Reading for Comprehension

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  • Q1

    Read the passage given below and answer questions (a), (b) and (c) that follow:

    (1) The night of 14th April 1912, was very cold. There was no moon, and hardly any wind. The Titanic was in the part of the Atlantic in which icebergs cause trouble. Ice is hard enough to cut holes in steel, and cannot easily be seen at night.

    (2) The wireless officer of the Titanic, J. G. Phillips, had received several signals telling him that ice was not far away. Most of these important signals were passed on to the officers, but one was not. It was a signal from another ship, the Mesaba, reporting icebergs in front of the Titanic.

    (3) When it arrived, Phillips was hard at work. Many of the travellers had sent news or information or orders by wireless during the day to their friends in England or America. Phillips was now doing his best to finish off all his work. He was so busy that he did not report the ice immediately. The signal lay on his table, half forgotten.

    (4) The two men who were watching for icebergs, Fleet and Lee, suddenly saw something dark just in front of the ship. They immediately rang the ship’s bell, and Lee telephoned the officer of the watch to report the iceberg.

    (5) The necessary orders were given at once, though it is impossible to stop a great ship immediately, especially if it is moving at about twenty-five miles an hour. But the officer did his best. The engines were stopped and then started again to pull the ship backwards. The steel doors were closed. The ship was turned away from its straight course. But it was all too late. Too late!

    (6) The ship struck the iceberg with its side while it was still moving forwards. It struck the ice again with another part of its side. In a few moments six great holes were made in the steel. Water rushed in, not in one place, but in separate places covering three hundred feet. The steel doors were therefore useless.

    (7) Captain Smith soon understood that nothing could save his ship. At a quarter past twelve in the early morning he ordered the wireless officer to send out the ship’s position and the letters CQD, which is the call for help. It told the world that the Titanic was sinking. The impossible was happening.

    (8) At first the people on board did not believe that the ship was sinking. They had been told that it could not sink, but they understood the truth when the captain gave the order to prepare the boats. Women and children were ordered into the boats first, but some wives would not leave their husbands and did not go.

    (9) Some women had to be pushed into the boats and some had to be thrown in. It was hard to leave the big lighted ship, and to go in a small boat on the dark icy sea. Many brave acts were done that night, but 1,503 people lost their lives. And so the Titanic went down beside the huge iceberg that destroyed it.

    (10) When day came, another ship, the Carpathia, arrived and picked up all those that could be found. It took to New York only 705 men and women. The wireless officer Mr. Phillips, and Captain Smith were not among them.

    [Adapted from “Behind the Headlines” by G.C.Thornley]

    (i) Use each of the following words, as used in the passage, in a sentence of your own construction so as to bring out its meaning very clearly. Using the word in a context very similar to the passage will be penalised.[3]

    (1) report (line 14)

    (2) course (line 19)

    (3) moments (line 21)

    (ii) For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage: [3]

    (1) watch (line 14)

    (2) sink (line 29)

    (3) acts (line 34)

    (iii) Explain, in the context of the passage, in not more than two sentences of your own, the meaning of each of the following expressions taken from the passage. (Merely using phrases will not do.) [4]

    (1) …on his table, half forgotten. (line 11)

    (2) many brave acts were done that night. (line 34)

    (b) Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible:

    (i) How did the officers of the Titanic know that there were icebergs in the area? [2]

    (ii) Why was the signal from the Mesaba particularly important? [2]

    (iii) Why was the signal not passed on to the officers? [3]

    (iv) Why were the steel doors useless? [3]

    (c) In not more than 60 words and with close reference to the last three paragraphs, give an account of The Sinking of the Titanic. Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalised. [10]

    Marks:30
    Answer:

    (a) (i)

    (1) The teacher should report on the student’s progress to their parents. Here, the word ‘report’ means to inform someone about something that has been observed.

    (2) It has been said that the course of a winding river is just like the tortuous path life sometimes takes. Here, the word ‘course’ means the route or direction followed by a ship, river, or road.

