English Paper 3 Questions and Answers - Kenya High Post Mock 2023 Exams

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  • Answer three questions only. Where a candidate presents work on more than one optional text, only the first one to appear will be marked.
  • Question one and two are compulsory.
  • In question three choose only one of the optional texts you have prepared on.
  • Each of your essays must not exceed 450 words.
  • Candidates must answer the questions in English.


  1. Imaginative composition (Compulsory) (20 marks )
    1. Write a story to illustrate the saying:
      ‘It is blessed to give than to receive’
    2. Write a story ending with:
      ………. I overcame despite growing up in abject poverty
  2. The compulsory set text
    Blossoms of the savannah by h.r. Ole kulet (20 marks)
    “There is intelligence about standing up for yourself.” Substantiate this statement using illustrative facts from the Novel, “Blossoms of the Savannah.”
    Answer any one of the following three questions. (20 marks)
    1. Drama by David Mulwa, Inheritance. (20 marks)
      “When you have conflict it means there are truths that have to be addressed on each side of the conflict.” Drawing your points from David Mulwa’s, Inheritance , write an essay to show the veracity of this statement.
    2. Silent Song
      People commit unethical acts as a result of lack of care. Citing illustrations from Incident in the Park by Meja Mwangi, write an essay to validate this statement.
    3. Novel: The Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro.
      “The memory of the past can lead to a change of lifestyle. With illustrations from The Artist of the Floating World Validate the above statement.


    1. Must be a story, if not deduct up to 4 marks AD
      Should present a scenario where a character that is generous or offer assistance is finally rewarded in some way
    2.  Must be a story, if not deduct up to 4 marks
      Should present a scenario where a character from a poor background finally becomes successful

The main signs indicate three degrees of seriousness of error.

    This sign in the margin is used only when a construction error effects more than one line.
    REPETITION -(of words ) a circle around the word\(of ideas)
    R usually in the margin
    Obscure/vague (in margin)
    WRONG WORD ORDER Underline once and write W.O in margin
    ILLOGICAL or contradictory ILL (in margin)
    BROKEN ENGLISH when the candidate fails to communicate BR in margin
    COW to indicate that a candidate has used a pencil to make a correction
    BRACKETS [ ] indicate a part of a d script that communicates
    * Use an asterisk to indicate an item or a sentence that the rubrics indicate should be used
    II TO INDICATE AN ITEM OF MERIT use a tick() either above a word or in the margin for the whole sentence.
    1. Almost any error of agreement
    2. elementary errors of sentence construction
    3. Ridiculous use of idiom that affects communication
    4. Misuse of common prepositions
    5. Misuse of capital letters – Use CAPS underline the first page and use
      - CAPS on subsequent pages where the mistake persists
      1. Decide on the degree of communication achieved ,A-D
      2. After underlining decide on the mark category
      3. Allocate a numerical mark to the essay
        PROBLEM SCRIPTS………………………………………….
        All problem scripts must be marked by the examiner and then set to the Tea leader with comments
        1. IRRELELVANCY,/
          1. Consistent distorted of question version of question, writing on a totally different subject with a clumps attempt at connecting the essay to the subject given, inclusion of memorized passages, etc.
          2. The question is given an unacceptable or questionable interpretation
          3. Essays contain long, semi- relevant digressions or lack coherence
            The examiner marks the essay, gives a linguistic mark and comment on the nature of the irrelevancy
            The essay is then passed over to the team leader who judges whether the irrelevancy should be judged as a deliberate attempt to deceive or should be attributed to the candidate’s poor understanding of the subject. Deduct up to 4 marks for irrelevancy in the essay. If dishonesty is suspected, the Chief examiner should be informed. Any deduction of 3marks or more should be referred to the Chief Examiner
          Since the rubrics may change from year, the POINTS OF INTERPRETATION that are of this MARKING SCHEME must be consulted and adhered to faithfully. Here are some general rules that usually apply.
