ICSE Previous Papers with Solutions for Class 10 English-I 2015
ICSE Paper 2015
Answers to this Paper must be written on the paper provided separately,
You will not be allowed to write during the first 15 minutes.
This time is to be spent in reading the question paper.
The time given at the head of this Paper is the time allowed for writing the answers.
Attempt all four questions.
The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [ ].
You are advised to spend not more than 35 minutes in answering Question 1 and 20 minutes in answering Question 2.
Question 1: 
(Do not spend more than 35 minutes on this question.)
Write a composition (350 – 400 words) on any one of the following:
(a) Write an original story that begins with the words : “He was the funniest boy I had ever met. He would make everyone laugh………”
(b) You had booked a ticket on an early morning train. However, you woke up late and missed it. You then decided to run to catch a bus to the next station where you hoped to catch up with the train. Narrate the entire event, how you felt, the effort you made and how you finally caught the train. What did you learn from this stressful experience?
(c) All Girls or all Boys Schools provide a better learning environment than co-educational schools. Express your views either for or against the statement.
(d) Describe in detail the view from your bedroom window. Does your room overlook a park? A busy street? What are the sights, sounds and smells that you would typically see, hear and experience at different times of the day? What do you most enjoy the view? Early in the morning, in the evening or late at night?
(e) Study the picture given below. Write a short story or description or an account of what the picture suggests to you. Your composition may be about the subject of the picture or you may take suggestions from it; however, your composition must have a clear connection with the picture.
(a) He was the funniest boy I had ever met. He would make everyone laugh till their stomachs ached and asked him to stop. Such was his nature in the company of friends and people whom he knew.
Sameer, yet the boy known for his wittiness and prompt clever remarks was a star attraction wherever he stood. In class also he was loved by his class mates and teachers alike as he never was negative or sarcastic in his rejoinders. Rather he turned every incident, situation or circumstance into healthy humour and smile would spread on the face of even the most serious person sitting there. This was the reason everyone wanted be his friend.
Little did anyone know the pain hid behind his smiling face except his true and close friend Saurabh. Sameer was from an average family and lived comfortably with his rents and younger sister. His father worked in an insurance company and mother was a housewife. Both he and his sister were studying in a well-known convent school of the city. One day tragedy struck their family in the form of Sameer’s father losing his job as he became terminally ill due to blood cancer.
This was a great blow on the family which was otherwise leading a happy and contended life. Sameer being male member had to take up the responsibility of looking after himself, his studies and his family. It was a great blow which life had given him at such a tender age. He was drowned in a sea of sorrow and hopelessness.
His grandmother and mother were tensed seeking his condition. They consoled, comforted and talked to him but to no avail. He just would not talk, always put-on a serious expression on his face, went about doing his work and studies mechanically. His mother consulted a psychologist which told him about the changes that had come in him. The doctor advised them to bring him to his clinic in the hospital. Sameer had to pass through the children’s ward while going over to the clinic. He peeped into the ward and was attracted by the little children of different age and size. Some playing, some sleeping, some talking but all had a smile on their face. He was told they were all suffering from cancer and didn’t have very many days to live.
Sameer was shocked into silence, lot of emotions were coming and going on his face. One could see he was fighting with himself. Continuously his gaze was at the smiling, cheerful faces of the little children. He let out a deep sigh of breath and along with it a lot of pent up emotions were released. He now was relaxed and it seemed as if those children had taught him the mantra of how to be happy. It is since that day a new ‘ and happy Sameer rose from the ashes of the sad and grave Sameer. His motto in life now had become to be happy and make others happy irrespective of any difficulties and challenges of life one may be facing. That is the secret of his being applauded and loved by , one and all alike and moreover with renewed energy he is facing all duties of his alike.
(b) In everyone’s life there comes a day when everything seems to go wrong. And thus the saying a work well begun is half done seems to mock and make fun of you. 22nd December 2014 seemed to be one such day for me. My exams had finished on 21st December and 22nd December was my real sister’s wedding from Jaipur. All my family members along with my sister had left on 20th Dec. and I was to reach Jaipur on 22nd Dec. by the morning Intercity from Agra to Jaipur. It was my hard luck that I woke up 15 minutes late which resulted in my reaching the station late and thereby right in front of me I saw the tail end of the last wagon leaving the platform. My heart was in my mouth out of fear and nervousness.
