Saturday, September 26, 2009

TIMES : SPM2009 Spot Questions - English (PAPER 1)

English (Paper 1)

1. (Time Suggested : 45 minutes. Marks : 35)

You are the president of the Student Council of your school. You and your members conducted a survey on the conditions and services of the school canteen. Using the notes below, write a letter of complaint to your school principal about the school canteen.

• Food – is not tasty
- is not fresh.
- is not covered.
• Food price – unfair pricing.
- price list is not displayed.
• Floor – dirty
- slippery
• Strays – cats in eating areas.
- cockroaches in cupboards.
• Utensils – styrofoam plates and cups used.
- plastic spoons.

When writing the letter, you should remember to :
• use the correct format.
• use all the points given.
• Write in paragraphs


The President,
Student Council,
SMK Perwira,
42500 Banting,

The Principal,
SMK Perwira,
42500 Banting,
Selangor. 22 January 2009

Dear Sir,
Complaint about the School Canteen
With reference to the above, I, as the President of the Student Council, would like to complain about our school canteen. The Student Council conducted a survey recently, and we are very unhappy with the condition and service provided by the canteen operator.

2. When the students complaint about the food which was not tasty, we visited the canteen. We bought a plate of fried rice but it was not fresh. We then noticed that the food was not covered. There were flies sitting on the food and flying in the shelves.

3. Next, we would like to bring up the prices. A few of us had bought the same food but the canteen operator charged all of us different prices. We wanted to check the actual price but a price list was not displayed. This means that the canteen operator can charge as she pleases as there was no price list for the students tom compare the price.

4. Thirdly, I would like to complain about the canteen floor. The floor was dirty. It looked like had never been swept..The floor was also slippery with with remnants of food strewn all over and stepped on. Thus the reasons for the constant accidents among students during their recess at the canteen.

5. The next point is about the environment. It was not a hygienic environment with stray cats moving among the students’ legs in the eating area, eating the remnants of food strewn under the tables. Students had also talked about seeing cockroaches and flies in the canteen’s cupboards.

6. Finally, the students were unhappy with the utensils used by the canteen operator. The styrofoam cups, plates and the plastic spoons were not only brittle but also not environmental friendly.

7. During our meeting, the Council has a few suggestions for your consideration in this matter. The food must be fresh, kept warm and covered at all times. She should use plates, cups and spoons that can be washed and reused. The price list should be prominently displayed.

The environment should be improved such that students would feel more comfortable having their recesss in the canteen.

We hope you will give your consideration to our suggestions and take appropriate action regarding this matter. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
(Salizah bt. Ahmad)
Student Council.


2. Section B : Continuous Writing
You are advised to spend about one hour on this section. (50 marks)

Write a composition of about 350 words on ONE of the following topics:

a) Describe a disabled person who has had a positive influence on your life.

b) Internet buying will one day take over the conventional method of shopping.
Do you agree ?

c) An invention that has benefited people.

d) Write a story ending with :
“His face red with embarrassment, he turned away and quickly walked
back to his own house.”

e) Advertising


a) It was a calm evening. I looked across the lake, enjoying the sight of the ripples splashing softly across the surface. Seated on the wooden bench, I sighed loudly as I thought of the worries that were sitting so heavily on my shoulders.

“What’s your problems? Do you want to talk about it?”a stranger’s voice which came from my left made me startled. I looked at the man sitting on the other end of the bench. I had not even been aware that he had came and sat there. I looked closely at him. The right half of his face was badly disfigured because of burns. He appeared to be about 60 years old and had a thin oval face and calm, wise eyes. His right hand dangled uselessly at his side. His deformity aside, I could see kindness and understanding in his expression. I hesitated for a moment and then replied bitterly,”My father hates me.”

“Hmm....your father must be scolding you all the time, right?” the stranger said quietly.

”He wants you to get better marks in your exam and stop meeting those boys who are school dropouts,”the stranger said, and I looked at him in shock. “Yeah, he was very angry about my bad grades. I know that I have been a bit naughty, playing truant with those boys in my school. The form teacher called my father and complained to him.My dad was furious. He told me that he was going to deprive me of the motorbike he had given me until i get better grades. He doesn’t love me anymore.” I started crying as I spoke.

