IGCSE English Q1

IGCSE English First Language (0500) Question 1 is challenging.

This is my answer to question 1 for the passage from 0500/21 October/November 2012 (Paper 2 Reading Passages Extended). (The Passages and the Questions are here)


Q1. Imagine that you are Rosemarie Alecio, the writer of the article. You have just returned home from your trip to the Andes and have agreed to be interviewed by your local radio station. The interviewer asks the following three questions only:

• What did you hope to experience in the Andes?

• Was the trip everything you expected?

• What advice would you give to anyone intending to go on such a trip?

Write the words of the interview, beginning with the first question. Base your interview on what you have read in Passage A. Be careful to use your own words. Write between 1½ and 2 sides, allowing for the size of your handwriting. Up to 15 marks are available for the content of your answer, and up to 5 marks for the quality of your writing.


Interviewer: What did you hope to experience in the Andes?

Rosemarie Alecio: As I waited to commence the trip, my mind lingered to the peaks of the Andes, the height of its ridges, the depth of its valleys. That I would stand on a frozen elevation of more than 5000 meters, was producing gentle tremors in my body and mind. I fancied myself standing up to the greatest mountains, with nothing but the clouds higher than me. To ascend from level zero to a height greater than the depths of ocean beds was an opportunity to hold the world beneath my feet and seize the vastness of the sky in my eyes. At 1500 meters above sea level, we already reached our first stop, Merida. The delightful land, entirely clad in snow, would be a perfect welcome. Los Nevados, a village in the lap of the Andes across a pass, was an adventure only a few undertake, of whom I was one. I could not imagine the excitement I would experience while capturing the wonderful view in my camera during a cherishable journey in a cable car.

Interviewer: Was the trip everything you expected?

Rosemarie Alecio: Perched on the mountaintop, I could see and feel everything that I had fantasized. To feel that the pious Pico Bolivar was just a touch away and the fiercely revered river was just a breath away, induced divinity in my soul, though the magnanimity of the scene made me feel like a minuscule speck ready to be attacked by its wrath. The cable car trip that holds the record of being the longest and to the greatest altitude awed me. Within half an hour, I was at a height great enough to take my breath. I stood there, the atmosphere gratifying my presence, looking the mountain peak in its eye. The mountains spoke words so wizardly, and sang verses so venerable, that I believed I had entered a realm belonging to the heavens, that no person could enter alive. Indeed, the feeling was much more than my expectations could rise to and so were the pains.

Interviewer: What advice would you give to anyone intending to go on such a trip?

Rosemarie Alecio: On reaching the top, one must have to put up with the rareness of the air and the chill, but enjoy themselves despite the trouble. Walking to Los Nevados, however, is not easy, and with little comfort on the path and low spirits, the short trip is not to be undertaken by those who lack readiness, physical or mental. The road is extremely harsh and the way, easily lost. One must think twice before choosing to venture onto unknown ways. If lost, turn around, follow your tracks, and search for people. Movement causes immense pain to stiff muscles. Be trained to handle extreme situations. Traveling with guides or locals is advised. Do carry cookies and chocolate bars if you like, and do not forget to take along a first aid box. Wear woolens, jeans and thick boots. Do not be fooled by assumptions about icy mountain air, and pack your sun protection kit, moisturizers, a bottle of water and other necessities. Always believe that safety comes before everything. A planned trip is a must and do take a camera to avoid regret later.

  • Saloni S. Kamat


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