I was all by myself with my luggage and was numb with shock. In the evening was my sister’s wedding and I was still in Agra and the only safe way of reaching Jaipur had; just left the station. I cursed myself for not being able to get up on time and if I had got up late for not hurrying up with the other morning routinal activities. Tears rolled down my cheeks. An old man seeing me in distress came to comfort me. On knowing of my plight consoled me and advised me to rush to take a taxi and reach to the next station Bharatpur and Catch the intercity. Luckily I was carrying some extra money hence the extra fare would not be a problem. Now the time was to act and run a race against time and train. I put aside my nervousness and fear literally, ran out of the station, jumped into a auto asked the driver to push hard on the accelerator to reach me to the Idgah bus station. Luckily I got a deluxe bus leaving the bus depot for Dausa a small place falling A midway to Jaipur.
Prayers were flying high up in the air one after the other to Almighty God that I reach safely and speedily and am able to catch the train otherwise load of more trouble would befall me. I requested the bus driver and later the auto rickshaw driver to drive fast to follow the shortcuts to reach to the destination. My head was covered with beads of perspiration due to my tensed state.
On reaching the Bharatpur railway station, I was much relaxed to see the train moving into the platform. I quickly boarded it and was able to reach Jaipur on time. My cousin brother had come to receive me at the station. I had learnt a valuable lesson that day i.e. the importance of being punctual and never to sleep very late at night especially when I have to catch a early moving train or bus.
(c) Whether to admit their children in all girls or all boys school or co-educational school has always been a problem that parents are disturbed with. A dilemma it seems to be, but I would say there is absolutely no difficulty in making this choice. Co-ed schools are better schools, as can be revealed from this essay.
To begin with, co-ed schools provide the suitable environment for students to develop the interpersonal skills needed when they join in the labour force in future. People always say that school is a miniature of society, and there are males and females in society, which is just like the situation in a co-ed school. In society, males and females are members, functioning as workers or decision makers or whatever role they get to play. There is no way to avoid contact with the opposite gender, and it is essential for one to learn the proper way to interact with others so that one can develop healthy relationships with people around. An all-girls or an all-boys school cannot provide such an environment to its students within the campus. This may lead to the development of negative response to the approach of the opposite gender. For example, a boy who studies in a boys’ school may be too shy to communicate with a girl because he does not know how. He may feel belittled by the girl because he lacks the confidence in communicating with her. It is the accumulated experience from interacting with the opposite gender and observing others interact with the opposite sex that enables one to be apt and able in communicating with others, whether male or female. This is certainly an important advantage of studying in a co-ed school.
Another benefit of studying in a co-ed school is that it can broaden students horizons. As we all know, there are a lot of inherent differences between male and female. It is certain that boys and girls think differently and in a different way. While learning and studying with the opposite sex, one can be exposed to a greater variety of views and opinions on different things. Moreover, although not always true, the general trend is that boys excel in science subjects while girls shine in language and culture-related subjects. This phenomenon allows boys and girls studying in a co-ed school realize their weakness, and they will also have able peers to learn from. Some may say that students studying in co-ed school cannot focus on their studies because all they have in mind is which boy or girl to friend. However, it is not so. In fact, the presence of both genders in class creates a better learning atmosphere. Realizing the strength and weakness of respective sex can be a motivation that prompts students to learn and improve themselves. In other words, the competition between peers will become fiercer. This is surely one of the reasons to choose to study in a co-ed school.
Last but not least, students studying in a co-ed school can enjoy the advantage of building a set of balanced moral values, especially abouf love affairs, more easily than those studying in a single-sex school. Teachers and parents of co-ed students can take advantage of the presence of both boys and girls in the same class to explain the differences between male and female thus deliver the correct moral messages into their hearts. In the course of discussions, students can gain a set of moral values that is both correct and acknowledged by them, and they will be willing to follow them. This is one big advantage for students studying in a co-ed school as well.
From the arguments above, we can see that co-ed schools are better schools for three reasons. The first is that students can develop better interpersonal skills, the second being that students’ horizons can be broadened and the third being that students can acquire a set of correct and balanced moral values more easily. All these help students adapt to and cope with society’s demand. It is clear that all-girls or all-boys schools are hands up when compared with co-ed schools.
(d) The window of my bedroom was an opening to various scenes at different times of the day. I could sit for hours together at the window and enjoy the diverse sights, sounds and smells. It was a holiday and I didn’t have to go out anywhere so the whole day I decided to enjoy.
