English Trial Exams Paper 2 Questions - Alliance Boys High School Mock December 2020

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Question  Maximum Score  Candidates Score 
 1  20  
 2  25  
 3  20  
 4  15  


1. COMPREHENSION: (20 marks)
Read the passage below and then answer the questions that follow;

Education is perhaps one of the greatest assets children can inherit from their parents. Indeed, parents are known to incur huge debts to help their children get education. The drive to make these sacrifices and our population growth, have created a huge demand for education
This demand is reciprocated by mismatched supply that is not focused on developing "employable" skills and the output is more jobless graduates into the already full market place. Ironically, whereas this is the scenario in emerging economies the world over, it is in the same economies that skilled workers are in high demand, according to a human capital study done by PWC. Indeed, emerging economies are no longer relying on cheap labour to fuel exportsdriven economies, but rather fouls on skilled labour because their economic models have shifted to exporting value-added goods. The demand for workers capable of doing talent intensive jobs that require quality qualifications is growing steadily. Studies have shown that no country in the world can achieve major socio-economic transformation without the contribution of skilled manpower. Kenya seems to be cognizant of this fact going by the massive budget allocation made in education each year.
There is a strong case for standardization and regulatory framework that will ensure delivery of high quality teaching and research whose end product are work- ready students. This is therefore a call to the government and the private sector to work hard in glove to address the prevailing challenges in higher education that impact the quality of graduates produced.
Lack of adequate resources, poor training infrastructure and facilities as well as an emphasis on "cramming" - reproduction of class notes in the exam papers compromise the quality of education. The result has been a yawning gap between the quality of students released into the job market and the needs of the employers.
If we are able to turn our institutions of higher learning into factories of talent that is readily marketable locally and to other countries, human capital development would become a key economic driver in our country. The Government needs to partner with all stakeholders and come up with "out of the box”, holistic policy interventions that make use of best practices in order to promote practical skills and make education more effective in the short and long term. This also calls for accrediting and streamlining the requirements of new and existing education should look beyond profits and priorities equipping of students with knowledge, skills and competencies that enhance their employability both locally and internationally. While Kenya boasts of high literacy levels, it should now prioritise the development and implementation of a long-term growth strategy that focuses on quality, not quantity.


  1. What has created a huge demand for education according to the passage? (2 marks)
  2. What do the emerging economics rely on, and why? (3marks)
  3. Indeed, emerging economies are no longer relying on cheap labour. (Add a question tag) (1 mark)
  4. What advise is given to those investing in education (3 marks)
  5. Why is there an emphasis on standardization in education? (2 marks)
  6. In a paragraph of not more than 40 words, summarize the reason why the Government and other sectors should partner in education. (5 marks)
  7. Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions as used in the passage (4 marks)
    1. Employable skills
    2. Cognisant
    3. Reciprocated
    4. Out of the box

Blossoms of the Savannah (25 marks)
"Oh, my! I didn't know that you hold such strong views on the Nasila culture," Joseph Parmuat said chuckling. "In any case, you cannot say our culture has been static. It has already shed off many negative aspects some of which were obnoxious, such as the tradition of throwing the dead and the dying to the hyenas, or the inhuman tradition of abandoning the very old and terminally ill people in deserted homestead to be disembowelled by wild animals. That was ghastly, wasn't
"Yes, those traditions were certainly ghastly," Resian said vehemently. "They were as obnoxious as F.G.M. is obnoxious today. If I had power, I would constitute a committee that would go through all the known culture with a fine tooth comb and consign all the bad and negative ones to the dustbin of history."
"If one did that," said Joseph Parmuat knotting his brows to show the seriousness in which he considered the matter," that person would be as tyrannical and despotic as the old Olarinkoi was"
"Okay, okay! Let us agree that Nasila culture will soon shed itself of F.G.M," Resian said uncompromisingly,
"There are no two ways about it. But, by the way, why is that there is always a scramble for giris to marry in Nasila, to the extent that men are forced to book unborn baby girls, and then they still have to wait for thirteen to fourteen years for them to mature?"
"It is simply because demand outstrips supply," Joseph Parmuat said roaring with laugher. "You see, when one man marries seven women, he deprives another six potential wives. It is that simple. Soon you will see Nasila men coming to your father's home to book the two of you for marriage!"
"Not us!" Taiyo and Resian said simultaneously." We shall never allow it!" Taiyo added jokingly, "But why go fishing in shallow waters while the blue sea is teeming with fish? Advise Nasila men to go to Nakuru and other towns where girls cost a shilling for a dozen of them. There is an inordinate demand for men there"
Joseph Parmuat glanced at her enquiringly. He knew Taiyo had been trying to put a message across to him all the time during that evening, but he deliberately declined to take the cue. Any time she tried to look directly into his eyes, he slyly averted his and either turned and looked at Resian or looked across the distant plains and to the hill beyond.
His elusiveness did not however deter Taiyo. She had fallen in love with him and she knew without doubt that he too had. The only thing that stood between them was the archaic Nasila culture. And she did not give a hoot about it. She therefore did not feel guilty whatsoever in pursuing the desire of her heart. The apparent chasm that separated them did not matter to her. Move over, she told herself decidedly, if she visited him in his house and convinced him that they belonged to one another, they could always leave Nasila for another destination and life would continue without the bothersome Nasila culture.

