Illum.e 2018 O level Answer Key Paper 2 Comprehension

Visual Text

1Target Audience

Who is the whole webpage aimed at? (1m)

People who are interested in learning how to kayak


Look at the two photographs of people kayaking. What feature of each course described in the section headed Our Courses do the photographs show? (2m)

i. One day course: The photograph shows the learners learning in a supportive small group, maximum of half a dozen (comment: must include everything – copy all relevant parts from the text).

ii. Five day course: the photograph shows the learner being adventurous and independent in their kayak.


Refer to the box headed ‘What you need to know’. Give two items which you must bring when you come kayaking (1m)

‘High factor sun cream’ and ‘bottle of water’

X sun cream

X water bottle

X ‘tshirt, shorts and plastic sandals’ or ‘bring your own lunch’ -> does not reflect the question intensity (‘MUST’)


Refer to the section headed Our promise to you. What does the phrase ‘above all’ indicate about the company’s promise? (1m)

It indicates that the company places safety as its TOP priority (MOST important; of UTMOST importance – need to capture ‘above all’)

Narrative Comprehension

5Quote and Explain

At the beginning of the text, Joe goes out to fish. Explain how the language used in paragraph 1 indicates the weather conditions on that day. Support your ideas with three details from paragraph 1 (3m)

‘sky was a strip of old grey linen’ suggests that the sky was dark and grey, just like an old piece of gray cloth, which highlights that it was about to rain. (comment: answer should not merely just mention that it is about to rain. This is a language use question, and you need to unpack and highlight the key language features – the more precise you are, the higher the chance of having your answer accepted as a correct answer).

‘icy grip of the elements’ suggests that the temperature was extremely low/piercing cold just like ice need to demonstrate intensity in their answer)

‘strong, steady wind filled them’ suggests that the wind was blowing forcefully and consistently. (students need to explain multiple parts - ‘strong’ and ‘steady’)


From paragraph 1, give two ways in which this trip was different from any that Joe had done before (2m)

i) Joe took the boat out alone for the first time

ii) He had been propelled far out, further than he’d ever sailed from the village.

Comment: answer needs to reflect the difference between the past and present.


In paragraph 2, we are told that Joe enjoys the ‘freedom of the vast expanse’. Explain in your own words what this ‘freedom’ is (1m)

Freedom: the ability to move in an unrestricted manner

of the vast expanse: across the huge ocean

Answer: This freedom refers to his ability to move in an unrestricted manner, across the huge ocean.

8Effective Comparison

i) In paragraph 3, we are told that the wind sometimes ‘would roar and buffet, as if charging at’ Joe and his father. What is the writer comparing the wind with? (1m)

Answer: He was comparing the wind with a ferocious creature (or animal that is monstrous/aggressive/wild and aggressive in nature.

Comment: Response should encapsulate the traits in the quotation (roaring, buffeting – battering/striking violently) -> your response should not be overly narrow, focusing only on specific species of animal.

ii) In paragraph 3, we are told that the wind sometimes ‘would roar and buffet, as if charging at’ Joe and his father. Why is this comparison effective? (1m)

Answer: Just like/Similar to how a ferocious animal is one that is aggressive in nature, the wind was described to be very violent.

Comment: Candidates need to capture the right intensity and also use comparison words such as ‘just like’ or ‘similar to’ to establish the comparison.


i) In paragraph 4, the writer says ‘at once he was alert’. Why was Joe not alert until that moment? (1m)

He was reminiscing about the past when he used to sail with his father (or when we went out to sea with his father).


ii) In paragraph 4, the writer says ‘at once he was alert.’ What caused the change? (1m)

He saw a black shadow sliding beneath the water in front of the boat.

10Quotation – Matching Description

In paragraph 4, the writer says, ‘And all at once it surfaced, only metres away, breaking above the swell like a submarine released from an underwater anchor. With a great thrust of hidden power, it lifted almost clear of the rolling ocean, corkscrewing as it did so.’ Which words or phrases in the given sentences describe the actions of the whale? (3m)

Unexpected strength – ‘great thrust of hidden power’

Turning its body – ‘corkscrewing’

Freed from restriction – ‘released from an underwater anchor’

Comment: LHS = RHS. Do not add excessive words – e.g. submarine released from an underwater anchor.


In paragraph 5, we are told ‘Joe’s hands tightened hard on the wheel’ and that ‘his heart skipped a beat’. What was he afraid would happen? (1m)

The boat would capsize because of the wave made by the whale.

