ICSE Class 10, 9 English Language Practice Papers – 1 With Answers


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Write a composition (350-400) words on any one of the following:
Question 1(a).
Describe a person who according to you has made immense contribution to rural development in India
Very few people in India might have heard the name of Norman Ernest Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) who was an American biologist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called “the father of the Green Revolution”, “agriculture’s greatest spokesperson” and “The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives”. Borlaug received his B.Sc. Biology 1937 and Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. He took up an agricultural research position in Mexico, where he developed semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease resistant wheat varieties.

During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the introduction of these high-yielding varieties combined with modern agricultural production techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963. Between 1965 and 1970, wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, greatly improving the food security in those nations. These collective increases in yield have been labelled the Green Revolution, and Borlaug is often credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply.

In 1961 to 1962, Borlaug’s dwarf spring wheat strains were sent for multi-location testing in the International Wheat Rust Nursery, organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In March 1962, a few of these strains were grown in the fields of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in Pusa, New Delhi, India. In May 1962, M. S. Swaminathan, a member of lARI’s wheat program, requested of Dr. B. P. Pal, Director of IARI, to arrange for the visit of Borlaug to India and to obtain a wide range of dwarf wheat seed possessing the Norin 10 dwarfing genes. The letter was forwarded to the Indian Ministry of Agriculture headed by Shri C. Subramaniam, which arranged with the Rockefeller Foundation for Borlaug’s visit. In March 1963, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Mexican government sent Borlaug and Dr. Robert Glenn Anderson to India to continue his work. He supplied 100 kg (220 lb) of seed from each of the four most promising strains. Test plots were subsequently planted at Delhi, Ludhiana, Pant Nagar, Kanpur, Pune and Indore.

This led to high yields and the term Green Revolution was coined. High yields led to a shortage of various utilities— labour to harvest the crops, bullock carts to haul it to the threshing floor, jute bags, trucks, rail cars, and grain storage facilities. Some local governments were forced to close school buildings temporarily to use them for grain storage. In India, yields increased from 12.3 million tons in 1965 to 20.1 million tons in 1970. By 1974, India was self-sufficient in the production of all cereals. By 2000, India was harvesting a record 76.4 million tons (2.81 billion bushels) of wheat. This led to various other developments like better transportation facilities, education, increased spending on rural development. Hence, according to me Borlaug was largely responsible for rural development in India even though he was a foreigner.

Question 1(b).
Imagine that there was a road accident in your colony. Describe the scene of the accident and what you did to help the injured.
Some days ago there was a serious accident involving a car near my village. There were about 5 passengers in the car which was commuting from Chandigarh to Amritsar. The private trucks lid off the road and dashed against a car near my village, Behram. We were working in the fields and heard the sound of the crash and rushed there. People were screaming, some in fear and others in pain. The truck was passing through a deep curve when it slid off the road and dashed into a car. It seemed the brakes had failed and the driver had lost control. I saw that the car driver’s had caught fire and he was screaming in pain. I immediately jumped into action. Despite not having fire gear, or any protective gear of any kind, I ran toward the burning car and along with several other bystanders started pulling people to safety. I asked some boys to rush to the nearby fields and bring buckets of water to douse the flames. Some of the people had fainted so we tried giving artificial respiration. We pulled out children and women by breaking the windows. Some of the victims were in pretty rough shape, but we tried to get everyone out as soon as possible. A number of the victims had been badly mutilated and there was blood everywhere. There was blood everywhere. My clothes and hands, parts of the car, the road – everything was soaked in blood. I don’t know whose blood was on whom.

I immediately rang the police helpline number and soon the police and paramedics arrived and took over. The serious cases were flown away. We helped to put the severely injured into the ambulances so that they could be rushed to the hospital. After everyone who was injured was attended to and the 2 dead bodies laid out the police thanked us and said we had saved many lives with our timely action. They said that it was only due to my efforts that a 10- month-old baby had survived the horrific car accident.

Question 1(c).
Open book examination system is better than the closed book examination system. Give your views either for or against the statement.
There have been numerous debates on the issue whether open book examination system is better than the closed book examination system. To reach an acceptable answer one must first examine what both these systems entail.