    (3) The news of her mother’s accident kept Sarah silent for a few moments. Here, the word ‘moment’ means a very brief period of time.

    (ii) Make sentences......

    1. My father gifted me a golden watch on my 13th birthday to my great surprise and happiness.

    2. He leaned over the sink basin, and washed his hands and face with icy water, and then looked up at his face in the mirror.

    3. The police acted promptly to the phone call and saved the bank from a robbery.

    (iii)

    (1) On his table, half forgotten: The wireless officer of the Titanic, Mr. J G Phillips, had passed on several signals to concerned officers indicating the presence of icebergs nearby. However being hard-pressed for time, sending messages of travellers to their friends in England and America, he forgot to send the crucial signal of Mesaba, reporting icebergs in front of the Titanic.

    (2) Captain Smith realising that the Titanic would sink, ordered the women and children to go into the small boats first. Many similar tough actions were taken to save the lives of the maximum number of travellers on the ship.

    (b)

    (i) The Titanic was sailing in that part of the Atlantic where icebergs caused trouble. Furthermore, the wireless officer, J.G.Phillips, had passed on to the officers of the ship, several signals from other ships informing the presence of icebergs nearby.

    (ii) The signal from Mesaba was particularly important for it informed the presence of an iceberg in front of the Titanic ship.

    (iii) When the wireless officer got the important signal from Mesaba, he was busy in transmitting messages of the travellers to their friends in England and America.Wanting to finish off his pending work for the day, he forgot to pass on the crucial signal to the officers.

    (iv) As the iceberg has struck from both sides of the ship and made six big holes in the walls of the ship. As water rushed in from different places covering 300 feet, the steel doors that were effective for small leakage in the ship were rendered uselss.

    (c) The Sinking of the Titanic

    Having struck an iceberg the Titanic begins to sink. The impossible was happening due to such an unexpected accident. Captain Smith ordered women and children to get into the boat first. Some women who did not want to leave their husbands were pushed in the boat that was set out in the dark icy sea. The ship sank taking lives of 1,503 people. At day break, the Carpathia rescued 705 people and took them to New York.

    View Answer
  • Q2

    Read the passage given below and answer questions (a), (b) and (c) that follow:

    (1) My eldest boy has just turned nine. One day not long after, he was on his way to the pool on his bike when he slammed on his brakes in front of me and did a really neat skid. He looked back and gave me his cheesy smile of satisfaction.

    (2) Normally that little skid would have provoked a stern warning not to “wear out your tyres.” I was always taught to take care of my things and keep them in good shape. I‘ve come to learn, though, that there is a difference between the natural course of wearing things out and trying to make things last at any price. The difference became acute to me one bright sunny day four years ago.

    (3) My then five - year – old boy had spent a normal summer afternoon playing in the park and swimming at the neighbourhood pool. At his bath time that night, I noticed he had small red spots all over his body. Some kind of measles, I thought, and called my wife to take a look. By pure chance, the next day he had an appointment with his paediatrician.

    (4) Several tests (and long hours) later, the doctors figured my son had an illness, called ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura), which causes your spleen to kill off your body’s own blood clotting platelets. If it got worse, he could bleed to death internally. Only time would tell whether it would get better on its own. You can imagine the fear that crept into our hearts.

    (5) Three days into his stay at the hospital, I went to pick out a present for him. I reached for a yellow toy convertible (he loves scars). My hand hesitated. I knew that it wouldn’t last long with a five- year-old boy. Then I thought to myself: So what if the doors break off and the wheels fall off. If those things happen, it will mean he is alive and well. I bought it in the hope that he would be well enough to play with it. He was thrilled to receive it, and it helped him pass the week he spent at the hospital.

    (6) I saw the car the other day, sitting on a shelf in his room. The wheels have fallen off, the doors are broken and all of the chrome has worn off. I see it and I smile to myself. My boy has been perfectly well these past four years and is full of vitality. His mysterious illness came and went.

