ICSE Class 10 ENGLISH Language 1 question paper 2016 with Solution.
Exam paper

ICSE Class 10 ENGLISH Language 1 question paper 2016 with Solution.

ICSE Class 10 ENGLISH Language 1 question paper 2016

ICSE Class 10 ENGLISH Previous year question paper 2016.

ICSE Class 10 ENGLISH Language 1 question paper 2016 with Solution.

ICSE Class 10 ENGLISH 1 2016



(Two hours)

Answer 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.) [25]

Write a composition (350-400 words) on any one of the following:

  1. Write an original short story that begins with the words: ‘‘The day started off

well enough, whoever thought it would

  1. Narrate an incident from your own experience when you expected to do very well, but for some reason, we’re unable to do so. Explain what happened and why it happened. What lesson did you learn from it?
  2. “The use of Mobile Phones must be allowed in schools.” Express your views either for or against the statement.
  3. 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 is in total disarray and how you found your family. Mention also how the experience ended and what impact it had on your life.
  4. 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.

Answer 1.


The day started off well enough, whoever thought it would end up being a life-changing one for Astrid. He woke up at five as usual, just in time to catch the rising sun that appeared red in the horizon, and breathed in the fresh morning air amid the musical chirping of the birds flying in the air. The grass beneath his bare feet was wet with dew and it gave him a strange sensation. This was the only peaceful moment of the day that Astrid used to enjoy. Hereafter, every morning begins a mad rush for the numerous trips to tutorial classes, libraries, book stores and the college. But today would be different because he would be going home after exactly one year.

Astrid was secretly preparing for the entrance examinations for the National Defense Academy and had cleared the written examinations as well. Although his family had opposed to his idea, the determined Astrid went ahead with a crash course in preparation for the Services Selection Board that he was to face later that month. In fact, Astrid planned to leave for the SSB centre right from his home town.

After almost an hour’s jostle in the heavily crowded bus during peak Kolkata traffic, Astrid managed to reach the station and after another gruesome war at the ticket counter of the perennially crowded Sealdah Station, he managed to secure a seat in one of the superfast trains that would take him to his destination in three hours’ time. He enjoyed gazing out of the windows of moving trains and buses and was caressed to sleep by the soft wind fanning his face and hair.

Four hours later, he was walking along the alley that led to his house but from afar he was quite surprised to find a small little crowd gathered in front of his house. As the people became aware of his approach, he was quite puzzled with their expressionless looks. Astrid entered his house only to find his father’s lifeless body, enshrouded in a piece of white cloth, lying on a plank on the floor. There were two injury marks on his forehead. His mother, sister and some neighbours were sitting around the body with expressionless faces.

Within a matter of a few minutes his life changed forever. It made Astrid stronger and more resolute, and he did go on to join the Indian Army.

  1. Even though it is important to prepare well yet at times we do experience failure in spite of the best preparations. Such things can happen due to many reasons and one of them is over-confidence or underestimating the opposition. A similar incident happened to me, which earlier I did regret, but admittedly, it gave me a lesson of a lifetime.

I had received the Best Athlete for three consecutive years from my school for my performances not only in the Annual School Sports but also in the different interschool athletic meet. Considering the fact that I hardly met any opposition in the 100 m, 200 m, 4 x 100 m relay and 100 m hurdles races, success had actually gone to my head and I had grown to be proud and egoistic, sure to remain undefeated. Although I never had tantrums or showed disrespect to anybody, at times I considered people to be inferior to me and formed poor estimates of them.

That was the reason for my undoing and the life-long lesson.

Two years ago, I was representing my school in the All-India ICSE School Sports Event in Shillong and many of the participants were already aware of my presence. They considered me to be a formidable competitor who could not be defeated. But, there was one person, who did not think so.

Hailing from one of the smaller towns in the tribal belt of Jharkhand, Samson was a dark and lanky fellow who was lucky to have been taken in by the missionaries and given a proper education. His tribal instincts, inherited from his ancestors, made him tough.

We cleared our qualifying heats easily, though, never pitted against each other during the initial stages. But, the finals were a different ball-game altogether. In spite of my reputation and consistency, there was always the chance for somebody else winning the race, though I dismissed such thoughts summarily. And disdainful of the others, I took a day off from practice just ahead of the finals and went sight-seeing.

As the whistle blew, we darted for the finish line of the 100 m event and in a few seconds, I was far ahead of the others. But Samson overtook me by a fraction of a second just at the finishing line. It was too late but I did realize the importance of assessing opponents thoroughly to understand their strengths and weaknesses.


