ICSE English Language Previous Year Question Paper 2013 Solved for Class 10
ICSE Paper 2013
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 short story that begins with the words: “In the background I could hear an awful commotion, men’s voices raised and women screaming.”
(b) Boarding schools are far better than day schools for the all-round education of a child. Express your view either for or against this statement.
(c) You were on a school trip and were on your way back to the hotel late one night when your school bus, full of children, broke down in a lonely area. Describe what you saw and experienced as you looked around. How was the problem solved?
(d) Teaching someone else how to do something can be a rewarding experience. Think of a skill that you have helped someone to develop. Perhaps you taught someone how to swim or to bake a cake, or helped someone learn how to study more effectively. Narrate the events that made up the process of teaching the skill, and say what made the experience important and memorable for you.
(e) Study the picture given below. Write a story or a description or an account of what it suggests to you. Your composition may be about the subject of the picture or you may take suggestions from it; however, there must be a clear connection between the picture and your composition.
(a) In the background I could hear an awful commotion, men’s voice raised and women screaming. I was at a loss to understand what the matter was. I was feeling irritated for my sleep was disturbed, and I had hardly slept for an hour or so. I tried to put my pillow covering both the ears, but of no avail. The voice was too severe, and by now I was sure that something terrible had happened.
I threw my sheet and rushed towards the window and was aghast to find that thick black clouds of smoke were emanating in, the sky. The whole scenario was one of chaos and hundreds of people had come out of their homes with buckets full of water and trying in their own peculiar way to extinguish the fire. Huge flames of fire leapt into the sky making the scene look tremulous and terrifying. Gasping at the sight I felt suffocated for smoke, by now had covered the entire scenario.
I rushed downstairs, with my legs staggering, on the verge of falling, I caught the railing and descended down. I woke up my parents and sister, for they were fast asleep, as their room was in the rear. They too were totally bewildered for it was 2’o clock at night, we reached out and joined the crowd which was besirk with shrieks and clamours, people were running desperately, shouting for water everywhere.
I tried to ask somebody about what had happened and he stared at me rudely, and later raised his finger to the left to indicate what was happening. I was transfixed on seeing the multi storeyed building caught in blazing fire. A lot of smoke was rushing out of its many floors – nothing seemed to be clearly visible as the block hideous smoke spread its empire everywhere and the whole building was lost in a pack of miseries and cries of people shouting for help.
The Nehru building was disastrously caught in fire, without any possibility of rescue and escape. I never had such a bewildering experience except in a few English movies where I had encountered such demolishing fire – ready to swallow each and everything at sight.
Presently, I could see many fire tenders rushing to the spot. The Jawans came out in a flash and their heavy rubber pipes started throwing water while some of them tried to put up the long stairs to rest on the walls where people could be still seen waving their hands for help. The incharge, was supervising his team superbly on the spur of the moment as if he was used to such calamities and tragic despair. He divided his men into four teams and was trying to cover the building on three sides for pumping water, and the people trapped in the building were asked to moved to the other side. It was an open side and there was a good possibility to rescue people from there.
The building adjoining to this was Still safe and it was connected with a strong ladder, the people trapped inside were asked to move to another building by it. Throughout the desperate operation the supervisor was a genius, his presence of mind was remarkable for he succeeded in vacating the building. This was the most devastating and dangerous live experience I witnessed.
(b) Boarding school can be a great place to meet new people and to have fun while you’re at school, but day school is also a good place to go if you don’t like being away from your parents or you have great friends where you are. Both are really great, but boarding school can be really fun-and you get really close to the people you meet there.
One cannot say that boarding school is better or Day school in comparison, while both are effective in producing good results in terms of academics, extra-curricular, social interactions etc but for some parents it’s difficult to give extra-care and time to their child from the drudgery of their routine, and also due to other reasons they send their children to boarding.
There are number of benefits in a boarding School.
- Daily coexistence lead to friendships, not just among students, but also with faculty members.
- Low student-teacher ratio. The median class size is 12 students per teacher, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 6 to 1.