In closed book examination you have in an open book examination, you can look at your book/ texts. A student is allowed to have a reference material with him/her while taking the examinations. Tests that require lengthy formula are usually open book examinations. Closed book examination is when a student is not allowed to open a book or have a reference materials opened while taking examinations, tests like objective type are usually closed book. Obviously both tests measure the students understanding towards particular topics of the subjects undertaken. Besides this the type of questions asked in the closed examination system are rather specific while the ones in the open examination system are a bit general/ broad and normally the student has to deduce from what he/she has learned and from anticipating what the questions require to be answered. Course books at that point, would be only serve as a guidance, not as in-depth information.

Hence the open book exam would be ideally suited to modern teaching programmers that especially aim at developing the skills of critical and creative thinking as opposed to the closed book system which is now termed as old school and relies on memory and intelligence, It appears more rigorous while testing the students capacity to cram and reproduce verbatim.

This system is appropriate only if one assumes that the central goal of school and university teaching is the “dissemination of knowledge”. This approach to education treats the information content of a subject to be the most important. In this system the teacher plays the role of facilitating the transfer of information from the textbook to the students’ minds. What the student is expected to do is to understand this information, retain it, and retrieve it during the final examination. Based on the closed book examination most of the conventional examinations only serve to test how much information the students have been able to store in their minds. In order to cope with this demand, students memories the information in class notes and textbooks, and transfer it to answer books during the examination without questioning or using their creativity. Under this system the student automatically chooses not to use his/her ingenuity and thus his mental growth appears stunted .In this type of examination, success depends on the quantity of information memorised, and the efficiency with which it is reproduced .It is a system which has outlived its efficacy and needs to be replaced with the system which caters to modem and more scientific environment. The need of the time dictates that examinations evaluate students on their mental agility and ingenuity and the open book system is conducive to this requirement.

It would not be wrong to say that the open book system is more comprehensive and rigorous as it taxes the students mental agility to disseminate and mould information according to the need of the question. The student must learn to weigh every answer and option before deciding upon the most appropriate solution. Teaching as Triggering Mental Development The open book system is an invaluable tool to test the efficacy of classroom teaching as a means to transferring information from the library or textbooks to the students’ minds. Rather, it propagates and substantiates the dictum that true teaching is teaching students how to learn. That is, teaching should equip students with the ability to acquire knowledge, to modify existing knowledge on the basis of new experience, to build and trigger mental development and this is amply applicable in an open book examination system.

Question 1(d).
Do you think that you are lucky to be born in this generation? Discuss.
People of the previous eras might not agree but in my mind there is no doubt that we are the luckiest generations. The technological progression of the last 50 years is unparalleled by any era of time. The internet has been the biggest invention since fire and electricity; it has engulfed the human population in a whirlwind of infinite knowledge and resources. If you asked an 11 year old in today’s age to live without internet, they would have a hard time adjusting to normal things such as trees and grass. ‘Tweet’ was not a word that described an action, ‘Facebook’ were two separate words “face” and “book” and ‘app’ was not considered to be a term. The internet is our lifeline and it integrates into our daily lives. For „ decades Generation X has been using pens and papers, cassettes and VCRs and actual encyclopaedias for information. In contrast, we the Generation Y has been spoiled with flat screen TVs, iPads and Google – our ability to search and process information is largely dependent upon having an internet connection. And this is one of the greatest boons that we have been blessed with. Being used to the fast-paced technological world where a 2 minute lag on Google is the end of the world, we often forget what the learning process is actually like for someone who is alien to the current culture. We forget that they have been bereft of what we take for granted and this is what makes us luckier-the fast pace of technology at our fingertips and the luxury of utilizing it to make use of other natural resources within our reach.

We have been hand in hand with technology since we ditched our Walkman’s and installed iTunes. It has been a long haul but internet has grown up with us. Due to this fact, we are able to nostalgically remember the good old Facebook, changes in technology and political scenarios – however the flip side means that we are in an environment of constant change! But then change and flux is always welcome as it makes life more interesting and less stagnant.

