Mock exam paper A - P1 Higher Level


English – Higher Level – Paper I

Total Marks: 200

2 hours, 50 minutes

This paper is divided into two sections: Section I, COMPREHENDING and Section II, COMPOSING.

The paper contains three texts on the theme of THE MODERN WORLD.

Candidates should familiarise themselves with each of the texts before beginning their answers.

  • Both sections of this paper (COMPREHENDING and COMPOSING) must be attempted.
  • Each section carries 100 marks


  • Two questions, A and B, follow each text.
  • Candidates must answer a Question A on one text and a Question B on a different text. Candidates must answer only one Question A and only one question B.

N.B. Candidates may NOT answer a Question A and a Question B on the same text.


• Candidates must write on one of the compositions 1-7.




A World without Aircraft

In this essay, Alain de Botton, a philosopher, writer and recent writer-in-residence at Heathrow airport in London, imagines a world without aircraft. This piece was written after the Icelandic ash-cloud situation.

In a future world without aeroplanes, children would gather at the feet of old men, and hear extraordinary tales of a mythic time when vast and complicated machines the size of several houses used to take to the skies and fly high over the Himalayas and the Tasman Sea.

The wise elders would explain that inside the aircraft, passengers, who had only paid the price of a few books for the privilege, would impatiently and ungratefully shut their window blinds to the views, would sit in silence next to strangers while watching films about love and friendship - and would complain that the food in miniature plastic beakers before them was not quite as tasty as the sort they could prepare in their own kitchens.

The elders would add that the skies, now undisturbed except by the meandering progress of bees and sparrows, had once thundere...

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