        3. SCRIPTS THAT DO NOT COMMUNICATE (Broken language)
          1. Decide on the category D+ D or D-
          2. Mark the error on the first page of the essay
          3. Read the other pages, if the essay still does not communicate , draw a diagonal line across each page.
          4. Team leaders should look at a good number of those script and ensure that the mark given is fair.
        4. BREVITY
        5. It should be remembered that the main quality of an essay is how effectively it communicates. If an essay looks too short, the examiner should take the time to count the exact number of words
          Agood number of words and expressions are understood and currently used by all Kenyans. They can be used in essays without any need for quotation marks or explanations. We can include among those Pnga, rungu ,shamba , murrain, matatu
          Wananchi, ugali, madadrasa, harambee , matoke
          Maendeleo ya Wanawake , salaam aya, askari
          Debe, duka ,Nyayo, boma sukumawiki, goal party, manyatta.magendo
          Although “English” spelling is more common than American” spelling in Kenya, examiner should accept both spelling and no penalty should be given for such various. Penalize for lack of consistency in usage of either
    BLOSSOMS OF THE SAVANNAH by H.R. Ole Kulet (20 marks)
    “There is intelligence about standing up for yourself.” Substantiate this statement using illustrative facts from the Novel, “Blossoms of the Savannah.”
    Those people who make decisions and are ready to stand by them more often succeed in the end./ people should desist from being pushovers./ Resian and Taiyo stands out as characters with their own mind. (any other relevant but linked to the novel)
  • Both Resian and Taiyo resist F.GM and do all they can to fight the outmoded practice. Resian says she would not live anywhere near a man who would want to mutilate her sexuality while Taiyo says she would only be mutilated if only she were dead. Resian resists being circumcised by force in a dream by fighting the enkamuratani and the enkoiboni.
  • Resian is opposed to cultural coaching by Joseph Parmuat. Her father notices that though they may find some cultural demands detestable, it is such practices that nurtured and bound their people together. To Resian, the coaching is worthless.
  • When Taiyo falls in love with Joseph Parmuat, she does not care about what others or the culture says about it.
  • The two girls are ready to fight and resist forced marriages and Oloisudori’s advances on them. They plan and succeed in returning the gifts items that he had brought them.
  • The song by the girls from Intapuka-e-Maa during Taiyo’s and Resian’s farewell party is full of female assertion. They say they are proud to be uncircumcised and that they would be doctors, teachers and engineers and would build the nation together with men
  • Conclusion. It is true that a faint heart never won a fair lady as exemplified by the actions of Resian and Taiyo in the above discussion.
      1. Drama
        David Mulwa, Inheritance. (20marks)
        “When you have conflict it means there are truths that have to be addressed on each side of the conflict.”Drawing your points from David Mulwa’s, Inheritance , write an essay to show the validity of this statement.
        Conflict is double edged and both parties have a role in its making as they obvious always think the other is on the wrong. (any other relevant linked to the play)
        • Governor Thorne mistreats and abuses the native black servant. The people find his leadership humiliating and zealous.
        • There is a conflict between the Africans and their white masters over land, leadership and resources. They rob the Africans of their valuables and export them to their motherland.
        • King Butula is displeased with apparent inheritance and insists the natives must share what comes from their land.
        • There is interracial conflict. The natives destroy the white people’s property.
          It is only fair to say that conflict involves two parties and in its resolution, the truths must be laid bare. (any other relevant)
      2. silent song
        Immorality stems from people’s indifference. Unethical acts like negligence and brutality result from lack of care. Blood thirsty city dwellers brutally murder an innocent fruit seller without batting an eyelid in Incident in the Park.
        Government workers go about their business ignoring the ravaging effects of the drought on the neglected park. The park is dirty and brown. There was no promise of rain that August. The ground is dusty brown, bare and parched. The ministerial offices, City Hall and parliament buildings and the ominous cathedral are a stone throw away from the pathetic looking park. The ministerial offices are modern fortresses and its occupants conveniently ignore the park which clearly lacks proper care. This is evidenced by the dry bits of grass, dry leaves and thirsty trees. Only delicate flowers, planted like oasis islands at various spots, are watered in a desperate effort to keep the dirty brown park beautiful. The sad-looking boathouse and dirty, muddy water sum up the government's lack of care for the park.
