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  1. Imaginative composition. (Compulsory) (20marks)

    1. Write a story ending with: . . .I wish things did not end like this.
    2. Write a story to illustrate the saying: ‘Pride comes before a fall.’

  2. Compulsory Set Text
    A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
    Women in A Doll’s House challenge society’s perception of the female gender. Write an essay justifying the assertion. (20 marks)

  3. Optional set text
    Answer any one of the two questions


    1. The Short story:

      Memories We Lost and Other stories ED. Chris Wanjala

      Children are imprisoned by mental ailments because of superstitious beliefs of those around them. Write an essay in support of the above statement drawing illustrations from Lidudumalingani Mqombothi’s story Memories We Lost. (20 marks)


    2. The Novel:
      The Pearl by John Steinbeck
      Good fortune does not necessarily guarantee happiness. Elucidate the truth of this statement drawing illustrations from the Pearl by John Steinbeck. (20 marks)

Marking Scheme

Question 1:

Question one aims at testing the candidate’s ability to communicate. The linguistic mark should carry the day. Communication can be gauged at different levels.

Deciding the Class and allocation of marks

Read each composition and decide which class it falls in before assigning it a mark based on the following criteria. Then subject each of them to the deductions, if any.

General classifications

A – Class Essays (16-20 marks)

The candidate communicates not only fluently but also attractively with originality and efficiency. He has the ability to make us share his/her deep feelings, emotions, enthusiasms. He or she expresses himself/ herself freely and with no visible constraint. The script gives evidence of Maturity, good planning and often humour. Many items of merit which indicate that the candidate has complete command of the language. There is no stain, just pleasantness, clever arrangement, felicity of expression.

A- 16-17

The candidate shows competence and fluency in using the language. He may lack imagination or originality which usually provides the “spark” in such essays. Vocabulary, idiom sentence structure, links, variety are impressive. Gross errors are very few.

A 18

Positive ability. A few errors that are felt to be slips. The story or argument has a definite impact. No grammar problems. Variety of structures. A definite spark. Many margin ticks.

A+ 19-20

The candidate   communicates not only information but meaning,   but also   and   especially   the candidate’s whole self: his /her feelings, testes, point of view, youth, and culture. This ability to communicate deeply may express himself in a wide range of effective vocabulary, original approach, vivid and sustained account in the case of a narrative, well developed ad ordered argument in the case of a debate or discussion. Errors and slips should not deprive the candidate of the full marks he deserves. A very definite spark (very memorable).

B – Class Essays (11-15 marks)

This class is characterized by great fluency and easy of expression without strain. The candidate demonstrates that he/she can use English as a normal way of expressing himself/herself. Sentences are varied   and   usually well-constructed.   Some   candidates become ambitious   or even   over- ambitious. There are many items of merit of one word or expression type. Many essays in this category may be just clean and unassuming, but they still show that the candidate is at ease with the language.

B- (11-12)

The candidate communicates fairly and with some fluency. There may be little variety in sentence structure. Gross errors are still found occasionally, but this must not be over punished by the examiner.

B (13)

The sentences are varied but rather simple and straight forward. The candidate does not strain himself in an effort to impress. There is a fair range of vocabulary and idiom. Natural and effortless. Some items of merit, economy of language.

B+ (14-15)

The candidate communicates his ideas pleasantly and without strain. There are errors and slips. Tenses, spelling and punctuation are good. A number of items of merit of the “whole sentence” or “whole expression” (margin ticks).

C – Class Essays. (06-10 marks)

Candidate communicates understandably but only more or less clearly. He or she is not confident with   his/her   language.   Subject   is   often   underdeveloped.   There   may   be   some   digressions. Unnecessary repetitions frequent. The arrangement is weak and flow jerky. There is no economy of language. Mother tongue influence is felt.

C- (06-07)

The candidate finds it obviously hard to communicate his/her ideas. He/she is seriously hampered by his limited   knowledge of structure and vocabulary. This results in many gross errors of agreement, spelling, and misuse of prepositions, tenses verb agreement and sentence construction.

