English A Sample Questions

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Argumentative Essay 1

 

Read the letter below and imagine that you are Principal Jenkins. Write a response to Mrs Blake, counteracting the arguments she made.

Dedication Primary School

Dedication Avenue

Brighten.

Dear Mr. Jenkins,

As a parent of an eleven plus student who is now preparing to write the examination for entry into secondary school, I would like to share with you my views on the issue of extra lessons. Your school offers extra lessons on five evenings of the school week and half-day on Saturday. I think this is outrageous!

Do you believe that there is a real need to give extra lessons? Do you believe that after children have been subjected to a whole day’s teaching, they are mentally alert to respond to extra lessons? A child’s capacity to retain knowledge when he is both physically and mentally exhausted is nil. This policy of teachers to cram knowledge in children’s brains is out of line with psychological research on the learning capacity of young children. You ought to realise that extra lessons have a negative impact on children in their future education. Children are known to lose interest in subjects and in studies generally, if they are goaded on by too much extra teaching.

Sir, how could you deprive young children of their freedom on evenings and Saturdays? Children need to enjoy their childhood days, to participate in activities other than schoolwork and to meet other children in their neighbourhood on the playing field. What memories would they have of childhood, if they are denied the opportunity to learn and grow at the same time?

It is time to take a hard look at what is happening in your school. Children need to relax, rest and play. These activities will help them to restore energy, to liberate their minds and refresh them for another day’s work. Don’t you realise that children who are subjected to too much mental pressure often experience mental blocks during examinations?

Wake up to the realities which children in extra lessons face – late home coming, late supper, late washing up and, to crown it all, a barrage of homework in every subject.

Put an end to this child abuse. Get your teachers to work diligently during the normal school day and there’ll be no need for extra lessons!

Yours sincerely,

Diana Blake

(Parent)

 

Narrative Writing 4

1.The door was closed and the cobwebs in front of it suggested it had not been opened for a long time. Moor turned the key and pushed the door.
Write a story which includes these words.

2. That was the last of them. From that moment onwards, life was different for us.

Write a story which ends with these sentences.

 

Letter Writing

 

  1. Letter format- address, date, salutation , body, complimentary close ( 5 marks)
  2. Writing conventions – appropriate use of punctuation marks, capital letters, subject and verb agreement ( 5 marks)
  3. Content – relevance of information and clarity of instructions (10 marks)

Choose any ONE of the following topics. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE INFORMATION ABOVE

Write a letter to Councillor or Member of Parliament in your area, telling him or her ways he or she can help your community to improve its surroundings.

Write a letter to the Minister of Culture and Sports outlining to him or her how important traditional games or sports are to your community.

Write a letter to the Minister of Culture and Sports outlining to him or her the importance of culture in your community.

Your neighbour has a farm which is a health hazard. Write a letter to him stating the ill effects you are experiencing.

 

Letter Complaint

 

a) Pretend you went to your favourite fast food restaurant and while there you received poor service. Write a letter of complaint to the manager of the restaurant in which you describe in detail what happened and how you would like the situation to be addressed. (20 marks)

OR

b) You ordered a new phone online. However, when it arrived it was broken. Write a letter of complaint to the company you ordered phone. Explain the condition of the phone when it arrived to you and what you would like them to do about it.

(25 marks)

Narrative Writing 3

 

Write a story ending with the line: “Mummy, I shall never trust anyone again.”

(25 marks)

 

PERSUASIVE WRITING 1

 

Create your own advertisement for event, OR product. The advertisement must include a drawing with text. The advertisement must also incorporate at least FIVE persuasive /advertising techniques. Label the techniques.

Types of Advertisement

 Event Ad—an ad promoting an event or meeting.

 Product Ad—an ad to promote the sale of a product.

 

Expository Writing 2

 

Choose ONE of the following topics and write an expository essay. Remember to write your thesis statements to guide your writing. (25 marks)

 School Violence

OR

 Poor performances in school

OR

 The raping and kidnapping of minors

OR

 The benefits or disadvantages of the internet

OR

 The use of cellphones in school

Rubric

Thesis Statement (paragraph 1) /2 marks

Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 /5 marks (for each) = 15 marks

Conclusion (paragraph 5) /2 marks

Grammar/Organization /6 marks

Total= /22

 

 

Narrative Writing 2

 

Marty looked in the mirror and smiled. “This is it!” he said to himself. “If this doesn’t work, nothing else will.”

