-- I''m going to the Science Library and see if there are any other comparable studies around here. Or-- hey! Maybe an old study of Catfish Creek even-- and we could compare then and now! Can I leave all this with you for a while?

    R: Yeah, sure. I''ve got nothing better to do. And Syvia will be along before long.

    C: OK. I''ll be back in a couple of hours or so, then. And get that whip scorpion into its alcohol before it shrivels up, eh?

    R (laughs): Yeah, right! Good luck.

    C: Thanks. See you.


    Excerpt from the TOEFL test listening conversation

    Charles: ...How far do you think we walked, anyway?

    Renee: I dunno. Maybe...well...down from the parking area was about a mile, wasn''t it? And then around the lake took us a couple of hours, so that must have been what? Two or three miles? And then all over through those woods! I''ve got no idea how far we walked around in there.

    C: Maybe about the same again? And then along the creek and back to the vans-- heck, it must''ve been nine, ten miles at least, all told. Anyway, I''m bushed.

    R: That''s the life of a field researcher: ''bushed'' (laughs).

    C (laughs): In the bushes. So-- what did we get for it? Have you sorted through any of that stuff we brought back yet?

    R: Just started. Gonna help?

    C: That''s what I''m here for. Otherwise, I''d still be asleep in bed, I guarantee.
    50 TOEFL conversations
    50 TOEFL conversations
    A great variety of English listening comprehension tests that will help you increase your TOEFL test score.
  • based on TOEFL academic discussions
  • written and recorded by experienced US authors and voice-over specialists
  • 50 TOEFL lectures   50 TOEFL conversations




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