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An exam question a week - IGCSE Core Reading Question 1 continued - a-e

Parts a-e test your understanding of what you have read. Sometimes they need you to explain in your own words or find key details.

This test your ability to skim read a text, scan for details and make inferences. I would recommend that as you read the text you make a note next to each paragraph as to what it is about. You could look at topic sentences here (the sentences which tell you what the paragraph is about - usually at the beginning of the paragraph though not always).

Make sure you look at the number of marks and for more than one mark make an inference related to the text.

a) Explain why the writer woke up feeling unwell. 2 Marks

b) What detail does the writer give as to why the previous night was uncomfortable? 1 Mark

c) Give two reasons why the writer describes the night as huge. (Lines 9-16) 2 Marks

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d) Explain using your own words what the writer does on New Year's Eve. (Lines 4 - 16) 2 Marks

e) Explain using your own words the pain that the writer feels. 3 Marks

An Extract from 'High Sobriety: My Year Without Booze' by Jill Stark, originally published in The Independent available here

The roar in my skull sounds like waves battering a shore. My head, planted facedown in a sticky pillow, feels as heavy as a waterlogged sandbag. My body is a dance floor for pain. Welcome to 2011, Starkers: a new year, a new start; same old stinking hangover.

Last night was huge. Dawn had broken by the time I staggered home. I remember cursing the light and the chirpy birds. It was, like so many before it, a party that had got away from me. It had been a ridiculously hot Melbourne New Year’s Eve: dry and oppressive, with a blasting northerly wind. I felt as if I was trapped inside a fan-forced oven. As I sipped my first drink – a stubby of beer – with friends in their backyard paddling pool, the mercury crept past 40 degrees. It was 6pm.

As the night wore on, there was champagne with strawberries, more beer, more champagne, and then even more beer. There were sparklers, dancing, and high-pitched phone calls to Scotland, where it was still the last day of the decade before. I vaguely remember a fiercely contested drawing competition with crayons, and, for reasons I can’t fathom, sitting atop a stepladder with a miner’s lamp strapped to my head.

Later, at another friend’s house, we had White Russians in tumblers, and tequila in martini glasses. I remember one of my friends vomiting in the kitchen sink, and the group blithely singing over it as if this was neither noteworthy nor unusual. I remember thinking, when’s this going to stop? Then having another beer for the road.

I roll over on to my side, releasing a deathbed groan. The alarm clock comes into view, its illuminated digits stabbing my eyes. It’s 2pm. Another groan; this one seems to come from my bones. My guts churn as a tribe of African drummers pounds out a rhythm in my brain, and I pay a grudging respect to a hangover that, having been almost a month in the making, has arrived with some fanfare.
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