CIE IGCSE English Language

Practice Papers

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Practice Paper 1E

Question 1a

Marks: 1

Read Text AA German Circus Uses Stunning Holograms Instead of Live Animal Performers, in the insert and then answer Questions 1(a)–(e) on this question paper.

 (a)  Name two types of hologram animals that feature in the show.

Close

a)

Name two types of hologram animals that feature in the show.

  • Elephant
  • Horses
  • Goldfish

You must have 2 correct answers for 1 mark

[1 marks]

Question 1b

Marks: 4

(b)  Using your own words, explain what the text means by:

(i)  ‘a tech-savvy effort‘ ”’ (line 4):

(ii)  ‘eliminating concerns’ (line 5):

Close

b)

Using your own words, explain what the text means by:

(i) ‘‘a tech-savvy effort’: Shrewd/intelligent achievement/attempt at using technology

2 marks for full explanation, 1 mark for partial explanation.

[2 marks]

(ii) ‘eliminating concerns’ ‘: eradicating any worries/apprehensions/misgivings

2 marks for full explanation, 1 mark for partial explanation.

[2 marks]

Question 1c

Marks: 2

(c)  Re-read paragraph 3, (‘Some of the holographic acts… middle of the ring.’)

Give two examples of holographic acts performed at the show.

Close

c)

Re-read paragraph 3, (‘Some of the holographic acts… middle of the ring.’). Give two examples of holographic acts performed at the show

  • A performing elephant
  • A galloping ring of horses
  • A huge hovering goldfish

1 mark for each correct answer (max. 2 marks)

[2 marks]

Question 1d

Marks: 5

(d)  Re-read paragraphs 4 and 5, (‘Once a mainstay of… place in modern society.’).

(i)  Identify two reasons why circuses have become less popular.

(ii)  Explain why Circus Roncalli no longer uses wild animals in their shows.

Close

d)

Re-read paragraphs 4 and 5, (‘Once a mainstay of… place in modern society.’).

(i) Identify two reasons why circuses have become less popular.

  • New media (such as video games and movies) has given young audiences more options for entertainment
  • Circuses have gained a bad reputation for animal cruelty, putting off audiences

1 mark for each correct answer. 

[2 marks]

(ii) Explain why Circus Roncalli no longer uses wild animals in their shows.

  • People’s attitudes have changed
  • New laws have been introduced banning the use of wild animals in circus shows
  • The cost of transporting animals has become too expensive

1 mark for each idea, max. of 3 marks

[3 marks]

Question 1e

Marks: 3

 (e)  Re-read paragraphs 6 and 7, (‘Circus owners, however … in the wild’).

Using your own words, explain why some people still want animals in circuses.

Close

e)

Re-read paragraphs 6 and 7, (‘Circus owners, however … in the wild’). Using your own words, explain why some people still want animals in circuses.

  • They view it as traditional
  • They believe politicians exploit the issue to gain votes
  • They think audiences learn about animals from seeing them for themselves in circuses
  • Animals are well cared for by circuses, which audiences can see for themselves
  • Animals live significantly longer lives when reared by people in confinement, compared to in the wild

1 mark for each idea, max. 3 marks. Answers which are entirely in the words of the text get no marks.

[3 marks]

Question 1f

Marks: 15

Read Text BReview of ‘Twas the Night Before by Cirque du Soleil, in the insert and then answer Question 1(f) on this question paper.

 (f) According to Text B, what happens to Isabella and what makes the show so astonishing and awe-inspiring?

You must use continuous writing (not note form) and use your own words as far as possible.

Your summary should not be more than 120 words.

Up to 10 marks are available for the content of your answer and up to 5 marks for the quality of your writing.

Close

f)

According to Text B, what happens to Isabella and her father and what makes the show so astonishing and awe-inspiring? You must use continuous writing (not note form) and use your own words as far as possible.

