ICSE English Language Previous Year Question Paper 2016 Solved for Class 10
ICSE Paper 2016
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 : “The day started off well enough, whoever thought it would ……….”
(b) Narrate an incident from your own experience when you expected to do very well, but for some reason were unable to do so. Explain what happened and why it happened. What lesson did you learn from it?
(c) “The use of Mobile Phones must be allowed in schools.” Express your views either for or against the statement.
(d) You walk home from school one afternoon to find the door unlocked and on entering you are shocked to see the house in total disarray. You call out but get no answer. Describe in detail what you saw, the reason behind your house being in total disarray and how you found your family. Mention also how the experience ended and what impact it had on your life.
(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 clear connection between the picture and your composition.
(a) The day started off well enough,whoever thought it would turn out to be so bad. Well, it was the month of May and our vacation had just begin, it was the day when we were due to leave for Darjeeling. We packed our luggage and moved to the railway station which was about a ten minute drive from our house.
It must have been about half past twelve and our train was scheduled to arrive at one O’clock at the Agra Cantt railway station. We had almost reached the station when my mother recalled that she had left the gas stove on. So we had no choice but to return. When we reached home, I rushed in and immediately swichted off the knobs of the gas stove.
My brother checked the status of our train just in case and we learnt that the train was three hours behind schedule due to some technical issue. It was decided that we will wait in the house rather than sit at the station.
Without off loading our luggage, we went into our house and decided to relax till then. Just then I heard the murmur of water. When I checked, I was astounded to find a major water leakage in our bathroom due to which the bathroom was filled with several inches of water. I immediately contacted the plumber as I knew that in a matter of minutes, the whole house would be flooded with water.
The plumber didn’t take long and arrived within fifteen minutes. He checked the leakage and told us that a pipe in the bathroom had burst open which was causing the leakage. He said that he’ll be able to fix it in an hour or so, we reluctantly agreed. The plumber took nearly two hours to repair it. We quickly paid him his charges, locked the house and set out for the station with only twenty minutes to spare.
Adding insult to injury, we were stuck up in a traffic jam. It was as if all the problems in the world had broken on us. We faced red lights at all signals. Facing a lot of difficulty, we somehow managed to reach the station.
We ran as fast we could towards the platform, desperately trying to make our way through the hustle and bustle of the platforms, but to our despair what we could only manage to see was the back of the train and hear the hoot of the engine. To our horror, we realized that we had missed our train and our trip to Darjeeling as well.
We returned home deeply saddened by the incident. I’ve had a lot of bad days in life but it was by far the worst day of my life and I hope that such an incident never happens again.
(b) Each one of us has some or the other qualities in ourselves which differentiates us from other people. The vital need is to search it out of our soul and when we have sought it, excel in it, and the need of the hour then is to be humble and not be over-confident. When we excel in a particular field, all have high expectations from us to perform well. There the humbleness and sincerity of our mind comes into play.
I too possess a talent and this is how I became aware of it. One day, I went to play Badminton and I was astonished to find that the traditional and basic shots came naturally to me. I thought that this was the extra-ordinary trait gifted to me. I started to pursue my career as a badmintion player. I worked hard for two years until I became the champion at the district level. I had stepped into the professional panel of this game. I thought that I was the best in the district and this thought convinced me to decrease the length of my practise sessions and my mind was on the seventh heaven. I stopped paying attention to senior players or the coach’s advice.
Days passed, it was time now for the state level tournament. After winning districts, I had lost my humble attitude and was full of over-confidence. I thought that I would conquer the state level forgetting that there were many other district level players like me. To my utter surprise, I was knocked out of the first round by a player whom I had defeated at the district level. It was an extremely shocking and traumatic moment for me.
I had let down my parents and my coach and I felt ashamed to show my face to them. My coach came searching for me & I feared that he would lash out at me for losing such an important match but rather he was calm and affectionate. In a matter of five minutes, he taught me the greatest lesson of my life—hardwork and humbleness.
He explained he had been noticing my change of attitude which was the cause of my downfall. He also pointed to my over confident behaviour and advised that one should always be rooted to the earth, on matter whatever height of success one reaches. Moreover one should always be humble and respectful at all times even to our opponents. Then on I vowed to ever follow my guide’s advice all my life.
My coach wanted to teach this lesson in a practical way, therefore didn’t point my shortcomings earlier. Though I suffered a big defeat but it is never too late to pick up the shreds and weave a bed of roses for yourself.
(c) The mobile phones are modem gadgets of communication that helps us to connect with people around the world. The mobile phones have a marked effect in the lives of people and now a days each and every person whether a peasant or a wealthy person owns a mobile phone. In these urban times, mobile phones are not restricted only to the adults, but have also become a component of students lives. The mobile phones cannot be allowed in schools as they will be used more as a means of amusement than for education.
