ISC English Language 2010 Class-12 Previous Year Question

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ISC English Language 2010 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers

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ISC English Language 2010 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers

Maximum Marks: 100
Time allowed: Three hours

(Candidates are allowed additional 15 minutes for only reading the paper. They must NOT start writing during this time).
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 50 minutes on Question 1, 40 minutes on Question 2, 30 minutes on Question 3 and 1 hour on Question 4.)
(You should begin each answer on a fresh page.)

ISC English Language 2010 Class-12 Previous Year Question Papers

Question 1:

Write a composition (in approximately 450-500 words) on any one of the following subjects:- [30]
(You are reminded that you will be rewarded for orderly and coherent presentation of material, use of appropriate style and general accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar.)
(a) A foreigner will be visiting you for a fortnight and you wish to introduce him/her to ‘ Incredible India’ during that time. Give an account of your plans.
(b) ‘Relatives are a tedious and curious pack of people’. Express you views on this topic.
(c) Colour.
(d) Describe the scene at a busy railway station during the holiday season. Your description should recall vividly the bustle and confusion of such a scene.
(e) Academics and extra-curricular activities must be given equal importance in school. Write for or against proposition.
(f) Write an original short story beginning with the words :
I knew at once that the blue envelope was from her. My hands trembled as I reached for it ……………..
Write an original short story’ which has for its ending :
…………………… You may print this if you like.
Answer 1:   (ISC English Language 2010 Class-12)

(a) ‘Incredible India’
The Image of India in Western countries is quite dull and negative. India has all along been dubbed as a dark, mysterious, backward country-a land of magicians, snake-charmers, flies and beggars. Only a few foreigners are aware of India which is really incredible – a country with amazing beautiful natural sights, rich flora and fauna and a large cultural diversity. E.Max Mueller, a great German scholar, proclaimed in one of his essays : “If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow – in some parts a paradise on earth – I should point to India”.

It is this wonderful India that I plan to show to my friend John who is coming to India for a fortnight. First, I would like him to see the progress modem India has made in science and technology by taking him around Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (UMS), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi. I also wish to show him some centres of industry in and around Delhi – in Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad, which may include Maruti Udyog, some units of computer software companies – a joy ride in the Metro, etc. If possible, I may take him to show some industrial units of Reliance, Tata, ONGC, etc.

Then I would definitely take my friend to show the Taj Mahal, the Sun Temple at Konarak, and one or two other famous places. A visit to Ajanta and Ellora caves is also on my mind. All these places reveal the wealth of art and culture India possesses. I have in mind a visit to the National Museum in New Delhi which provides a glimpse of India’s glorious past and present in diverse fields.

As a fortnight is not sufficient to show even the most important aspects of India, I would not think of a journey across the Southern states. However, I think a visit to beautiful beaches of Goa even for a day is a must. Goa gives an idea of the beauty nature has endowed our country with.

This is what I have in mind. I hope my friend would get a fair idea of the greatness of our country. When he would go back to Canada he would not regret having visited a ‘backward’ country. He would proudly tell his friend what India really is.

(b) ‘Relatives are a tedious and curious pack of people’.
It is true that we can choose our friends but not our relatives. We have to put up with all our relatives, good or bad, we cannot disown them as we cannot disown our parentage.

In the past relatives were always welcome. People were quite sociable and had plenty of time to spare. A visit even of a distant relative was an exciting event, and would make everybody happy. It was so because people were then less demanding. Relatives did not ask for special treatment, separate rooms to sleep, special dishes to eat, or parties in hotels and visits to tourist places. They used to be contented with whatever they got.

However, in present times relatives are no more welcome. With the decline in joint family culture, we have less time at our disposal to welcome our relatives and look after them properly. The pressure of workplace has deprived us of all pleasures of leisure. We remain busy to meet deadlines all the times, whether we are in office or at home. We have no time even to eat and dress properly. We often fail to find time to look after even the basic needs of our family. When a relative turns up in such circumstances, we only curse him and ourselves, though we pretend to be happy at his arrival.