        Secondly, the park is filled with many idlers who have little care in the world. They waste many hours lying idle in the park. They ignore the city and parliament clocks which strike suddenly, together - reminding them of how much time they had wasted. They care less about being useful. The clocks’ pleas go unheeded. Some insolent loafers simply shake their heads defiantly, curse loudly, face the other way and go back to sleep. Only every now and then, does a misplaced idler heed the clocks nagging disapproval and accusing fingers and walk away. The park people have no intention to go anywhere else but while away. They are here to stay. They have arrived. During the afternoons, the park looks parched and almost dead, dotted with a few loungers. More idlers sit by the lake watching the rowers, day in day out. This unproductive lot is a burden to the city and to society.
        The neglected pond in the park is another sign of lack of care by relevant authorities. The fish pond is dangerously overgrown with weeds. Colourless weeds choke the yellow, blue and purple water lilies. An ugly mishmash of weeds has replaced the aesthetic blue-green surface of the once beautiful pond. Initially, the pond flowers stuck out buds, thick colorful fingers and proclaimed order but not anymore - the existence of these beautiful fauna has been snuffed out by a riot of unclassifiable intruders and bastard flowers. To make matters worse, the park soil has collapsed, forcing the pond’s murky, brown water and bewildered fish to the deeper, further end. The sorry state of the pond points to acute lack of attention or care.
        The hairy loafer who feeds the fish is defiant. He ignores the public notice on the board that cautions people against feeding the fish. He carelessly tosses debris, tiny bits of grass and soil at the hungry fish. The fish fight for the useless things but let go when they realize they are worthless. The idler throws in more rubbish and carelessly sniggers - he has no iota of empathy whatsoever. He also drops in a piece of soil at the fish. When he learns that fish feeds on insects, he tries to find some and later decides to throw in a flattened cigarette end when he cannot catch any insects. The big fish that catches the cigarette butt releases it since it is useless. At last, the uncaring idler curses after violently hurling a large rock at the confounded fish. His lack of empathy leads him to defy the order not to feed the fish and as a result he harms the fishes.
        The police constables are callous. They harass innocent people heartlessly, displaying no shred of sympathy. The two city constables accost the old fruit seller and demand for his license and identification. As fate would have it, he has neither. He cannot afford a licence. The old man nods uncomprehendingly and shakes his head sadly when the police demand for a license. He desperately tries to bribe the constables by offering five shillings; all he had made that day. The policeman grabs him by his old coat and remarks that he would explain it to the judge. The old man swears by his mother. He is devastated because he has another case with the cruel judge. A tyrant who would hang him this time round. The fruit seller cries that the judge is crazy and would castrate him but his pleas fall on deaf ears. He offers the constables a 10- shilling bribe and even his foot baskets. The constables remain indifferent even when he cries that he has a wife and children. They do not care. They match him right ahead. When he realizes that he is talking to a brick wall, he decides to leap and run for it but not before cursing the cops, their wives and their children.
        The judge is portrayed as being unjust or outrightly cruel. When the police insist on taking him to the judge, the old fruit seller cries desperately. He has no licence and identification. He swears by his mother. He already has a case with the judge and he does not want to be taken back. He believes the judge will hung him. He is selling the fruits in order to afford the fine that was earlier imposed. He pleads with the police men as brothers. He even tells them that the judge is a tyrant - a crazy man who will have him castrated. The allusion to his wife and children does not bear any fruits. He tries to bribe the police with 10 shillings and appease them with his fruit basket but the uncaring constables match him ahead. The fruit seller curses the policemen and their families and decides to bolt. He takes this desperate measure to avoid facing the evil, apathetic judge.
        The bloodthirsty city dwellers have no regard for human life. Realizing that the city constable were adamant about taking him to the judge, the fruit seller decides to run for it. He leaps, breaking away, leaving the policeman holding onto a piece of his one coat. He runs across the park. The policeman shouts for help. The old man hopes to get protection by disappearing into the city dwellers. That was not to be. The barbarous city dwellers lunge at him trying to nab him. The old man is savagely desperate to escape. When he stumbles and falls into a ditch, the ferocious mob stones him to death. He cries out pleading for mercy. The bloodthirsty crowd leaves him for dead, looking like a broken twisted rag doll, covered in stones and a thick red blood. The crowd mistakenly label him as a thief.