    (7) And I learned that things are things and can be replaced if necessary. If any one of my three boys happens to break something or wear it out playing with it, instead of chastising him for carelessness. I now prefer to celebrate his boyhood. The empty shell of what once was a nice car, the balding tyre of his new bike, the lost pieces of his Monopoly game, all bear witness to the fact that there lives a healthy, happy boy.

    (8) Prudence and preservation have their place, as do experimentation and curiosity. In the end, it is my relationships with my sons and my wife that have real lasting power. I choose to celebrate our lives and live with the losses.

    (9) Besides, I used to skid my tyres the same way- just not in front of my dad.

    Adapted from “Elliot Van Egmond---The Globe and mail”

    a.

    (i) Given below are four words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage: [4]

    1. Strict

    2. Energy and vigour

    3. Scolding

    4. strong desire to know

    (ii)For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage: [4]

    1. shape (line 7)

    2. park (line 12

    3. present (line 22)

    4. well (line 27)

    b) Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible:

    i. Why is the disease ITO so serious? [2]

    ii. What does the yellow car look like at present? [3]

    iii. What did the writer learn from his experience? [2]

    iv. What is most important to the writer now? [3]

    c. Summarise the given passage in not more than 100 words. Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalised. You will be required to:

    (i) List your ideas clearly in point form. [6]

    (ii) In about 100 words, write your points in the form of a connected passage. [6]

    Marks:30
    Answer:

    a. (i)

    (1) stern

    (2) vitality

    (3) chastising

    (4) curiosity

    (ii) Make sentences......

    1. I did not like the shape of the rock placed in the garden.

    2. Please park your car somewhere else as this is meant for parking the staff vehicles.

    3. Many important celebrities were present in the grand wedding yesterday.

    4. The well located at the outskirts of the village has dried up completely.

    a. (i) The disease ITP is serious because if it got worsened one could bleed to death internally.

    (ii)The wheels of the yellow car have fallen off the doors have broken and all the chrome has worn off.

    i. The writer learned that things are things and can be replaced if necessary. He has also learned to enjoy the boyhood of his son.

    ii. It is most important for the writer to celebrate the boyhood of his sons.

    (b)

    (i)

    (1) The passage is about a man who has always been taught to take good care of his things.

    (2) Four years ago his son was diagnosed of ITP, a fatal disease, because of which he could die.

    (3). During hospitalization, he bought a yellow car. Though his son was too young for it but he still bought it.

    (4). His son’s disease came and went but the writer learned a lesson: Things can be replaced, but life is more precious.

    (ii) The passage is about a man who was taught to take care of his things. Later he realised that natural course of wearing things differs from making things last at any point. Four years ago his son was diagnosed of ITP, a fatal disease. While his son was hospitalised he bought a yellow car for him. He knew the car would break but he still bought it because if the broke, it would mean his son is in good health to play with it. His son’s disease came and went but the writer learned a lesson that things are things and can be replaced if required, but life is invaluable.

    View Answer
  • Q3

    Read the passage given below and answer the questions (a), (b) and (c) that follow:

    (1) In the late spring of 1930, Philip Rhayader came to the abandoned lighthouse at the mouth of the river Elder on the Essex coast. He was a painter of birds and of nature and had withdrawn from all human society. He was afflicted with a hunched back and a deformed, twisted hand.

    (2) Although physical deformity often breeds hatred of humanity in people, Rhayader did not hate anyone. His heart was filled with pity and understanding. He had mastered his handicap, but he could not master the rebuffs he suffered because of his appearance. The thing that drove him into seclusion was his failure to find anybody who loved him as much as he loved nature and humanity.

    (3) One November afternoon, three years after Rhayader had come to the Great Marsh; a child approached his lighthouse studio. I her arms, she carried a burden. She was no more than twelve, slender, dirty, nervous and timid as a bird, but beneath the dirt, as beautiful as a fairy. She was desperately frightened of the ugly man she had come to see, but greater than her fear was the need of that which she carried. For locked in her child’s heart was the knowledge picked up somewhere in swamp-land, that this ogre who lived in the lighthouse had magic that could heal injured things.