Most of the relatives are insensitive people. They are tedious to deal with. Very often they expect us to take them round the city or take them to a place where they have some job to do or meet someone. They do not bother as to how much inconvenience they cause to their host by making such demands. They simply want all attention and expect to be treated like VIPs. They disturb the peace of the household and disrupt its routine badly.

Some of the relatives prove to be a great nuisance. They have nasty habits of sitting with legs on the sofa, talking noisily and endlessly on insane topics, spitting, snoring, sneezing, smoking, etc. Those who are in the habit of drinking expect the host to serve them drinks daily, even if the host has never touched liquor in his life. When they are offered drinks, they lose their senses and indulge in indecent behav iour and refuse to call it a day even well past midnight. They fail to take notice of sev eral hints dropped to remind them that they should wind up their drinking session and go to their bed.

Relatives need to be now more sensible and sensitive. They should seek prior appointments before making a visit. They need to limit their visits and cut them short. They should make it a point not to upset the routine of their host and his family. If they do so, they would always be a welcome.

(c) Colour
Had there been no colour, life on our earth would have been extremely dull and monotonous. The very thought of black and white, even though black and white are also colours, seems to be discouraging. Think of old black and white movies in contrast with our modem colour movies ! Or think of the landscape devoid of all colours! Colours make everything interesting and charming.

Scientifically, the colour of something is the appearance that it has as a result of the way in which it reflects light. Red, blue and green are primary colours. By mixing one with the other we can have other colours such as yellow, orange, grey, etc. Light consists of seven colours. There are synthetic colours, too, which are prepared by mixing chemicals.

Colours play crucial role in our life. We want to wear colourful dresses. Women are particularly fond of clothes which have dazzling colours. The choice of colour in the selection of one’s clothes reflects one’s personality. A sober person goes in for light and soft colours such as white, sky blue or light green. A showy person selects dark, deep colours. A girl in red attracts all eyes, whereas a girl in white is often overlooked.

Colours have their symbolic value. In our country, white colours are put on by mourners and widows. Black colours are worn by men on sad occasions in the west. Red symbolises passion or danger. Green symbolises peace and prosperity. White symbolises peace. Red, green and amber lights are used as symbols to regulate traffic where roads meet. The flag of a country is sometimes referred to as its colours.

There are many writers who use colour symbolism in their writings. In the story ‘ The Portrait of a Lady ’ Khushwant Singh uses the white to project the serene nature of his grandmother. In ‘The Gift of the Magi O. Henry refers to the ‘grey’ colour to show how Della projects her sadness on to the landscape she sees. In less, Hardy refers to the red coloured ribbon worn by Tess to reveal her vivacity.

The word ‘colour’ occurs in various phrases. Someone’s colour is the colour of his or her skin. Men of colours are those who belong to a race with dark skins. The word ‘colour ’ is also used to speak of a quality that makes something interesting and exciting. We can say: she has married to lend colour to her life. The word ‘colour’ also suggests the way that you think about something. For example, we can say : we should not let others’ opinions colour our attitude.

Thus colour holds an important place in human life and nature. It lends charm to our life.

(d) The Scene at a busy Railway Station
Most of us often visit railway stations to travel or to receive or see off a friend or a relative. The scene at a railway station is always attractive and colourful. In fact, it is replica of human life in general. There is peace and disturbance. There is silence and noise. There are people of various classes, regions and religions. They behave in typical manners. They are seen in different types of dresses. They speak different languages. Some literally take birth, grow up, decay and die at railway stations.

A railway station is a meeting place for all sorts of people. Lots of passengers can be seen on platform before the arrival of a particular train. Some of them continue standing or loitering in wait of the train. They continue to look at their watches as if they had gone slow or dead. They are quite impatient. There are some who sit patiently on benches, sitting idly, watching the scene around, or reading some magazine or newspaper. Vendors of sweets, fruit and biscuits move about shouting their ware. Tea stalls do roaring business.