Although there has been a rapid increase in technology, particularly in communication technology, and although children have adapted to them much better than adults have, the question that arises in my mind is that, do children really need mobile phones in school? Generations of school students have completed their schooling, even their higher education without a mobile phone, so why is there need for school students to carry such devices, all of a sudden?

In school, the child really needs to learn and play, so how can mobile phones come in handy in these two activities? In fact, children will have a tendency to fiddle with their devices and thereby disturb themselves and their classmates as well. The teachers will also be wasting valuable time and energy just to ensure that children are not texting or playing video games in class.

Moreover, those children who are hooked on to mobile games actually might use them as a pretext for avoiding outdoor games and sports. This will actually prevent them from being fit and healthy and it will also not help them to understand the concept ol team-spirit as all such children would be busy playing games by themselves. It will also lead them to be addicted to online games and therefore lose their focus on constructive activities.

Some parents argue that carrying mobile phones to school provides additional safety to children, but that can be equally taken care of by a planned and systematic approach to handling children and this methodology has been used successfully all the while.

Mobile phones are also responsible for scandalous video clips, especially in coeducational schools, causing much embarrassment and pique to girls’ families. Such nuisance can be avoided if mobile phones are banned from school premises.

Lastly, there might be enviousness among students concerning whose mobile phone has more features and this might lead to unnecessary acts of crime like theft, vandalism and even fights. All such petty issues can be avoided by banning mobile phones.


The above is a highly debatable topic and there can be numerous arguments and counter-arguments related to it. On my part, I feel that children should be allowed to use mobile phones in school but with a great deal of caution.

With the infiltration of the mobile phone, human life has become both easy and complex. In fact, today the phone does not serve merely as a device for making calls to friends and distant relatives. It serves as a computer device through which we can check our emails; social and professional networking profiles; surf the net; download movies, songs and books; and do online shopping. It can also guide us when we are visiting or are lost in unknown places. In short, a mobile phone is not a mere device any longer: it is an indispensable virtual world that has become part and parcel of our lives.

There are many instances of little children missing their buses and vans while on their way home from school and can be traced easily if they have their mobile phones with them. Also, if some students are absent from school and home at the same time, then both the school authorities and parents can keep track of their whereabouts. There are frequent reports of children being kidnapped from school for different reasons and such incidents can be avoided if there are mobile phones with them.

School authorities often complain that children misuse mobile phones—rather than paying attention to what is being taught, children play games or surf inappropriate sites and indulge in other inappropriate activities, especially in coeducational schools. However, these can be prevented by laying down strict rules and adhering to them. For example, schools can specify that children are allowed to carry only basic JAVA sets, without cameras, audio and internet surfing facilities. Also, they should be made to keep their phones switched off during classes, restricting the use to only before and after school as well as during breaks. There should be frequent and surprise checks to ensure that students comply with these rules.

In fact, if children in their later lives learn to use mobile phones responsibly in school, then they will be able to do so in their late lives as well. Also, it will get across to them the idea that they can be and are trusted by their elders on such important issues. This will help them to develop as responsible individuals.

  1. This afternoon, as I came back home from school, I had the most anxious moment of my life. In fact, I was quite surprised to see the front gates wide open and a lot of tyre-marks crisscrossing on the lawn that did not resemble the tyre-marks of our car. Even the front door opened by a mere turn of the knob. What I saw after that left me stunned and immobilized for a few seconds. Everything was in disarray—cupboards and drawers pulled open, broken flower vases on the floor, the covers of the sofas and other furniture ripped open.

My first reaction was to shout out for my mother and grandmother and next for James, our Alsatian dog. When there was no answer. I ran to my Mother’s bedroom. The condition of that room was also the same and both my mother and grandmother were firmly tied and taped on the bed. James was lying lifeless in the balcony and there was blood all around him.

I grabbed a pair of scissors, freed the two women and helped them recirculate their blood. Grandmother was too shocked to speak and mother said haltingly that three gun-toting hooded men entered the house all of a sudden and ordered them into that room. Then they tied them up firmly and began to thoroughly search the house. They were not looking for money or jewellery, they were after some drawings or plans that father had made. Hearing this, I rushed to my father’s study and found all the things scattered as usual and the cabinets’ broken open. Papers and drawings were scattered all over the room.