He was silent for a while and let me cry. After a few minutes, he started talking.

”Let me tell you a story. I had a son like you, who was rebellious. I tried to advise him but he thought that I did not love him. One day, he brought his friends to play firecrackers in my house.I told him that it was dangerous but he just refused to listen. I went out for a short while.The whole house caught fire and my son was trapped in it. His friends managed to rush out of the house but he was left inside, screaming for help. I rushed into the house and managed to pulled him out of the burning house. I was glad he was safe," the stranger said.

“What about you? What happened?” I asked curiously.

He said, ”A heavy beam fell on me and I was trapped there. The neighbours came and managed to put out the fire with pails of water. When they found me, they thought that I was dead. But I loved my son and didn’t want to die until I had seen him through his education and make sure he had a successful future.”

“You were ready to sacrifice yourself in the terrible fire for your son? You must really love your son,” I said to him in wonder.

“So does every father in this world,”he replied.”They want their children to achieve excellent results and have a bright future. Your father doesn’t know how to advise you anymore. But don’t ever say that he hates you!”

“I think you are right.He has never scolded me before.It was only after I started mixing with those bad hats and getting low grades that he started to scold me. I think that I should thank you for showing me the right path. I’ll go and apologise to him and promise him I’ll be good,” I said.

“Go and make your father happy. And remember, I’ll be here every day around this time. Come and talk to me if you have any problems,” the stranger said.

“I don’t even know your name,” I exclaimed in embarrassment.

“Lokman. Call me Uncle Man, that’s what everyone here calls me,” he answered.

And that was how Uncle Man began to play an important part in my life. He was always there, rain or shine on the bench by the lake. He would listen to my problems and advise me. I faced many trials and tribulations in my life but all those became small challenges after I talked to Uncle Man. Today, I am a successful professional, and I have two men to thank for my success – my father and Uncle Man.

b) With the introduction of the internet, the world has become a smaller place. Buying and selling items through the internet can be done in seconds. At the click of the mouse and in the blink of an eye, billions of dollars are exchanged via banks, from country to country. In the face of such excitement, one wonders whether the conventional method of shopping will continue for long.

I feel that although internet shopping is slowly becoming popular, it cannot take over the conventional method of shopping. Firstly, human beings are complex creatures. It is very difficult to satisfy them. They need to look at products, and feel and try them before they decided to buy. They will go frm one shop to another to compare prices, and ask for opinions before they finally decide on a product to buy. This cannot be done through internet shopping. When the goods are delivered, you have to accept them whether you like them or not.

Internet shopping does not allow for easy refunds and repairs. When you look at a product on the internet, you do not know how efficiently it will function. If you discover it does not work when you received it, you will have to go through a tedious process to return it. If you have bought the product from a shop, it would be easier for you to have it repaired or replaced or to get a refund.

Furthermore, when you go internet shopping, you do not know how reliable your seller is. You do not know where he works, what he looks like, whether he can be trusted or whether such a company really exists. The conventional method of shopping does not give room for such doubts. The seller is there in person to persuade you to buy a product and to stand guarantee for the quality of the product.

Internet shopping also encourage credit card fraud. Since you normally have to pay through credit cards, unscrupulous people can hack into website, get access to your account number and use your credit card. You also run the risk of not getting your product even after paying for it.

The traditional method of shopping allows families to get together for an outing and enjoy a meal later on. It encourages family unity and family harmony. Internet shopping, on the other hand, can be a lonely affair. The shopper has to sit in front of a silent tube and wait for the products to flash on the screen.
In conclusion, I believe that internet shopping will not replace the traditional method of shopping.

c) An invention that has brought positive changes to our lives is the television. First, it helps us in acquiring knowledge. Many programs are of great educational value. They give lessons on geography, history, science, literature and fine arts in a pleasant and entertaining way. Watching these programs keeps us intellectually occupied. They also impart knowledge to us beyond the classroom. We use our senses of sight as well as hearing when we are watching television. That is why television is widely used in teaching in universities, colleges and schools.