When the train arrives, everybody hurries up to board the train. People rush inside, sometimes blocking the exit of passengers getting down from the train. The guard begins to walk up and down the platform. The coolies remain busy with the luggage of the passengers. There are sad partings and happy reunions. The guard blows his whistle and shows the green flag. The driver starts the train. Those who have come to see off their friends and relatives leave for their homes.

After the train has left, the platform wears a deserted look. Only a few vendors and coolies are seen relaxing. The hustle and bustle of the scene is gone.

I am particularly reminded of a scene at the railway platform when I went to see off my uncle last Sunday. There was usual hustle and bustle there. Everything seemed to be normal, as one could expect – the vendors’ shouting, the passengers’ anxiety, the coolies’ handling the luggage of the passengers, etc. When the’train was seen entering the platform, everybody became alert. But after a few moments something happened which was quite sad and shocking. An old beggar jumped before the engine the moment the train had entered the platform. He could not be saved. His mutilated body was extracted by the railway police. Everybody felt sorry at his death. I reached home quite sad and dejected.

In fact, a visit to a railway station evokes various moods. It is a place where life presents itself in all its facets.

(e) Academics and Extra-curricular Activities
Academics and extra-curricular activities must be given equal importance in school. The harmonious development of a student’s personality can be best attained if both academics and extra-curricular activities go side by side. As it has been rightly remarked that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, equal emphasis must be laid on learning in the class-room as well as learning in other spheres of activities like games, debates and other cultural activities. No activity can be done at the cost of the other as both academics and extra-curricular activities play equally important role in shaping the personality of a student.

An ideal school, in my opinion, should consist of a building with well-lighted and spacious rooms, free from the noise of the city. It should have an extensive playground, well-equipped library, laboratories and learned teachers. Congenial atmosphere for purposeful studies must be provided to the students so that they delve deep into the ocean of knowledge with their teachers giving them more and more inspiration to drink knowledge to the lees. The teachers should teach them with their example and act as torch bearers to them to lead them to light.

Instead of imparting bookish knowledge or simply encouraging rote learning, the students must be stirred to think independently and freely. Only prescribed books cannot provide adequate knowledge and learning. All allied topics and books must be discussed in the classroom to awaken and sharpen the sensibilities. As too many lectures tend to become monotonous and boring, it would be ideal to invite queries from the students and resolve all the problems of the students to their entire satisfaction.

Next to academics, a school should have extensive playgrounds as well as a well-furnished gymnasium and an auditorium. If the mind is formed in the classrooms, the ‘body beautiful’ is built in the playgrounds. But not only the body, character too is built up there. One learns discipline and comradeship; one acquires habits of cooperation and the need for subordinating the interest of self to those of a community. In addition to this, picnics, excursions, trekking, cultural functions, fetes can go a long way in shaping the personality of students and learning the ways of the world and people at large.

(f) The Dead Blue envelop
I knew at once that the blue envelope was from her. My hands trembled as I reached for it. It was a letter from my wife kamini. I placed it on the table, and suddenly was lost in waves of memories that lashed my shore ten years ago.
I was employed as a clerk in the ministry of defence. I belonged to poor family. Unable to meet high ambitions of my life, I gave up the job and appeared in the entrance examination for Indian revenue service. Luckily, I cleared the test and got a good job.

Time moved smoothly till I got married. My wife belonged to a very affluent family and had high dreams. She was not satisfied with my limited salary. She wanted to enjoy all comforts and luxuries, go to clubs and parties. She asked me to start some business.

I resisted the idea for some time, but then I, too, got tempted. With the help of my brother-in¬law, I started an export house. I quit the job after some time.