What happens to Isabella and her father

  • She becomes bored by her father reading out a poem to her
  • He gets upset/angry
  • She is taken to a different world by strange winter animals
  • She becomes separated from her father
  • He goes looking for her
  • She and her father go on extraordinary adventures together
  • She finds a new love of the Santa story/Christmas/finds own magic

(No marks for: they improve their relationship/she develops magical powers)  

What makes the show so astonishing and awe-inspiring:

  • The variety of performances: jugglers, acrobats, magicians, dancers etc.
  • The talented and energetic performers who seem to defeat the laws of gravity
  • The array of sights and sounds in the show created by lights, sets, costumes and music
  • The originality of the show and the performers, especially the unique portrayal of the clown
  • The reinvention and modernisation of the Christmas story

Example top-grade answer:

In the show, Isabelle becomes bored by her father reading out a poem to her. When her father shuts the book, it causes a storm – Isabella is then separated from him as she is taken to a different world by strange winter animals. Once reunited, Isabella and her father go on some extraordinary adventures together.

What makes the show so astonishing is the sheer variety of performances: there are jugglers, acrobats, magicians, dancers and more. The performers are terrifically talented and energetic, and some even seem to defeat the laws of gravity. The show is made even more awe-inspiring through the array of sights and sounds created by the fantastic lights, sets, costumes and music. The performers make it a truly original show, especially with the unique portrayal of the clown. The show manages to reinvent and modernise the Christmas story.

Reading marks:

9-10 marks:

  • very effective answer that demonstrates a thorough understanding
  • Demonstrates understanding of a wide range of relevant ideas and is consistently well-focused.
  • Points are skillfully selected to demonstrate an overview.

7-8 marks:

  • An effective answer that demonstrates a competent understanding
  • Demonstrates understanding of a good range of relevant ideas and is mostly focused.
  • Points are carefully selected and there is some evidence of an overview.

5-6 marks:

  • partially effective response that demonstrates a reasonable understanding of the requirements of the task.
  • Demonstrates understanding of ideas with occasional loss of focus.
  • Some evidence of selection of relevant ideas but may include excess material.

Writing marks:

4-5 marks:

  • A relevant response that is expressed clearly, fluently and mostly with concision.
  • The response is well organised.
  • The response is in your own words (where appropriate), using a range of well-chosen vocabulary.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar are mostly accurate.

2-3 marks:

  • A relevant response that is generally expressed clearly, with some evidence of concision.
  • There may be some lapses in organisation.
  • The response is mainly expressed in your own words (where appropriate) but there may be reliance on the words of the text.
  • Errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.

[15 marks]

Question 2a

Marks: 4

Read Text CThe Night Circus, in the insert and then answer Questions 2(a)–(d) on this question paper.

(a) Identify a word or phrase from the text which suggests the same idea as the words underlined:

(i)  There are no notifications beforehand.

(ii)  It was all black and white, except for the trees nearby.

(iii)  Endless tents of all configurations.

(iv)  The news is remarkable and strange.

Question 2b

Marks: 3

(b) Using your own words, explain what the writer means by each of the words underlined:

Word of mouth is a more effective method of advertisement than typeset words and exclamation points on paper pamphlets or posters. It is impressive and unusual news, the sudden appearance of a mysterious circus. People marvel at the staggering height of the tallest tents.

(i) effective

(ii) mysterious

(iii) marvel

Question 2c

Marks: 3

(c) Use one example from the text below to explain how the writer suggests your thoughts and feelings as you stand outside the gates.

Use your own words in your explanation.

Your curiosity got the better of you, as curiosity is wont to do. You stand in the fading light, the scarf around your neck pulled up against the chilly evening breeze, waiting to see for yourself exactly what kind of circus only opens once the sun sets.

Question 2d

Marks: 15

(d) Re-read paragraphs 13 and 17.

  • Paragraph 13 begins ‘First there is a popping sound …’ and is about the moment when the circus lights come on.
  • Paragraph 17 begins ‘Some in the crowd smile knowingly …’ and gives the crowd’s reaction to the light display.

Explain how the writer uses language to convey meaning and to create effect in these paragraphs. Choose three examples of words or phrases from each paragraph to support your answer. Your choices should include the use of imagery.

Write about 200 to 300 words.

