General Paper Comprehension Sample Questions & Answers (Paper 2)
GP Comprehension Question Paper –
(Note that 15 marks out of 50 will be awarded for your language, namely, for your use of English throughout this paper. When a question asks for an answer IN YOUR OWN WORDS AS FAR AS POSSIBLE (IYOWAFAP), you must use your own words to express it, to max out this remaining 15 marks.)
1 (From paragraph 1) Briefly explain why the writer says that many women find the term feminism to be “unflattering” and “antiquated” description. Use your own words as far as possible. 
passé / old-fashioned / obsolete / no longer appropriate / relevant / outmoded /out-of-date… it is seen as something of the past which is unexciting and unimportant in today’s society.
unattractive / unbecoming / not shown in the best light / not shown to advantage… it is linked with loud / shrill/ abrasive and aggressive / domineering women.
From GP Passage Text
antiquated – it is associated with yesteryear… not with a vibrant movement of contemporary significance.
unflattering – it is associated with strident bra-burning alpha-females
2. (From paragraph 2) According to the writer why is the ‘continued association of feminism with bra-burning’ problematic? (line 5). UYOWAFAP. [3 marks]
Feminism has led to / brought into existence many unsavoury / unpleasant / antagonistic undertones / associations.
it portrays females as enraged / outraged and belligerent / aggressive / combative / contentious, spiteful / vindictive people
it has alienated females, and discouraged / put off males who might have supported them / gone along with them / identified with them.
Moreover, it is mostly accountable for the present / current hostile reaction against /antagonism towards feminism.
It has created a lot of negative connotations,
painting feminists as angry, militant bitches
This has not only estranged women
but also deterred many men who might otherwise have been sympathetic to the cause, from being associated with feminists
It is also largely responsible for the feminist backlash we see today
3. (From paragraph 4) Explain why the writer refers to New York and Nairobi. (line 29) 
New York represents the modern advanced world, Nairobi represents the developing/undeveloped world. The writer wants to show that whether it is in the developed or undeveloped / developing world, the women are still being discriminated against.
4. (From paragraph 5) Why does the writer put quotation marks around ‘right” (line 37) 
The writer uses inverted commas to show that, ironically, far from being a privilege / luxury, it is a restriction / handicap / imposition on women.
5. (From paragraph 5) “the revolutionaries who fought bravely… ” (line 39). Select 3 other words or short phrases from lines 40-43 which extend the above image. Briefly explain your choice in each case, Use YOWAFAP. 
In war, “desertion” means the abandonment / forsaking of one’s leaders / country / comrades.
All women are on the same side of the battle / are partners working for / towards the same cause.
Men are enlisted / drafted during a military operation / warfare to fight go to battle This means to go into / engage in battle / conflict.
GP Tutor’s note: Students should recognise that the writer is extending the metaphor of war in these few lines.
(I mark to be given for correct identification of word/phrase and appropriate explanation of any 3 of the above
tantamount to desertion
allies in the same struggle
recruit men in their campaign
entering the fray
6 (From paragraph 2) According to the writer, what differences between men and women does feminism attempt to disregard? UYOWAFAP. 
The differences in their method of thinking / intellectual / mental strengths / aptitudes, and the way they relate to / communicate with people / others.
The woman’s inborn / innate propensity for / inclination towards caring and protecting which is absent in men.
Moreover, females are more gentle / submissive / compliant / less aggressive.
…the discrepancies in the respective
…and interpersonal skills
..the female’s natural tendency to nurture that males just do not have
…women are more placid.
7. (From paragraph 6) Explain the metaphor in Paragraph 6 and comment on its effectiveness. UYOWAFAP. 
Feminism is described as a lethal weapon that is about to strike civilisation; civilisation is compared to a person whose heart is about to be stabbed.
The metaphor of the dagger is a strong and vivid / dramatic / powerful one showing that civilisation is in imminent danger / under extreme threat / on the verge of destruction / death. The use of personification is effective as the “heart’ is a vital organ pumping life-giving blood and the image of it being pierced by a lethal weapon is dramatic / vivid.