        Lastly, the injustice witnessed after the innocent fruit seller killed is the height of brutality and lack of care. The constable strives to shift blame. No one looks guilty enough. The constables conveniently withdraw. An inspector confirms that the man is dead. The crowd that stoned him and those that witnessed his savage murder lower their eyes. Unwilling to openly testify, some of the residents hurriedly return to their offices, indifferently. The word ‘thief’ oozes out discreetly from mouth to mouth. They mistakenly condemn the man to be a desperate thief. They judge him by the unmistakable uniform of his trade - dirty torn clothes and a mean hungry face. Even the inspector of police is uneasy and doubtful about his next course of action. The poor man finds no justice even in his death. All and sundry conclude that a thief is a thief. The twisted garbage-strewn dark alleyways are lawlessly governed by one savage unwritten law concerning the fate of apprehended thieves. Ironically, the man is killed before his identity is established. Sadly, he can only be identified by his grieving wife and children in a cold room. An innocent life is cut short due to the heartless nature of idle, uncaring city dwellers and the inept police department.
        In conclusion, any society that lacks benevolence disintegrates into an abyss of lawlessness and immorality.
      3. Artist of floating World
        “The memory of the past can lead to change of a life style. With illustrations from “The Artist of the Floating World” Validate the above statement.
        The diversive narrative in The Artist of the Floating World has enhanced the notion that memory serves as a medium to assimilate past into the future.
          1. Ono feels guilt for his past misdeeds. His use of an unspecified second person ‘you as though he is addressing someone who is listening suggests that he does not want to acknowledge the doubt he feels about his own past. By addressing himself to another person, he acts as though he is explaining events that he understands well and avoids admitting that he feels a great deal of ambivalence about the past.
            The most important omissions in the novel are those that relate to Ono’s relationship with his pupil Kuroda. Through a series of hints, readers learn that Ono had a break with the student, likely because Kuroda had decided to employ on autistic technique that Ono did not approve. After parting ways, Ono gave Kuroda’s name to the committee of unpatriotic Activities which led to Kuroda’s being jailed and tortured. But instead of revealing how this come to pass, Ono focus his deception and analysis on his relationship with his teacher Morisan with whom he had a similar break. Ono hopes to alleviate his guilt by suggesting that his treatment of Kuroda is similar to Mon-Sari’s treatment of himself. But, of course, this entirely fails to address the very different consequences the two teachers’ treatment of their pupils had for those pupils. Ono avoids recounting the actual harm he has done others, which reveals the lie on his frequent pronouncements about his willingness to own up to his war time mistakes. Instead, he seems only to be feigning honesty, which actually hiding from the most difficult truths. Ono avoids describing certain pivotal events in his life which he cannot force himself to face. By refusing to describe those incidents, he cannot force himself to face. By refusing to describe those incidents, he gives away that these are the moments in his life about which he feels most guilty.One often casts doubt on the accuracy of his account, reporting that others do not see events the way he does. This final strategy opens up the possibility that one is not only hiding from feeling of guilt but is either mistaken or lying about his life.
          2. Ono’s life is full of grief and anger. He therefore avoids describing the decisions to leave his parent’s home to become a painter presumably having cut off all contact with family afterwards. He also avoids discussing the deaths of his wife and son, monitoring their deaths only in passing, or while recounting what someone else said to him in confrontation.
          3. Regret is yet another aspect in the novel. Ono is haunted by ghost of days gone by – of his own and his peer’s actions which steadily but surely contributed to Japan’s to march militaries. He feels much remorseful for his role in the war, as well as for how he mistreated his family. For example, Ono reflects on his previous actions and mistakes.
          4. Ono is about to be redeemed from his past mistakes. Laced with could haves and should haves, the novel moves onwards to the realm of “should have”and touch upon the redemption for his past actions as well as some way to reconcile with his past. He rekindles his relationship with his daughter, Noriko, and his former apprentice, Ichiro and finds solace in his memories. For example Ono finds redemption after reflecting on his past mistakes and actions.
            Ono’s memories are used to investigate how our own memories can be selective and change over time. His reflection on his past, as well as his regret and zeal for redemption are central to the Novel.
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