  1. Place the above excerpt in its immediate context (4 marks)
  2. Highlight two themes brought out in the excerpt. (4 marks)
  3. Describe the following characters as portrayed in the excerpt.
    1. Resian (4 marks)
    2. Taiyo (4 marks)
  4. State and illustrate any (two) stylistic devices used in the excerpt. (4 marks)
  5. Rewrite the following sentence in reported speech.
    "It is simply because demand outstrips supply," Joseph Permuat said roaring with laugher. (1 mark)
  6. "Oh my! I didn't know that you hold such strong views on the Nasila culture," Joseph Parmuat said chuckling.
    Describe two other instances from elsewhere in the novel where Resian expresses such strong views about the Nasila culture. (4 marks)
  7. Explain the meaning of the following words and expression as used in the excerpt (4 marks)
    1. Disembowelled.
    2. Chasm
    3. .... dustbin of history
    4. ..... blue sea is teeming with fish.

3. Read the poem below and answer the questions that follow. ( 20 mks)
I live, I die, I burn myself and drown
I am extremely hot in suffering cold;
My life is soft and hardness uncontrolled.
When I am happy, then I ache and frown,
Suddenly I am laughing while I cry
And in my pleasure I endure deep grief.
My Joy remains and slips out like a thief.
Suddenly I am blooming and turn dry.
So love inconstantly leads me in vain
And when I think my sorrow has no end
Unthinkingly I find I have no pain.
But when it seems that joy is in my reign
And an ecstatic hour is mine to spend,
He comes and I, in ancient grief, descend'

(Louise Labe - Translated by Willis Barnstone)


  1. Who is the persona in this poem? (2 marks)
  2. What is the subject matter of this poem? (3 marks)
  3. Identify and explain three figures of speech used in this poem. (6 marks)
  4. Explain the meaning of the following lines (4 marks)
    1. My life is soft and hardness uncontrolled 
    2. And when I think my sorrow has no end, Unthinkingly I find I have no pain.
  5. To what or whom does the pronoun "He refer to in line 14? Explain the persona's attitude towards it or him. (3 marks)
  6. Describe the mood of this poem. (2 marks)


  1. Fill in the blank spaces with the correct form of the word in brackets. (3 marks)
    1. King Zhou's mannar was informal without a trace of........................(pomp)
    2. Some compound nouns are usually........................(hyphen)
    3. Sea gas is........................(oduor)
  2. Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given. Do not change the meaning. (4 marks)
    1. Malebo's handwriting is better than anyone else in this class. (Rewrite using a superlative).
    2. She is so shocked that she cannot talk. (Rewrite using too instead of so)
    3. We don't know what he said (Rewrite ending known)
    4. Korean women are very short; very few of them are above five feet tall. (Rewrite as one sentence using the word 'hardly')
  3. For each of the following sentences underline the subordinate clauses. (2 marks)
    1. Joe Biden, The President-elect cannot be sworn in until the petition at the Supreme Court is finalized.
    2. If you have not finished, we can help you.
  4. Explain the difference in meaning between the following sentences. (2 marks)
    1. Has the dog eaten Trump?
    2. Has the dog eaten, Trump?
  5. I really doubt it he commented because so far nothing good has come out of this fellow.
    1. Punctuate the statement correctly. (1 mark)
    2. Change it into reported speech. (1 mark)
  6. Replace the underlined word with an appropriate phrasal verb. (1 mark)
    1. The crowd could not be restrained by the police at the scene of the murder.
  7. Insert the most appropriate preposition in the blank space. (1 mark)
    1. Gladwell's performance is amazing ........................any standards.
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