The students’ life is a base for the days to come, and at this stage, students should develop the virtue of hardword by doing his/her own work manually without any help. With a mobile phone in hand, no student will bother to write down his/her notes, and will be obsessed with copying and pasting all the work given to him/her. This will lead to the students to become lazy and passive and this can effectively ruin their future.
Nowadays, new types of mobiles called smart phones are prevalent. These have thousands of new features to be used. But most of these feature are too distracting for a student’s mind. For example, student will develop a habit for playing games or listening to music while the teacher is giving a lecture or notes in class. This will cause rapid decrease in his/her interest in study, and he/she will gradually start losing his/her marks and rank. Another harmful effect of phones is that the outdoor activities decrease as the students stick to mobiles, because they are too hard to resist for a student. This affects their physical and mental health and if mobile phones are allowed in schools then the students would only become bad to worse.
An important feature of mobile phone is internet. Internet is a very useful thing and could be-very useful for students as they can know about all the things around the world. But if free access to internet is provided to students, without any restrictions in schools then most of the times it will be used for purposes other than education. The students could also be lured into opening porn websites and watching illicit material. The students will also begin to down load useless materials, as a students heart and mind is still developing and it is too hard to resist such distractions.
Thus, the mobile phones should only be limited till homes, because they prove to be more of a distraction than an educational source to children. The students gradually start lossing their concentration in studies. They develop a passive nature for studies and their essence of hard work all dry up. The mobile phones will cause their health to deteriorate, and will have an adverse effect on their eyes. A student will grow to become erratic and harsh and with a stubborn character. The mobile phones will cause them to lose their interest in sports and other outdoor fields of entertainment. Students will be less in contact with the outside world and family, and this will deteriorate his character.
As far as study is concerned the mobile phones cam be an excellent source if they are used correctly. But if the students gain free access to phones, like in schools than they will only serve as an excellent source of distraction. These were the views I had against the allowing of mobile phones in schools.
(d) It was Monday when I was returning from my school to home. I was very happy as I got good marks in my test and thinking what my mother would say after seeing my test. On reaching my house I rang the bell of the main gate, but there was no response. After two-three minutes I tried to push the gate and to my surprise it easily opened. I was thinking that why my mother had left the door unlocked.
As I entered, I saw all the things displaced from their original position. My almirah was open and all the clothes were lying out on the bed, the television was on. The water was also overflowing from the bucket as the tap lay open. I couldn’t understand what had happened in the house. In the morning only I had read in newspaper, many news of robbery, kidnapping etc. I felt very frightened. I again called out to my mom, but there was no reply. I searched each and every room but found nothing except silence. I rang my mother but I found that her phone was in the house only. I went to my neighbor Mr. Singh’s house and asked whether they knew anything, but I got no information from them also. I decided to call my relatives, but just then, a car came to the door of my house and was honking repeatedly.
I quickly rushed to the door to see who it was and found to my astonishment my parents standing there. They were equally surprised to see me. My mother wept bitterly on seeing me and hugged me. She kissed my forehead repeatedly.
After the initial moment of shock and surprise was over, I asked them where they had been all the while. My father related that mother had received a call from a man who informed her that a boy in school uniform and riding a black cycle was knocked down by a car. They got the number from the identity card he was wearing. We got panic thinking that you have met with an accident. In fear and panic leaving things as they were, we rushed to the spot only to find that the boy had been taken to a nearby hospi¬tal. Reaching the hospital we found that the boy’s condition was serious and operation was the need of the hour. So the boy was in the O.T. fighting against death. We waited till the operation was over and the doctor came out with a smile and announced that the operation was successful and the boy will soon recover. We felt extremely pleased and went to see you but to our amazement found that you were not there but he was your friend Ram. We rushed back home thinking you would be waiting for us. When we saw you safe and sound this added to our happiness. After hearing their story, I told them that my friend and I were playing a prank and I had given my identity card to him and forgot to take it after the school was over. But we were very happy that everything ended with happiness.
(e) My experience on a rainy day has always been full of joy and happiness. It was the month of June and the heat was at its peak. Not just the humans but even the animals were gasping for the monsoons to set in. In such weather, it was literally impossible to stay indoors. So me and a couple of my friends decided to go for a stroll around the TajMahal.
We were on our way and suddenly some dark clouds began to set in and the weather became overcast. Finally, the wait was over and it started to rain and that too very heavily. It was as if clouds had burst open. The roads and streets were soon flooded with water. The tin ceilings of the nearby houses were showering big drops of rain. But we all were really enjoying the shower. The river Yamuna was nearly flooding by now. We were all splashing water in joy.