At 6 am my eyes opened to the chirping of the birds, the early morning sunrise, spreading its different shades of red and yellow colour on the horizon of the sky. It was a treat to the eyes and the soul. The fresh and pure air blowing into the room filled me r with freshness and spirit. I rushed to the window to hungrily inhale some more of it. To my surprise, even on early Sunday morning there were a big number of people in the park across the street outside my house. Some were walking some were doing exercises and a few were doing yoga. There was a group of children who had come prepared with . their cricket and badminton kits. I felt a little guilty that there were people working hard to maintain their health and hygiene and I had just got up from my bed. The sight of smiling flowers and the dew drops on the petals of roses and marigolds were a real pleasure. The gardener too was up and doing his work of taking care of the various beds. of flower, plucking the unwanted weeds, watering the plants and priming and trimming the hedges.
On the road, I could see the movement of the people who had started their work early in the morning. The milkman, the newspaper hawker, the peddlers were selling vegetables, fruits, grocery, articles etc. A Sunday or a Monday made no difference. There was no holiday for them and supply had to be made to meet the demands. The sweepers, were busy doing their work diligently. The tractors too were on duty picking up the garbage collected in heaps at intervals on both sides of the street.
As time rolled on, the scene both in the park and the street changed. Most of the people from the park had returned towards their homes. Just a few late comers could be seen hurrying up with their exercises. On the street, there was a little less rush it being, a Sunday. People were going to various places of worship. Now a lot of auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, pedestrians, buses and other different kinds of transport were plying on the street.
In the afternoon the sight outside was not very entertaining. The honking of horns of vehicles madly moving up and down the streets could be heard. It seemed there was a mad race going on or as if everyone was rushing to save their lives from a dragon.
In the evening with the lights on, everywhere it seemed that the festival of light Diwali had arrived. The park, the street, the shops and house were all illuminated with bulbs and LED lights. People were rushing to finish their work and return home. The birds in the sky were moving in groups back to their nests. The insects were buzzing around making a whistling sound right below my window. The scene from my bedroom window at different times of the day is a delightful time’pass keeping me busy when I wish to relax and do nothing much of importance.
(e) When will God’s best creation—man stop interfering with God’s other creation on earth be it flora or fauna. O man! when will you stop being selfish. Please understand just as you need air, water and shelter to survive so do I. This is the wail and cry of the lower creatures existing with man on mother earth.
Rani, the lioness is without a home. She is forced to take refuge on a tree. She is in a very pitiful condition and knows not what to do, how to survive. The queen of the forest, the lady of the first animal of the forest whom all fears for their life is now herself fighting for her survival. What a twist of life! She never could think life would come to such a stand that she who lived by preying on other animals was itself a prey to God’s supreme creation—Man.
Not only has her shelter been snatched but also she has been bereft of food and fodder. There are no helping hands coming forward to save the plight of her lot.
Little does Rani know the fact that man who hurts, kills his own brethren for his own selfish and materialistic motives, how he will think about these mute creatures. How much she may roar and grunt, wear out her sharp claws, her voice will be heard by none. This is what the scene is portraying having run from pillar to post and back. She is dead tired, despaired and sad and knows not what to do.
This helpless sight of Rani should be an eye opener to man that he must think twice before taking the step towards deforestation in the name of progress and development. He should remember that as you sow so shall you reap. If he uproots the lower creatures of their habitat, the day will not be far when nature will hit back with all its fury in the form of flood, earthquake, Tsunami, etc. to take its revenge. I sincerely hope man will wake up from his slumber and ensure that all creatures whether low or high must be given an equal opportunity of peaceful survival. I end on the positive note that Rani and her like will not have to suffer from such difficulties in future.
(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question.)
Select one of the following: 
(a) Break time (recess) at your school is only for a duration of fifteen minutes. Write a letter to your Principal requesting an extension in the break-time from fifteen minutes to half an hour. Give reasons for your request and explain in what way an extended break would make a difference to you as a student.
(b) You are to be awarded a Special Prize at the Annual Prize Day ceremony of your school. Write a letter to a lady relative giving her the news. Be sure to include details of the prize that you are to receive and tell her why you have been chosen for this honour.
(a) 5, Garden Road
Agra – 282004
3rd March, 2015
St. Georges College
I want to bring to your kind notice that the fifteen minutes time allotted for the recess is not adequate for the students. We are not able to finish our tiffins properly in the allotted time. When the bell for the recess rings, it takes time for us to close our bags. Sometimes it happens that the teacher is in the middle of a topic, so he takes some extra time before leaving us. Besides this, we have to go to the washroom which takes some more time.