Next, I called up the police and then my father. The police came in twenty minutes and father, a little later. Father felt relieved that both mother and grandmother were unhurt except for the bruises on their wrists because of the tight tapes. The intruders were actually looking for some drawings that father had made for building a new missile-system for our defense forces. It is a well-known fact that father always keeps a backup of his work on his home PC. He suspected that this was the work of enemy spies who were desperate to get the plans to improve their own missile systems. After taking stock of the situation and making some further inquiries, the police left.

Strangely, father had remained calm all along. He said that in every drawing there was some object which was wrongly positioned deliberately. This had been done to hoodwink people like these and it was a technique that had been perfected by Leonardo da Vinci.


The picture reveals the relief brought to the city by the first showers of the season. For the past few weeks, the city was enshrouded by the sweltering heat and it was becoming unbearable for most of the people, especially the pavement-dwellers.

These welcome showers did have a cooling effect because the mercury dipped by almost six to seven degrees and the day was cloudy overall. The Meteorological Department has predicted that the rains will continue for another forty-eight hours. This means that the people will be able to relax for some more days.

However, the brief spell was also enough to cause water-logging in some parts of the city and if the rains continue then greater parts of the city would soon become water-logged. This is a perennial problem and nothing concrete has been done over the years to improve the situation. This water-logging also marks the onset of some off the most common water-borne diseases like cholera and dysentery because the water enters the sewers and water redeemers. Consequently, the first showers are always dangerous because of the threats to the outbreak of diseases.

However, most people prefer to, soak themselves in these showers because of the relief they provide. Men and women, old and young, all seem to come out of their homes and enjoy themselves. Also, huge crowds flock towards the sea-front to enjoy the lashings of the sea-waters. Young children enjoy the most, especially those living on pavements. They troop to the fields and play football and other games. For once, cricket takes a back-seat.

Question 2.

(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question.)

Select any one of the following: [10]

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Answer 2.


The Principal

St. Patrick’s H.S. School

Asansol, West Bengal.

February 29th, 2016


Subject: Permission for an educational trip to Indian Museum, Kolkata

Through this letter, we seek your permission for a one-day educational trip to the Indian Museum in Kolkata. Built-in the British era, the Indian Museum is one of the largest museums in the country and is a huge storehouse of artefacts. A visit to the place will be beneficial for us because of the numerous scientific instruments and specimens that can be seen there. It will also provide us with a clear idea about the process of evolution that is beautifully explained through numerous figurines and skeletal displays. Also, we will have an opportunity to learn about the different rock- formations over the ages, the implements used by early human beings and numerous fun-filled aspects of science.

Our science teachers will accompany us on this trip and we propose to start early in the morning so as to be able to return on time the same day.

Considering the above, hope you will grant us permission for the trip.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully Students of Class Xth (b)

D. K. Road Durgapur

West Bengal

February 26th„ 2016

Dear Rima,

It was indeed unfortunate not to have you amongst us during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of our school, Carmel Convent, Kolkata. Had you not met with the accident, probably you could have also shared the fun. However, I have taken it upon myself to have you at least a little glimpse of it through this letter.

The Principal of our school, in the presence of the Chief Guest and other dignitaries delivered a fine speech, narrating the initiation of the Carmelite Order and their motto. He also narrated how the Carmelite Nuns came to India and started different schools in the country and how, over the years, we, the students have upheld the dignity and prestige of the haloed institution.

The celebrations began with a song and dance presentation that was choreographed entirely by the students of the senior section and which had almost thirty participants. It was followed by poetry recitals, a debate and a quiz contest.

On the second day, an exhibition-cum-fete was organized within the school premises where the students had displayed their drawings, handicrafts and scientific models. The ceremony came to an end with another stellar song and dance performance. All the present and past students, parents and guardians, teachers and staff members enjoyed immensely. The Principals of all the other Carmelite institutions across the country were in attendance.

Hope I have enabled you to enjoy a small part of the fun and festivities. Get well soon.

Yours affectionately,


Question 3.

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. 10

‘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


‘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’. 20

‘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. 30

‘You really are hopeless, Mother,’ said Margo despairingly.

‘But I like it and I’m not asking you to wear it,’ Mother pointed out


‘That’s right, you do what you want to do,’ agreed Larry; don’t be put off. It 11 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 trapped 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. 40

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. 50

  1. Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage.