The going was good and I made a lot of money. My wife was quite happy. Of course, she had no time for me or our two children. Time passed. As ill luck would have it, the Eonomic slowdown began. The business almost came to a halt. I began to make huge losses. I had become irritable and peevish. I resorted to heavy drinking, and in frustration would thrash my wife quite often.

One night when I reached home I found the house empty. Where was kamini, and my sons? I got a written slip. My wife had gone to her parent’s home for ever. I got furious and decided not to accept her back.

I sold everything and went to Dubai to take up an office job. I forgot the old wounds.

Ten years passed. Today the blue envelope had thrown me into the whirlpool of memories.

I tore up the envelope and read the letter. Kamini wanted me to come back to her in India.

I took up a bottle, drank a little and slipped into senselessness.
“Do you want to know my story ? Okay. Here I go…”

It is difficult to realize the value of something until it is lost. Freedom in one such thing. A free man does not know how blessed he is to enjoy doing whatever he likes, whenever he likes and wherever he likes.

Until about a month ago I was a free man. Born in a small village I could enjoy the bounties of Nature freely. I could get up and sleep at will, roam about the lanes with friends, and reach out to stars.

I still remember the scene how in a fit of rage I strangulated my younger brother after a small tiff over a piece of land. The police came and put me behind bars. I was convicted and awarded life imprisonment.

In this 6×3 prison cell I spend, and would spend, a long period of my life, alone neglected and despised. This is my fate. There is a small rough cemented bed. I have been given a dirty bedsheet and a rag called blanket. There is an only iron door with a few rusty bars, which locks me in, and opens only to let me out on food and work hours. There is an old, wooden ventilator above the door which remains tightly shut.

My only companion is a pair of lizards which move about the walls and ceiling in search of a prey. My eyes remain riveted by whatever they do. At times I get frightened. The two round eyes of a lizard stare at me as if ready to devour me.
Often I get started by the silence of my room. I fail to sleep, “How are you brother, Sheru?” I get frightened. My dead brother is advancing menacingly towards me. He puts his hands on my throat. I feel choked. A cry slips out of my throat. I see nothing in the enveloping darkness. I hear a sound of knocking. A sentry is at my door, calling me to get ready for work. I am still alive. My brother is not there. But I know he will continue to come until I go to him one day. Nothing else will happen, I know.

“… You may print this if you like.”

Question 2 :  (ISC English Language 2010 Class-12)

Write a review of a film for a popular magazine. The film has aroused great public interest. The review should be approximately 200 words. Use the notes given below as a guideline. You may include any other relevant details : [20]

Name of the film – plot or narrative – the actors – cinematography – a description of the scenes and incidents that you thought particularly effective – unusual features – final assessment.
Answer 2:
Chance Pe Dance (CPD) is the story of a young ambitious aspirant who kicks out a career as a sari seller at his father’s Saket Vihar Shop in Delhi to pursue the lure of the big screen. The plot of the story hangs loosely; there is a shocking lack of conflict in the film with each knot unraveling a bit too easily. Sameer who is determined to follow his dream track fails to cut ice in dance performances because of uninspired choreography. Much better dancing had been seen and appreciated in Shahid Kapoor’s movies, for instance Jab We Met, Chance Pe Dance tries its best to be funny, touching and engaging, but fails on all counts.

The role played by Shahid does not suit his character as his Sameer is prone to violent bouts of self¬pity. Although Shahid’s histrionics are noteworthy, the scenes are frustrating. Genelia D’Souza plays Shahid’s cute girlfriend to the best of her abilities. Director Ken Ghost has not paid much attention to heroine’s character. The music is just average, though cinematography and camerawork are praiseworthy. The film on the whole fails to deliver any message.

