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Candidate Name _________________ Class _______ Index No______

BUKIT PANJANG GOVERNMENT HIGH SCHOOL


PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION 2006
SEC FOUR EXPRESS / FIVE NORMAL ACADEMIC

ENGLISH LANGUAGE 1127


PAPER 2

Date: 29 August 2006 Duration: 1


hour 40 minutes
Time: 1040h - 1220h

INSTRUCTION TO CANDIDATES:

1. Answer all the questions.


2. Answer the summary on a fresh sheet of paper.
3. Write your answers clearly using black or dark blue ink.
4. The use of correction fluid is prohibited.
5. Use the marks awarded for each question as a guide to the level of details required in
the response.
6. The total mark for this paper is 50.

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This page consists of 6 pages. (Including this cover sheet)

Passage A

‘Confrontation’ by Edward Behr

Read the following passage and then answer all the questions which follow.
You are recommended to answer the questions in the order set.
Mistakes in spelling, punctuation and grammar may be penalised in any part of the paper.

1. I was in my bungalow early one Sunday morning when I received a phone call from a
hysterical Pakistani officer of the Punjab battalion. “There is fighting,” he said over and over
again. He was unable to say anything else. I put on my uniform, drove my jeep around to the
Brigadier’s house, and found him in white tennis shirt and shorts, about to have breakfast on
his lawn. “I think the balloon has gone up,” I said. “I don’t think you have time to change.” As 5
I spoke, we could both hear the crackle of small arms fire not far away. The Brigadier grabbed
his army hat with its distinctive red band, jumped into my jeep, still in his tennis clothes, and
away we went.

2. What had happened, we found out later, was this: The barracks and the parade grounds of the
19th Lancers and the Punjab regiment were side by side. The guardroom of the 19th Lancers 10
was manned by the Sikh squadron, which was still awaiting departure. To enable the Pathans
in this unit to be used for more mobile duties, their commanding officer had quite rightly made
the Sikhs responsible for the security of the battalion installations.

3 A truckload of Punjab regiment infantrymen was patrolling the cantonment perimeter road that
Sunday morning, and as it drove past the 19th Lancers guardroom, a shot was fired by one of 15
the Sikhs on guard duty. Precisely why the shot was fired was never discovered, beyond the
fact that the loosing off of one round was almost certainly accidental. But the bullet hit the
truck of the patrolling Punjabis. They immediately assumed that they were under attack,
rushed back to their barracks, and alerted the rest. Within minutes the Punjabi Regiment had
launched a classic infantry attack on the 19th Lancers, and by the time we arrived on the scene 20
both sides were deployed in war. A machine-gun section of the Punjab Regiment was giving
covering fire to the rest of a platoon, which was advancing on a flank. On the 19 th Lancers’
side, the Sikhs were deployed, too, and firing back.

4 This was the scene we came across as we neared the parade ground. “Drive straight down the
middle,” said the Brigadier, and he stood up, clutching the windshield of my open jeep. I had 25
no time even to be terrified. Out of the corner of my eye, I was watching the Punjab flanking
operation, wondering whether the apparition beside me would be startling enough to make
the troops come to their senses and what a lucky accident it was that the Brigadier had decided
to play tennis that morning, since he was even more striking in white than in his usual
uniform.

5 I kept the jeep slowly moving until we were in the middle of the parade ground shared by the 30
two battalions. “I’ll walk over to the Nineteenth Lancers,” the Brigadier said. “You go over to
the Punjabis and make them stand up.”

6 The firing had died down. I heard behind my back the Brigadier’s firm but conversational
tone. “Now then, what’s all this nonsense? Get up, all of you,” he said, as though addressing
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schoolboys refusing to get out of bed. I decided to do the same. To my relief, soldiers did 35
begin to stand up, but whereas the Brigadier’s authority and the superior discipline of the 19th
Lancers enabled him to get them under control almost immediately, I found myself surrounded
by furious, shaken soldiers, convinced that they were in the right.

7 “Let’s all move over to the guardroom,” I said, and was relieved when, leaving his lancers’
side, the Brigadier came over to join me. By now some of the Punjabi officers were on the 40
scene and were volubly defending their men’s action.