- Boarding school reduces compartmentalization, because academic studies are blended with other activities, such as sports. Hus natural juxtaposition increases the appeal of both pursuits.
- Provides stability not available in families where one or both parents travel or are virtually never home due to work schedules.
- Safety of individuals residing in boarding school is typically higher than non boarding school age students in general.
- Special help programs are often available.
- Students enjoy more challenge and face fewer harmful distractions. If the students of public school are rife with bad influences or lack diversity, boarding school may be the answer.
- Students learn to govern their own behaviour. And parents no longer have to seem like ogres or nags. In many cases students appreciation for parents greatly increases.
- Where earlier generations have attended the institution, a family tradition is sustained becoming an additional source of motivation.
- Some schools have summer sessions, possibly also open to students of other schools. These sessions often feature special concentrations such as academic or computer instruction and/or the fine arts. Some offer sports and/or rigorous outdoor training during the summer.
- Some boarding school offer a post-high school graduation development program which can provide additional opportunity to mature, perfect academic polish and further develop themselves becoming better prepared to be an adult in today’s world.
In the final analysis, both school whether boarding or day school is good choice. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages as well. Nothing is perfect in this world. The decisions is all up to the individual itself as long as there’s a discussion among family members. Consider all the pro and con before placing your kids whether to boarding or day school. In this situation, parents should help their kid to make decision and play their role because the parents is their role model.
(c) School trips are part and parcel of school curriculum. Every year schools plan tours for every class which are both educational and entertaining tours. In some schools it is compulsory whereas in some it is optional. Our school also plans tours every year and it is compulsory for every student to participate. This year we went to Jaipur for two nights and three days.
We were very excited, for trip with friends, that two night stay is dream come true. We were given an Itirary in which all the details of our visits and stay was mentioned. We were to stay at Rajasthan Tourist Complex for 2 nights and the rooms provided were excellent.
On reaching Jaipur, we saw our rooms which were good, we had to share room with 4 boys, we were told to get ready within half an hour, for after lunch we would start with our monument visits. That day after visiting Jantar Mantar, Hava Mahal, Amer Fort and City Palace, we were tired. And we come back and had a nice sleep.
Next day we went to Bikaner, which is a beautiful city, we also visited Jodhpur and come back to our buses after tea break. We had to come back to Jaipur by 10’o clock. Singing songs, we had hardly travelled for an hour or so when the bus broke down at around 8’o clock, we were in a deserted place, and there was sand outstretched on both the sides. It was an eerie feeling.
The driver along with conductor came down to examine the engine but of no avail. Since, it was totally dark and cold too, since in deserts, nights are cold and days are warmer. They both tried hard, but in sheer darkness, no solution could be reached. Our sirs and mams were also worried, but they kept their cool and asked us to remain quiet and not to make any noise, least we drew attention of anti-social elements.
At a distance of 200 metres or so there were some tents that used to be seen, for there were lamps burning and camels tied outside the tents. Our sir suggested to the driver that they should go and ask for help otherwise the darker it got, the more risky it would be. Some of the students had started crying. They were uncomfortable, but the elder boys, tried to cool them down.
Some boys with teachers, went towards the tents, for some aid. I too was among them, on reaching there, we saw that they were all Rajasthanis. Their dress was their hallmark and they were sturdy. They were singing and dancing and enjoying themselves when we approached them, they were shocked and asked the reason of our approach. We told them our predicament. The way they looked at each other, indicated that they were suspicious, but when we showed them our bus and the school students in it, they readily agreed to help us.
They asked all the students to come into the tents, we had such a nice time dancing, singing around bonfire, that it became the most memorable trip. Then they gave us food to eat and at around 12’o clock we went to sleep in their tents for the bus could not be redeemed before morning, we did not mind it, for this was an exciting adventure and would be cherished life-long.
Next morning we all came back to hotel, had some more sight seeing that day and in the afternoon, started early to prevent any more eventuality. We came back at To clock in the evening and shared the experience with our parents, who first appeared worried, but later they too felt that it was a part and parcel of school trip, and such challenges teach you to become stronger and brave in life.