The metaphor is effective because it is consistent with the paragraph’s topic sentence “Feminism poses a lethal threat to civilisation” (line 36)
OR it is effective because it expresses the writer’s strong belief that feminism will kill a civilisation (any 1 comment that refers to the writer’s attitude)
Note by tuition teacher of GP: accept any plausible appropriate comment on its effectiveness
“Feminism is a dagger poised over the heart of civilisation.. the blow will be fatal”
H1 JC GP Passages – Article Sources for
JC H1 GP Tuition (Syllabus Code: 8807)
Source of GP Passages:
Is feminism still relevant By Ong Soh Chin, The Straits Times 2005
Why feminism must be fought by Robert M. Gannon, The Chauvinist
Q10. Vocabulary Question (5 marks)
|Word||1 Mark||1/2 Mark|
|looking disapprovingly upon; looking displeased at, not taking kindly to|
No mark: not to liking
|Tantamount (A.40):||equal to the same as, equivalent to|
No mark: same
|Debunking (B.1):||showing that something is false or not important, exposing something as a sham/as not genuine|
No mark: trying to proofing
|Pawns (B.3):||persons used/manipulated/exploited to further the purposes of another, puppets|
No mark: followers
|Accomplices (B.4):||partners in wrongdoing, accessories to a crime, abettors|
No mark: partners
Q8. Summary Question (SQ) (8 marks)
Summarise the writer’s objections to feminism in no more than 150 words, excluding the opening words provided. Use material from paragraphs 3 to 6 only. Use your own words as far as possible.
The writer objects to feminism because…
|Lifted from the GP Text||Re-Expressions|
Feminism is a brutal religion
It places women into vulnerable positions that they are not equipped to handle and allows them to be abused
women… are subjected to lewd comments from their male colleagues
Feminists have no concern whatsoever for these women
it is an unkind / merciless /cruel ideology / belief
It puts them into defenseless situations that they are unable to cope with
and permits them to be maltreated / treated cruelly.
Females are sexually harassed verbally in the workplace but feminists are disinterested in them indifferent to them.
Their only concern is for extending their dominion by spreading their warped ideology
Feminism is antagonistic to children
(because) For the feminist, her career is paramount and children are an impediment
The feminist is happiest when she can eliminate the problem of children early on, by terminating an accidental pregnancy
…(to stop them from) confining her to a homemaker role.
they .. abandon them in day-care centres
They are solely / wholly / merely interested in continuing increasing their influence / power through their twisted beliefs.
Feminism is hostile to children / is anti-children. A woman’s profession is seen as of principal / vital importance and children are an obstruction / obstacle / barrier / hindrance.
A feminist prefers to have an abortion i order to pursue her career
and to avoid having to be a housewife.
Feminists forsake / desert / irresponsibly leave / dump / dispose of children in nurseries.
Feminism is sexist
a declaration of war on the institution of marriage
Men have no role in the feminist agenda
The role of husband is seen only as a servile position
it is a superfluous role that should be eliminated completely
Feminism is against males / anti-male.
It is against matrimony / it goes against /does not believe in the sanctity / concept of matrimony.
Males do not play a part in the ultimate aims / objectives of feminists.
The male spouse is regarded as having subservient / subordinate status
and is a position rendered redundant and to be eradicated / obliterated / got rid of entirely.
Feminism abhors the institution of the family
Feminism poses a threat to civilisation.. Feminism is a dagger poised over the heart of civilisation
Feminism detests the family which is the foundation / basis of communities / society.
Feminism is trying to destroy / a danger / threat to society.
Remind by our tutor of JC General Paper: keep to the word count!
Q11 Application Question
The two writers have very different and ideas about feminism.
With whom are you most in sympathy? Explain the reasons for your choice. Discuss the relevance of the specific issues raised in both articles to Singapore society. Refer closely to the specific arguments in both passages as well as your own knowledge and opinions. (8)
|Aspects||Relevance & EV to Singapore Society|
|Political: “Women are still under-represented in the public realm of politics”.|
generally true in most countries, in SG, too. How many female ministers / NMPs do we have?
some countries have females in high positions of governance, eg Condie Rice, but most women are in such positions due to ‘kinship politics’
situation may be changing as women become better educated and more doors are opened. But this does not mean that more cannot be done, feminism is still relevant
Economic: “While women have made much progress in the workplace, there is still a long way to go before real equality is achieved”.
“Globally, female directors of companies are few and far between”.
