CXC English A exam: Past paper type reading comprehension questions 3

Here are CXC past paper type reading comprehension questions 3

These are the types of questions that will appear in section 2, paper 2 of the CXC CSEC English A exam.
You should attempt to answer ALL of them to give yourself practice on answering CXC CSEC type reading comprehension questions for the English A exam.
10. Read the extract below then answer all the questions that follow.
Standing in front of each diploma with its heavy copper frame, Louise
obligingly recounted her children’s success stories and, with eyes lifted heaven-
ward, gave thanks to God. She led Debbie and Spero to their bedroom for the
night, cluttered with cups and trophies, and explained, down to the very
5 last detail, how and where her athletic boys had won them. The next day
which was a Sunday, everyone who was a Middleton in New York, even
small children and babes in arms, met to attend service at the Reverend Adlai
Middleton’s Baptist Church on 118th St. The Holy Spirit possessed Adlai at
a moment when, just like Ezekiel, he spewed up the false prophets. Spero’s
10 stomach was still reeling from this religious bachanalia when he had to
ingurgitate chicken, spinach, rice, congo peas, bacon, pumpkin pie (which he
took an immediate dislike to), and vanilla ice cream. It was on that day with
his hands clutching Debbie’s under the table like a little boy clinging to his
mother on the first day of school, deafened by a manner of speaking as
15 incomprehensible as the gibberish of the Wayana tribe, that he had the feeling
America would always remain out of his reach. A safe whose combination he
would never possess. He had no key to its yesterday nor the days before yesterday.
(i) What characteristics of Louise are suggested in the first sentence? 2 mks
(ii) What does the author suggest about Louise by using the phrase "down to the very last detail' (lines 4-5)?
1 mk
What kind of person does Spero appear to be in this passage? Quote the words or phrases which support your view. 2 mks
What is the author referring to when she speaks of 'a manner of speaking as incomprehensible as the gibberish of the Wayana tribe' (lines 14 - 15)? 2 mks
What impression is the author trying to convey by the use of the word ingurgitate (line 11)? 2 mks
What does the author mean when she says that 'he (Spero) had no key to its yesterday' (line 17 - 18)? 2 mks
What two features of the Middletons of New York does the author highlight? 2 mks
13 mks
11. Read the advertisement below and then answer all the questions that follow.

Our National Heritage?

Have you ever noticed how many dilapidated old houses adorn our highways and
main roads? They are totally abandoned and do nothing but sully the landscape and
provide breeding grounds for vermin and hiding places for drug addicts. Why are
they left to stand there, permanent reminders of the neglect and lack of concern of
5 their owners, and eyesores to all who pass by. Why haven’t they been demolished
and replaced by decent modern structures? It is because that bunch of old fogies that
call themselves the Society for the Preservation of our National Heritage have decreed
that these “precious relics of our proud heritage” must not be destroyed?
Well, if they think these ruins should be preserved, why don’t they raise the millions
10 of dollars required to restore them and turn them to some useful purpose, like historical
museums or art galleries? If we cannot afford to have these buildings restored and
made functional, they should be demolished. If they are not, natural forces - hurricanes,
earthquakes or simply rot - will do it anyway. Then we can use the space they
occupy for something really worthwhile.
(i) Which word in the first sentence (line 1 -2) seems inconsistent with the general tone of the paragraph? 1 mk
(ii) Why does the write use that word? 1 mk
What is the writer's attitude to the old buildings mentioned in the passage? Quote onephrase to support your answer 2 mks
What is the writer's opinion of the Society for the Preservation of the National Heritage?
Quote a word or phrase hat supports your answer.
2 mks
Give TWO reasons why the writer uses quotation marks for the phrase 'precious relics of our proud heritage' (line 8) 2 mks
What does the writer think the position of the Society for the Preservation of the National Heritage will achieve in the long run ? 2 mks
What is implied by the use of the phrase 'really worthwhile' (line 14)? 2 mks
12 mks
Read the poem below and then answer the questions that follow.