Write a story which includes these sentences

(25 marks)

 

Sample CSEC Section A- Summary

 

Read the following article on tattoos carefully and list FIVE MAIN points discussed, then write a summary of the article in NOT MORE THAN 120 words. If this limit is exceeded, only the first 120 words of your answer will be read and assessed.

As far as possible, use your own words.

Your summary must be in continuous prose. You may use your answer booklet to jot down a plan.

In your answer, you will be assessed on how well you

(a) identified the main ideas and opinions in the extract

(b) organized and expressed these ideas and opinions in your own words

(c) used appropriate grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.

Tattoos

Since the beginning of civilization, they have served as marks of identification, spiritual protection and decoration. Now at the cusp of another millennium, tattoos and other varieties of body markings are resurfacing as a popular form of individual self-expression. Tattoos are timeless and can be as unique as the bearers they adorn. They don’t fade away like favourite T-shirts, or get lost or broken like school rings. They stay with you forever, until death. They become a part of you from the day you sit in the artist’s chair, etching your emotions alongside the needle’s sting, transforming an instant of your life into a symbol for the world to see.

Tattoos and other body markings arrived in the Caribbean with African slaves and indentured workers from China and India. They were sometimes the only permanent keepsakes of peoples snatched from their ancestral places. The Caribbean’s original Amerindian inhabitants also used tattoos to mark spiritual milestones. The Taino of the Northern Caribbean Islands, for instance, used vegetable dyes to affix images of their guardians onto their skin. These images also indicated an individual’s lineage, or his or her social position. Each tattoo was both a personal history book and a mark of belonging.

Over the centuries, however, tattoos and other forms of bodily adornment have mutated, exchanging religious and cultural significance for individualist associations. Sometimes that mark of individuality has been confused with rebellion and non-conformity, often alluding to a stain of bad character. Tattoo-wearers have seemed wild, dangerous, even just plain bad.

But today, tattoos have come full circle. Celebrities, writers, lawyers, housewives, all proudly display their marks of rebellion. An entirely new perception of the art of tattooing has arisen, which is more than just a preoccupation with style. This rediscovered form of expression has spawned an entire subculture of individuals among us. They carry this common bond of distinction through their daily routines. Via the images on their forearms, shoulders, ankles, or torsos, they connect to each other, announcing to the world that it is OK to be unique and different.

Adapted from “Pictures made flesh”. Caribbean Beat, July/August 2003.

Total 25 marks

 

Sample Section B Question -Paper 2

 

Study the situation presented below and then answer the question that follows.

You purchased an item from a supermarket. On arrival home you noticed that the expiry date had passed. You attempted to return the item but you were told that it was on sale and the manager refused to give you a refund or replacement. Write a letter to a consumer protection group or the editor of a newspaper in which you complain about the quality of the product and treatment which you received.

Your answer will be assessed on how well you

 formatted your letter

 selected relevant and complete information

 organized and expressed the information in your letter

 used appropriate grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.

Your letter MUST be in continuous prose.

Make sure to include all the details that would help in highlighting the matter. Your letter should include:

 Details of the complaint, for example:

  • Date and time of purchase
  • Cost of the item
  • Specific condition of the item
  • Response of staffTotal 30 marks

 

 

Business Letter- Letter of Request

Imagine that you are keeing a fundraising event for your school. Write a letter to a company of your choice seeking sponsorship for your event.

Your letter should include information about the following:

• Description of the event

• Date of the event

• Time the event will begin

• location of the event

• Statement of how the school will benefit from this venture

• Details of the type of sponsorship you are requesting

 

Business Letter

 

  1. Letter format- salutation , address,date,body,complimentary close ( 5 marks)
  2. Writing conventions – appropriate use of punctuation marks, capital letters, subject and verb agreement ( 5 marks)
  3. Content – relevance of information and clarity of instructions ( 10 marks)

Choose any ONE of the following topics. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE INFORMATION ABOVE

  1. Write a letter to your friend outlining to him or her how persons in your community play a traditional game or sport.
  1. Write a letter to your friend outlining to him or her how persons in your community participate in a cultural performance.
  1. Write a letter to the Minister of Culture and Sports outlining to him or her how important traditional games or sports are to your community.
  2. Write a letter to the Minister of Culture and Sports outlining to him or her the importance of culture in your community.