C (08)

The candidate communicates but with not consistent clarity. His/her linguistic abilities being very limited, he/she cannot avoid frequent errors in sentence structure. There is little variety or originality. Very bookish English, links are weak, incorrect, repeated at times.

C+ 09-10

The candidate communicates in a flat and uncertain manner. Simple concept sentence forms are often strained. There may be an overuse of clichés, unsuitable idioms. Proverbs are misquoted or misinterpreted. The flow is jerky. There are some errors of agreement, tenses and spellings.

D – Class essays (01-05 marks)

The candidate does not communicate at all. His language ability is so minimal that the examiner practically has to guess what the candidate wants to say. The candidate fails to fit the English words he/she knows into meaningful sentences. The subject is glanced at or distorted. Practically no valid punctuation. All kinds of errors (“Broken English”) are evident.

D- ( 01-02)

Chaotic, little meaning whatsoever. Question paper or some words from it simply copied.

D (03)

Flow of thought almost impossible to follow. The errors are continuous

D+ (04)

Although the English is broken and the essay is full of errors of all types, we can at least guess what the candidate wants to say.


  1. Write a composition ending with….I wish things did not end like this.
    • It must be a story
    • It must end with the given words (If not -4AD)
    • The story must have a negative outcome
  2. Proverb Pride Comes Before a fall
    • It must be a story illustrating the proverb. (If not -4AD)
    • The story must bring out a situation in which the character fails because of his/her pride.


Women in A Doll’s House challenge society’s perception of the female gender.’ Write a composition justifying the assertion.


  • In A Doll’s House, Nora, Linde and Hellene, outstrip the accepted social practices of the time by promoting women empowerment. (Any other relevant introduction)


Points of interpretation

  • The candidates should describe the event, the character involved and the background to the event as well as pointing out how the traditional role of women is challenged.

W1: Nora secures a loan so as to take Helmer to Italy for treatment.

W2: Hellene finds a job as a nanny so as to care for her child.

W3: Mrs. Linde finds a job so as to care for herself and is supportive of her siblings and mother.

W4: Nora decides to leave her husband and children and refuses to submit to her submissive role.


  • In conclusion, the female characters challenges the stereotype afforded to women living in a male-dominated society. (Any suitable conclusion)


0-4 1mk

5-7 2mks

8-10 3mks

11-12 4mks




In the story, Memories We Lost, those affected by mental diseases may continue suffering if the condition is considered demonic. This is demonstrated in the life of the girl who was suffering from schizophrenia. (Any other relevant introduction)


  1. The first attack is said to come out of nowhere, as ghosts do. It is stated that every time the girl is attacked by the ‘thing’, she returned altered, unrecognizable as if two people were trapped inside her. p. 10-11
  2. The victim is subjected to ritualistic practices meant to cure her. She had been through many rituals and church sermons, and nothing had changed. p. 14-16
  3. The villagers shout insults to the thing because it remained mysterious to them. The elders even kept referring this thing as the devil’s work and demons. The mother was prompted to question God why he gave the thing to her daughter. p.15
  4. There is a plan to take the girl to Nkunzi who was known for ‘baking people’. He claimed to be baking the demons and the patient would recover from the burns a week later. p.17
  5. The girl is taken to sangomas who gave her bottles of medication. Unfortunately she did not recover. p.13


In conclusion, ignorance due to the belief in evil spirits may worsen an illness which can be easily managed through love, care and understanding. (Any other relevant conclusion)


0-4      1mk

5-7      2mks

8-10    3mks

11-12 4mks


Kino expects the pearl to bring him happiness but this is not the case. Instead the pearl becomes a nightmare (Any other relevant introduction)                                2 mks


  • It brings about physical injury to Kino as he attempts to fight off his enemies.
  • Murder – Kino kills four men to save the pearl
  • Violence – He hits his wife
  • Loss of property – His boat is destroyed and his house burnt down
  • Family conflict and turbulence in the once calm home.
  • Loss of their child Coyotito (any other valid points)


In conclusion, it is true to say that finding a fortune does not necessarily guarantee happiness to an individual (Any other relevant conclusion)


0-4      1mk

5-7      2mks

8-10    3mks

11-12 4mks

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