“Women also have some way to go in terms of income equality.
once again, statistics have proven the writer’s point – in most Industries, women are paid lower than their male peers.
in SG, this occurs in both public and private sectors. Males enter the workforce with the “NS allowance – it can be argued that this is fair as males sacrifice 2 years to serve the nation.
males in the civil service, and some argue, In the private sector, as well, are promoted faster – and not always due to their higher competency “glass ceiling” syndrome.
there is still an unspoken discrimination against women as profit-driven companies are not keen on hiring and grooming workers who may leave stop work to start a family.
Social: “Of 150 million children who do not attend school, over 90 million are girls…”, two-thirds of the illiterate population are female.
“One-third of all women have been violently abused.” Women make up almost half of all HIV sufferers.
Majority of the people living in absolute poverty are females
In today’s world, in certain places, women still cannot vote or drive a car; and they are subject to honour killings and circumcision rituals.
these are less relevant to SG society.
both sexes get equal opportunities in education; meritocracy is practiced.
there are more male HIV sufferers in SG – that said, it is important to note that women are very vulnerable to the disease as it is in most instances transmitted to them by their spouses.
abuse cases are seldom reported as there is still a stigma attached to it and some women may not be aware of the avenues of help they have.
women in SG are not subjected to the extremities of traditional bias – women have the right to vote, drive a car, and are not subject to honour killings, etc
however, there is still some traditional bias against women, due to the fact that SG is an Asian / Confucian / patriarchal society women are still expected, to a certain extent, to settle down and procreate (note the government’s efforts), and to sacrifice careers for their family
feminism is not about women, nor is it for women – it is about power and politics feminists do not care about women, but are more interested in power
perhaps, there is certain truth to this. However, when feminists fight for more power in politics, they can change legislature to benefit women or improve the current situation
recent changes in SG (eg increased maternity leave) a result of women in politics and power giving a voice to the rest of the female population – they do care about other women!
feminism is based upon the lie that there are no inherent) differences between males and females
writer does not provide evidence that feminism truly does not believe in inherent differences between males and females could be his personal opinion?
feminism puts women in vulnerable positions and allows them to be abused
perhaps, we should look at the abusers
|feminism is sexist|
feminists seek equal rights, not superiority over males
|feminism is antagonistic to children/ feminism is not compatible with civilization|
feminists may be pro-choice but that certainly does not make them murderers or people who detest children
Extra point: * Women who fight for equal rights and for the welfare of other women are not always feminists, neither do they always see themselves as such. “Feminism” is but a label, and a stereotype.
Comments from GP tutoring teacher :
1. If examples from own country is not given, only a maximum of 5 marks. Remember to state your country and include reference to her in your application responses.
2. Style / language / tone:
GP Students should comment on and compare /contrast the style and language used by both writers.
As agreed with my fellow General Paper tutor, the writer in passage A is more objective and impartial, using facts and statistics to substantiate her argument. Ganon, in contrast, is obviously biased / a chauvinist / bigoted. He attempts to persuade with rhetoric and emotion. He uses emotive / offensive language and language with negative connotations in an exaggerated manner, such as “warped ideology”; “extending their dominion”; “brutal religion”; “if they fail to kill the children, they abandon them”, “role of husband is seen only as a servile position”. Ganon adopts a strident (almost ranting) tone, even his metaphors and analogies seek to demonise feminists – “Feminism is a dagger”. He obviously has a personal agenda.
3. Logic: Any candidate of General Paper who has done enough practices should nail this easily. He/She may also comment on the logic used / logical fallacies committed by either or both authors.
a. Gannon uses false analogies: feminists use women “very much as Hitler used the German people to gain his personal goals”.
b. His logic is flawed / non sequitur (in para 2) in his argument about the significant differences between genders. However this does not mean that they should be treated differently / denied of rights.
c. He makes sweeping generalizations and assumptions, and plays on stereotypes – ‘the military is clearly a hazardous place.” “the feminist is happiest when she can eliminate the problem of children early on”.
4. Credibility / source: Another point of interest could be the source of the articles. Passage A comes from The Straits Times (credible, public and national newspaper), which can be assumed to report accurately and impartially. Passage B comes from “The Chauvinist”, which should immediately set alarm bells ringing – obviously the viewpoint would be slanted.