1 TRUE. Paragraph 2, sentence 2 mentions a poet who made haiku popular as ‘standalone’ poetry. In the following sentences of the same paragraph it is also said that haiku would previously be an introductory part to renga, a different type of poem.
2 NOT GIVEN. Matsuo Basho is said to have made haiku popular, but there is no direct evidence whether he did or didn’t create this type of poem. Remember that to answer ‘False’ there has to be information proving the opposite of what is stated in the task.
3 TRUE. Paragraph 3, the second sentence. In the task, the word ‘evocative’ is used, which means able to create strong emotions. This is paraphrased as ‘powerful’ in the text.
4 NOT GIVEN. This is a trap that is meant to trick you into using your own knowledge rather than using the information given in the text. There is no mention of rhyming similarity or difference between the two styles of poems. Remember that you should only be using the information given in the task, not your own.
5 TRUE. The word ‘traditional’ refers to the original structure of 17 syllables. First sentence of paragraph 4 clearly states that the number is something one ‘has to adhere to’, which means that this is the rule one has to follow. At the end of paragraph 4 the authors mention western haiku and how the limitation is not so strictly observed in those poems.
6 TRUE. Paragraph 3 describes the various meanings of seasons in Japanese poetry and their respective importance. It is important to understand the word ‘pivotal’ to get the answer right.
7 sensory. Paragraph 4, sentence 2. The emphasis on sensory detail is mentioned, with some examples to illustrate that in the sentence that follows.
8 emotional. Sentence 4 of the same paragraph names the emotional part and the inner monologue. Note that ‘inner monologue’ cannot be used here as there is only one word that should go into the gap.
9 complexity. Paragraph 5 mentions Kandinsky and how he gets inspired by haiku to change the approach to art and what makes it so great. Note that names are great keywords to use because they are capitalized in the text and can be easily found because of that.
10 accessible. In the same paragraph it is mentioned how his admiration drove him to make art more approachable for all people.
11 B. The word ‘action’ in the text is synonymised as ‘deeds’ in the answer. Answer ‘A’ is a trap that expects you to see the word ‘courage’ and use it as the guiding part for the answer. Answer ‘C’ is wrong, as they were taught how to compose the poems, but nobody forced them to do so.
12 C. Last sentence of the paragraph about the samurai: “… all of these perfectly reflecting the idea of haiku”. Answer ‘A’ is wrong as there is no mention of haiku seeing hardship as something good. Answer ‘B’ shouldn’t be chosen; while the theme of nature is big in haiku, it does not focus on death. It can only be said about the particular topics favoured by the samurai in their vision of haiku.
13 A. First sentence of the last paragraph says that haiku is what today’s busy world needs. The difficulty of composition is not mentioned; the word ‘frugal’ in the last paragraph means ‘careful, sparing’ rather than ‘easy’. The environmental aspect of the theme is not given enough focus to warrant choosing it over Answer ‘A’.
14 C. No information is given about how cheap or easy to find copper was. However, the word ‘malleable’ means that it was easy to give the object the required shape because of how soft it was.
15 A. Last two sentences of Paragraph 2 mention that copper couldn’t be used militarily as it was too soft and would bend easily. Answer ‘B’ is wrong, as the reason why copper was mostly used for peaceful needs was because it was useless for military applications, not the other way around. Answer ‘C’ is not mentioned; there is nothing about copper being too ‘bulky’ or heavy.
16 A. Paragraph 3, sentence 1. ‘Rust’ from the questions is synonymised as ‘corrosion’ at the very end of the first sentence. Resistance to that is what makes bronze a superior material. Answer ‘B’ is wrong because having tin in it is not an advantage by itself. If anything, it is a disadvantage because the process of making bronze is more complex because of that. Answer ‘C’ shouldn’t be used, as copper can be used in architecture with equal success.
17 impurities. Paragraph 4 focuses on the process and will be referred to to explain the flowchart questions. ‘Ore’ is a good keyword to look for here, as it is almost impossible to synonymise. Impurities are undesirable elements in something, such as material.