8 The Brigadier was superb. He allowed them to say their piece. Then, turning to the seniormost
Punjabi officer present, he threatened to have him out of the Army if he did not restore order.

9 I left the Brigadier with the Punjabis to try to extract some information from the dying Sikh
soldier, the only casualty of the morning’s shooting. By all accounts, he was the one who had 45
fired the fateful shot.

10 I drove back to brigade headquarters to warn the police chief of what had happened. We all
knew that the uneasy peace in Peshawar was over. Within an hour the rumour had spread that
Sikh soldiers had run amok in Peshawar Cantonment and had killed Pathans and civilians. And
within three hours Pathans from neighbouring villages had begun killing Sikhs and Hindus in 50
a bout of frenzied savagery unparalleled anywhere on the subcontinent.

From paragraph 1:

1. Give one piece of evidence to support the author’s view that the Pakistani officer was hysterical.[1]

2. Explain what the author means by “the balloon has gone up”. [1]

3. Why do you think the firing they heard was a ‘crackle’? [1]

From paragraph 3:

4. Quote one word and one phrase which suggest that both sides in the skirmish were following
correct military procedure. [2]

From paragraph 4:

5a) What was the Brigadier hoping to achieve by driving “down the middle”? [1]

b) Suggest a reason why he was ‘clutching the windshield’ [1]

From paragraph 6:

6a) In your own words, describe the Brigadier’s tone of voice. [1]

b) Give TWO reasons why the 19th Lancers were under control more quickly than the Punjab
regiment. [1]

From paragraph 7:
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7. Why was the author ‘relieved’? [1]
Passage B

‘Travelling in India’ by Edward Behr

1 Travelling on reporting assignments for Reuters, Time-Life, the Saturday Evening Post, and
Newsweek has involved me in almost every conceivable form of transportation, from Mongol
pony to requisitioned sand-bagged army train, but the mainstay has always been the airline.

2 I was always something of an anomaly among my fellow reporters because I professed to


enjoy working in India. Sometimes I wonder whether my fondness for that country didn’t 5
conceal a deeply masochistic streak. For to be a reporter in India is to make extensive use of
Indian Airlines—surely one of the main contributory causes of the shortness of journalist’s
lives. (I’m not impugning their safety record: the hazards are solely in terms of nervous wear
and tear.)

3 This is because Indian Airlines is one of the few airlines in the world to apply the International 10
Air Transport Association (IATA) rules to the full, and this involves imposing fines on
passengers who change their minds at the last minute. For changing or cancelling one’s flight
within forty-eight hours, one is liable to a fine representing 20% of the ticket’s total cost. The
fine shoots up to 50% if this happens within twenty-four hours of departure. Reporters are
notorious ditherers, usually for reasons beyond their control, but the rule is inflexible, and all 15
that is needed is a cancellation within twenty-four hours, made on two successive occasions,
and you have no ticket left at all. The first time you find this out can be a memorable occasion.

4 Needless to say, the flipside of this brilliant bureaucratic tyranny is that experienced travellers
in India seldom make reservations in advance. The net result at almost any Indian airport is
pandemonium. 20

5 Your troubles are not over even when you have fought your way to the airline counter. When
travelling with a French TV crew to Bombay, I handed over four tickets at the counter. There
was a long wait and then the clerk looked up and asked, “There are four of you?” I nodded.
“Where is your other ticket, please? You have given me only three tickets.”

6 Certain that I had given him four tickets, I felt that a search of his desk would produce the 25
missing one. But I made the fatal error of implying that he had been at fault for mislaying it.
“Three can go,” he said. “The fourth person will have to buy a ticket.”

7 The argument that followed almost ended in bloodshed, for at no time would the clerk agree to
go through the morass of papers on his desk, which was in fact awash with tickets, one of them
presumably ours. However, he refused to give way on the issue. A year later I was still 30
engaged in correspondence with Indian Airlines on the matter. Finally, on shrewd advice, I
wrote to say that I now figured I must have lost the ticket. Reimbursement came, along with a
little homily about being more careful next time.

