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IGCSE Extended Reading Paper Practice Question 1 - A practice Question a week

As part of your revision you should be carrying out a practice question every week. Below is a practice question for the IGCSE Extended Reading Paper.

Question 1 is about taking information from a source article and using it to create an imagined piece of your own. This question is worth 20 marks and you should spend about 45-50 minutes on it.

The question tests the reading objectives of:

  • Understand and collate explicit meanings (Understand the literal ideas of the text)
  • Understand, explain and collate implicit meanings and attitudes (Make inferences)
  • Select, analyse and evaluate what is relevant to specific purposes (Find the best information to meet the question requirements)

These are worth 15 marks!

Your last 5 marks tests the writing objectives of:

Articulate what is thought, felt and imagined.
Order and present facts, ideas and opinions.
Understand and use a range of appropriate vocabulary
Use language and register appropriate to audience and context.
Make accurate and effective use of paragraphs, grammatical structures, sentences, punctuation and spelling.

This tests all the elements of your writing MOT.

To complete this question fully you will need to skim read the article first to get an idea of the main information in the text.

Then you will have to scan find key information you will need to meet the parts of the question (You will always be given 3 or so prompts of things you need to mention).

You will gain the most marks by:

Making inferences about the text / content / thoughts and feelings of someone rather than just stating what was in the text.

Imagine you are the parents of Cal Flyn and are being interviewed by a reporter about your daughter's adventures.

Write the words of the interview with the reporter.
You should answer the following questions:

  • ·         What kind of experiences has your daughter had?
  • ·         What kind of person is your daughter?
  • ·         What are your thoughts and feelings about your daughter’s adventures?

Base the report on what you have read in Passage A and be careful to use your own words.
Up to fifteen marks will be available for the content of your answer, and up to five marks for the quality of your writing.

Passage A
My winter on a husky farm in the Arctic Circle
Just over a year ago, I left my job at a national newspaper to work on a husky farm, 130 miles within the Arctic Circle in the far north of Finland. I handed in my security pass, packed away my notepads and prepared for a winter in darkness and under snow. My reasons for leaving, I realised, as I tried to explain my decision to friends and colleagues, were unclear. But, at 26, I was restless. I was dreaming of Arctic landscapes, cold and bleak expanses, perhaps in reaction to the noise and intrusion of London. Crowded living, urban alienation; they make films about that, don’t they? So I found a farm near the village of Hetta, deep in Finnish Lapland, that agreed to take me on as a dog handler for a busy winter season.

November 6, London
In my suitcase: one down-filled jacket, one PrimaLoft insulating jacket, four fleeces (varying heaviness), three pairs waterproof salopettes, two pairs fleece trousers, numerous base layer tops and long johns, many pairs thick socks (£21 a pop), head lamp, liner gloves, over-mitts, under-helmet balaclava, two polar Buffs, climbing knife, three Christmas puddings, one bottle Russian vodka. In summary, I’ve spent most of the money I’ve saved, and I haven’t left London yet.
On my flight from Heathrow I find myself staring blankly at a page of more than 100 husky mug shots I printed out before I left; I am meant to have memorised their names by the time I get there, but I am distracted and panicky. I put the page down and look out of the window instead.

December 17, Hetta
We are in the midst of a super-cold snap, with temperatures falling below -30C. I can’t go outside for more than a few moments without fully suiting up in cold-weather gear. The insides of my nostrils crackle with frost; any hair left uncovered picks up a grey sheen, as though I’ve aged 50 years in minutes. Occasionally my eyelashes freeze together. I learn that if any part of my body sticks to metal, I mustn’t panic and wrench away, or I risk ripping the skin clean off. One of the dogs, Monty, lost half of his tongue this way as a pup when he licked a metal post. It nearly killed him, and it took months of careful nursing and hand feeding in the house before he returned to work.
But while the temperatures drop, the tourist season is hotting up. Lapland’s economy depends almost entirely on a few short weeks before Christmas when visitors flood in from overseas. Suddenly it’s all go as we try to run as many safaris as possible, often working from 7am till past midnight.
In a rush this morning, I sped with my team out of the gates and took the first corner far too quickly. The sled flipped, dragging me through the snow on my stomach until the bar slipped out of my grip. By the time I’d jumped to my feet my dogs had overtaken the team in front and started a fight; I had had to throw myself between the two teams and wrestle them apart, growling and yelling. No harm done, but my nerves are jangling and my confidence has taken a knock.

December 21, Hetta
While freeing two dogs that have become tangled in the lines, I stupidly remove my gloves in -38C, and later find the colour has drained away from the tips of my fingers. They also have an unpleasant needling sensation. 'Congratulations,’ Pasi says. 'Your first frostbite.’ I’m thrilled and show them off to everyone.

December 25, Hetta and Valimaa
This week has been hard. We seem to be working non-stop and I haven’t seen daylight in three weeks. This is the polar night. The sun will not rise above the horizon for a further 10 days. It is dark enough to use head torches for most of the day, but at noon the skies are incredible, streaked with magenta and crimson and orange.
To tell the truth, I’m running on empty. Every waking moment for weeks has been spent feeding or harnessing or sledding or shovelling snow or shovelling shit. When, on Christmas Eve, I’m sternly told off for not cleaning kennels properly, I’m so tired and it’s so unfair that I find myself in tears, sobbing into a bucket of frozen meat as I chop it into pieces.
'Oh dear,’ Dot, another of the guides, says when she finds me. 'Feeling fragile?’ I laugh. It is a bit ridiculous.
Christmas Day itself is just as dark and cold as all the other days but it feels like we’ve turned a corner: the hardest part is over. The tourists will soon return to wherever they came from, the daylight will return from wherever it went. After a Christmas feast, five of us return to the wilderness farm. I drive; others grab some sleep while they can. When we arrive, past midnight, it strikes me how lucky we are. The air is so still and the sky is so clear, the stars so incredibly bright. 

Edited from an article by Cal Flyn in The Telegraph - Full article available here
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