18 zinc. Zinc is the other metal other than iron that goes into the mixture. Do not be confused by the usage of ‘and’ in the flowchart; it is used to mean ‘one or the other’, not ‘both of’.
19 alloys. Alloy is a combination of various materials. ‘Qualities’ is paraphrased as ‘properties’.
20 mould. A mould is an empty space made in the shape of an item that you want to get as a result of filling this space.
21 cast. You have to go a little bit back in this paragraph to find ‘cast bronze object’—a synonymised ‘bronze item’ from the flowchart.
22 NOT GIVEN. Paragraph 5, sentence 1 states that the discovery of iron smelting occurred in several different locations across the globe. While the Roman Empire is mentioned later, the text neither confirms not disproves that it was the Romans who discovered iron smelting first. Therefore, neither ‘True’ nor ‘False’ can be chosen here.
23 FALSE. Paragraph 6, sentence 1 states that the blast furnace was developed in ancient China in 3rd century BC. This development made it possible to create the steam engine, which was one of the inventions that made the Industrial Revolutions possible. This means that the blast furnace had been discovered long before the Industrial Revolution happened, so it couldn’t possibly be one of its breakthroughs.
24 FALSE. Paragraph 7, sentences 1 and 2 clearly describe the process of creating steel before the Bessemer converter was invented. While more difficult and time-consuming, the process nevertheless existed previously.
25 TRUE. Paragraph 7, sentence 3 confirms that using the Bessemer process made the quality ‘more uniform’ – this means similar in terms of quality, implying that the quality was consistently higher when using this technology.
26 TRUE. Last paragraph, sentence 2 states that the extensive usage of machines and robots made previously expensive processes ‘financially viable’. This means that they were able to increase production efficiency by making it less costly.
27 TRUE. At the end of the last paragraph we see that metallurgy is expected to stay ‘an important discipline’.
28 IV – Rich in many things. With this type of task there is never a particular piece of paragraph that leads to choosing the right answer. Instead, you consider the general idea and mood of the paragraph. In this case, the paragraph mostly focuses on the different things that are great about Singapore – cultural diversity, architectural beauty and economic successes. Heading ‘Simply the best’ shouldn’t be chosen because it is not favourably compared to others; instead, Macau and Monaco are mentioned as both being more densely populated.
29 V – Trading favours. To get the heading right, we have to understand what ‘trading favours’ might mean. Generally, it means ‘to cooperate, to work together’. This refers to the approach Sir Stamford Raffles chose to deal with the piracy situation. Instead of fighting them, he decided to ‘offer clemency’ – to be merciful and forgive their crimes. Heading ‘Business is everything’ wouldn’t work as it only partially covers the topic of this paragraph. ‘Successful policies’ is not optimal, as only one notable policy is mentioned.
30 I – A bumpy road. The period of struggle and hardship is given focus in this paragraph. ‘Bumpy road’ has a figurative meaning of challenge and difficulty. Notably, no other paragraph has a negative meaning in the list, either figurative or literal.
31 VII – Successful policies. Tax incentives as well as very stringent laws are what make Singapore so attractive to businesses and investors. These are the policies that can be credited with having made the city-state flourish.
32 VI – Worth looking up to. ‘To look up to something’ means to see something as a great example or a role model, to try and follow it to replicate the success. The second part of the paragraph focuses on that, talking about hard-working people and difficult times that eventually lead to prosperity.
33 FALSE. ‘Homogeneous’ means even, uniform, made of one rather than many. The opposite is true, which is clearly stated in the very first sentence of the text – “… vibrant hues of multiculturalism”. The idea of many peoples inhabiting the city is mentioned several times throughout the text.
34 TRUE. First sentence of paragraph 2 states that the well-documented period of the country’s history began when colonisation by the British took place.
35 FALSE. The middle of paragraph 2 has information about the real interests of the British Empire. They wanted to have control over the region due to its favourable strategic location for both warfare and trade reasons.
36 NOT GIVEN. While Raffles is given credit for issuing licences, they were merely to ensure that no piracy took place. No mention of trading requiring a licence is made. However, there is no information disproving this, so ‘False’ shouldn’t be used.
