2011 EXAM FORMAT

Marks allocation for the literature component:

Poem 5 marks
Novel 15 marks
___________
Total 20 marks

Note that candidates will only be tested on NOVEL and POEMS.

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Complete Guide: QWERTYUIOP

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Here's an extract:

Write about one of the characters that you like in the short story,

QWERTYUIOP.

Miss Broome

Miss Broome was old Mr Bannister’s secretary for forty-three years. She typed letter by letter and she hated the young girls who touch-type without having to look at the keyboard. According to Harry Darke, the young girls gave Miss Broome “the push”. When her boss retired her after forty three years, she had no place to go, for the office was her home and the job was “all she lived for” (p25). Thus whenever a new girl came to work, her ghost which haunted the typewriter would scare the girl until she was too frightened to continue. Sure, Miss Broome was angry and vicious at first...

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Here is an example from the Guide:

CHAPTER 3

In this chapter we are introduced to Puan Kamsiah and her daughter, Siti. We are also introduced to Datuk Zulkifli and Datin Sharifah, who are Azreen’s foster parents; they are sponsoring Azreen’s studies in London. We also introduced to Puan Normala and Noor, her daughter. Noor and Siti are classmates.

Siti conveys to her mother what Noor has been telling her classmates that Madhuri has been murdered. Puan Kamsiah feels that the ‘wicked woman’(p12) Puan Normala is spreading ‘malicious lies’ (p12) about Madhuri and ‘the poor girl isn’t even properly laid to ground yet!’ (p12) When Siti quotes her mother’s description of Normala as ‘a slimy cobra with a three-forked tongue’ (p12), it gives us a hint of the character of Normala: She is, in fact, a busybody and the village gossip.




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Complete Guide to Poems

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Sample Question and Answer

What does it mean when the poet says but on their brows there was not a sign of despair?

It means that despite the difficult situation they were in, they did not show any sign of hopelessness.


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Video-Cut Out the Fat

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Are You Still Playing Your Flute? - by Zurinah Hassan

Are you still playing your flute?
When there is hardly time for our love
I am feeling guilty
To be longing for your song
The melody concealed in the slim hollow of the bamboo
Uncovered by the breath of an artist
Composed by his fingers
Blown by the wind
To the depth of my heart

Are you still playing your flute?
In the village so quiet and deserted
Amidst the sick rice fields
While here it has become a luxury
To spend time watching the rain
Gazing at the evening rays
Collecting dew drops
Or enjoying the fragrance of flowers





Are you still playing your flute?
The more it disturbs my conscience
to be thinking of you
in the hazard of you
my younger brothers unemployed and desperate
my people disunited by politics
my friends slaughtered mercilessly
this world is too old and bleeding
NOTE
In the Ministry of Education's A Collection of Poems and Short Stories(2009), the words field (stanza 1) and friend are given in the singular form; the plural form should be used.
Here are some questions for you to practice. Try answering them; I'll insert the answers later. 
1.      What is the musical instrument made of ?
A.               A. flute
B.               B. bamboo
C.               C.    melody

            You can find the answer in line 5 of the first stanza: The melody concealed in the slim hollow of the
            bamboo. 
   
             2. Who are the two personae?
A.              A, A man and his flute.
B.              B. A man and a woman.
C.              C.  A woman and her flute.     

            The main persona is a woman who is talking to her beloved, the flutist. We know the flutist is a man   
            because in line 7 of the first stanza the woman refers to his fingers. Answer is B.                          

           3. What is the atmosphere in the village as described in the second stanza?
 
A.           A. peaceful
B.            B.     joyful
C.           C. gloomy 

      If you choose A, you are partly right. A more accurate answer is C. In the second stanza, the female persona tells her lover, the flutist, the village is quiet and deserted and the rice fields are sick. It may be quiet, but the place is deserted. So, C is the better answer.


4. Describe in your own words what the poet means by sick rice fields.

      We can only guess from the context of the poem that the place is deserted and there is the likelihood that young people have abandoned the village, and there aren't enough people to work the rice fields. mention is also made in the last stanza about my younger brothers unemployed and desperate. Are these the same young people who deserted the village? You could write your answer:


      The sick rice fields probably refers to abandoned rice fields because the young have left the village to go to the city.

5. What is the luxury mentioned in line 4 of the second stanza?







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