8 A week after that flight, after some harrowing filming in Calcutta, we turned up at dawn at
Calcutta’s Dum Dum Airport to board a plane for New Delhi. I had previously warned Indian 35
Airlines of our 400 pounds of excess baggage (mainly TV equipment). Nothing was said as we
piled our equipment and our luggage on the scales. The Indian Airlines man took our tickets
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(but this time I held on to them as he did so). “You can go,” he said, looking up, “but your
baggage cannot go.” He turned and pointed to a huge pile of luggage reaching up to the ceiling
of the cavernous airport building: yesterday’s luggage! 40

9 There are times when the low cunning of reporters, driven by desperation, knows no bounds.
Instead of throwing a tantrum, I decided to play it cool. Taking aside one of the more senior
Indian Airlines staff, I told him confidentially, “Indira Gandhi, your prime minister, is
expecting us at her residence this afternoon for an interview. If we say that we have to cancel
the appointment because Indian Airlines wouldn’t take our stuff, she won’t be very pleased, 45
and it would be awkward for you later on.” It was a typical Moghul ploy—threatening a lower
official with the wrath of a remote, higher official and bringing to bear one’s influence.
Luckily I had with me correspondence from the prime minister’s office relating to our
interview (I only hoped of course, that he would not read it too closely, for we had already
interviewed the lady), and like a magician, I brandished it casually so that he might see the 50
official prime minister’s office letterhead.

10 “I’ll see what I can do,” he said, and then added,” Whatever you do, don’t come near the
counter or be seen to have anything to do with me before the plane leaves.”

11 Out of the corner of my eye, I watched our TV equipment loaded onto a separate trolley,
which then disappeared. A good sign. Then, a few moments later, the waiting room was made 55
hideous with German oaths and a furious argument, some of it in German-accented Hindi,
some of it in English and German. A big German and his family had been bounced off the
plane for us and our luggage.

From paragraph 1:

8. Which word tells you that the author uses air travel the most? [1]

From paragraph 2:

9. The author says that he ‘professed’ to enjoy working in India, and that this was ‘masochistic’.
What does this tell you about other reporters’ views of working in India and the way they might
view him? [2]

From paragraph 3:

10. The author says that reporters are ‘ditherers’… ‘usually for reasons beyond their control’. Suggest
one possible reason. [1]

From paragraph 4:

11. In your own words, explain why most Indian airports are ‘pandemonium’. Which word in the
following paragraph emphasises this? [2]

From paragraph 7:

12. a) What does the word ‘morass’ suggest about the state of the clerk’s desk? [1]
b) What other word in the sentence reinforces this idea? [1]

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c) Why was the advice the author received ‘shrewd’? [1]

From paragraph 11:

13. Why was the disappearance of the trolley ‘a good sign’? [1]

From both passages:

14. For each of the following words, give one word or short phrase (of not more than seven words)
which has the same meaning as the word in the passage: [5]
From Passage A:
i) apparition (Line 27)
ii) volubly (Line 41)

From Passage B:
iii) anomaly (Line 4)
iv) impugning (Line 8)
v) homily (Line 33)

15. Summary
Using information in Passage B from line 13 to the end, write an account for travellers giving hints
on what to do and what not to do when travelling by Indian Airlines, and tips on how to turn
situations to your advantage. [25]

Your summary, which should be in continuous writing (not note form), should not be more than
160 words, including the 10 words given below.

Begin your summary as follows:

In India, it is inadvisable to change travel plans because…

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***** The End *****
BUKIT PANJANG GOVERNMENT HIGH SCHOOL
SEC 4E5N ENGLISH PAPER 2 PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION 2006

Marking Scheme for PASSAGE A ‘Confrontation’


From paragraph 1:
1. Give one piece of evidence to support the author’s view that the Pakistani officer was hysterical. [1]
Ans: repeating himself/unable to say anything else

2. Explain what the author means by, “the balloon has gone up”. [1]
Ans: War has broken out/the fighting has begun

3. Why do you think the firing they heard was a ‘crackle’? [1]
Ans: The gunfire was still some distance away=faint

From paragraph 3:
4. Quote one word and one phrase which suggest that both sides in the skirmish were following correct
military procedure. [2]
Ans: ‘launched a classic infantry attack’/ ‘covering fire’/ ‘advancing on a flank’ (any
one)/’deployed’