One-word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

  1. peering (line 13) (ii) ferociously (line 41) (iii) immersion (line 49) [3]
  2. Answer the following questions briefly in your own words:
  3. Why did mother not join the swimming in the beginning? [2]
(U) Briefly describe her swimming costume. [2]
(iii) What did Larry think it was? [2]
(iv) Which sentence tells you that Margo thought it was old fashioned? [2]
(V) What was Leslie’s concern? [2]
(vi) Why did mother think it was suitable? [2]
(c) (i) In not more than 60 words describe what happened after mother went
upstairs to try on her costume. [8]
(ii) Give a title to your summary in 3(c). (i) Give a reason to justify your
choice. [2]

Answer 3.

  1. (i) Looking closely (ii) fiercely (iii) dipping something into a substance
  2. (i) Mother did not join the swimming in the beginning because she considered herself to have grown rather old for that sort of thing.
  3. Mother’s swimming costume was an extraordinarily shapeless black garment that was covered with hundreds of frills, pleats and tucks from top to bottom.
  4. Larry thought that Mother’s swimming costume was a badly-skinned whale.
  5. Margo’s observation that the swimming costume looked like it was from the nineteen twenties tells us that she considered it to be old fashioned.
  6. Leslie was concerned that all the cloth on the costume might actually trap enough water to waterlog their Mother.
  7. Mother thought it to be suitable for an aged lady like herself.
  8. (i) The children trooped upstairs to scrutinize Mother in her costume. Roger, the

dog, entered first. He saw an apparition and came out barking ferociously. After some time, Roger was persuaded that he had actually seen Mother in her costume. He was still uncertain. However, Mother stuck to her bathing suit adamantly. The children surrendered to her opinions. (57)

(ii) The above summary can be entitled ‘Roger Sees an Apparition’. This title is

– appropriate because the summary actually describes Roger’s first reaction upon

seeing Mother in her costume. He felt as if he had seen some apparition.

Question 4.

  1. 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.


  1. He had been (0) … (sit) on the bank of a small irrigation canal.

Answer: sitting

He was (1) … (gaze) at a couple of herons (2) … (fish) in the muddy water, when he (3) … (feel) something bumps 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. [4j

  1. Fill in each blank with an appropriate word:
  2. There was a steep rise in onion price.
  3. Air pollution is responsible for the spread of bronchitis.
  4. He was pressure to complete the work. Joan jumped the river to rescue the child.
  5. His teacher is very pleased with him.
  6. Ali took his cap and wiped his face.
  7. The old woman could not get the shock.
  8. He should not get with such rudeness. [4]
  9. Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so.
  10. My grandfather is very old,. He is very active.
  11. Mala is not in the classroom. Mala is not in the library.

(Hi) She was so excited about her performance. She could not sleep at night.

(iv) Mumbai is densely populated. It is one of the major cities in the country. [4]

  1. 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.
  2. The book was so interesting that I could not put in down.

(Begin: The book was too J

  1. The Principal said, “All the prizes will be distributed tomorrow.”

(Begin: The principal said that )

(Hi) Last night’s dinner was cooked for us by father.

(Begin: Father )

  1. If Mary catches the first bus, she will be on time for school.

(Begin: Unless )

  1. Inspire of having high fever the girl came to school.

(Begin: Despite )

  1. / prefer going us with friends to staying alone at home.

(Begin: I would rather )

  1. Hardly had the teacher left the room when all the children started

making a noise.

(Begin: No sooner )

  1. This is the funniest movie I have ever seen.

(Begin: Never j

Answer 4.

  1. (1) gazing (2) fishes (3) felt (4) looking

(5) found (6) was (7) nudge (8) looked

  1. (i) in (ii) or (iii) under (iv) into

W with (vi) off (vii) over (viii) away

  1. (i) My grandfather is an active old man.

(ii) Mala is neither in the classroom nor in the library

(in) She was so excited about her performance that she could not sleep at night,

  1. Mumbai, one of the major cities in India, is densely populated.
  2. (i) The book was too interesting to be put down.
  3. The Principal said that all the prizes would be distributed the next day.
  4. Father cooked last night’s dinner for us.
  5. Unless Mary catches the first bus, she will not be on time for school.
  6. Despite having a high fever, the girl came to school.
  7. I would rather go out with friends than stay alone at home.
  8. No sooner did the teacher leave the room than all the children started making a noise.
  9. Never have I seen a funnier movie than this.

ICSE Class 10 ENGLISH Language 1 Solution to question paper 2016

You can download the complete solution of ENGLISH Language 1 question paper 2016 at the below given Link.


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