(d) I am a student of tenth standard giving my boards. Today is my English Language paper and the essay I have opted is an opportunity to display my satisfaction on having successfully accomplished a task I had undertaken to work on, which not only I managed to fulfill successfully, but rather the reward has been so gratifying that I am tempted to share it with all. So that others too feel motivated that teaching a skill is not only rewarding rather it is self sufficing and enlightening.
Two years back we were given a project in our school “Each one Teach one”. Initially we made fun of our teachers, who had asked us to teach someone who was less fortunate near our house, like our household workers, or labour class at construction sight nearby. Most of my friends came up with bright ideas of befooling the teachers that they would take someone who was somewhat familiar with basics and would say that they had taught them. I too had thought alike.
On reaching home, I told my grandmother about the whole episode of the project and the ideas of my friends. My Grandma became a little sad on hearing my views of befooling the teacher, and advised to do it seriously for the effort would be worthwhile and rewarding.
She told me that it is a noble task to teach someone, and we who are fortunate should not take them for granted. I could grasp the meaning behind her words and seriously thought over it and next day, I asked my maid’s daughter, if she was interested in studying. She used to accompany her mother and was around 10 years old.
Initially she declined, and I had to pursue her hard, allure her through small gifts I would give her, if she studied with diligence, and finally she agreed. So now I was a teacher and my task had begun. I prepared myself I would be dedicated to my task and prove to myself that I could do it.
I gave her few books of basics of Hindi and maths and one notebook. Though it was a Herculean task, but I endeavoured for I would not look back. Initially she was a slow learner, but soon with my initiative she got eager to learn everyday and in a month she was able to write Hindi alphabets and numbers from one to hundred.
From next month I started with small two letter words and small calculations. She was quick to perceive and learn very copiously. At times I used to get exasperated for a lot of time was to be devoted, but I managed for the satisfaction. I was getting was immense.
Next month we got her admitted to school in III std. and she did very well with my help and stood I in her class. The experience boosted my dignity in my own eyes apart from others, and I felt on top of the world for doing something that was indeed taken up : initially in a mood of frolicsome challenge.
(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question.)
Select one of the following: 
(a) You will soon have to make a decision about the subjects that you wish to study in class XI and XII.
Write a letter to your grandfather telling him about the subjects that you plan to take up. Be sure to explain the reason for your choice and how you think these [ subjects would help you in the future.
(b) The children in your neighbourhood are forced to play on the street for want of a proper play area. Write a letter to the Editor of a popular newspaper, pointing out the need for a playground in your neighbourhood. Give reasons why you think a play area is necessary and point out how it would benefit everyone who lives in that area.
(a) C-28, Kamla Nagar
Near Sri Ram Mandir
15th March 2013
I received your letter just yesterday and was elated to know that you have recovered from your ailment and are back home from the hospital.
Grandpa, I really admire your concern about my future, since in your letter you have inquired about the stream and subjects I wish to study in XI and XII.
You know quite well that I have always wanted to become a famous C.A. like you. You have always inspired me to come up in life. I want to take commerce stream to fulfill my aim of becoming a C.A.
The subjects that I wish to study are Maths, Commerce, Accounts, Economics and Business Study. These will help me know the basics of accounting and will enhance my interest and aptitude towards the Commerce stream. I am good at Maths, so I will surely do good in Accounts also.
Moreover you are always there to guide and assist me in my future endeavours. I am sure with a lot of diligence and motivation from you, I will do very well and will realise my ambition soon. Thanking you for always being there for me.
Your loving grand-daughter
(b) C-24, Kamla Nagar
Near Vikas Market Agra
15th March 2013
Bye Pass Road
Subject—Complaint Against Lack of Playground in Neighbourhood.
Through the columns of your newspaper I would like to divert the attention of the authorities concerned, towards the problem of lack of proper playground area in our neighbourhood. The children consequently are forced to play on the busy streets, which proves to be hazardous for their lives.