    (4) She had never seen Rhayader before and was close to fleeing in panic at the dark apparition that appeared at the studio door, drawn by her footsteps – the black head and beard, the sinister hump and the crooked hand, bent at the wrist. She stood there staring, poised like a disturbed marsh bird for instant flight. But his voice was deep and kind when she spoke to her. ‘What is it, child?’

    (5) She stood her ground, and then edged timidly forward. The thing she carried in her arms was a large white bird, and it was quite still. There were stains of blood on its whiteness and on her dress where she had held it to her.

    (6) The girl placed it in his arms. “I found it, sir. It is hurt. Is it still alive?” “Yes, yes. I think so. Come in child, come in.” Rhayader went inside bearing the bird, which he placed upon a table, where it moved feebly. Curiosity overcame fear. The little girl followed and found herself in a room warmed by a coal fire, shining with many coloured pictures that covered the walls, and full of a strange but pleasant smell.

    (7) The bird fluttered. With his good right hand Rhayader spread one of its immense pinions. The end was beautifully tipped with black. Rhayader looked and marvelled, and said, “Child, where did you find it?”

    (8) In the marsh, sir where fowlers had been. What – what is it, sir?” “It is a snow goose from Canada. But how in heaven did it come here?”

    (9) The name seemed to mean nothing to the little girl. Her deep, violet eyes, shining out of the dirt on her thin face, were fixed with concern on the injured bird. She said, “Can you heal it sir?” “Yes, yes,” said Rhayader. “We will try. Come. You shall help me.”

    (10) There were scissors and bandages and splints on a shelf, and he was marvellously deft, woven with the crooked hand that managed to hold things. He said, “Ah, she has been shot, poor thing. Her leg is broken, and the wing tip, but not badly. We will bandage the wing closer to her body, so that she cannot move it until it has set, and make a splint for the poor leg.”

    (11) Her fears forgotten, the child watched, fascinated, as her worked, and fixed a fine splint to the shattered leg. “A bitter reception for a visiting princess,” concluded Rhayader. “We will call her the Lost Princes, and in a few days, she will be feeling much better, see?”

    (12) He reached into his pocket and produced a handful of grains. The snow goose opened its round yellow eyes and nibbled at it. The child laughed with delight.

    Adapted from “Paul Gallico – The Snow Goose”

    (a) (i) Given below are four words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage. [4]

    (1) Cruel and frightening person

    (2) Seemingly evil and dangerous

    (3) Wings

    (4) Skilful

    (ii) For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage: [4]

    1. master (line 7)

    2. flight (line 23)

    3. still (line 26)

    4. bitter (line 51)

    (b) Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible:

    (i) Why did Rhayader live alone? [2]

    (ii) What was the child’s reaction on first seeing Rhayader? [3]

    (iii) What was the child’s burden? [2]

    (iv) How did Rhayader manage to fascinate the child and make her happy? [3]

    (c) Describe how Rhayader attended to the bird (paragraphs 6 to 12) in not more than 100 words. Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalized. You will be required to: [6]

    (i) List your ideas clearly in point form.

    (ii) In about 100 words, write your points in the form of a connected passage. [6]

    Marks:30
    Answer:

    (a) (i) (1) ogre

    (2) apparition

    (3) pinions

    (4) deft

    (ii) (1) master – His master gave him a lot of hard tasks to perform.

    1. Flight – My flight was cancelled due to bad weather.

    (3) still – My father knew that something tragic happened; still he managed to remain calm.

    (4) bitter – The medicine tasted bitter but I managed to drink it.

    (b) (i) Rhayader lived alone as he had withdrawn from all human society. He could not find anybody who loved him and could not master the rebuff of society as his back was hunched and he had a deformed, twisted hand. This made him look ugly in the eyes of the people as deformity often makes them hate humanity.

    (ii) The girl was frightened or rather panic stricken at the sight of the hunchbacked figure with a crooked hand. At first she wanted to flee away like a disturbed bird.

    (iii) The burden the girl carried was a big, wounded, bloody bird. It was a Snow Goose from Canada.