Now take the example of wildlife! Wildlife watching and travelling for earlier generations was a pastime only the ‘idle rich’ could indulge in. Most of our parents and grandparents were either too poor or too busy at work or caught up in raising us! Air travel was too expensive and there were very few ‘Nature Reserves’. People of this generation are indeed lucky as we have more spare time and more spare cash, and also a sense of freedom which enables us to experience and enjoy more than the other generations.

For us it is a boon that advancement in transport facilities has made the world a global village. Now countries around the world are more accessible, wildlife conservation ‘tourism’ is becoming more and more popular. People can visit both Poles; the Titanic and even take a trip into space!

Then another issue that looms and has been confronting previous generations also is depletion of oil reserves. Oil has now been predicted to last for another 80/90 years. Will that mean the end of travel as we know it? But not to worry as luck is on our side. Alternate fuels and modes of transport have been gifted by technology to this generation.

The secret about the benefit of being born  in this generation is that it has devised solutions to problems through technology. We belong to an era of bio- diversity and an undefeatable zeal to survive all odds. We are the generation equipped to help save species for future generations. We are lucky because we are endowed with the virtues of sustainability and hope. We are indeed one of the luckiest generations.

Question 1(e).
Study the picture given on next page. Write a story or account of what the picture suggests to you .Your composition maybe about the subject of the picture or may take suggestions from it; but there must be a clear connection between the picture and the composition.
ICSE Class 10, 9 English Language Solved Question Papers - 1
She woke before the alarm went off, she rolled over, smiling and decided it wasn’t too early to get up. She turned off the alarm and got out of bed, she could take her time, have a nice, long shower then a pleasant breakfast. Everything was ready; there was no need to rush today, no need to panic. Nothing could go wrong. She got out of bed and walked to the bathroom, running through the day’s events in her mind. As she stood under the water, she wondered what her life would be like.

It was still dark outside when she entered the kitchen, so the lights needed to be turned on. It was supposed to be a nice day, but she wasn’t relying on that. It was all indoors, outdoors had been suggested, but too much could go wrong.

She could hear people getting up, getting ready. They were excited too, but for different reasons. They couldn’t know what the day meant to her, they would never know. She went upstairs to her room, holding a mug of tea between both hands. She examined her dress as she sipped her drink, her wedding dress was a beautiful, traditional, red and gold in colour. Her mother bustled into the room, panicking. She shook her head slightly as her mother started rattling off what had to be done. They had already been over this, everything would be perfect. The dress was surprisingly comfortable, she had tried it on before and she had thought after a little while it would start to be too restrictive, too heavy, but no. It was perfect. She waited at the door, surrounded by her cousins and friends. She took a breath then smiled as the wedding music began to play. This was it. They stepped forward for the most important event of her life-her marriage.

Question 2(a).
(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question.)

Select one of the following:

Write a letter to the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation complaining about the street lights of your locality that do not function and have not been repaired for long.
7-Kailash Apartments,
Vasant colony,
M.G. Road,
24th February, 2013 To
Municipal Commissioner Karnataka State Electricity Board Bengaluru
Subject: Complaint letter regardingnon-functioning of street lights.

Respected Sir,
We are totally five hundred families residing in our locality. We are facing a severe problem of faulty streetlights and laxity on the part of the Electricity Department in repairing/replacing them for the last three months in our locality.

This has led to a spate of crimes like chain snatching, eve-teasing and even thefts as the area is poorly lighted at night and this provides the miscreants with ample opportunities to indulge in nefarious activities. The locality is becoming unsafe and people are fearful to even venture out in the late evenings. Illegal activities are on the rise and it is becoming very dangerous for the residents.

I have already given many complaints to our local authority. They are always giving only empty promises and no action is being taken. It is my humble request that you look into the matter personally. If you take some prompt action I shall be very grateful.
Thanking You
Yours sincerely

Question 2(b).
Your grandmother who lives in Bengaluru has written to you enquiring about your welfare against the background of the havoc caused by the incessant rains in your area. Write a reply to her letter.
Dear Grandmother
Received your letter and wanted to put you at ease regarding my wellbeing. I am perfectly safe although the rains have no doubt wreaked havoc in the town of Mumbai. Most of the city is waterlogged and even the house where I live is facing leakage problems due to the incessant rain. And with the heavy downpour water gets collected over the terrace and it keeps seeping through the ceilings and creates a menace. It has caused severe damage to my household electronic items. Also this may damage the wallpaper and wood work inside the house.