Letter of Complaint

 

1) Write a letter to the principal detailing a pressing problem facing the school. Explain what makes the issue worthy of attention and suggest possible solutions.

2) Write a letter of complaint to a business that has disappointed you. Explain what dissatisfied you about the product or service offered by that company and what you expect the company to do to remedy the situation.

3) Write a letter complimenting a business or company for its outstanding services or products. Be specific about what you like, and give details on your positive experience with the company.

 

 

Comprehension 4

 

READING COMPREHENSION

 

Read the passage below then answer the questions which follow.

 

The moment Aldrick stepped outside, Carnival hit him. And his heart grew big, and he felt a softness flow over him, and on the street, the steel band and masqueraders were assembling. The months of practicing and sewing and painting and building were flowing together in the stillness of the morning under the eyes of women and children who had awaken from sleep and dressed hurriedly to come out and watch their band, to see their people, to admire them and cheer them and to accompany them, to tramp the pavement, while the masqueraders occupied the street, as a sort of guard, right into Port-of-Spain.

10   It hit him, the red and black and gold and green, the colours and the feathers andsatin, and the people’s faces with that look in their face eyes, and the smell of the cologne and face powder, and the smell of grease and the look of wonder on the children’s facesand the little fellars with sailors’ caps on; and what reverence and what awe as if they alone in the whole world had the real eyes to see the real thing, to see heroes, to see giants, to see gods.

And watching, fascinated by it all, as if he were seeing with the boys’ eyes, Aldrick felt a tallness and a pride, felt his hair rise on his head. And eyes brimming with tears, Aldrick felt again the fierce love and hope that he had doubted in himself, felt again a sense ofmission: felt that yes, there was aplace here for him, that there was something to say yes to, and people before whom and on whose behalf he could dance the dragon. With a strong, piercing scream, he stepped into the street, his chains rattling, his arms out flung, his head lolling, in a slow threatening dance of the Beast, so that the people of the Hill, recognizing him, said: “Yes! Yes! That is Dragon!”

 

44.        The words “…hit him” (lines 1 and 11) are repeated to emphasize the impact of

a)      the excitement of Carnival

b)      objects being thrown

c)      the noise and the smells

d)     collisions taking place

 

45.           Lines 1 and 5 suggest that preparations for Carnival entail a great deal of

a)      tension

b)      excitement

c)      waste

d)     hard work

 

46.        “ …women and children…dresses hurriedly” (lines 4-8) suggests that

 

a)      time passed quickly

b)      no one wanted to missed the spectacle

c)      people’s appearance did not matter

d)     the people had overslept the morning

 

 

47.      To which of the following senses does the writer appeal in this extract?

i.      Sight

ii.      Smell

iii.      Hearing

a)      I and II only

b)      I and III only

c)      II and III only

d)     I, II and III

 

 

A.    READING COMPREHENSION

 

Read the passage below then answer the questions which follow.

 

A tropical rain forest is an amazing place. Thousands of different kinds of plants and animals make their homes there. Some are not found anywhere else in the world. If the rain forests are not protected, some species of plants and animals could disappear forever, taking their resources with them. Scientists have known for a long time that medical cures can come from plants.

The rainforest is the perfect habitat for many diverse types of plants. They compete for space, sunlight, water, and nutrients. The plants that survive are strong and hardy. They also contain many types of chemicals. These chemicals are part of the plants’ defence system. They can help protect it from fungus, bacteria, insects, disease, and other threats.

Experts believe that some of these chemicals might be useful to human beings, too. The native people of the rain forests have healers who help those who are sick. For hundreds of years, they have known which leaves, roots, and berries can be used to treat different illnesses.

Western scientists have begun working with these native healers. They learn about different plants, cures, and treatments. Then, they can perform tests on the plants to see what chemicals they contain and how they might be used. When they do find something important, it goes through more and more tests. Lots of experiments must be done over a long period of time before something can be safely sold as a drug. Scientists want to be sure that it works and that the risk of using it isn’t too high.

American scientists have set up labs in the countries where the rain forests are. They do studies and research there. They also hire scientists and workers who live in these countries to help them. This allows the local people to benefit from rain forests research. They can make money from the rain forest without destroying it, which is very important. If the rain forest is valuable to them, they will help protect it. The more people who are trying to conserve the rain forests, the better. Just imagine the cures that might be found there!