    (iv) Rhayader invited her into his room brightly lit with a fire and decorated with pictures. In a deep, kind, reassuring voice, he gently enquired the details of how she found it and deftly attended to the wound of the bird. She was fascinated by his kind approach and expertise in dealing with the emergency. After reassuring the girl that the bird will be all right, he fed it with some grains. As the bid nibbled at them, the girl laughed in happiness.

    (c) (i) (1) The girl brought Rhayader a wounded migratory bird.

    (2) He took the bleeding bird from her hands and gently put it on the table.

    (3) He deftly took scissors, bandages and splints.

    (4) He managed them expertly in spite of his deformity.

    (5) He bandaged its wing closely to the body to immobilize it.

    (6) He made a splint for its broken leg.

    (7) He fed it with grains.

    (ii) The girl brought Rhayader a wounded migratory bird. He took the bleeding bird and softly laid it on the table. He deftly took scissors, bandages and splints which he managed expertly in spite of his deformity. He bandaged its wing close to the body to immobilize it. He made a splint for its broken leg. He reassured the girl that the ‘Lost Princess’ will be soon much better. Finally he also fed it with grains.

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  • Q4

    Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

    (1) To be encumbered with a corpse is to be in a difficult position. True, any doctor, even one just out of medical school, would have been able to diagnose the cause of death. The man had died of heart failure or what the doctors call cardiac arrest. The cause of his heart having stopped pumping blood was that someone had slid a sharp sliver of steel between his ribs just far enough to penetrate the great muscle of the heart and to cause a serious and irreversible leakage of blood so that it stopped beating. Cardiac arrest, as I said.

    (2) I wasn’t too anxious to find a doctor because the knife was mine and the hilt had been in my hand when he died. I stood on the open road with the body at my feet and I was scared, so scared that the nausea rose in my throat to choke me. This particular body had been a stranger – I had never seen him before my life.

    (3) I was unarmed, if you expect the ‘sgian dubh’—the black knife—which I always carry. The ‘sgian dubh’ is much underrated weapon. Mine is at least a hundred and fifty years old. The ebony handle is ribbed on one side to give a good grip, but smooth on the other side so it draws clear without catching; the blade is less than four inches long; the stone set in the handle balances the knife so that it makes a superlative throwing weapon. I carry it in a flat sheath in my left sock.

    (4) This is how it happened.

    (5) A little after I had driven out of the city, I saw a car ahead, pulled off the road, and a man waving the universally recognized distress signal of the stranded motorist. It turned out, quite naturally, that there was something wrong with his car and he couldn’t get it to move. I got out, walked over to his car and peered at the exposed engine.

    (6) He didn’t use the gun straight away. He first tried to take a swipe at me with a well-designed little club. I turned my head and saw his upraised club and dodged sideways. If the club had connected with my skull it would have jarred my brain loose; instead it hit my shoulder and my whole arm went numb.

    (7) I hopped back and groped for the ‘sgian dubh’ as I went. Fortunately it’s a left-handed weapon which was just as well because my right arm wasn’t going to be of any use.

    (8) He came for me again but when he saw the knife he hesitated. He dropped the club and dipped his hand beneath his jacket and it was my turn to hesitate. But his club has a leather wrist loop and the dangling weapon spoilt his draw and I jumped him just as the pistol came out.

    (9) I didn’t stab him. He swung around and ran straight into the blade. He sagged against me with a look of surprise on his face. Then he went down at my feet and the knife came free.

    (10) So there I was on a lonely road with a newly created corpse at my feet and knife in my hand, a bad taste in my mouth and a frozen brain.

    (11) From the time I had got out of my car to the moment of death had been less than two minutes.