Comment: It is important to include that the boat would capsize because of the wave to show understanding of the text. It is insufficient to show that ‘the boat might capsize’ as answers should show that the waves caused Joe to hold on tighter on the wheel.


Which two phrases in Paragraph 5 suggest that Joe thought the whale was communicating with him? (2m)

i) ‘seeming to return his gaze’

ii) ‘saw as a farewell wave of its fin’

X ‘farewell wave of its fin’ or ‘return its gaze’ -> did not capture the idea of SEEMING

X ‘what he saw as a farewell wave of its fin’ -> too long -> beyond the word count for a quote

X ‘what he saw as a farewell wave’ or ‘saw as a farewell wave’ -> no indication that this was coming from the whale.

Comment: be precise. Check for keywords.

13Paragraph 1-2: contentment

Paragraph 3 nostalgia

Paragraph 4-5: fearfulness

Paragraph 6: fascination

Text 3 Non Narrative Comprehension


Which one word in paragraph 1 tells us that Brazil nut trees do not grow in groups? (1m)

The word is ‘scattered’

15Literal Comprehension

From paragraph 1, give the two reasons why the name Brazil nut is ‘doubly misleading’. (2m)

i) They are not nuts at all but seeds.

ii) The Brazil nut trees are native to a number of countries, including but not limited to Brazil

16Literal Comprehension

In paragraph 2, the pods of the Brazil nut tree are compared to two other fruits. What are they and what is the comparison with each fruit? (2m)

i) Coconut: The Brazil nut share the same spherical shape as large coconuts.

ii) Orange: The seeds of the Brazil nut are arranged like the segments of an orange.

17Literal Comprehension – Talking Heads

Yi Ling: People who live in forests benefit most from Brazil nuts and their oil.

Eric: I think city dwellers find them just as important.

i) Give two examples from paragraph 3 that Yi Ling can give to support her view? (2m)

Many forest-based communities depend on the collection and sale of Brazil nuts as a vital and sustainable source of income.

ii) The sweet nuts provide protein and calories for tribal, rural Amazonians OR Not only are the nuts themselves popular because they are delicious and nutritious, the oil extracted from them can be used for cooking.

X Do not accept ‘Rural Amazonians use the empty pods as containers’ and ‘Rural Amazonians use the tree bark to treat ailments’ as the question asks for information about nuts and their oil.


b) Which phrase in paragraph 3 can Eric use to support his view? (1m)

‘substantial market for nut oil among urban Brazilians’

Comment: answer must be about ‘city dwellers’


i) In paragraph 4, we are told the agoutis bury some seeds ‘for later use’ (line 29). What is this later use? (1m)

The buried seeds are for future consumption.

Comment: Do not use the words ‘later’ and ‘use’

Writer’s Craft

ii) Why do you think the writer put inverted commas in the text round the word ‘planted’ (line 30)? (1m)

The agoutis did not plant the seeds in the traditional sense with the intention of growing trees – but merely buried them.


Commercial Growers

Difficult to grow in plantations because production is low and therefore not currently economically viableoutput is minimal and not economically sensible
The trees are extremely sensitive to deforestation because of their complex ecological requirementsIts trees are very susceptible to deforestation as they have multifaceted ecological needs
They produce fruits only in pristine forests

that contain the large-bodied bees capable of pollinating the tree’s flowers

Bear fruits only in untouched forests

That hosts big-sized bees, the tree’s only insect pollinator

(X bees pollinate the tree)

Rely solely on…agoutis for the dispersal of seedsDepend exclusively on agoutis to disperse the seeds

X agoutis disperse the seeds and help to plant them by burying them in the ground

(since) most of the seeds are planted by the agoutis in shady places…

May have to wait for years for… necessary sunlight to reach it before it starts growing again.

Who plant majority of the seeds in shady areas

Might take years to receive essential sunlight to germinate and grow.

Illegal extraction of the timberIllegal logging

Private Individuals

Heavy and rigid...falling pods pose a serious threat to the people living around itweighty and stiff... falling pods endanger residents
Vehicles are damaged as they pass under the treesHarm vehicles when driving below the trees
Nuts sink in fresh water... clog waterways and cause local floodingNuts sink and choke waterways, causing floods
Shells contain high levels of toxins... can cause serious illnessesshells are extremely toxic and can cause severe sickness