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First English Language (0500) Paper 21. (Paper 2, Reading Passages (Extended))

May/June 2010

Hi all . I'm studying for my IGCSEs on my own (without any tutors) and have my exams coming up in 2 months time. I therefore have been practicing past papers on my own. I wanted an outsiders opinion to how well I did on this past paper. It was from Paper 21. Paper 2, Reading Passages (Extended) May/June 2010.

Here's the mark scheme for it:

Any help, advice, corrections, etc, will be greatly appreciated! I would really like to know how much out of 50 I would have received.

Here's my answers:

Question 1:

Interviewer: Some people say you are an eccentric man whose behaviour is odd at times. Are they right?

Signor: Well, I guess I don't know any other conductor who always and must eat chicken curry before a concert. I do swear that it releases endorphins. I guess I'm also a bit superstitious — in regards to taxis that is. I must always travel to the concert in one. Things shall go wrong if I don't! Another thing is fixing my tie with a minute to spare before the big performance.

Interviewer: That's very interesting! So, can you explain the unexpected happenings that took place at the beginning of your Beethoven concert?

Signor: Ah, yes, the concert started later than planned due to a traffic jam. I was very stoical while in the taxi, however. Although, I was extremely embarrassed by the time I arrived on stage. I'm just pleased that I didn't fall over. Mind you, I don't what is worse — falling over or the chief violinist's lack of due admiration for me.

Interviewer: Do you think that the time has come for you to retire from conducting?

Signor: Of course not! While my memory isn't as great as it used to be, I'm still a magnificent conductor! I still know my music by perfect recall. I still have to pass on my great conducting skills to the next generation. My students need me!

Question 2:

(a) The writer shows how divine the curry is to Signor by the persistent imagery of a godly place. Repeated references to heaven and Gods make it sound almost holy, as if it could be given as a sacrifice to the Gods. It makes me think of it as out of this world — made from another dimension or planet that is superior to ours. The use of 'succulent' s a powerful word to describe how delicious and magnificent it is. The writer mentions different senses and how it 'tempts his taste buds', as if it is uncontrollable. By also mentioning how the aroma 'tickles his nostrils' this gives the effect of how pleasing the smell is, let alone the taste.

(b) The writer really describes how awful the traffic jam is and to also experience. Describing it as a 'sea of metal roofs' makes me think of a vast and numerable amount of cars — the sea is something overwhelming and not escapable once viewed. It also created imagery of almost drowning and being swallowed whole in the crowded road. The effect of mentioning the sound as a 'ghostly dischord' and 'experimental' shows horror and lack of harmony. It shows how unbearable this new noise was. The effect of 'staring vacantly' almost gives an impression of no hope to be found. The 'motionless' of the cars suggest how solid and frozen they are — almost as if they are unmovable statues.

Question 3:

(a) There is plenty of evidence that RTO is really terrible. For one thing they easily give up if it's too difficult, and they despise practice. They don't have the appropriate skills to play their instruments and not played in yonks, nor can they read high or low notes. Others refuse to play certain notes, while some don't realise they are playing a different piece. No wonder they don't need auditions!

(b) A great conductor, according to Signor Alessandro, never does the following: move feet (except arms and upper body), get anxious or be disrespectful by tapping their stick to start off a rehearsal. However, always do the following: admiration for orchestral leaders, unconsciously produce the best gestures for communications, always be on time and in command, and have perfect memory of the music to recall at any moment.

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