Tuesday, 17 June 2008

030. Speech

Directed Writing (35 marks)

You are advised to spend at least 45 minutes on this question.

You are the head prefect of your school. Your school principal is going to retire. Write a farewell speech for your beloved school principal. Your speech should include the following points:
  • the purpose of the speech
  • the principal's number of years of service
  • school taught
  • principal's biodata
  • contributions by the principal
  • the principal's popularity
  • how everyone will miss the principal

When writing the speech, you should remember to:

  • use the correct format
  • include all the points given and elaborate on them
  • add elaborations or details of your own

029. Formal Letter

Directed Writing (35 marks)

You are advised to spend at least 45 minutes on this question.

You are the Chairman of Taman Megah Neighbourhood Patrol. Write a formal letter to the loca Town Council to express dissatisfaction over a few problems in your residential area. Your letter should include the following points:
  • uncollected garbage for almost two weeks
  • burst water pipes - low water pressure
  • poor condition of the children's playground
  • street lights not functioning
  • potholes on the roads

When writing the letter, you should remember to:

  • use the correct format
  • include all the points given and elaborate on them
  • add elaborations and details of your own

Sunday, 9 March 2008

028. Comprehension 1

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

"This is the third time this week your class teacher has made a complaint about you. When are you going to change?" asked Puan Liza in exasperation.

Puan Liza sighed as Aminah left her office. It was difficult cases like this girl Aminah, which sometimes made her regret becoming a counsellor. But of course, there were also the rewards and joy of seeing and knowing that she has helped many students who were willing to reform and study hard after her counselling sessions with them. Some had done so well in their studies that they were holding important posts today, they were certainly doing better than she was!

Aminah was a Form Five student. She was not stupid, she was simply uninterested in schoolwork and books. Despite her counselling sessions with Puan Liza her attitude had not improved. Oh, she would listen politely to Puan Liza's words of advice and suggestions with a blank look on her face. The next day, she would continue to play truant. Puan Liza sighed even more when she realised that she was not getting through to Aminat at all.

Aminah left home every morning in her school uniform but very often, she went somewhere else instead of school. She would go to shopping centres nearby, change out of her school uniform and loiter around with other young people who were neither schooling nor working. They seem happy wasting their time, many came from broken homes or families whose parents were too busy to attend to their children.

When her parents threatened one day to take away her pocket money after numerous phone calls from her school regarding her absenteeism, Aminah was forced to go to school. She did not want to be deprived of her spending money which was quite substantial. She was the only child. Her parents were busy with their business, so they tried to make up for their lack of attention to their daughter by getting her whatever she wanted and giving her a generous allowance.

But Aminah's heart was not in her books. Although she was in school, she did not attend classes. She hid in the school toilets or mingled with the afternoon session students at the canteen. She often feigned a stomachache or some pain so that she could be excused from class. Many teachers complained to Puan Liza. They doubted she could pass her SPM examination.

"What a waste, she's actually quite a nice girl with rich parents, good brains and looks. Perhaps that's the problem, she does not realise how fortunate she is," thought Puan Liza. "I must try to help her so that she does not continue to jeopardise her future."

That afternoon she made a phone call to the Centre for the Blind. The next day, she told Aminah, "I need your help after school day today. I'm taking some old clothes to the Centre for the Blind, I need you to help me carry them."

Aminah nodded although she was unwilling to go but at least Puan Liza was more friendly than the other teachers. They seemed to give her hostile looks when they passed her. She was also hoping that Puan Liza would not inform her parents about her cutting classes.

After school Puan Liza was waiting for her at the car park near her car. She got into the car quietly, making no attempt to start a conversation. She was only keen to get away and join her friends who were waiting for her at the Sun Shopping Complex.

As they approached a white building, Aminah read a signboard - 'Centre for the Blind'. At the car park, Puan Liza parked her car and asked Aminah to carry a box of clothes into the building.

They went into a large lounge. Inside Aminah saw some boys and girls sitting around a few tables on which were an assortment of indoor games and books. She was struck by their blank stares and unseeing eyes. She had never seen so many blind people in her life and felt a tremendous sense of compassion. She was so saddened that she even had tears in her eyes.

