Need Help! (Germany) A-Level exam on Wednesday

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New member
Apr 18, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Hi, Iam a student and I come from Germany. My a-level exam is on wednesday. Thus, I practised a little bit and I worked with a former a-level exam. I did not finish with all tasks yet, but would you please check up the text for mistakes?

1. Point out what Friedman says about the present challenges America has to face and
what he considers the only possible way to meet them.
(Comprehension) (16 Punkte)
2. Examine how Friedman tries to convince his readers that action must be taken
urgently to prevent “the decline of our way of life” (l. 54). Refer to the use of language
and the argumentative techniques he employs. (Analysis) (24 Punkte)
3. Choose one of the following tasks:
3.1 The author refers to the adaptation of the American Dream by the new global players
India, China and the former Soviet Union (cf. ll. 25 – 27). Discuss whether their
version of the American Dream can serve as a model for the world in the 21st century,
illustrating your view with examples of countries you have studied.
(Evaluation: comment) (20 Punkte)
3.2 You are a guest student at an American college where Friedman’s suggestion to
introduce a gasoline tax is hotly debated among many of the students. One of your
teachers makes you prepare a speech for or against this suggestion. Write a short
speech to be held in class in which you refer to Friedman’s article and argue from the
perspective of a young European. (Evaluation: re-creation of text) (20 Punkte

You can find the article on that page select.nytimes .com/2006/01/20/opinion/20friedman.html?_r=1&hp

This are my answers:

Task 1

The article “The New 'Sputnik' Challenges: They All Run on Oil“, written by Thomas L. Friedman and published on January 20, 2006, is about the dangers of consuming to much energy, especially oil. His suggestion is to increase the gasoline tax.
To begin Friedman speaks about the Russian satellite “Sputnik“ (cf. ll...) and remembers on the cold war. Next he talks about the “Sputniks“ of the present, namely firstly the new car from China, which is presented in a car show in Detroit, secondly Iran, a country with enough rich mullahs, who have enough power to build a nuclear bomb in future, and thirdly the climate change.
The problem, says Friedman, is the energy crisis as a result of too much energy consume, especially oil.
He holds the view that the crisis has four reasons:
1: America supports …
A solution would be to increase the gasoline taxes. Thus, consumers would change their behavior, accordingly G.M, Ford and Daimler Chrysler would do the same by creating new products. Therefore USA are better than other countries, because “they will dominate the green technologies of the 21st century”.
Finally, Friedman appeals to G.W. Bush and wants him to act as well as to increase the tax.

Task 2

To persuade the reader, Friedman has a clear argumentative structure. The article can be divided into three parts.
Firstly, the author remembers on the Russian satellite “Sputnik”. After that he refers to the “Sputniks” of the present, the new dangers of our time, namely Chinese cars, Iran and the climate change. Friedman presents the thesis that they are the new threats. Thus, he arouses readers interests, because it sounds very exciting.
Secondly, to provide his thesis, the author tries to explain why he thinks so. The problem, he says, is that people consume too much energy, especially too much oil, so that “we are in the midst of an energy crisis”. He mentions four reasons:

By mentioning these facts, the reader gets influenced by the author. Also he recognizes that Friedman has a lot of knowledge and reasonable/suitable/correct arguments to corroborate his thesis.
Finally the author suggests a solution for that issue, namely to increase the gasoline taxes. Thereby people would change their behavior and the big automobile concerns would do the same, he says. At last USA would “dominate the green technologies of the 21th century”. By listing up so many consequences, which would result, if the gasoline tax was increased, the reader is supposed to see how good and effective the solution is.


New member
Apr 18, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Thank you very much! :)

Are there any tips, which you can give me? I want to get a great mark :)

Therefore I try to do my best!
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