The Son

I found the letter in a cardboard box
Unfamous history, I read the words
The ink was faint and brown, the paper dry
After so many years of being kept,
The letter was soldier's, from the front -
Conveyed his love and disappointed hope
Of getting leave. 'It's cancelled now, ' he wrote
'My luck is at the bottom of the sea.'
Outside the sun was hot; the world looked bright
I heard a radio, and someone laughed.
I did not sing or laugh or love the sun.
Within the quiet room I thought of him,
My father killed, and all the other men,
Whose luck was at the bottom of the sea

Clifford Dyment

What is the poet suggesting by the use of the word "unfamous" (line 2)? 2mks
Why was the ink "faint and brown"? (line 5)? 1mk
What is meant by the phrase "from the front" (line 5)? 2mks
What does "my luck is at the bottom of the sea mean" (line 8) mean? 2 mks
Identify TWO lines which contrast with the general mood of the poem 2 mks
What is the mood of the son in line 11?
The poem ends with a repetition of the words "(Whose) luck was at the bottom of the sea" (line 14). What do the words mean in this second case? 2 mks
13 mks
13. Read the extract below and then answer all the questions that follow.
I had long dreams. The nightmare began the moment I closed my eyes: A pretty lady
with soft, wavy, black hair braided and hanging to her waist, stepped out of the shadows
and whispered to me. 'You will not forget this day easily, Phyllisia. You will not.'
'I shall, I shall.' Words leaped from my throat but could not pass through my open
5 mouth. My teeth had grown to form bars. Words beat against my teeth, like birds protesting
their cage; none could escape.
Laughing, she ran through the forest, passing through trees, teasing, repeating: 'No,
no, you will not forget...'
Twisting and turning, clawing at my jaw with hands that I could not see - because I was
10 sleeping - shouting with words that I could not form, my anger at my deformity changed
swiftly to mortal terror. The lady was approaching a cliff and still no words escaped with
which I could warn her. I knew if she fell into the roaring water, she would be torn into a
million pieces by jagged rocks submerged just below.

But I was sleeping, mute, imprisoned with my caged words, gazed through the bars

15 of my teeth. I pulled and pounded on them as she moved nearer, nearer to the cliff's edge.
(a) What word in the first line shows the fearfulness of the incident being related? 1mk
(b) What impression is the writer trying to convey by using the phrase "stepped out of the shadows
and whispered to me" (line 2-3)?
2 mks
(c) What is the writer trying to suggest about Phyllisia's character when she uses the repetition "I shall. I shall." (line 4)? 2 mks
(d) Why are the birds "protesting the cage" (lines 5-6)? 2 mks
(e) To whom or to what do the following words refer
(a) 'none' (line 6) 1 mk
(b) 'them' (line 15) 1 mk
(f) The writer converts Phyllisia's mouth into a cage. Give two phrases from the passage which illustrate this. 2 mks
(g) Quote two phrases which show how the writer gives human characteristics to anger (line 10) 2 mks


13 mks
14. Read the extract below and then answer all the questions that follow.

Millions of dollars are going down the drain every year on stress electrocardiograms

for business executives. Annual chest x-rays are routine, even though they provide no
benefits and are probably increasing the incidence of cancer. Fat, sedentary diabetics are
spending their money on blood sugar tests, when paying gym fees would make more sense.
5 And of course, everybody is anxiously checking their cholesterol to see if it is high, and then
rushing out to buy statins if it is.
None of this is going to make any difference to the health of the people of the
Caribbean, but powerful interests are involved. Hospitals cater to thousands of executives
doing annual medical check-ups. No executive in his right mind would spend thousands of
10 dollars on a procedure that brings no obvious corporate benefits, but then health has never
been a matter of logic. People want reassurance that they are not about to die, rather than
programmes that will make them healthier and more productive.
This is not to say that testing is unnecessary. The problem is the reason for the tests.
Every individual should know his or her cholesterol level, but only because such knowledge
15 is one aspect of the assumption of personal responsibility for overall health.
Checking one's cholesterol level without looking after one's health is virtually useless.
(a) What is the meaning of the phrase, 'going down the drain" (line 1)? 1 mk
(b) How does the writer feel about the annual practice of having chest x-rays? 2 mks
(c) What does the phrase "but powerful interests are involved" suggest to the reader about the possibility of change? 2 mks
(d) What "reason" does the writer give for "knowing" one's cholesterol level? 1 mk
(e) What evidence does the writer provide to support the view that "health has never been a matter of logic"? 2 mks
(f) What does the phrase "paying gym fees would make more sense" suggest about "fat diabetic people"? 2 mks
(g) Why does the writer use the phrase "in his right mind" (line 9)? 2 mks
Total 12 mks
Here are more CXC CSEC English A past paper type reading comprehension questions

jacintha pringle (not verified) 6 April 2020 - 1:36pm

Very helpful material. Thank you

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