 

1. The main idea in the passage is:

a)      species of plant and animal which live in the rainforests

b)      natives of the rainforests as healers

c)      the medicinal value of plants in the rainforests

d)     diseases which attack plants in the rainforests

 

2. It is important to conserve the rainforests mainly because

a)      some plants and animals can become extinct.

b)      plants provide chemicals that can be used in medical cures.

c)      they need to be protected.

d)     A & B.

 

3. How do scientists find out if certain drugs are safe?

a)      testing plants

b)      experimenting with animals

c)      discussing it with colleagues

d)     sending out samples

 

4. Drugs need to be tested before companies can sell them mainly because

a)      they are made from plants.

b)      they need to be sure that drugs are safe for use.

c)      they need to know that people’s health benefit from their use.

d)     B & C.

 

5.  One of these sentences is probably true.

a)      The rainforests are diminishing every day.

b)      Rainforests are beneficial to the entire world.

c)      Some species of plants and animals are disappearing.

d)     People are not interested in herbal medicines.

 

Poetry Comprehension

 

Instruction: Read the poem carefully. Then answer the questions which follow.

 

FUSS-POT

The old woman never stopped complaining:

It seemed her sign of life, her signature.

The food was bad or salt or made her sick,

Water had the bitter taste of aloes in her mouth,

5     Bed was hard or full of lumps or flea-infested,

The light was bad, mosquitoes stung her toes

The place was hot or cold, whichever was most trouble,

And she never got the right amount of good attention.

And whenever the children visited, she let them have her tongue.

10     She deserved the suck-teeth she all the time received.

Strange, then, at the end, when agony came on,

She was calm and quiet as the day is long

Lay back and never made a single petty call

And seemed to try and find a deepening peace within

15      And when the children came you noted, with surprise,

How close they clung to her with many signs of love.

Who can delve into all the years gone by?

All one can tell is in behaviour now

She takes on strength and certainty and love,

20      Death for her is drama worth her while

Too big, it seems, to make a fuss about.

Ian McDonald

In line 10 of the poem, “suck-teeth” refers to

(a)    the people’s disapproval

(b)   the anger of relatives

(c)    the family’s impatience

(d)   the children’s annoyance

 

The old woman fussed about

a)      her grandchildren

b)      trivial matters

c)      the lack of attention

d)     her family members

 

In line 9, the expression “she let them have her tongue” suggests that the old woman

a)      made fun of the children

b)      frightened the children

c)      scolded the children

d)     ridiculed the children

 

The old woman stopped complaining

a)      after many years

b)      when she became ill

c)      when her children visited

d)     at the time of her death

 

What is the poet’s feeling towards the old woman?

a)      Compassion and love

b)      Admiration and love

c)      Respect and obedience

d)     Joy and happiness

 

The expression, “her signature”, in line 2 of the poem, MOST LIKELY means her

a)      reputation

b)      initials

c)      character

d)     namesake

The poet was surprised in line 15 because

a) the children visited the old woman

b) the old woman stopped complaining

c) the children showed affection for the old woman

d) the old woman was dying

Why did the old woman complain?

a)She felt neglected.

b)      She was naturally fussy.

c)      The children visited her occasionally.

d)     She wanted the children’s attention.

 

 

Comprehension 3

 

Read the following extract carefully and then select the best response on the basis of what is stated or implied.

“Cyberbullying” occurs when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been started by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyberstalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyberstalking is NEVER called cyberbullying.
The methods used are limited only by the child’s imagination and access to technology. And the cyberbully one moment may become the victim the next. The kids often change roles, going from victim to bully and back again. Children have killed each other and committed suicide after having been involved in a cyberbullying incident.
Cyberbullying is usually not a one-time communication, unless it involves a death threat or a credible threat of serious bodily harm. Kids usually know it when they see it, while parents may be more worried about the lewd language used by the kids than the hurtful effect of rude and embarrassing posts.
Cyberbullying may rise to the level of a misdemeanor cyber-harassment charge or, if the child is young enough, may result in the charge of juvenile delinquency. Most of the time, the cyberbullying does not go that far, although parents often try and pursue criminal charges. It typically can result in a child losing their ISP or IM accounts as a “terms of service” violation. And in some cases, if hacking or password and identity theft is involved, can be a serious criminal matter.
When schools try and get involved by disciplining the student for cyberbullying actions that took place off-campus and outside of school hours, they are often sued for exceeding their authority and violating the student’s free speech right.  They also, often lose. However, schools can be very effective brokers in working with the parents to stop and remedy cyberbullying situations. They can also educate the students on cyber-ethics and the law.

