Illum.e 2016 O level Answer Key Paper 2 Comprehension

Visual Text

1In what way does the main picture aim to attract visitors to the museum? [1]

The picture shows four individuals of different ages holding hands and staring at an exhibit. It highlight the message that the museum has something to offer to everyone.

X zero mark if they mention ‘family’

2How does the webpage suggest the current popularity of the Science Museum? [1]

The webpage uses statistics such as ‘over 3 million visitors’ visit every year.

X zero marks for not mentioning ‘over’.

Accept if the candidate omit the word ‘statistics’

3Write down two phrases of four words each, from the website which might appeal to people who live to have the latest information. [2]

Ans: (i) ‘Be first to hear’ [1]

(ii) ‘keep up to date’ [1]

4Which sentence gives the main message of the webpage? [1]

Ans: The sentence is ‘Whether you visit in person or online, the Science Museum has something to offer YOU.’ [1]

Zero mark will be awarded if there is no quotation mark.

Narrative Comprehension

5At the beginning of this text, Nayir is looking out of his cabin window at the sea. Explain how the language used in Paragraph 1 make the sea seem attractive. Support your ideas with three details from the paragraph. [3]


'uplifting smell of the sea’ suggests that the waters has a scent which makes one feel refreshed / invigorating/ rejuvenated. [1]

‘fluttered like a scarf around the boats’ suggests that the sea breeze was gentle and comforting / like a beautiful accessory to the boats floating on it. [1]

‘extended like satin towards the horizon’ suggests that the sea in the distance was smooth, calm and tranquil, just like satin which is a smooth and soft piece of fabric. [EXPLAIN the smooth]

MR: The majority of candidates were able to identify correctly the three phrases from the sentence about the sea which together convey its attractiveness. Some instead continued to the end of the paragraph and chose phrases about the fresh air or the pedlars. Candidates were less able to offer an explanation on how the sea seem attractive: many gave similar generic explanations for all three phrases, often just repeating in slightly varying words that it makes the sea attractive. The strongest answers were able to provide more differentiated explanations that picked up the precision of each of the three phrases.

6What does the words ‘scramble’ and ‘falling on’ suggest about the behaviour of the men? [1]

Ans: The men are eager to get their breakfast and each person is concerned only with himself and not the others around him

MR: About half the candidates emphasised in their responses the rowdiness or disorderliness of the men, but they did not notice the first part of the sentence where the men had ‘queued stoically’; there was no suggestion that they were aggressive to each other.

Zero mark for answers such as: aggressive,

7a) In Paragraph 3, what phrase does the writer use to show that being on the boat was soothing? [1]

Ans: ‘lullaby rocking’

b) In the same paragraph, what is (i) unusual and (ii) effective about the phrase ‘motion within immobility’ [2]

Ans: It is unusual because words with contrasting meaning ‘motion’ and ‘immobility’ are placed together. There is contradiction as ‘motion’ indicates movement, while ‘immobility’ suggests the incapability to move.

Its effective because it explains how the boat was moving gently due to the natural ebb and flow of the sea, despite the boat being stationary and not moving towards any destination.

MR: The majority of candidates answered Question 7(a) correctly. Question 7(b) focused on the phrase in the same paragraph ‘motion within immobility’ and asked candidates what is (i) unusual and (ii) effective about this phrase. Stronger answers achieved both parts, although many made a commendable attempt at either the feature of the language or the content.

8In paragraph 3, we see the distinction which Nayir makes between living in a house and on a boat. Which two separate words emphasise this contrast most clearly? [1]

(i) ‘prison’

(ii) ‘free’

9In paragraph 4, the writer says Nayir is concerned to ‘distance himself from his neighbours’. What two things does he most want to avoid? [2]

(i) his neighbour’s scrutiny

(ii) questions about his career and family

10Identity words or phrases in the given sentences which suggest similarities between the sea and desert. [3]

SimilaritiesWords or phrases from passage
  1. The pattern left by the movement of the waves and sand
Rising into “peaks” or slithering like “snake trails”
  1. Repetitive yet varied
Mixture of monotony and change
  1. Creatures existing below the surface
Hidden life

Do not accept excess words – e.g. ‘strange mixture of monotony and change’


MR: Almost all candidates managed one correct match, and many achieved all three. Some candidates seemed to pick phrases rather at random, and others were not precise enough in identifying only the particular words that had been paraphrased.