Question 3 :     (ISC English Language 2010 Class-12)

Answer sections (a), (b) and (c).
(a) In each of the following items, sentence A is complete, while B is not. Complete sentence B, making it as similar in meaning as possible to sentence A. Write down sentence B in each case. [5]
Example: (0)
(A) This fact is too evident to require proof.
(B) This fact is so ……………………
Answer :
(0) This fact is so evident that it does not require proof.

(A): Although he had high fever, he attended the meeting.
(B): Despite ……………………

(A): They showed a video of ‘My Fair Lady’.
(B): Avideo ……………………

(A): This sum is so hard that I cannot solve it.
(B): This sum is too ……………………

(A): To think of our meeting here !
(B): It is ……………………

(A): Sheila runs faster than Mary.
(B): Mary ……………………

(b) Fill in each blank with a suitable word. (Do not write the sentence). [5]
(1) Printed …………………… the poster in large, broad letters was the word ‘Wanted’.
(2) The Vice-President warned …………………… the continuing dangers of recession.
(3) I hope this point will become clear to you …………………… the course of the lectures.
(4) The effect of a given dose of medicine will vary …………………… one individual to another.
(5) The rain poured in …………………… a hole in the roof.
(6) We must relfain …………………… stealing.
(7) I have always preferred teaching …………………… working in an office.
(8) He jumped …………………… the river to evade the enemy.
(9) The Principal brought his staff …………………… to his point of view.
(10) I was carried …………………… by his impressive speech.

(c) Fill in each blank with the appropriate form of the w ord given in brackets. (Do not write the sentence) : [10]
(1) A lie may sometimes (cost) a life.
(2) I (finish) my work for today.
(3) If he (receive) your letter, he would have replied.
(4) After we (walk) for sometime, I realised that we were lost.
(5) By tweleve o’ clock, she (study) for three hours.
(6) He (fall) to an assassin’s bullet.
(7) I did not know it was you until you (speak).
(8) He finished first though he (begin) late.
(9) His company is greatly (seek) after.
(10) The prisoners (bind) hand and foot.
Answer 3:    (ISC English Language 2010 Class-12)

(1) high fever, he attended the meeting.
(2) of ‘My Fair Lady’ was shown.
(3) hard for me to solve.
(4) strange that we are meeting here.
(5) does not run as fast as Sheila.


(1) on (2) against (3) in (4) from (5) through (6) from (7) to (8) into (9) round (10) away

(1) cost (2) have finished (3) had received (4) had walked (5) will have been studying (6) fell (7) spoke (8) began (9) sought (10) were bound

Question 4:    (ISC English Language 2010 Class-12)

Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow :-
(1) I often went to the lagoon, which has a four-fathom bank where the tab aba (tiger shark) muster in hundreds for a day or two every month. Offshore at rising tide, you can watch their great striped bodies sliding and swooping with arrogant ease not six feet under your keel. They range in length from nine to fourteen feet, with an occasional giant of eighteen feet. Their hideous size contrasts nightmarishly with the slack grace of their movements.

(2) Thirty-five years ago the Gilbertese were beginning to use steel hooks for shark-fishing but many still claimed that the old-style twelve-inch wooden hook, trained to the right shape on the living ironwood tree was the only thing for tiger shark. The shark hunter’s gaff was a glorious club with a ten-pound stone for its head. He fished from a canoe not much longer than a man, with the line made last to it. When a big shark took the hook, the craft lurched suddenly and started careering round in mad circles; or it bounced insanely up and down; or it zigzagged like a misdirected rocket, the fisherman holding on grimly.

(3) Half a dozen cockleshells milling round like that, without visible means of propulsion, made a wildly eccentric sight from the shore. But the fury of a tiger shark’s struggles soon exhausted it and it floated limply to the surface. Then the fisherman hauled the spent brute cautiously alongside and, letting out one piercing howl of pleasure, cracked it on the nose with his club.