The boys from nearby slums were playing with their umbrellas, splashing water onto one another; they were even floating paper boats in the small pools and rills on the road. They were enjoying thoroughly. Trees and plants were dripping water continuously, it was truly an enchanting scene which stole my heart.
After having enjoyed for an hour or so, we decided to head back home. It was then that we realized that a flood-like phenomenon was shaping up. The water was gushing ‘ down with full might. We were soaked in a couple of feet of water. The traffic had come to a halt. The rainfall was heavier than anyone had expected. But after an hour or two things started to clear up. The rainfall stopped but the roads were still slippery.
The memories of such days are full of amusement, laughter and sometimes even mishaps. Many people don’t prefer monsoons, they complain of floods, of the unhygienic environment created by them or even the water-borne diseases they lead to. But to me, they act as a day of merry-making in the scorching heat of June. They provide satisfac- ; tion in such depressing and unpleasant atmosphere. All of a sudden the weather be comes exhilarating. The atmosphere becomes romantic. The happiness of dirtying clothesby splashing in water is one of the most satisfying mischiefs of our life. Monsoons to me are by far the best part of the year.
Question 2: 
(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question.)
Select any one of the following:
(a) Your class wants to visit a well-known historical monument in a nearby town. Write a letter to your Principal seeking permission and say why you would benefit from the visit.
(b) Your school recently held a jubilee celebration. Write a letter to your friend who was unable to attend, giving details of the function and your role in it.
(a) 319 Dayal Bagh
29th February, 2016
St. Francis Inter College
I, chinmay jain on behalf of class IX-B request you to give us the permission to visit Fathepur Sikri situated at a distance of about 55 km from Agra.
We want to visit this place because of its historical value. Secondly, through our history books we learnt that it was built with a fusion of arts of different cultures, so we want to go and have a first hand experience. It will be helpful for us to understand the chapter in a better way. Not only this, we will also be able to gather knowledge about the Mughal period and about the richness of the Mughals.
We hope that you will think over our request and allow us to go on the educational tour to Fathepur Sikri.
Thanking you in anticipation.
(b) 18 Nehru Nagar
29th February, 2016
Last week the jubliee celebration were held in the school. It was an event full of fun, work and play. We all missed you a lot. Hope by now you may have recovered from your illness.
The DM of Agra district Mr. Pankaj Kumar was the chief guest in the two days celebrations held in the school. The senior section students presented a dance drama on the theme ‘Women Empowerment’. The audience throughly enjoyed and appreciated it. I, too had a major role in the act. My performance was rewarded with a standing ovation.
To tell you truly, before the call on the stage I was very nervous and scared. There were butterflies buzzing in my stomach. But once I was on the stage, all fear disappeared and it was smooth sailing. The other programmes were solo song, group song, folk dance and contemporary dance form. The progress report was read by our principal Mr. Alex Jhon.
I sincerely wish you could also make it to the grand event held in school after so many months. Hope to see you back in school soon.
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
For some time Mother had greatly envied us our swimming, both in the daytime and at night, but as she pointed out when we suggested she join us, she was far too old for that sort of thing. Eventually, however, under constant pressure from us, Mother paid a visit into town and returned to the villa coyly bearing a mysterious parcel. Opening this she astonished us all by holding up an extraordinary shapeless garment of black cloth, covered from top to bottom with hundreds of frills and pleats and tucks.
‘Well, what do you think of it?’ Mother asked.
We stared at the odd garment and wondered what it was for.
‘What is it?’ asked Larry at length.
‘It’s a bathing-costume, of course,’ said Mother. “What on earth did you think it was?’ ‘It looks to me like a badly-skinned whale,’ said Larry, peering at it closely.
You can’t possibly wear that, Mother,’ said Margo, horrified, Shy, it looks as though it was made in nineteen-twenty.’
‘What are all those frills and things for?’ asked Larry with interest.
‘Decoration, of course,’ said Mother indignantly.
‘What a jolly idea! Don’t forget to shake the fish out of them when you come out of the water.’
‘Well, I like it, anyway,’ Mother said firmly, wrapping the monstrosity up again, ‘and I’m going to wear it.’
‘You’ll have to be careful you don’t get waterlogged, with all that cloth around you,’ said Leslie seriously.
‘Mother, it’s awful; you can’t wear it,’ said Margo. ‘Why on earth didn’t you get something more up to date?’
‘ When you get to my age, dear, you can’t go around in a two-piece bathing suit… you don’t have the figure for it.’
‘I’d love to know what sort of figure that was designed for,’ remarked Larry.
‘You really are hopeless, Mother,’ said Margo despairingly.
‘But I like it… and I’m not asking you to wear it,’ Mother pointed out angrily.
‘That’s right, you do what you want to do,’ agreed Larry; ‘don’t be put off. It’ll probably suit you very well if you can grow another three or four legs to go with it.’