Children today have become obese and malnutritioned due to lack of outdoor activities and physical fitness. Most of their time is spent indoors, watching television, eating junk food and henceforth becoming couch potatoes. When they are scolded and asked to go out and play, they complain of having no playground in the vicinity. This indeed is their genuine complain, for it is too risky to play on busy roads. It is essential that every colony should have some open area or a playground parks, where children can go and refresh, relax and revitalize for their allround development. They interact better with each other while playing developing healthy sportsmanship. They can walk, run, play group games, badminton, tennis to gain stamina and vitality.
Even the parents are motivated to come out with their kids, and get some fresh air which is conducive of good health. They can interact with their neighbours and become good friends. One gets exposure to life by moving out and melting people, not by staying confined in one’s house. They can share their grievances, problems and can luckily get some solutions. They can overcome their sedentary life style by walking, running, doing yoga and relaxing.
Moreover playing on streets, can lead to serious accidents which often one confronts. Vehicles run at a fast pace, resulting in serious casualties.
So it is my earnest request that please publish this letter in your columns so that the concerned authorities will look into the problem and provide a play area immediately in our colony.
Thanking you in anticipation
Read Hie following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
There were other boys in Manjari village, but Bisnu was the only one who went to school. His mother would not have fussed if he had stayed at home and worked in the fields. That was what the other boys did; all except lazy Chittru, who preferred fishing in the stream or helping himself to the fruit off other people’s trees. But Bisnu went to school. He went because he wanted to. No one could force him to go; and no one could stop him from going. He had set his heart on receiving a good schooling. He wanted to read and write as well as anyone is the big world and so he walked to school every day.
A colony of langoors lived in the forest. They fed on oak leaves, acorns, and other green things, and usually remained in the trees, coming down to the ground only to play or sun themselves. They were beautiful, supple-limbed animals, with black faces and silver-grey coats and long, sensitive tails. They leapt from tree to tree with great agility. The young ones wrestled on the grass like boys.
A dignified community, the langoors did not have the cheekiness or dishonest habits of the red monkeys of the plains; they did not approach dogs or humans. But they had grown used to Bisnu’s comings and goings and did not fear him. Some of the older ones would watch him quietly, a little puzzled. They did not go near the town; because the boys threw stones at them. And anyway, the forest gave them all the food they required.
Coming from another direction was a second path, and at the junction of the two paths Sami was waiting for him. Sarru came from a small village about three miles from Bisnu’s and closer to the town.
They hailed each other, and walked along. They often met at this spot, keeping each others company for the remaining two miles.
‘There was a panther in our village last night’, said Sarru.
This information interested but did not excite Bisnu. Panthers were common enough in the hills and did not usually present a problem except during the winter months, when their natural prey was scarce.
‘Did you lose any animals’ asked Bisnu.
‘No. It tried to get into the cowshed but the dogs set up the alarm. We drove it off.’ ‘It must be the same one which came around last winter. We lost a calf and two dogs in our village.’
“Wasn’t that the one the shikaris wounded? I hope it hasn’t become a cattle-lifter’.
‘It could be the same. It has a bullet in its leg. These hunters are the people who cause all the trouble. They think it’s easy to shoot a panther. It would be better if they missed altogether, but they usually wound it.
‘And then the panthers too slow to catch the barking-deer and starts on our own animals’.
“We’re lucky it didn’t become a man-eater. Do you remember the man-eater six years ago? I was very small then. My father told me all about it. Ten people were killed in our valley alone’.
‘What happened to it?’
‘I don’t know. Some say it poisoned itself when it ate the headman of the village’.
‘Binsu laughed. No one liked that old villain. They linked arms and scrambled up the stony path to school’.
(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. 
One words answers or short phrases will he accepted.
- agility (line 12)
- hailed (line 21)
- villain (line 42)
(b) Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
- How was Chittru different from other boys? 
- What was Bisnu’s ambition? 
- What information did Sarru give Bisnu? 
- How did the information affect Bisnu? 
- Why did the panther become a cattle-lifter? 
- What joke does Sarru make? 
(i) In not more than 60 words describe what the narrator tells us about the behaviour of the langoors. 
(ii) Give a title to your summary in 3 (c). Give a reason to justify your choice. 