Up to 15 marks are available for the content of your answer.

Question 3

Marks: 25

Re-read Text CThe Night Circus, in the insert and then answer Question 3 on this question paper.

You are a journalist working for an online newspaper. While you are standing in the crowd outside the gates, you write an article which you post online before entering the circus. You decide to write about:

  • What you see and feel from your position outside the gates
  • What you think about the crowd’s reactions and behaviour
  • What your reasons were for going to the circus gates and what you think the people in the crowd will experience that evening

Write the words of the article.

Base your article on what you have read in Text C, but be careful to use your own words.

Address each of the three bullet points.

Begin your article with the first point.

Write about 250 to 350 words.

Up to 15 marks are available for the content of your answer and up to 10 marks for the quality of your writing.

Close

Question 1a

a)

Name two types of hologram animals that feature in the show.

  • Elephant
  • Horses
  • Goldfish

You must have 2 correct answers for 1 mark

[1 marks]

Question 1b

b)

Using your own words, explain what the text means by:

(i) ‘‘a tech-savvy effort’: Shrewd/intelligent achievement/attempt at using technology

2 marks for full explanation, 1 mark for partial explanation.

[2 marks]

(ii) ‘eliminating concerns’ ‘: eradicating any worries/apprehensions/misgivings

2 marks for full explanation, 1 mark for partial explanation.

[2 marks]

Question 1c

c)

Re-read paragraph 3, (‘Some of the holographic acts… middle of the ring.’). Give two examples of holographic acts performed at the show

  • A performing elephant
  • A galloping ring of horses
  • A huge hovering goldfish

1 mark for each correct answer (max. 2 marks)

[2 marks]

Question 1d

d)

Re-read paragraphs 4 and 5, (‘Once a mainstay of… place in modern society.’).

(i) Identify two reasons why circuses have become less popular.

  • New media (such as video games and movies) has given young audiences more options for entertainment
  • Circuses have gained a bad reputation for animal cruelty, putting off audiences

1 mark for each correct answer. 

[2 marks]

(ii) Explain why Circus Roncalli no longer uses wild animals in their shows.

  • People’s attitudes have changed
  • New laws have been introduced banning the use of wild animals in circus shows
  • The cost of transporting animals has become too expensive

1 mark for each idea, max. of 3 marks

[3 marks]

Question 1e

e)

Re-read paragraphs 6 and 7, (‘Circus owners, however … in the wild’). Using your own words, explain why some people still want animals in circuses.

  • They view it as traditional
  • They believe politicians exploit the issue to gain votes
  • They think audiences learn about animals from seeing them for themselves in circuses
  • Animals are well cared for by circuses, which audiences can see for themselves
  • Animals live significantly longer lives when reared by people in confinement, compared to in the wild

1 mark for each idea, max. 3 marks. Answers which are entirely in the words of the text get no marks.

[3 marks]

Question 1f

f)

According to Text B, what happens to Isabella and her father and what makes the show so astonishing and awe-inspiring? You must use continuous writing (not note form) and use your own words as far as possible.

What happens to Isabella and her father

  • She becomes bored by her father reading out a poem to her
  • He gets upset/angry
  • She is taken to a different world by strange winter animals
  • She becomes separated from her father
  • He goes looking for her
  • She and her father go on extraordinary adventures together
  • She finds a new love of the Santa story/Christmas/finds own magic

(No marks for: they improve their relationship/she develops magical powers)  

What makes the show so astonishing and awe-inspiring:

  • The variety of performances: jugglers, acrobats, magicians, dancers etc.
  • The talented and energetic performers who seem to defeat the laws of gravity
  • The array of sights and sounds in the show created by lights, sets, costumes and music
  • The originality of the show and the performers, especially the unique portrayal of the clown
  • The reinvention and modernisation of the Christmas story

Example top-grade answer:

In the show, Isabelle becomes bored by her father reading out a poem to her. When her father shuts the book, it causes a storm – Isabella is then separated from him as she is taken to a different world by strange winter animals. Once reunited, Isabella and her father go on some extraordinary adventures together.