Mother snorted indignantly and swept upstairs to try on her costume. Presently she called to us to come and see the effect, and we all trooped up to the bedroom. Roger the dog, was the first to enter, and on being greeted by this strange apparition clad in its voluminous black costume rippling with frills, he retreated hurriedly through the door, backwards, barking ferociously. It was some time before we could persuade him that it really was Mother, and even then he kept giving her vaguely uncertain looks from the corner of his eye. However, in spite of all opposition, Mother stuck to her tent-like bathing- suit, and in the end we gave up.
In order to celebrate her first entry into the sea we decided to have a moonlight picnic down at the bay, and sent an invitation to Theodore, who was the only stranger that Mother would tolerate on such a great occasion. The day for the great immersion arrived, food and wine were prepared, the boat was cleaned out and filled with cushions and everything was ready when Theodore turned up.
(a) Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage:
One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.
- peering (line 13)
- ferociously (line 41)
- immersion (line 49) 
(b) Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
- Why did mother not join the swimming in the beginning? 
- Briefly describe her swimming costume. 
- What did Larry think it was? 
- Which sentence tells you that Margo thought it was old fashioned? 
- What was Leslie’s concern? 
- Why did mother think it was suitable? 
(i) In not more than 60 words describe what happened after mother went upstairs to try on her costume. 
(ii) Give a title to your summary in 3 (c) (i). Give a reason to justify your choice. 
- looking Closely
- put completely into water.
- Mother did not join the swimming in the begining because she was far too old for that sort of thing.
- Mother’s swimming costume was an extraordinary shapeless garment of black cloth, covered from top to bottom with hundred of frills and pleats and tucks.
- Larry thought that the swimming costume looks like a badly skinned whale.
- Margo first said the swimming costume looks as if it was made in nineteen twenty. Afterwards she asked her mother why didn’t she get something more up to date.
- Leslie told her mother that she will have to be careful not to get water logged, with all that cloth around her.
- Mother thought it was suitable because she felt that in her old age she couldn’t go around in a two piece bathing suit as she didn’t have the figure for it.
(ii) The title is ‘Mother’s tent like bathing suit’.
On seeing mother clothed in voluminous black costume, Roger the dog is surprised, starts barking wildly but mother sticks to her costume and refuses to give in.
(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) He had been (0) ……… (sit) on the bank of a small irrigation canal.
He was (1) ………. (gaze) at a couple of heron (2) ……… (fish) in the muddy water, when he (3) ……… (feel) something bump his elbow. (4) ……… (look) around, he (5) ………. (find) at his side a little goat, jet black and soft as velvet with lovely grey eyes. Neither her owner nor her mother (6) ……… (be) around. She continued to (7) ……… (nudge) Mukesh, so he (8) ……… (look) in his pocket for nourishment.
(b) Fill in each blank with an appropriate word: 
- There was a steep rise ……… onion prices.
- Air pollution is responsible for the spread ……… bronchitis.
- He was …….. pressure to complete the work.
- Joan jumped ………. the river to rescue the child.
- His teacher is very pleased ……… him.
- Ali took ……… his cap and wiped his face.
- The old woman could not get ……… the shock.
- He should not get ……… with such rudeness.
(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so 
- My grandfather is very old. He is very active.
- Mala is not in the classroom. Mala is not in the library.
- She was so excited about her performance. She could not sleep at night.
- Mumbai is densely populated. It is one of the major cities in the country.
(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. 
- The book was so interesting that I could not put in down.
(Begin : The book was too ……………… )
- The Principal said, “All the prizes will be distributed tomorrow.”
(Begin : The Principal said that ……………. )
- Last night’s dinner was cooked for us by father.
(Begin : Father …………… )
- If Mary catches the first bus, she will be on time for school.
(Begin : Unless …………….)
- Inspite of having high fever the girl came to school. .
(Begin : Despite ……………..)
- I prefer going out with friends to staying alone at home.
(Begin : I would rather ………….)
- Hardly had the teacher left the room, when all the children started making a noise.
(Begin : No sooner ………..)
- This is the funniest movie I have ever seen.
(Begin : Never ………….)
- Though my grandfather is very old, he is very active.
Though very old, my grandfather is very active.
- Mala is niether in the classroom nor in the library.
- She was too excited about her performance to sleep at night.
- Mumbai which is densely populated is one of the major cities in the country.
- The book was too interesting to put down.
- The principal said that all the prizes would be distributed the next day.
- Father cooked the dinner for us last night.
- Unless Mary catches the first bus, she will not be on time for school.
- Despite having high fever, the girl came to school.
- I would rather go out with friends, than stay alone at home.
- No sooner did the teacher leave the room than all the children started making a noise.
- Never have I seen a movie as funny as this one.