Another important point is that it saves money and time. If we had to go to the cinema each day, it would cost us a lot of money. Time is also wasted in getting ready and traveling to the cinema. If we have a television set at home, we can view programs in comfort. We can also choose the programs that we like. Very often, we get live telecasts of important events. Thus, we can update our knowledge and information on world affairs.

Watching television is a healthy form of entertainment for all. To our tired parents, it offers easy relaxation. They can forget their worries when they watch a good musical program, drama or a comedy. After a few hours of serious study, nothing is more relaxing to the student than watching a television program. He would then be less tired and can study much better after that.

Finally, the television is a social asset. Members of a family sit together to watch a program. This helps to bring them together. When members of the family sit together, exchange views and comments, they are not only learning but also improving family ties. Watching television is less harmful than loitering in the streets or associating with bad company. The advantages of watching television definitely outweigh the disadvantages.

d) Zainal looked up from his work. His head was throbbing and his eyes were beginning to water. Surprised to hear the cry of a baby, he stood up and walked to his window.

He could see Siva, his neighbour’s baby in a pram under a tree just outside his house. He thought it was funny the baby being left alone. Just as he was turning away from the window, Zainal saw a strange looking woman grabbing the handle of the pram and slowly pushing the pram away.

Zainal’s eyes widened in amazement. He had never seen the woman before. She was stockily built and her face was heavily done up. Refusing to take any chances, Zainal called out to the woman from his window. “Stop....stop.....What do you think you’re doing?” But she paid no attention and continued to push the pram.

Zainal was sure she was a kidnapper. He had to save the baby from the clutches of the evil woman.

Zainal ran downstairs and dashed out of his front door. He ran after the woman waving his hands wildly, signaling her to stop.

The woman turned around and looked at Zainal in fear. She began to push the pram faster. Zainal too increased his speed determinedly. He soon caught up with the ‘kidnapper’ and grabbed her arm to make her stop.

The angry and frightened woman tried to push Zainal away and hit him several times with an umbrella.

Zainal caught hold of the umbrella and shouted at the woman, “Stop…stop…it…, you kidnapper!”

The lady stopped hitting Zainal and asked, “Who you are calling a kidnapper?”

“You….of course….Why have you taken this baby from his home?” accused Zainal.

“But this is my baby…., she is mine. I have not kidnapped anyone’s baby,” she insisted.

The word ‘liar’ was at the tip of Zainal’s tongue when the baby began to cry loudly. Zainal looked into the pram. Dumbfounded, Zainal stared at the fair roundface baby with two slits for her eyes. She certainly wasn’t Siva. She was a picture of the woman standing in front. There is no mistaking whose baby she was.

Zainal then realized how hasty and silly he had acted. He apologized to the woman and tried to explain about the confusion, but the woman glared at him angrily. His face red with embarrassment, he turned away and quickly walked back to his own house.

e) Advertising is a lucrative business. It is public promotion and deals with the publicizing of a new product, service or idea. The main purpose of advertising is to persuade consumers to purchase a product or service, while providing information about it at the same time. Another purpose is of course, to promote the new product or service in order to boost sales. In short, advertising creates demand for a product.

Advertising is mainly carried out through print and electronic media. Print media range from brochures and posters to billboards, magazines and newspapers. Electronic advertising, on the other hand, includes radio, television and the internet. It often employs the use of catchy jingles and tunes to persuade , attract and tempt the consumers.

Advertising preys on our vanity. We all desire to be admired and accepted, whether socially, physically, intellectually or professionally. We desire prestige and status, and think we can achieve it simply by using product carrying a renowned brand like Calvin Klein or Versage. Advertisements have the power to influence our thoughts and emotions, and lure us into buying a product or service we may have no need for. They are successful because we, consumers, are gullible and vulnerable to the sales gimmicks and strategies used by marketers. We succumbed easily to irresistable offers like ‘Buy one, get one free’ and ‘Free gifts’. Consequently, we end up purchasing a product or service.

Advertisements work because they usually present misleading and untruthly information to create a sense of desire for the product in a consumer. Ultimately, we have the right to choose what we do or do not want. As businesses become increasingly competitive, advertisements will become more aggressive by the day. We, therefore, need to be rational and exercise our rights as consumers and not let marketers take control of our lives through advertising.

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