What makes the show so astonishing is the sheer variety of performances: there are jugglers, acrobats, magicians, dancers and more. The performers are terrifically talented and energetic, and some even seem to defeat the laws of gravity. The show is made even more awe-inspiring through the array of sights and sounds created by the fantastic lights, sets, costumes and music. The performers make it a truly original show, especially with the unique portrayal of the clown. The show manages to reinvent and modernise the Christmas story.

Reading marks:

9-10 marks:

  • very effective answer that demonstrates a thorough understanding
  • Demonstrates understanding of a wide range of relevant ideas and is consistently well-focused.
  • Points are skillfully selected to demonstrate an overview.

7-8 marks:

  • An effective answer that demonstrates a competent understanding
  • Demonstrates understanding of a good range of relevant ideas and is mostly focused.
  • Points are carefully selected and there is some evidence of an overview.

5-6 marks:

  • partially effective response that demonstrates a reasonable understanding of the requirements of the task.
  • Demonstrates understanding of ideas with occasional loss of focus.
  • Some evidence of selection of relevant ideas but may include excess material.

Writing marks:

4-5 marks:

  • A relevant response that is expressed clearly, fluently and mostly with concision.
  • The response is well organised.
  • The response is in your own words (where appropriate), using a range of well-chosen vocabulary.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar are mostly accurate.

2-3 marks:

  • A relevant response that is generally expressed clearly, with some evidence of concision.
  • There may be some lapses in organisation.
  • The response is mainly expressed in your own words (where appropriate) but there may be reliance on the words of the text.
  • Errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.

[15 marks]

Question 2a

a)

Identify a word or phrase from the text which suggests the same idea as the words underlined:

(i) no notifications beforehand = No announcements precede it. [1 marks]

(ii) except for the trees nearby = save for the neighbouring trees. [1 mark]

(iii) Endless = countless[1 mark]

(iv) remarkable and strange = impressive and unusual. [1 mark]

Question 2b

b)

Using your own words, explain what the writer means by each of the words underlined:

(i) effective = Produces a better outcome or Practical or Powerful (or another appropriate synonym) [1 mark]

(ii) mysterious = Obscure or Curious or Strange or Perplexing (or another appropriate synonym) [1 mark]

(iii) marvel = Stare in amazement or Gape or Watch in awe (or another appropriate synonym) [1 mark]

Question 2c

c)

Use one example from the text below to explain how the writer suggests your thoughts and feelings as you stand outside the gates.

Answers might include:

  • “Your curiosity got the better of you” – suggests you were trying to resist your intrigue, but you succumbed or gave way and needed to find out more
  • “You stand in the fading light” (image) – describes how the evening is getting darker and you stand still patiently; also implies the mood or atmosphere or suspense is building , with fearful connotations
  • “the scarf around your neck pulled up against the chilly evening breeze”(image) – describes how cold the evening is, and how willing you are to sacrifice your comfort in order to find out more about the night circus; also has child-like connotations, of a child or infant wrapped up warm while they excitedly await winter celebrations such as fireworks or bonfire night or Christmas
  • “waiting to see for yourself”– suggests the reader is determined to see the events first-hand, showing an independent mindedness and reluctance to rely solely on other people’s account
  • “exactly what kind of circus only opens once the sun sets” – suggests a suspicion of this circus, that it may be sinister in some way because it is not open during the day; implies it may have something to hide and wants to avoid the scrutiny of daylight

3 marks for an appropriate example followed by a detailed and convincing explanation of how the writer suggests Mark’s experiences and feelings

2 marks for an appropriate example followed by a basic explanation of how the writer suggests Mark’s experiences and feelings

1 mark for an example followed by a partial explanation of how the writer suggests Mark’s experiences and feelings.

[3 marks]

Question 2d

d)

Explain how the writer uses language to convey meaning and to create effect in these paragraphs. Choose three examples of words or phrases from each paragraph to support your answer. Your choices should include the use of imagery.