11In Paragraph 7, we see that Majid is just the kind of interfering neighbour Nayir would like to avoid. How does Majid show his intense curiosity about Nayir’s actions? [1]

Ans: He asked Nayir questions constantly, sometimes not even waiting for a reply or answer from Nayir. [1]

MR: Most candidates recognised the persistent nature of Majid’s questioning and answered well.

12In which two ways does Nayir make clear that he is annoyed with Majid? [2]

Ans: i) He did not reply to Majid’s questions initially. [1]

ii) He was vague when he did reply to Majid/he was curt. [1]

FreedomRecollection IrritationGratitudeRegretContentmentAnger

Ans: (i) Contentment [1]

(ii) Freedom [1]

(iii) Recollection [1]

(iv) Irritation [1]


Paragraph 1-2: Paragraph 1 describes how Nayir appreciated the sea and paragraph 2 describes how he appreciated the smells from the nearby truck.

Paragraph 3-4: Paragraph 3 describes the boat being unlike a house and a house is synonymous to being in a prison. Paragraph 4 describes how Nayir can avoid his neighbours.

Paragraph 5: Nayir recalls what it was like living in the desert.

Paragraph 6-7: Nayir is displeased with his neighbour’s behaviour.

MR: Candidates were generally did well on this question, although some confused the ‘contentment’ of the first two paragraphs with the ‘recollection’ of paragraph 5.

QnText 3
14a) According to Paragraph 1, what did the landscape look like when the ‘giant animals’ lived on Earth? [1]

Ans: Earth was covered in dense forests. [1]

b) Why did these giant animals die out? 1]

Ans: These animals were big and their size made it difficult for them to change their way of life to

survive in the changing climate. [1]

15In Paragraph 2, we are told two parts of its body which an elephant uses to obtain food. Write down the part of the body in each case say how it is used to obtain food. [2]


Part of bodyUse
(i)TusksDig up roots for food
(ii)TrunkEnables the animal to reach high branches for leaves to eat
16Explain what the writer means by describing the trunk as ‘the elephant’s most distinctive feature’ (line 11). Answer in your own words. [1]

Ans: The elephant’s trunk is unlike any other in the animal kingdom which makes it the most

recognisable part of an elephant. [1]

17a) Referring to the description of the elephant in Paragraph 2, explain why Nicholas is surprised that a lion could overcome an elephant. Give two features. [2]

Ans: i) A fully grown elephant is between 2 and 3 metres tall and it weighs about 6 tonnes, and it is larger than a lion. (need to do comparison) [1]

ii) An elephant has sharp tusks that are used to defend itself. [1]

b) With reference to Paragraph 3, give one feature which a lion possesses which accounts for Yi Lings’s lack of surprise. [1]

Ans: Lions can see better in the dark and this can catch elephants off-guard. [1]

18From Paragraph 3, give two reasons why drought conditions are particularly dangerous for elephants. Answer in your own words as far as possible. [2]

Ans: i) With limited water, elephants and lions use the same water-holes, bringing the elephants closer

to the lions, their predators. [1]

ii) The lions turn to hunting elephants as their usual prey is difficult to obtain. [1]


Words from the passageOwn words
  1. They were used in warfare, sometimes goaded into charging the enemy lines.
attack the opposing army to instil fear
  1. The Carthagian general Hannibal ……. elephants carried his war equipment
transport war weapons
  1. They were often positioned as shields to protect soldiers from enemy attacks.
Serves as shields to guard soldiers against enemy attacks
  1. They were once popular acts in the circus
trained to perform in circuses
  1. At one time it looked as if elephants in the wild would be hunted to extinction for their tusks.
hunted for their tusks to produce ivory products
  1. Before mechanisation, elephants were much used in the timber industry as they could be taught to pull and push.
before industrialisation elephants were used to carry loads in the timber industry.
  1. In Africa, natural reserves……great tourist attraction
are used to boost eco-tourism in reserves
  1. They are still a powerful symbol and play a vital part in ceremonies.
are used to perform ceremonial roles
  1. unexpected boost to the community with the employment of local people as wardens
help create jobs for locals

In ancient times human beings made use of elephants to carry war weapons, attack the opposing enemy to instill fear and also to serve as shields to guard soldiers against enemy attacks. Elephants were also hunted for their tusks, trained to perform in circuses, and carried logs in the timber industry. In the past and present, they are used to perform ceremonial roles in festivals in Asia. Today, they are used to boost eco-tourism and create jobs for locals in Africa.

(71 words)