Puan Liza sensed the emotions that had engulfed Aminah. She said quietly, "These children are unfortunate. Many are born blind, some became blind after some illness. We don't realise how lucky we are until we see them. We have sight but we don't make use of what we have to do our best. But they who can't see are even holding jobs, working in offices. You see, Aminah, you are very lucky with good eyesight and a healthy body. You have a chance of an education and a good life, don't waste it. They would love to be in your shoes."

On hearing these words, Aminah really felt like crying as she realised that she had been wasting her time and good fortune. That afternoon after Puan Liza had dropped her at the school gate, instead of going to join her friends a the shopping complex, she found herself walking with a thoughtful look on her face to the school library. Her teachers would not have believed their eyes, Aminag was going to the library!

Inside the library, she gazed at the rows of books and magazines on the shelves and realised what she had missed. She could see and read but did not bother to enjoy looking at the pictures in the magazines or gain knowledge from books. She took down a book on travel, found a seat and sat down to read.

A year later, it was the class reunion party. The former students of Form Five had gathered to celebrate their SPM results. They had done well, some had scored a number of distinctions. Aminah was one of them. Puan Liza looked proudly at her and was thankful for that fateful visit to the Centre of the Blind.

Answer all the questions. You are advised to answer them in the order set.

1. From paragraph 1 - 5, according to the writer,
(a) Why was Puan Liza trying to counsel Aminah? [1 mark]
(b) Describe Aminah's family background. [2 marks]

2. Which phrase in paragraph 6 suggest Aminah's indifferent attitude to her studies? [1 mark]

3. Puan Liza thought of a way to make Aminah realise how fortunate she was.
(a) What did she do first? [1 mark]
(b) What did she tell Aminah after that? [1 mark]

4. From paragraph 12 and 14, describe how Aminah felt for the blind people when she was at the centre and why. [2 marks]

5. What was Puan Liza thinking when she looked at Aminah at the class reunion party? [2 marks]

027. Rational Cloze 3

Read the following passage and then fill in the numbered blanks with the answer.

What makes a housing area attractive? A quiet, (1) and clean environment would be many residents' answer. The (2) of a housing area also depends to a large extent on the (3) found in it. Trees lining the roadsides (4) welcome shade from the hot sun. However, (5) the large-scale felling of the trees at the roadside is unavoidable. This is done when there is a need to (6) roads. Knowing the value of trees in preserving the environment, Municipal Boards have made it necessary for residents to obtain permission before trees with a diameter of more than 0.3 metres can be cut down.

Another factor which spoils the beauty of housing estate is development. With setting up of more businesses, the tranquillityof the housing estate is badly affected (7) traffic increases. With this, comes noise and air pollution.

1. A. good-planned B. well-planned C. nice-planned D. best-planned
2. A. attractiveness B. attraction C. attractive D. attracted
3. A. green B. grass C. greens D. greenery
4. A. provide B. provides C. providing D. will provide
5. A. many times B. much time C. sometimes D. anytime
6. A. broaded B. enlarge C. expand D. widen
7. A. while B. when C. with D. as

026. Rational Cloze 2

Read the following passage and then fill in the numbered blanks with the correct answer.

Career planning serves several purposes. First, planning prevents sidetracking: it (1) against external influences which may cause a lost of focus and (2). Parents' expectations and wrong advice from people unfamiliar (3) the subject matter can cause confusion. So planning helps to get focus off the external pressure and back on the right track.

Planning allows students to recognise and (4) present opportunities. Many teenagers (5) think that they are at the beginning of their career paths only when they come to the end of their schooling days. Actually, they have been preparing for their career paths because (6) school studies and recreational activities, they are heading towards their intersts.

Therefore, the subjects they select, the sports they play and the activities they participate in all contribute towars (7) for the chosen career. Lack of planning results in a failure to develop decision-making skills acquired through these experiences.

1. A. safeguards B. prevents C. protects D. secures
2. A. direct B. direction C. directing D. to direct
3. A. in B. to C. at D. with
4. A. maximise B. socialise C. organise D. utilise
5. A. mistake B. mistook C. mistaken D. mistakenly
6. A. through B. by C. in D. at
7. A. choice B. situation C. guidance D. preparation