The moment when the circus lights come on in paragraph 13, beginning ‘‘First there is a popping sound …

  • “First, there is a popping sound”: unusual sound to hear when lights come on, suggests the light is coming from old-fashioned bulbs which are anachronistic; they come from a different era which adds to the mysterious atmosphere. ‘Popping’ also has connotations of cinema or theatre, implying a dramatic show is about to begin.
  • “barely audible over the wind and conversation”: suggests the weather is imitating the excitement of the crowd; use of pathetic fallacy implies the circus is so powerful it is having an impact on the natural world. Also foreshadows something mighty and supernatural.
  • “A soft noise like a kettle about to boil for tea”: (imagery) contrasts the extraordinary scene of the mysterious circus with a mundane and ordinary image of making tea to emphasise the strangeness of the situation; the comparison of the noise to a kettle sounding just before the moment it whistles at boiling point also indicates a pivotal or revelatory moment is about to happen.
  • “Then comes the light.”: the short, simple sentence highlights the moment of revelation; it emphasises the clarity of the moment of literal illumination in the text by using clear, simple language
  • “small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies.”: (image) describes the moment the circus looks to come alive as the lights come on; the image of a swarm of bright insects covering the circus emphasises the liveliness of the circus. It also alludes to the way in which insects swarm to a bulb, suggesting the circus is something bright and exciting and people are naturally drawn to it like insects to a light.
  • “Someone near you gasps”: the unusual use of second person to directly address the reader brings them into the scene and adds more mystery to the narrative; the strangeness of the technique also disorientates the reader puts them in a similar position to those in the crowns so they experience similar feelings of intrigue and discomfort. The gasp adds dramatic effect and emphasises how exciting the moment is for those in the scene.
  • “A small child claps his hands with glee at the sight”: (image) The joyful innocence of the child helps relieve the feeling of eeriness experienced in the buildup, which felt more sinister. The reaction suggests that the circus may not be harmful or dangerous, as it may have first appeared. The image also reminds us of a time when we would have expressed unreserved joy and excitement, which we can experience again vicariously thought the description of the child.
  • “When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.”: (image) the sparkling description implies a celebration, alluding to champagne or fireworks to indicate this is a special moment. The lights of the glowing tents contrast against the darkness of the night sky, perhaps indicating the circus functions as a symbol of hope; something to cheer up or improve a gloomy area.

Paragraph 17 begins ‘Some in the crowd smile knowingly …’ and gives the crowd’s reaction to the light display.

  • “Some in the crowd smile knowingly, while others frown and look questioningly”: Not everyone understands the French name of the circus so the crowd is divided in two (those who understand and those who don’t); the mix of reactions adds more to the sense of amusement and/or intrigue by presenting those feelings as facial expressions.
  • “A child near you tugs on her mother’s sleeve, begging to know what it says”: (image) The image shows the desperation of the child and her frustration at not understanding the sign; it also places some readers in that position, also desperate for the narrator to reveal the meaning, adding excitement and anticipation to the narrative.
  • “The Circus of Dreams”: The name of the circus promises many possibilities and implies it will offer something beyond the realms of possibility; it infers the experiences it offers only usually happen in dreams, which satisfies the crowd’s (and the reader’s) intrigue about why it is called the Night Circus.
  • The girl smiles delightedly.”: (image) The joy and excitement felt by the child helps relieve the feeling of tension or unease at not understanding the sign; it could have meant something ominous or sinister. The charming image of the happy child looking delighted also creates a similar up-lifting feeling for the reader.
  • “Then the iron gates shudder and unlock, seemingly by their own volition.”: (image) suggests the circus is powerful and mythical and by personifying the gates implies it has a life of its own. The image also suggests the circus has so much life and liveliness it cannot be contained, so the energy of the circus is enough to break through an iron lock, emphasising the magical potency of the place, and building even more excitement for the crowd – and the reader – as we  anticipate what might be beyond the gates.

13-15 marks:

  • Wide-ranging discussion of judiciously selected language with some high quality comments that add meaning and associations to words/phrases in both parts of the text, and demonstrate the writer’s reasons for using them.
  • Tackles imagery with some precision and imagination.
  • There is clear evidence that the candidate understands how language works.

