Illum.e 2014 O level Answer Key Paper 2 Comprehension

Visual Text

1The photo shows a woman reaching out to a primate/chimpanzee. Together with the anaphora used in the picture, it is trying to EMPHASISE the idea that all living things are important and also that all of us can make a difference by forging close ties with animals, and also to protect their welfare.

Markers’ Report:

Candidates were asked what idea the photograph is trying to establish. The photograph shows Jane Goodall shaking hands with a chimpanzee, and is intended to illustrate the link between humans and primates. Candidates found this a challenging question; and many described what they saw without making the generalisation or conveying that they understood the reason for its presence on the page.

2Her discovery indicated that chimpanzees are as intelligent as humans and do not deserve to be treated badly/should not be badly treated.
3Animal welfare – The icon of a primate (on all fours)

The natural environment – The icon of the leaf/maple leaf

Human communities – The icon of the human hand

4Roots suggest that young people can access a strong support, consisting of an international web of like-minded young people so that they can build partnerships to make a concrete difference. This enables them to form a solid foundation to save the environment


As evident from the text, ‘Shoots’ suggests that young people may seem small/insignificant when considered individually, but the collective effort of several hundreds and thousands of young people can make a significant impact in making the world a better place for all living things, so the name of the youth program is to highlight how the effort and participation of each individual youth is significant, especially when viewed collectively.


Markers’ Report:

The webpage uses the common feature of a direct quotation (here from Jane Goodall) in a side box to sharpen the point, and to answer correctly candidates needed to put that together with what was written about the programme in the third paragraph under the heading ‘Roots & Shoots’. Unsuccessful responses were often based on botanical ideas of growth and development which are not on the webpage.



Narrative Comprehension

5Quote and Explain

‘thick as candy floss’ suggests that the fog was dense and did not allow light to pass through. This is clearly evident in the writer’s use of candy floss, a fluffy and dense lump of sugar threads, as a form of comparison. (X – massive)

‘muffled the fading sun’ suggests that the sun which was fading, provided little sunlight, and the fog made it worse by obstructing any little remaining light, thus providing the climbers minimal light, causing the lack of visibility on the mountain.

‘the world purpled down into absolute darkness’ suggests that whatever little light that remains became complete/total darkness, and it indicates the complete absence of visibility.


i. There were many plants and trees growing at the bottom of the cliff

ii. It was very dark at the bottom and it was hard to tell where the bottom of the cliff was

From text:

‘it was hard to be sure because of all the vegetation and the gloom that was pooling up at the base of the cliff.’


i. To rappel down the cliff with a rope


Vocab Inferential – ‘snapping away at the edge’

ii. It suggests that he felt increasingly uneasy/affected by his decision to rappel down the cliff with a rope. This was because the information that he read from the manual came into mind suddenly, and he started doubting (or becoming troubled with) the soundness/feasibility of his decision.


X the information that he read from the manual came into mind suddenly and this made him think that he made a wrong decision (this suggests that he was sure that he made a wrong decision – doesn’t convey the idea of being doubtful/troubled) -> as the phrase indicates, it is snapping away at the edge, rather than at the centre.

8Language for Impact – Language Style, Tone

The style of the language he actually used in the previous sentence to warn his friends about the possible dangers of rappelling down was dramatic/exaggerated


X vague – not in preceding sentence

X blunt, forceful, direct

9Language for Impact – Writer’s Craft

The writer used a long descriptive sentence followed by a short abrupt sentence. This is intended to shock the readers and to emphasise the extreme danger.  The longer sentence is used to describe the scene that the author was facing. The shorter sentence is used to state the immediate danger that the author could face.


The writer employs juxtaposition by using words and phrases with contrasting connotation in adjacent sentences. The author used words like ‘pastel pinks’ and ‘rose petal reds’ in the longer sentence to evoke a sense of optimism/hope for the author as he survived the night. The word ‘drop’ is then used in the shorter sentence to suggest a sudden movement and an immediate descent. The contrast reminds the readers that although the surrounding was very dreary, he was not out of danger yet.


It failed as the twigs they found were soaked through and difficult to light them up.


ai) They consulted the wilderness survival manual and carefully followed its instructions and they

decided to start a fire.

aii) They ripped the pages of the wilderness survival manual to use as fuel for fire.



b) the rescuers saw light from the fire that the climbers had made, and thus was able to locate the climbers and rescue them


Contextual clue from text: ‘rescue helicopters were clattering helplessly through the fog and darkness looking for them. Their lives depended on that fire… They started ripping out the papers to use as fuel. Success at last! So, the two were saved.


i) the writer’s story? - they followed the manual and it saved their lives as they did not rappel down the cliff. It would have cost their lives.


ii) the story of Deering and Angus? - They followed the manual but it did not help them to start the fire.