The main purpose of the writer is to:
(a)    persuade
(b)    argue
(c)    inform
(d)    instruct

According to the writer, cyberbullying takes place:
(a)    whenever a person is tormented, harassed and humiliated
(b)    between an adult and another adult on the internet
(c)    between a minor and another minor on the internet
(d)    when an adult becomes involved in a dispute between minors.

According to the writer, cyberbullies:
(a)    have a wide imagination
(b)    can sometimes be victims
(c)    have unlimited access to technology
(d)    are simply children playing games

Parents are often more concerned by:
(a)    the threat posed to their children
(b)    the rude language used
(c)    the hurt and embarrassment caused
(d)    a charge of juvenile delinquency

Which of the following is stated in the passage?
(a)    Cyberbullying is an online version of an argument.
(b)    Children have killed each other rather than be involved in cyberbullying.
(c)    Identity theft is a common practice amongst cyberbullying.
(d)    Schools are often successfully sued for attempting to discipline cyberbullies.

The term ‘effective brokers’ means MOST NEARLY the same as:
(a)    Successful agents
(b)    Influential guidelines
(c)    Destructive forces
(d)    Serviceable tools.

Think about the whole passage. The writer suggests that:
(a)    cyberbullying has few consequences
(b)    parents are not sufficiently involved in their children’s lives
(c)    cyberbullying can have very serious consequences
(d)    schools always punish cyberbullies.

 

Sentence Completion and Antonyms

 

A.    SENTENCE COMPLETION

 DIRECTIONS: From the alternatives given, choose the word which best fits the meaning of the sentence.

His wide ________of political affairs make him a good speaker.

(A) insight (B) discussion (C) knowledge (D) details

The whole class was listening _________________ to the teacher’s address.

 (A) actively (B) peacefully (C) punctually (D) attentively

We have made every effort to dissuade her but she is _________ to go.

(A) compelled (B determined (C) forced (D) persuaded

You should write a letter of ____________to your neighbour for the damage your dog did to his garden.

(A)  complaint (B) concern (C) apology (D) condolence

We have invited a group of singers to _______________ our guests at the party.

(A)  cheer (B) applaud (C) praise (D) entertain

B.     Items 6-10: ANTONYMS

 Instruction: From the alternatives given, choose the lettered word A-D, which is opposite in meaning to the underlined word.

The inhabitants were hostile to strangers.

 (A) friendly   (B) unfriendly   (C) indifferent (D) partial

The article on drugs absorbed the teenagers.

  (A) bored   (B) engrossed    (C) defied    (D) puzzled

The relationship between the two was cordial.

 (A) selfish   (B) private     (C) warm   (D) strained

The vigilant mother suffered a nervous breakdown.

 (A) drastic   (B) careless (C) watchful   (D) anxious

His efforts to heal the breach were futile.

(A) fertile   (B) difficult (C) useless   (D) successful

 

Letter Writing 2

 

a)      Write a letter of apology to a client whom you sold a faulty product.         (25 marks)

OR

b)     Write a letter of request to a company asking for information on a product or service that they offer.

(25 marks)

 

 

Narrative Writing 1

 

Your story should be no more than 400- 450 words.

You must write in Standard English. Dialect may be used only in conversation.

  a)      ‘How I saved my Master’s Life’ by Skip the mongrel.

 Imagine you are the dog named Skip. Write a story based on this situation.

OR

b)      The foreman of the jury stood up. “What is your verdict? Guilty or not guilty?” asked the judge. A hushed silence fell over the courtroom.

      Write a story in which this scene plays an important part.

 OR

 

c)      You dream one night that you have found yourself in a place ruled entirely by strange creatures.

Write a story about your adventure.

OR

  

d)     “The more I think about it, the more I know that I don’t just want to go back – I need to go back. Because I need to see it once more….. to sort of finish this…. to stop it or something; to get some sort of closure.”

 Write a story that EITHER begins OR ends with the above statement.

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