10-12 marks:

  • Explanations are given of carefully selected words and phrases.
  • Explanations of meanings within the context of the text are secure and effects are identified in both parts of the text.
  • Images are recognised as such and the response goes some way to explaining them.
  • There is some evidence that the candidate understands how language works.

7-9 marks:

  • A satisfactory attempt is made to select appropriate words and phrases.
  • The response mostly gives meanings of words and any attempt to suggest and explain effects is basic or very general.
  • One half of the text may be better addressed than the other.

[15 marks]

Question 3

Example top-grade answer:

What I see in front of me now is extraordinary: a circus, which seems to have appeared from nowhere, entirely in monochrome. That’s right. All the tents, as well as the ground, are black and white – there’s no colour to be seen at all. I feel like I’ve been transported into a 1940s television set, like the beginning of the Wizard of Oz. I feel just as disorientated as Dorothy did, too – no one knew beforehand the circus was coming to town, and no one knows if it’s opening as it looks entirely abandoned. There’s a small ticket booth, but even that is closed up. I’m amazed that such a large construction, with many tents of different configurations, like this has been built overnight – they either had 100s of people working through the night, or they have some magical elves inside.

It seems that most of the people around me in the crowd are just as confused as I am. There’s a lot of chattering among them, people asking if others knew it was arriving today, others asking whether we’ll be allowed in, and some asking – rightly – what sort of circus IS this?! A circus that only opens at night clearly has everyone intrigued. We’re all in the dark, in every sense. Some children look quite scared, while others are staring bemusedly at the strange looking clock inside the gates. Some people are becoming slightly impatient and agitated and I can hear some are giving up to go home. Not me – I want to find out what this place is, no matter how cold it is.

I received a call 30 minutes ago from a neighbour asking why we hadn’t reported this bizarre circus’s arrival in advance; I thought she was joking at first! I knew I had to come and see it for myself, especially as half the town seemed to already be here. The lights have just come on – and we’re now told this is a circus of dreams… it looks more like a nightmare to me. I wonder if this will be some gothic version of a circus? Or some haunted-house hybrid? Perhaps there’ll be monochrome clowns and greyscale animals. There’s movement – I’m about to find out!

Reading marks:

13-15:

  • The response reveals a thorough evaluation and analysis of the text.
  • Developed ideas are sustained and well related to the text.
  • A wide range of ideas is applied.
  • There is supporting detail throughout, which is well integrated into the response, contributing to a strong sense of purpose and approach.
  • All three bullets are well covered.
  • A consistent and convincing voice is used.

10-12

  • The response demonstrates a competent reading of the text with some evidence of basic evaluation or analysis.
  • A good range of ideas is evident.
  • Some ideas are developed but the ability to sustain them may not be consistent.
  • There is frequent, helpful supporting detail, contributing to a clear sense of purpose.
  • All three bullets are covered.
  • An appropriate voice is used.

7-9:

  • The text has been read reasonably well.
  • A range of straightforward ideas is offered.
  • Opportunities for development are rarely taken.
  • Supporting detail is present but there may be some mechanical use of the text.
  • There is uneven focus on the bullets.
  • The voice is plain.

Writing/Structure/Order marks:

9-10:

  • Effective register for audience and purpose.
  • The language of the response sounds convincing and consistently appropriate.
  • Ideas are firmly expressed in a wide range of effective and/or interesting language.
  • Structure and sequence are sound throughout.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar almost always accurate.

7-8:

  • Some awareness of an appropriate register for audience and purpose.
  • Language is mostly fluent and there is clarity of expression.
  • There is a sufficient range of vocabulary to express ideas with subtlety and precision.
  • The response is mainly well structured and well sequenced.
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar generally accurate.

5-6 marks:

  • Language is clear but comparatively plain and/or factual, expressing little opinion.
  • Ideas are rarely extended, but explanations are adequate.
  • Some sections are quite well sequenced but there may be flaws in structure.
  • Minor, but more frequent, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

[25 marks]

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