Often we have to gobble up the food so quickly that it leads to choking. We are also not able to freshen up ourselves properly by spending some time in playing and talking to our friends. Therefore, I request you to extend the break-time from fifteen minutes to half an hour.
I am sure that you will look to my request and the break-time will be extended soon.
(b) 314, Nehru Nagar
31th March, 2015
Dear Aunt Tulip,
You will be glad to know that I am going to awarded a special prize at annual prize r day ceremony in my school. I have secured full marks in science and maths in all
the three terms among all the five sections of eighth class. Therefore I have been chosen for this honour. The name of the prize is Archbishop Gold Memorial Award for the best student in Physics and Maths. The prize carries a gold medal and scholarship of Rs. 2500.
The best thing about the entire affair is that I am going to receive it from our r former president Shri A P J Abdul Kalam, an eminent scientist and visionary. He is the chief guest of the annual prize day this year. I am very excited and thrilled about my achievement plus receiving the hononr from the hands of such a great personality.
I also feel thankful from the bottom of my heart to my teachers, God and my parents with whose support and guidance I am able to achieve this success. I also need your wishes and blessings for my life ahead. Please convey my regards to uncle and love to Aryan.
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Lying in bed, Swami realized with a shudder that it was Monday morning. It looked as though only a moment ago it had been the last period on Friday; already Monday was here. He hoped that an earthquake would reduce the school building to dust, but that I good buiding—Albert Mission School—had withstood similar prayers for over a hundred years now. At nine O’clock Swaminathan wailed, “I have a headache.” His mother said,
“Why don’t you go to school in a bullock cart?”
“So that I may be completely dead at the other end? Have you any idea what it. means to be jolted in a cart?”
“Have you any important lessons today?”
“Important! Bah! That geography teacher has been teaching the same lesson for over a year now. And we have arithmetic, which means for a whole period we are going to be beaten by the teacher Important lessons!”
And Mother generously suggested that Swami might stay at home.
At 9:30, when he ought to have been lining up in the school prayer hall, Swami was lying on the bench in Mother’s room. Father asked him, “Have you no school today?”
“Headache,” Swami replied,
“Nonsense! Dress up and go.”
“Loaf about less on Sundays and you will be without a headache on Monday.”
Swami knew how stubborn his father could be and changed his tactics. “I can’t go so late to class.”
“I agree, but you’ll have to; it is your own fault. You should have asked me before deciding to stay away.”
“What will the teacher think if I go so late?”
“Tell him you had a headache and so are late.”
“He will beat me if I say so.”
“Will he? Let us see. What is his name?”
“Does he beat the boys?”
“He is very violent, especially with boys who come late. Some days ago a boy was made to stay on his knees for a whole period in a corner of the class because he came late, and that after getting six cuts from the cane and having his ears twisted. I wouldn’t like to go late to Mr. Samuel’s class.”
“If he is so violent, why not tell your headmaster about it?”
“They say that even the headmaster is afraid of him. He is such a violent man.”
And then Swami gave a lurid account of Samuel’s violence; how when he started caning he would not stop till he saw blood on the boy’s hand, which he made the boy press to his forehead like a Vermillion marking. Swami hoped that his father would be made to see that he couldn’t go to his class late. But father’s behaviour took an unexpected turn. He became excited. “What do these people mean by beating our children? They must be driven out of service. I will see…..”
The result was he proposed to send Swami late to his class as a kind of challenge. He was also going to send a letter with Swami to the headmaster. No amount of protest from Swami was of any avail: Swami had to go to school.
By the time he was ready father had composed a long letter to the headmaster, put in an envelope and sealed it.
“What have you written, father?” Swaminathan asked apprehensively.
“Nothing for you. Give it to your headmaster and go to your class.”
Swami’s father did not know the truth, that actually Mr. Samuel was a very kind and gentle man.
(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. 
One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
- jolted (line 8)
- stubborn (line 20)
- avail (line 44)
(b) Answer the following questions briefly in your own words:
- What did Swami wish for on a Monday morning? Why was his wish unlikely to be answered? 
- Which sentence tells us that Swami’s father was completely unsympathetic to his son’s headache? 
- In what way was Swami’s mother’s response different from his father’s? 