(4) Usually safety first is the rule when tiger shark are about, but the feat of one Tarawa man, Teriakai, became a matter of official record. His vital, stocky frame was the equal of a giant’s for work. Whenever there was a special job to be done, we always chose Teriakai to do it. Thus when the captain and chief engineer of a visiting steamer wanted to go out for a sail in threatening weather, we sent Teriakai along to look after them.

(5) A northerly storm caught Teriakai and his friends and capsized their boat, spilling them into the lagoon eight miles from land, with tiger shark all round.

(6) Teriakai immediately hacked the mainsail adrift; buoyed at head and foot by its spars, it made a fine bag under water. “Stay inside this,” he said to the captain and engineer “and the tababa won’t smell you”. Then he put down the anchor and started for shore to get help. “If I get past the tababa” he said, “We shall perhaps be meeting again.”

(7) He swam straight at the tiger sharks – the captain and engineer watched him – and the devils let him through. Teriakai told me afterw ards, “If you stay still in the sea, or swim away in fear, the tababa will charge you. If you swim without fear towards them, they will be afraid and leave you in peace.” So he chose his shark, swam lull speed towards it and lo! the line melted away before him. There was nothing to it – except a conarge that passes belief.

(8) The swift night of the equator fell. In the welter of waves, Teriakai missed his direction and swam into a maze of reefs off the coast. The breaking seas flung him on cruel edges, rolled him over splintering coral-branches, but he got through, still conscious, swam a mile to shore, walked two more to a white trader’s house and collapsed on the veranda.

Adapted from “A Pattern of Islands”
by Arthur Grimble


(i) Use each of the following words as used in the passage in a sentence of your own construction so as to bring out its meaning very clearly. Using the word in a context very similar to the passage will be penalized.
(1) arrogant (line 3)
(2) glorious (line 9)
(3) visible (line 13) [3]

(ii) For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least 10 words using the word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that it carries in the passage :
(1) club (line 9)
(2) fast (line 10)
(3) spent (line 15) [3]

(iii) Explain, in the context of the passage in not more than two sentences of your own, the meaning of each of the following expressions taken from the passage (merely using phrases will not do).
(1) made a wildly eccentric sight from the shore, (line 14) [4]
(2) There was nothing to it – except a courage that passes belief, (lines 33)

(b) Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible :
(i) What does the writer say about the size and movement of the sharks? [3]
(ii) Why was Teriakai chosen for special jobs? [2]
(in) How did he ensure the safety of the captain and chief engineer? [2]
(iv) What was Teriakai’s belief about sharks? [3]
(c) With close reference to the extract and in not more than 60 words, describe how the Gilbertese captured a tiger shark.
(Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalised). [10]
Answer 4:   (ISC English Language 2010 Class-12)


1. arrogant: Never speak in an arrogant tone to your boss if he is in the wrong.
2. glorious : Even glorious victories won in war are never everlasting.
3. visible: There are no visible ways how to tackle extremism in the country.

1. club : The Lions Club distributed blankets to the poor on the new year eve.
2. fast: If you are leading a fast-life, you will come to trouble soon.
3. spent: ill-got is quite often ill spent.

1. The cockleshells appeared very strange and excited. They presented a very strange sight to any viewer on the shore.
2. All hardships disappeared or waned. The courage he displayed was really unbelievable.

(i) Sharks vary in size ranging from nine to fourteen feet in length. They slide and swoop easily in water. They move gracefully though slowly.
(ii) Teriakai was always chosen for hard and special jobs because his strong, stout body and strength matched well with the giant like strength of the shark.
(iii) Teriakai ensured the safety of the captain and chief engineer by making him stay inside a fine bag made out of the mainsail. He himself set out to the shore to seek help.
(iv) Teriakai believed that sharks are themselves scared of a man swimming fearlessly towards them. They attack a man if he stays still in the sea or tries to swim away in fear.

(c) The Gilbertese sailed in a small caneo with a line fastened to it. When a tiger shark took the hook, the boat tilted suddenly. It began to whirl around, sinking or rising madly at times. He

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