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Listening practice: What's happening?

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Want to make your English more natural? Listen to the conversation between Sarah and Victoria. The conversation uses a number of idioms and expressions we use in spoken English.

Sarah: Hi, Victoria. What's happening?
Victoria: Hi, Sarah. Not too much, I'm cramming for tomorrow's test.
Sarah: Oh that's right, you're taking your chemistry finals, aren't you? What score are you shooting for?
Victoria: Yeah, I need at least a 'B' to get into Kingston University. 
Sarah: So what do you want to take?
Victoria: Well, if I get in, I want to take Chemical Engineering.  
Sarah: You work hard enough; I know you can do it.
Victoria: Thanks, I wish my parents thought the same. Well listen, I'd love to chat, but I really must be running along. I'd better get back to the books.
Sarah: Sure. Don't let me keep you.
Victoria: Perhaps we can meet up after tomorrow's exam? I'm looking forward to letting off some steam.
Sarah: Great. I'll give you a call tomorrow afternoon. Good luck.
Victoria: Thanks. I'm going to need it!

Key Phrases

What's happening? - a casual greeting. 'How's it going?' or 'Alright?' are also used.

Cramming - to study/ review / revise a lot just before a test. Usually used by students. It implies last-minute study.

Shooting for - 'trying for' or 'aiming for'.

Running along - going. 'I must be running along' means 'I must go now'. This set expression is used just before we end a conversation.

Get back to the books - to start studying again after a break. Hit the books means 'to start studying'.

Let off some steam - to have a good time after doing something stressful. In the conversation above, Victoria wants to go and do something fun after all the stress of preparing and taking her exam.

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