- Why did Swami give a colourful account of Mr. Samuel to his father? 
- In what way did father’s behaviour take an unexpected turn? 
- What was Swami finally ordered to do by his farther? 
(i) In not more than 60 words describe how Swami tries to prove that Mr. Samuel
is a violent man. 
(ii) Give a title to your summary in 3(c). Give a reason to justify your choice. 
- jolted—be shaken roughly
- Swami wished that an earthquake would reduce the school building to dust. His wish was unlikely to be answered because that good building—Albert Mission School— had withstood similar prayers for over a hundred years now.
- “Loaf about less on Sundays and you will be without a headache on Monday.”
“Nonsense dress up and go.”
Tells us that Swami’s father was completely unsympathetic to his son’s headache.
- Swami’s mother first suggested him to go to school in a bullock cart and later allowed him to stay at home and not go to school.
- Swami gave a colourful account of Mr. Samuel to his father in hope that his father would be made to see that he couldn’t go to his class late. Mr. Samuel was a violent man and didn’t stop caning till he saw blood on the boy’s hand and then made the boy press his blood stained hand to his forehead like a Vermillion marking.
- Father became excited. He was angry that why were this children beaten in such a manner, such teachers should be removed from service. He decided to send Swami late to his class as a kind of challenge and also was going to send a letter with Swami to the headmaster.
- Father ordered Swami that he had to go to school, no amount of protest from Swami was given a ear to. He also gave a long letter for the headmaster and told Swami to go to his class.
(ii) Title: ‘Mr. Samuel – a Violent Man’. Swami paints a very violent picture of Mr. Samuel as a teacher, how he ill-treats his students for various reasons.
Question 4: 
(a) Fill in each of the numbered blanks with the correct form of the word given in brackets. Do not copy the passage, but write in correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate to the blank space.
(0) One morning I (0) ……. (see) the python curled up on the dressing table.
It was (1) ……. (gaze) at its own reflection in the mirror. I (2) ……… (go) for grandfather but by the time we (3) ……… (return) to the room, the python (4) …….. (move) on. He was seen in the garden and once the cook saw him (5) ……… (crawl) up the ladder to the roof. Then we (6) …….. (find) him on the dressing table again (7) (admire) himself in the mirror. “He’s faying to look better for Aunt Mabel” I said. I (8) ……. (regret) this remark immediately because grandmother overheard and held up my pocket money for the rest of the week!
(b) Fill in the blanks with an appropriate word: 
- He found the key just …….. the front door.
- I could not accompany my cousin …….. the trip because I had fever.
- The noise prevented us ……… sleeping.
- The young man put the flute ……… his lips and began to play.
- Ashok leaned …….. the wall tiredly.
- The paper dart went gliding ……… the air.
- The cyclist rode quickly …….. the path.
- The young child carried the heavy bucket …….. the stairs.
(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so. 
- He has learnt to cycle. He has yet to learn to swim.
- The child helped her mother to make breakfast. She washed the tomatoes.
- They bought a new car. They can travel long distances.
- Sunita opened her purse. She found the money missing.
(d) Re-write the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. Make other changes that may be necessary, but do not change the meaning of each sentence. 
- Arun gave Ramesh some excellent advice.
(Begin : Ramesh was……….)
- As soon as Sania sat down to study, the lights went off.
(Begin : No sooner……….)
- Has Alia written to you?
(Begin : Have you……….)
- As soon as the function got over. The crowd dispersed.
(Begin : Hardly had……….)
- The monsoon is the best season in our country.
(Rewrite using ‘good’)
- Harish was so tired that he could not keep his eyes open.
(Begin : Harish was too……….)
- Father said to Sunil, “I can help you with your homework.”
(Begin : Father told Sunil……….)
- Naresh goes to a school which has over a thousand students.
(Begin : There……….)
- had moved
- He has learnt to cycle but has yet to learn to swim.
- Helping her mother to make breakfast, the child washed the tomatoes.
- They bought a new car to travel long distances.
- On opening her purse, Sunita found the money missing.
- Ramesh was given some excellent advice.
- No sooner did Sania sit down to study, the lights went off.
- Have you been written to by Alia?
- Hardly had the function got over, the crowd dispersed.
- No other season in our country is as good as the monsoon.
- Harish was too tired to keep his eyes open.
- Father told Sunil that he could help him with his home work. .
- There are over a thousand students in the school where Naresh goes.
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