    [Adapted from ‘Running Blind’ by Desmond Bagley]

    (a) (i) Given below are four words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage: [4]

    One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

    1. burdened

    2. enter

    3. not given much importance

    4. most effective

    (ii) For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage. [4]

    (1) arrest (line 4)

    (2) draw (line 17)

    (3) set (line 18)

    (4) club (line 28)

    (b) Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible.

    i. How did the stranger die? [3]

    ii. Why was the narrator scared? [2]

    iii. Describe the narrator’s weapon. [3]

    iv. Why did the narrator stop his car and get out? [2]

    (c) Describe the incident of the killing of the stranger in not more than 100 words (paragraphs 5 to 9). Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalized. You will be required to:

    (i) List your ideas clearly in point form. [6]

    (ii) In about 100 words, write your points in the form of a connected passage. [6]

    Marks:30
    Answer:

    (a) (i)

    (1) encumbered

    (2) penetrate

    (3) underrated

    (4) superlative

    (ii)

    (1) The Court ordered the police to arrest the minister on the basis of undeniable evidence against him.

    (2) My little sister draws pictures with such perfection that all those who see them are astounded.

    (3) The famous film "West Side Story" is set in New York City in the late 1950s.

    (4) I've decided to join the school science club.

    (b)

    (1) The stranger died of cardiac arrest. He tried to attack the narrator when he got out of the car responding to his distress signal. In that commotion and confusion he stumbled on the knife that was drawn by the narrator killing himself as the sharp knife pierced his heart muscles causing unstoppable blood flow and stopping his heart.

    (2) The narrator was scared as the attacker died falling on the knife he holding in self-defence. Even though he did not stab the attacker with his knife, the fact that the murder weapon belonged to him. He could be booked by law for murdering another man.

    (3) The murder weapon was a hundred and fifty year old ‘sgyan dubh’ (black knife). Its blade was only four inches long but deadly sharp. One side of its ebony handle was ribbed for a giving a strong grip but the other side was so smooth that it would slide effortlessly. The stone set in the handle gave perfect balance, making it an excellent throwing weapon.

    (4) The narrator was driving his car out of the city and seeing a man showing a distress signal beside a car pulled off the road; he stopped his car and got out to help him.

    (c) (i)

    (1) The narrator was driving outside the city

    (2) A man was waving distress signal

    (3) The narrator got out to help, but attacked with a club.

    (4) He turned his head but the club hit him on the shoulder.

    (5) The narrator took out the knife in self-defence.

    (6) The attacker pulled out a pistol from his jacket.

    (7) In the confusion the attacker ran into the knife and fell on the ground, dead.

    (ii) The narrator was driving his car when he saw a man waving a distress signal, his car pulled of the road. He got out to help but got attacked with a club. Sensing the blow, the narrator turned his head and was hit on his right shoulder. Panicked, he took out a knife in self-defence. Seeing the knife the attacker pulled out his pistol from the jacket. But the leather strap of his club prevented smooth movement and the man ran into the narrator’s knife. The knife pierced his heart and he slumped to the ground, dead. (98 words)

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  • Q5

    Read the passage given below and answer questions (a), (b) and (c) that follow:

    (1) Inside the cockpit of the World War II Mosquito plane, I could make out, against the light of the moon, the muffled head of its pilot and the twin circles of his goggles as he looked out of the side window towards me. Carefully he raised his right hand till I could see it in the window, fingers straight, palm downwards. He jabbed the fingers forward and down, meaning that we were going to descend and that I should follow him.

    (2) I nodded and quickly brought up my own left hand so he could see it, first pointing forwards to my own control panel with one forefinger, and then holding up my five spread fingers. Finally I drew my hand across my throat. By common agreement this sign meant that I had only five minutes fuel left, and then my engine would cut out. I saw the muffled, goggled, oxygen-masked head nod in understanding and then we were heading downwards towards the sheet of fog.

    (3) My plane stopped trembling and plunged ahead of the Mosquito. I pulled back on the throttle, hearing the engine die to a low whistle, and the other pilot was back beside me. We were diving straight towards the shrouded land. I glanced at my altimeter: two thousand feet, still diving.

