Illum.e 2017 O level Answer Key Paper 2 Comprehension

Visual Text

1‘calling youths WITH a vision’

With (prep) -> having/possessing -> therefore need to include feeling, actions, and the idea of ‘vision’

The phrase is intended to motivate/inspire/encourage/evoke a sense of excitement in young readers who have a great idea or have an interest in leading their community, so as to persuade them to join the organisation/serve their community with YSEALI.

2The photograph shows people of different nationalities/backgrounds (INFERRED) smiling and sitting in a circle, with their hands placed next to each other, presumably participating in a team bonding activity. This conveys the idea that YSEALI provides a platform for the people to come together to exchange ideas and build better relationship between their countries.
3(i) It aims to harness the extraordinary potential of the youth in order for them to address critical challenges and expand opportunities for themselves and for others. [1]

(ii) It aims to strengthen leadership development of young people in Southeast Asia. [1]

4The sentence is ‘Join one of our programmes to learn how to develop the skills that you as young leaders will need to work for the good of your community.’ [1]

Narrative Comprehension

5Quote and Explain

“walking skeletons” reinforces the idea that they were so thin that they looked like they were reduced to just bones.

“mere skinbags” accentuates the idea that there was no flesh under their skins/ they had no physical bulk / were emaciated.

“muscles like strings” highlights the idea that their muscles appeared to be physically underdeveloped/ so thin which indicates they are weak.


(i) ‘grey’

(ii) ‘sombre’

7(i) LFI – Writer’s Craft

The writer wants to emphasise that the situation that Harry was in was one which was extremely dangerous/frightening. He does so by using a short sentence to create tension, before releasing the tension by explaining the context in the longer sentence that followed.

(ii) IYOW- LA (but it is also a partial F/P -> need to look at text for context -> ‘horror’)

LHS (From text)RHS (paraphrased)
With the nightAs darkness fell
Not only were the famished wolves growing bolderthe hungry wolves were becoming more aggressive/daring/belligerent to come closer and pounce on Henry
But Henry was tiredHenry was too lethargic/fatigued/overcome by exhaustion to stop them/to be on his guard* (inferred)

* Relationship between clauses = need to link them together.

ANS: As darkness fell, the hungry wolves were becoming more aggressive to come closer to try and pounce on Henry, while Henry was too lethargic to be on his guard.


(i) She deliberately stretched herself in front of him

(ii) She yawn full in his face


(b) It refers to Henry/Henry’s body.

9LFI – Unusual

Wolves would usually disperse/scatter when they see sunlight, however this time, the wolves did not leave when it was daylight and instead stayed and behaved as though they wanted to attack Henry.

10Factual -> What two things does he do

a (i) He uses wood to extend the fire into a large circle (X If students didn’t mention ‘uses wood’)

a (ii) He crouches inside the circle of fire he had built


b. He hoped that the wolves would either fear the fire and leave, or not be able to see him and leave.

Keywords: ‘shelter of flame’

From text: ‘when he had disappeared into his shelter of flame, the whole pack came curiously to the rim of the fire to see what become of him.’


(i) The circle of fire was beginning to break into segments, and he realised that the gaps within the circle of fire made him vulnerable to an attack by the wolves (or offered less protection..)

(ii) He did not have the strength/was too exhausted to fight off the wolf.


The wolves had disappeared when he woke up

X – the wolves were no longer waiting to ambush Henry but had been driven away by men on sledges (doesn’t suggest the idea of ‘mysterious’)

13(i) the chase

(ii) the waiting game

(iii) the fight back

(iv) the release

Text 3 Non Narrative Comprehension

14Inference – Tone/Attitude

(i) The writer is critical/disapproving of the car owners of today who he deemed to be overly preoccupied with their cars.


(ii) The word is ‘gobbling’.


(a) A wide/broad track was needed (Contextual clue: ‘narrow tracks were no longer adequate’ – flip it)



steep and rocky – carts could overturn or roll down the uneven/treacherous steep tracks

low-lying and boggy (muddy) – carts could sink into wet, muddy grounds


From text: often paved in stone, in order to withstand the pressure of the large horse-drawn carriages of the wealthiest citizens.

The main streets were paved in stone to sustain/cope with/bear the weight of the very big/huge horse-drawn carriages of the most affluent/richest residents.

17Inference – Vocabulary in Context

It is insidious because the side effects of pollution are proceeding in a gradual manner that is subtle/not easily noticeable, but they contain very harmful effects.


a) ‘The manufacture of more efficient engines that run on lead-free petrol has helped to ease pollution.’


b) Car users need to recognize the [environmental] damage they are causing by insisting on using their cars every day.

bii) Car users need to switch to using public transport instead of driving cars

19. Summary

Using your own words as far as possible, summarise the challenges that road builders have faced, and the improvements they have made to overcome each of them, during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Use only the information from paragraphs 2 and 3.

An important challenge faced by twentieth century road builders was ....

Lifted from PassageParaphrased Version
20th Century
1CCars’ rubber tyres sucked up loose stonesthat cars’ rubber tyres picked up rock fragments, so tar coating was added to bind rocks, creating a hard, watertight road surface.
Ispray the surface with tar, binding the stones together and providing a solid waterproof surface
2CAs road vehicles became heavier, they demanded a tougher surfaceHeavier vehicles necessitated tougher surfaces – concrete compounds had to be minimally one metre thick.
IUsually of bitumen or asphalt combined with concrete, foundations needed to be at least one metre thick
3CAs traffic increasedBurgeoning traffic also required traffic devices and speed limits to regulate and improve traffic safety.
IDevices such as roundabouts and traffic lights were introduced to regulate it, which made roads safer, as did various speed limits which were imposed
21st Century
4CHuge freight lorry has become ubiquitous, clogging the main transport arteriesMulti-lane roads became commonplace, to tackle traffic congestion caused by the increasingly ubiquitous huge freight lorries.
IMulti-lane roads are commonplace
5CAverage family car has become largerAs cars become larger, most roads were significantly expanded.
IDramatic increase in the width of all but the most minor roads
6CWhen travelling, families need to break their journey for rest and refreshment or to refuelFamilies also need to break up long journeys for rest, refreshment or to refuel, so large rest areas were added.
IAdd large service areas to their construction plans
7CIn areas of heavy or tropical rainfall, the wide stretches of impermeable waterproof surfacesLack of waterproof roads in areas of heavy rainfall led to the construction of drainage features like culverts.
ISpecial attention has to be paid to drainage…with features such as culverts (pipes which carry water)
8CLack of warning for traffic conditions that might affect the smooth flow of trafficLack of warning for disruptive traffic conditions, necessitated the need to fit modern roads with comprehensive surveillance and communication systems.
IModern highways are equipped with extensive capabilities for surveillance and communication to watch for any problem… and to warn drivers approaching it.

Heavier vehicles necessitated tougher surfaces - concrete compounds had to be minimally one metre thick. Increasing traffic also required various devices and speed limits to regulate traffic. In the consumerist 21st century, ubiquitous large freight lorries caused congestion, so multi-laned roads were frequently built. As cars become larger, most roads were significantly expanded. Lack of waterproof roads in areas of heavy rainfall led to drainage construction. Large rest areas were also added to provide rest, refreshment or to refuel. Lack of warning for disruptive traffic conditions, also necessitated the need to fit modern roads with comprehensive surveillance and communication systems.