37 World War 2. ‘Grave losses’ implies the massive scale of the harm done to the country. This can’t be said about pirates or illegal trade, so both of these options would be incorrect.
38 location. The phrase ‘… that connected trade routes’ hints at the correct word. ‘Climate’ shouldn’t be used here, as it would be a strange reason for businesses to choose a location. ‘Favourable conditions’ would be too vague without any explanation given.
39 breaking the law. ‘Littering’ can’t be used as the regulations were to ensure ‘peace and order’ and littering can’t be a serious peace disturbance offence.
40 economy. The only other words that could fit are ‘practices’ (but they can’t be thriving) and ‘conditions’ (same reason).
The vocabulary below is meant to help you with the more difficult words. If the word isn’t on the list then you are either supposed to know it or it is too specific to be worth learning and you don’t have to know it to answer the question. Symbols in brackets mean part of speech (see bottom of the list). Sentences in italics give examples of usage for some more complex words and phrases.
And remember — you are not given a vocabulary list (or a dictionary) at your real exam.
Means (n) – way or approach of achieving something. Note that it looks like a plural form, but it is actually single and is used with an indefinite article here. They say that money is only a means to an end.
Impactful (adj) – important and influential. Meeting his favourite actor was a very impactful experience for James and inspired him to take up acting himself.
Concise (adj) – short and brief. Used in a positive way to talk about a speech or a text. I never had the gift of expressing my ideas in a clear, concise manner.
Standalone (adj) – independent. A musical genre that used to be a part of something bigger but later became standalone.
Preface (n) – an introduction, a short piece that comes before the main part of a book, poem or other texts. I usually skip the preface and go straight to the main story.
Staple (n) – (here) an essential part of something. Buckwheat is a staple of any nutritious diet.
Adhere to (v) – to follow a rule or guidance. Failure to adhere to traffic laws several times will likely lead to losing your driving licence.
Frugal, sparing (adj) – both words mean ‘careful and not wasteful’. My grandmother grew up in poverty, and even though they were financially comfortable later, they stayed very frugal.
Sheer (adj) – extreme or very strong. I was standing there, right in front of this huge dog, staring at it in sheer terror.
Stoicism (n) – a teaching of stoics that says that we should face difficulties rather than avoid them and accept our faith.
Celebrate (v) – (here) to see something as positive and to treat it accordingly. Free thinking in schools should be celebrated, not forbidden the way it is now.
Composure (n) – ability to stay calm and control yourself, especially in stressful situations. Composure is something that you can train through exposure to increasingly stressful situations.
Brevity (n) – the noun from the adjective ‘brief’, it means the state of being short, not lasting. Brevity of happy moments.
Transience (n) – state of not lasting for a long time, something that changes often. The nature of journalism is that transience is something you have to accept; things change all the time.
Cherish (v) – to keep something in your mind for a long time because you treasure the memory.
Refining (n) – the process of improving something, like a material, a technique, a skill and so on. Refining steel is rather difficult without proper industrial-grade equipment.
Ingenuity (n) – ability or skill to create something new, such as a new tool, method, or approach. They say that huge corporations are driven by a handful of talented people and their ingenuity.
Cutting-edge (adj) – the newest and most advanced. Cutting-edge technology allows us to remain leaders on the market, but that doesn’t mean that it will always be this way.
Herald (v) – to herald something is to signal that something is about to happen. Rising inflation heralded the biggest economic crisis to date.
Malleable (adj) – easily shaped because of its softness. Clay is cheap and very malleable, and therefore it is perfect for sculpting practice.
Warfare (adj) – relating to war. Warfare games are very popular with small children, boys and girls alike.
Alloy (n) – a metal that is a result of combining different metals together. Steel is a good example of an alloy; it is created by combining iron and carbon.
Facilitate (v) – to make something easier or to help with it. Big companies often employ a team of lawyers to facilitate dealing with legal issues.
Arduous (adj) – tiring, taking a lot of effort. Building your own house is an arduous task that many take upon themselves, but few manage to finish.
