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Does your child have the skills to tackle this comprehension passage?

The passage below, taken from Charles Dickensโ€™ novel Bleak House, is typical of the material set on the English papers for admission to U.K. schools.

๐˜ฟ๐™ค๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™˜๐™๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฆ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ง๐™š ๐™๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง? The passage: As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakesโ€”gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers.

๐™‹๐™ค๐™จ๐™จ๐™ž๐™—๐™ก๐™š ๐™ฆ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ 1. Use your own words to explain the meaning of the following words (3). a) drizzle b) mourning c) undistinguishable 2. Using your own words explain what the writer is suggesting with the phrase โ€œas if the waters had but newly retiredโ€. (3) 3. How does Dickens present the town in this extract? Use short quotations to support your answer. (6)

๐˜ผ๐™˜๐™ฆ๐™ช๐™ž๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™˜๐™๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฆ๐™ช๐™š Does your child have sufficient experience of such questions to achieve his or her potential on these papers? Minerva Tuitionโ€™s experienced teachers have extensive experience of preparing pupils for entrance examinations for the UKโ€™s leading schools.



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