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IGCSE Core Reading Paper - An Exam Question a week

We're going to look at a core reading paper, which is worth 40% of your overall grade.

The core reading paper is broken into two question:

Question 1 focuses on your understanding and analysis of an article then Question 2 requires you to use an article to base your own writing on.

Question 1 is broken down into sub sections and we are going to deal here with sub questions f, g, and h.

As you read you need to be able to skim an article for the main information but also highlight any phrases with interesting use of language. Sub questions f,g and h deal with the writer's use of language and part g will give you sections of the text to look at. These three questions are worth 13 marks in total so make up a large chunk of the 30 marks available in question 1.

Tip One

Star the paragraph that part f directs you to.

Tip Two

Read the questions and highlight any section part g asks you to look at. Look at the phrase in the context of a full sentence.

Tip Three

Highlight interesting phrases linking to part h.

You either have to explain what phrases mean or their effect. Make sure you read the question carefully so you answer the question giving the correct detail.

If it asks you what the phrase means - highlight the key nouns / verbs which allow you to understand the words fully (be careful to check if they are metaphors).

Here are your questions and the article to look at is posted below. You can post your answers in the blog or give them to your teacher to mark.

Good Luck

f - Which phrase in the opening paragraph is used to emphasise the pain of a hangover headache? 1 Mark

g - Explain, using your own words, what the writer means by:

i) 'Dawn had broken by the time I staggered home' 2 Marks

ii) 'I roll over on to my side, releasing a deathbed groan' 2 Marks

iii) 'has arrived with some fanfare.' 2 Marks

h - Re-read lines 12-22. Choose three short phrases, which the writer uses to describe the party.

Explain how each of the phrases creates a picture of the party.

Phrase - 


Phrase - 


Phrase - 


6 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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