- villain—rogue/wicked man.
- While the other boys worked hard in the fields and helped their parents, Chittru idled and lazied around. He preferred fishing in the stream and breaking fruits off other people’s trees. He squandered his time loafing here and there.
- Bisnu’s ambition was to receive a good schooling. He went on his own accord to school, not forced by anyone, to read and write, so that he could get well educated like other children in the big world.
- Sarru, who came from a small village, three miles away from Bisnu’s village, informed him about the sudden visit of a panther to his village, the previous night.
- Bisnu, who was a cool headed boy, found the information of Sarru to be interesting, about the visit of panther to their village but nevertheless he was not too excited to hear it. He knew that panthers were a common sight viewed on hills, and did not harm except in winters, when food was scarce.
- The panther had become a cattle lifter because once it was wounded by the shikaris, who had aimed a bullet in his leg. The panther had consequently become slow paced. Unable to hunt fast running barking deer, it started killing cattles.
- Sarru jokingly told Bisnu, that his father told him, that six years back, a panther had become a men-eater and had killed around six people in their valley. Later it was reported, that the panther had poisoned itself after eating the headman of the village, since the headmen was a rouge i.e. a viscious person.
(ii) Title “Langoors—A Dignified Community”.
It is an appropriate title because it tells us about the dignified behaviour of langoors in a community
(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) A woman …….. (wait) at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight.
Answer: was waiting.
She (1) ……… (hunt) for a book in the airport shops, (2) ……….. (buy) a bag of cookies and found a place to sit. She (3) ………. (engross) in her book but happened to see that the man sitting beside her, bold as could be, grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene. So she (4) ………. (munch) the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy thief diminished her stock. She (5) ………. (get) more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I (6) ………. (black) his eye.” With each cookie she took, he took one too. When only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he (7) …….. (take) the last cookie and broke it in half. He offered her half, as he ate the other. She had never known she could be so angry and turned to gather her belongings. As she reached for her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes. If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his and he (8) ……… (try) to share.
(b) Fill in the blanks with an approrpriate word: 
- She takes a lot of trouble………. her work.
- Our English friends have taken……….. Indian food quite quickly.
- He got an A+……….. the Mathematics test.
- He jumped……….. the river to save his friend from drowning.
- Always be preapred ………… a surprise test.
- She hid……….. the cupboard and gave everyone a fright.
- She is fond……….. pets.
- The brothers quarrelled……….. themselves for their father’s property
(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so. 
- We had better get ready now. We may not have time to reach the airport.
- Mr. Liew has been sick. He has been so since he came back from Japan.
- The debating teams were very happy. Both were declared joint champions.
- He escaped from the prison. He looked for a place where he could hide.
(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. 
- These windows need cleaning again.
(Begin : These windows will……….)
- My mother said I could go with you only if I returned home by five o’clock.
(Use : as long as)
- It doesn’t matter which chemical you put into the mixture first, the results will be the same.
- Who, does this pen belong to?
(Being : Do you know……….)
- Heavy rain has caused the cancellation of the outdoor garden party.
(Begin : Due………)
- I’ve never seen so many people in this building before.
(Begin : This is……….)
- If we light the fire, the rescuers will see us.
(Begin : We will……….)
- Only a few books were remaining on the shelf when we left.
(Begin : Most…….)
- was engrossed
- would blacken
- was trying
- We had better get ready how otherwise we may not have time to reach the airport.
- Mr. Liew has teen sick since he came back from Japan.
- The debating teams were very happy since/as both were declared joint champions.
- After escaping from the prison, he looked for a place where he could hide.
- These windows will have to be cleared again.
- My mother said I could go with you, as long as I returned home by five O’clock.
- It doesn’t make any difference, which chemical you put into the mixture first, the results will be the same.
- Do you know to whom does this pen belong?
- Due to heavy rain, the outdoor garden party has teen cancelled.
- This is the first time, I am seeing so many people in this building.
- We will be seen by the rescuers, if we light the fire.
- Most of the books on the shelf were not there when we left.