CXC English A exam: Past paper type summary writing question 19

Here is a CXC past paper type summary writing question.

This is the type of question that appears in SECTION A of the CXC CSEC English A exam


(Suggested time: 35 minutes)

You MUST answer the question in this section

1. Read the following extract carefully and then write a summary in NOT MORE THAN 120 words and, as far as possible, in your OWN words. Your summary must be in continuous prose and in paragraph form. If this limit is exceeded, only the first 120 words of your answer will be read and assessed.

Sea turtles have been swimming the word’s oceans since days when dinosaurs walked the land. Now all seven species of these ancient and enduring creatures are endangered, some critically. As threats of their survival increase – such as pollution, poaching, fishing and coastal development – turtles members have decreased by an alarming ninety per cent over the past decade. The vast distances that turtles migrate complicates their conservation at an international level. Leatherbacks, for example, are found in the waters of the Caribbean, Newfoundland and the British Isles. Luckily, attempts to save them at a local level are increasing, and visitors to the Grenadine Islands in the south Caribbean have several opportunities to participate in conservation at a grassroots level.

Although they spend vast amounts of time in water, the behaviour of turtles while at sea is the least understood of all marine animals. Capable of great longevity, turtles are in no hurry to reproduce, and when, after many years of floating in the sea, a female does come ashore to nest, each egg she lays has a one-in-a-thousand chance to reach maturity.

Turtles usually nest at night, laying around a hundred eggs at a time. Many are dug up by dogs or poachers, while others are destroyed by eroding sand. Those that do survive take fifty to seventy days to hatch, and when they do, baby turtles emerged at night when there are fewer predators around. Guided by the light of the moon, they head for the sea.

Even when the turtles have reached maturity, their struggle for survival is far from over. Eido Ecological Research Station, on the north-west coast of Carriacou – a Grenadine that is part of the nation of Grenada – works with schools, local communities and visitors to conserve turtles of all ages in this region. Old Hegg turtle sanctuary on Bequia, the largest of St. Vincent’s Grenadine islands, works to increase the hatchlings’ chances of survival through their earliest and most vulnerable hears. The work of organizations such as Kido and Old Hegg is helping to stabilize turtle populations. Visiting such places and experiencing turtles first hand, nesting or just nesting, can be a rewarding and fascinating experience.

Lesley Anne Rose, “One turtle at a time”. Caribbean Beat, May/June 2006, pp. 18-29

(30 marks)

Here are examples of excellent answers for this summary exercise.


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