From paragraph 4:
5a) What was the Brigadier hoping to achieve by driving “down the middle”? [1]
Ans: To come between the warring factions to make them stop shooting

b) Suggest a reason why he was ‘clutching the windshield’ [1]


Ans: The jeep was unsteady; to steady himself

From paragraph 6:
6a) In your own words, describe the Brigadier’s tone of voice. [1]
Ans: students cannot use ‘firm but conversational’= strong yet friendly

b) Give TWO reasons why the 19th Lancers were under control more quickly than the Punjab
regiment. [1]
Ans: The Brigadier’s authority(1/2) and the superior discipline(1/2)

From paragraph 7:
7. Why was the author ‘relieved’? [1]
Ans: A delicate situation has been resolved/the danger is over.

Marking Scheme for PASSAGE B ‘Travelling in India’


From paragraph 1:
8. Which word tells you that the author uses air travel the most? [1]
Ans: ‘mainstay’

From paragraph 2:

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9. The author says that he ‘professed’ to enjoy working in India, and that this was ‘masochistic’. What
does this tell you about other reporters’ views of working in India and the way they might view
him? [2]
Ans: Other reporters obviously did not enjoy working in India/they would view the author as being
strange.

From paragraph 3:
10. The author says that reporters are ‘ditherers’… ‘usually for reasons beyond their control’. Suggest
one possible reason. [1]
Ans: Unforeseen circumstances/having to dash to other locations to cover a story/delayed
deadlines/ any sensible answer.

From paragraph 4:
11. In your own words, explain why most Indian airports are ‘pandemonium’. Which word in the
following paragraph emphasises this? [2]
Ans: Travellers do not reserve their tickets in advance so it is a big rush to get tickets at the
airport/’fought’

From paragraph 7:
12. a) What does the word ‘morass’ suggest about the state of the clerk’s desk? [1]
Ans: The desk is covered with papers/ strewn with papers or tickets.

b) What other word in the sentence reinforces this idea? [1]


Ans: ‘awash’

c) Why was the advice the author received ‘shrewd’? [1]


Ans: The advice led to reimbursement of the cost of the ticket.

From paragraph 11:


13. Why was the disappearance of the trolley ‘a good sign’? [1]
Ans: It meant the luggage was being loaded on the plane/or at least it was not being kept with the
pile of luggage in the terminal.

From both passages:


14. For each of the following words, give one word or short phrase (of not more than seven words)
which has the same meaning as the word in the passage: [5]
From Passage A:
i) apparition : vision / illusion
ii) volubly : formal talking a lot or talking quickly

From Passage B:
iii) anomaly : something different or strange/unusual
iv) impugning : casting doubts on integrity/honesty/ability.
v) homily : formal advice

15. Using information in Passage B from line 13 to the end, write an account for travellers giving hints
on what to do and what not to do when travelling by Indian Airlines, and tips on how to turn
situations to your advantage. [25]

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Your summary, which should be in continuous writing (not note form), should not be more than
160 words, including the 10 words given below.

Begin your summary as follows:


In India, it is inadvisable to change travel plans because…

Words from the passage Your words


• Indian airlines adheres to IATA
rules strictly
• By imposing fines on passengers
who change their minds.
• For cancelling within forty-eight
hours : 20% of the ticket cost;
• For doing the same within twenty-
four hours: 50% of the cost.
• To do this twice successively, there
will be no ticket at all.
• This means there is a last-minute
rush to buy tickets at the airport
• Where there is chaos.
• Even at the counter there can be
problems of inefficient
• Or corrupt clerks
• Who will never admit they are
wrong.
• The tip is to admit you are mistaken
and
• Hope for a reimbursement.
• It is useless to get into an argument.
• The best thing to do if you have
problems obtaining a seat
• Or getting your luggage loaded
• Is to approach a senior member of
staff
• And use the ploy of threatening him
with the displeasure of a higher
ranking, sometimes fictitious,
official.
• Hopefully he will bounce someone
off the plane for you to take their
place.

15 marks for points; 10 marks for language.

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***** The End *****

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