X used it to start a fire (NATQ – question is asking the effect of following the manual’s advice)

13(i) Not knowing when to stop

(ii) wise advice

(iii) trying to put theory into practice

(iv) a different approach

Text 3 Non Narrative Comprehension


(i) Sports should be based on notions of ‘fair play’

(ii) Sports should be a balance between body and mind.

(iii) Sports should reflect a ‘spirit’ that values participation over winning


X in their view, the benefit of sporting performance lies not in the results achieved but in the extent to which it develops the understanding and values of the players (this is a linkback)

15Vocab Inference (Language Use)

The word ‘shadow’ connotes a negative, evil feeling, and it is applied in the context of this phrase and discussion to refer to how technology dominates sports in a negative manner, and continues to threatens the more casual and enjoyable aspect of sports as a form of self-expression, empowerment and the celebration of good virtues.


X creates a negative influence over sports, making sports less attractive/enjoyable (not precise!)


From text: ‘Rather than being an activity that allows for freedom of movement and the expression of the individual’s physical potential, under the shadow of technology modern sport has become a highly disciplined endeavour in which performances are rewarded for their measurable outcomes rather than for any kind of inherent virtues.’

16Jenny: ‘I think technology has made a lot of sports safer.’

Lee: ‘But athletes seem to be injured more.’


I) One example is improved equipment such as clothes that help regulate body temperature so that participants do not suffer from conditions such as heat exhaustion. Another example is the use of sophisticated helmets to protect the players’ head.


ii) When technology such as complex protective equipment are used, athletes may feel invincible and thus are prepared to take more risks (1m), or may even use their safety equipment as weapons oN the sports field, possibly leading to greater rates and degrees of injuries (1m). (need to match probability in the quotation – ‘SEEM’)

17IYOW – Language Analysis

Elusive - Mastering the sports that is difficult to achieve

Edge – is a slight advantage that an athlete has over the other

18Inference – Tone/Attitude – ‘the latest dietary fad blares out’

The writer has a condemnatory/contemptuous/disapproving/sarcastic/mocking tone


Summary - Summarise the ways in which modern sport for both elite athletes and ordinary people has been affected by technology.

These new expectations have affected the whole nature of modern sport. Professional teams travel with almost as many technical staff as they do team members, and these assistants continually poke, prod and test the athlete’s body, trying to nudge it even closer towards its limits. Video images are analysed to identify how a single movement could be performed more efficiently, saving a fraction of a second in a competition. The commercial benefits accompanying sporting success mean that securing the slightest advantage over a competitor is paramount. Not only the momentary glory of winning, but financial security and a post-sport career may rest on the split second or fraction of a centimetre resulting from developments outside the athlete’s control, such as improved running shoe or a nutritionally superior diet.


Yet modifying the body through physical activity is not confined to the elite athlete. Even casual participants are encouraged to submit their bodies to the tyranny of exercise equipment. A brief wander through any fitness centre reveals a profusion of machinery to adjust a body’s size, shape or capacity. At home also people are increasingly able to access and use the latest developments in food technology to follow diets which will help them to achieve their desired body shape. The latest dietary fads blare out from the television set or leap out of the pages of glossy magazines. Pedometers, heart monitors and iPods, which accompany even the most ordinary athletes on their daily run, are further evidence of the increasing use of electronic technology in everyday sport. In the twenty-first century, exercise and sport are not simply amusing diversions, but are serious undertakings, conducted with the expectation of physical modification achieved through discipline, hard work and, in many cases, the body’s capitulation to the rigours of the machine.


It is clear that technology has changed modern sport because…


From PassageParaphrased

Elite Athletes


1Professional teams travel with almost as many technical staff as they do team membersProfessional teams work with relatively large numbers of specialised employees
2These assistants continually poke, prode and test the athlete’s body/ trying to nudge it ever to its limitswho experiment to stretch athlete’s physical boundaries
3Video images are analysed to identify how a single movement could be performed more efficiently, saving a fraction of a second in a competition.Videos are studied to enhance even the smallest details for better performances
4…for commercial benefits… securing slightest advantage over competition… Developments outside of athlete’s control – improved running shoes/nutritionally superior diet.Turn to technology for minute improvements in areas outside of athlete’s control to secure an edge over rivals for important financial gains

Ordinary People


5Casual participants are encouraged to submit their bodies to the tyranny of exercise equipmentMeanwhile, ordinary people defer to torturous exercise gear
6Profusion of machinery to adjust a body’s size, shape or capacitywith many able to fine tune their physiques

While also adhering to dietary trends built on nutrition research

7See the latest developments in food technology to follow diets which will help them to achieve their desired body shape
8Pedometers, heart monitors and ipods which accompany even the most ordinary athletes on their daily run….. Evidence of increasing use of electronic technology in everyday sportTechnological gadgets are increasingly used even by ordinary people on a daily basis.
9Not simply amusing diversions, Serious undertakings… conducted …. Expectation of physical modification,... discipline, hard work, capitulation to the rigours of the machinePeople take exercising more seriously and technology is crucial to helping them achieve their physical goals.