This practice book is an invaluable guide to the secondary school English Language exam, specifically Section B and Section C of Paper 2 — in other words, the potentially daunting Comprehension segment of the paper! Some students dread or fear this section as it tests their understanding of a seemingly long piece of text. Yet, with a little guidance and practice, many students are able to overcome their mental block and do well or improve in this portion, giving them an edge over their peers. This book, based on the Normal (Academic) exam structure (slightly different from the O-level structure), will help students overcome their fear of the narrative by:
• giving them ample practice in Comprehension as well as model answers, which will allow them to understand better what it is teachers may be looking for in their answers; the book has a total of 32 Comprehension practice papers, with full answers at the back of the book;
• delving into the wealth of material in Singapore Press Holdings’ archives to select lively, interesting or moving reports published in The Straits Times for the passages used. People featured in this book include: The Singaporean botanist who had a chance to be head of horticulture at Walt Disney World in the US; a twice-divorced mother of four who was a secondary school dropout and a drug offender, who went on to earn a business degree; and a 21-year-old undergraduate who was paralysed from the chest down after he dived into the sea at Sentosa.
The author, a former teacher of both English and English Literature, also specially chose reports from The Straits Times’ Generation Grit series, which highlight real people in Singapore who exhibit amazing resilience and determination in the face of hardship and suffering. In the author’s own words in the preface: “I hope that... through reading about the lives of others, (students) will be encouraged to work hard to improve their studies and to reach for their dreams.”