    (4) He pulled out at three hundred feet. The fog was still below us. Probably the fog bank was only from the ground to two hundred feet up, but that was more than enough to prevent a plane from landing without guidance. I could imagine the stream of instructions coming from the radar hut into the earphones of the man flying beside me, eighty feet away. I kept my eyes on him, following as closely as possible, afraid of losing sight for an instant, watching for his every hand-signal. Two minutes later he held up his clenched left fist in the window, then opened the fist to splay all five fingers against the glass, indicating that I should lower the undercarriage. I moved the lever downwards and felt the dull thunk as all three wheels went down, happily powered by hydraulic pressure and not dependent on the failed electrical system.

    (5) The pilot of the shepherd aircraft pointed down again, for another descent. I managed to flick a glance at my fuel gauge: it was on Zero, flickering feebly. For God’s sake, hurry up, I prayed, for if my fuel failed me now there would be no time to climb to the minimum five hundred feet needed for bailing out. A jet fighter at one hundred feet without an engine is a death-trap with no chances for survival.

    (6) For two or three minutes he seemed content to hold his position, while the sweat broke out behind my neck and began to run in steams down my back, sticking the light nylon flying suit to my skin.

    (7) Quite suddenly he straightened out, so fast, I almost lost him. I caught him a second later and saw his left hand flash the dive signal to me. Then he dipped towards the fog bank, I followed, and we were in it, a shallow, flat descent, but a descent nevertheless, and from a mere hundred feet, towards nothing.

    [Adapted from ‘The Shepherd’ by Fredrick Forsyth]

    (a) (i) Given below are four words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage: [4]

    (1) go down

    (2) covered

    (3) instrument

    (4) satisfied

    (ii) For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage: [4]

    (1) palm (line 5)

    (2) land (line 17)

    (3) stream (line 21)

    (4) bank (line 41)

    (b) Answer the following questions in your own words as possible:

    (i) What was the first instruction of the pilot of the Mosquito plane [2]

    (ii) What was the narrator’s reply? [3]

    (iii) How did the other pilot let the narrator know that the wheels had to be lowered? [2]

    (iv) Why did the narrator begin to pray towards the end? [3]

    (c) Describe how the pilot of the Mosquito aircraft guided the narrator to land, in not more the 100 words (Paragraphs 3 to 7). Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalized. You will be required to:

    (i) List your ideas clearly in point form. [6]

    (ii) In about 100 words, write you points in the form of a connected passage. [6]

    Marks:30
    Answer:

    (a) (i)

    1. descent

    2. shrouded

    3. lever

    4. content

    (ii)

    1. The luxury resort has an exotic beach fringed by palm trees.

    2. Do you know that a pilot can land a plane on water in an emergency?

    3. We have a lovely stream that flows through our property.

    4. I need to collect a cheque from the bank in the morning.

    (b)

    (i) The pilot of the mosquito plane instructed the narrator to follow him closely as they were about to descend.

    (ii) The narrator replied affirmatively and communicated to the pilot that he had only five minutes’ fuel left before his engine would stop.

    (iii) The other pilot held up his clenched left fist in the window and then opened it to splay the five fingers against the glass, indicating that the narrator should lower the wheels.

    (iv) The narrator saw that the fuel gauge was on zero and realized that he would have no time to climb to the minimum five hundred feet needed to escape from the plane and survive. So he started praying.

    (c)

    (i)

    • Took the troubled pilot in confidence
    • Signalled the narrator to follow him
    • Guided the narrator downwards
    • Took instructions from the radar hut (ground command)
    • Instructed the pilot to lower the wheels
    • Guided the pilot for a step by step descend
    • Safely guided the pilot through the fog bank giving hand signal
    • Helped the narrator to land safely

    (ii) FIVE MINUTES OF FUEL AND A SAFE LANDING

    The pilot of the World War II Mosquito plane flew beside the narrator’s plane which was in trouble having had fuel enough only to fly another five minutes and communicated to him using hand signals. He signalled him to follow him as both the pilots mutually agreed to descend as fast as possible. He guided the narrator taking instructions from the ground crew communicating with them through the radar. He gave him step by step instructions, first to lower the wheels of the aircraft, then to dive into the thick fog bank into a shallow, flat descent and safe landing.

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