Mould (n) – an empty space made in a piece of metal that is supposed to be filled with liquified material in order to give it a desirable shape.
Cavity (n) – an opening or a space in something. Tooth cavities are very common and easily treatable if found early.
Milestone (n) – a point of considerable progress. Our company reached an impressive milestone this year: we have sold 1 million printers, a figure that was previously thought impossible.
Smelting (n) – (about metals) heating a metal to a very high temperature when it becomes soft and eventually turns liquid.
Furnace (n) – a specially-built enclosed space where, through extremely high temperatures, smelting takes place (see previous entry). Summer in this part of the country feels like you are in a furnace – even at night, the temperature doesn’t go below 30 degrees.
Uniform (adj) – even and consistent, without many differences. To make sure that the high level of quality is uniform in every branch, managers personally run weekly inspections of products.
Prohibitively expensive – too costly to be financially successful. Previously prohibitively expensive, personal computers nowadays are an integral part of every household in the country.
Testament to something (n) – a proof that something is real. The best testament to a teacher’s efforts are the good exam results of their students.
Cornerstone (n) – a fundamental part of something. Education is a cornerstone of progress because smart, well-educated people always push the boundaries of what is possible.
Vibrant (adj) – filled with life energy, potent. A vibrant community of poets and artists is a great environment that promotes creativity.
Hue (n) – a shade of colour. The sun is a start that can be seen in all hues of red and yellow.
Lush (adj) – rich in vegetation. The lush forests of South America have one of the highest numbers of unique species on the planet.
Captivate (v) – to make somebody very interested in it. Books written by Nabokov captivate readers of all ages and backgrounds.
Nestled (adj) – located or situated favourably or comfortably.
Tantalise (v) – (here) to tease and to make you want it very much. Often used negatively, it also means that reality is not as pleasant as it might seem.
Peninsula (n) – a large piece of land with seas or oceans almost completely surrounding it. Iberian Peninsula is the homeland of Portugal and Spain.
Hub (n) – a center of activity. After days of sailing, we finally reached a local trading hub where we could refill our supplies.
Junks, dhows, proas – various types of sea vessels, varying in size and intended purpose.
Converge (v) – to come to one spot from different directions. The people from neighbouring areas converged on the central square to see the performance.
Wary (adj) – to know about something unpleasant and dangerous and to be careful because of it. Please be wary of pickpockets in that part of town; make sure not to have any valuables with you when you come there.
Unsavoury (adj) – (here, about people) unpleasant and with bad reputation.
Pounce on (v) – to attack somebody suddenly with the intent of immobilising you. Trade caravans would often get pounced on by local bandits.
Unconventional (adj) – not usual or traditional.
Flock to (v) – when people or animals flock to some place, they come there in great numbers. Young people would flock to newly opened nightclubs because they would usually allow free entry.
Overwhelmed (adj) – to feel lost and confused because of something being too intense. After my first day in the city I was completely overwhelmed and fell asleep the moment I laid down.
Advance (n) – (here) attack, offensive action. The advance was slow but steady; this insured minimal casualties and kept morale up.
Sovereignty (n) – independence of a country as a state.
Adage (n) – a popular saying that usually conveys some practical wisdom. “Better safe than sorry” is my father’s favourite adage – probably because he is not a risk-taker.
Volatile (adj) – unstable, prone to change. The situation on the stock market has been extremely volatile recently, with unexpected and rapid price changes.
Incentive (n) – a law or tax regulation designed to promote certain activities. Business incentives aimed at young entrepreneurs provide them loans at zero interest rates.
Transparent (adj) – used figuratively here, it means ‘easy to understand, clear’.
Fine (n) – a sum of money that you have to pay for breaking some law or rule. Most people agree that speeding fines should be higher to discourage reckless driving.
Hefty (adj) – large or heavy. Here it is used to refer to a high amount of money paid as fine.
Heinous (adj) – horrible, deserving no forgiveness. Negligence at the workplace is not seen as the most heinous of offenses, but for some professions it definitely is.