The drains in the streets are blocked and this is adding to the problem as sewage is seeping onto the roads. The stench is almost unbearable in the city but thankfully the locality where I live is saved from this problem atleast. Small mercies indeed!

The mayor said this year’s flooding is some of the worst seen in years and he is hoping the City of Mumbai can find some long term solutions. More than 36,600 people have been affected by this week’s stormy weather. The water affairs department has issued a flood warning due to heavy rainfall which has soaked parts of the city. Torrential downpours have left scores of people without shelter due to flooding. The heavy downpours have cut off roads, uprooted trees, collapsed bridges, marooned farms, wrecked crops, damaged cars, flooded homes and swept away shacks.

However you must not become anxious as my house is not in the flooded areas and lam safe.
Rest I will talk when I visit you soon.
Your loving grandson

Question 3.
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
‘You-speak Spanish?’ said Thacker thoughtfully. ‘You look like a Spaniard, too’, he continued. ‘And you’re from Texas. And you can’t be more than twenty or twenty-one’
‘Have you got a deal of some kind to put through?’ Llano Kid asked Thacker
‘Are you open to a proposition?’ said Thacker.
‘What’s the use to deny it?’ said the Kid. Thacker got up and closed the door. Through the window he pointed to a two-storey white house with wide galleries.

‘In that house,’ said Thacker, live old Santos Urique and his wife. Twelve years ago they lost their child. No, he didn’t die. Some Americans filled his head with big stories about the States; and about a month after they left, the boy disappeared, too. He was eight then. The boy was seen once afterwards in Texas, it was thought, but they never heard anything more of him. Old Urique has spent thousands of dollars having him looked for. The mother was broken up worst of all. She still believes he’ll come back to her some day. On the back of the boy’s left hand was tattooed a flying eagle carrying a spear in his claws. That’s old Urlque’s coat of arms.

‘Here’s the scheme. In a week I’ll have the eagle bird tattooed on your hand. Then I’ll notify old Urique. In the meantime I’ll furnish you with all of the family history I can find out. The rest of it is simple. If they take you in only for a while it’s long enough. Old Urique keeps anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 in his house all the time in a little safe that you could open with a screwdriver. You get it and we’ll be gone.’

After two weeks Thacker dispatched a note to the intended victim informing him about his long lost son. The man and the lady arrived at the consulate. Lady Urique bent upon the young man and gave a long look of the most agonised questioning. Then her great black eyes turned, and her gaze rested upon his left hand. And then with a sob she caught Llano Kid to her heart. A month afterwards Kid came to the consulate in response to a message sent by Thacker.

‘What are you doing?’ asked Thacker. ‘You’re not being fair to me. You’ve been acting as the lost son of the couple for four weeks now. What’s the trouble? What are you waiting for?’ aksed Thacker, angrily. ‘Don’t you forget that I can upset your apple cart any day I want to?’

‘I might just as well tell you now, that things are going to stay just as they are. They’re about right now,’ said Kid. ‘The scheme’s off.’

‘What do you mean?’ asked Thacker. ‘You’re going to throw me down, then, are you?’
‘Sure’, said Kid cheerfully. ‘Throw you down. That’s it. And now I’ll tell you why. I have had no mother to speak of. But here’s a lady, this artificial mother of mine, who dotes on me. I’ve got to keep her fooled. Once the lady stood it; twice she won’t.’ ‘There’s one more reason’, he said slowly, ‘why things have got to stand as they are. The fellow I killed in Laredo had the same picture on his left hand.’

Question 3(a).
Give the meanings of the following words as used in the passage .One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(1) Tattoed
(2) Notify
(3) Agonised


  1. A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment.
  2. Inform (someone) of something, typically in a formal or official manner.
  3. Expressingpain or agony;”agonizedscreams”.

Question 3(b).
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.

Question 1.
In what way could Kid look like Urique’s lost son?(Consider his age,origin and his tattoo)
The kid could speak Spanish and looked like a Spaniard. Urique was Spanish.Besides this the Kid could look like Urique’s son if a tattoo showing a flying eagle carrying a spear in his claws was made on his left hand.This was a tattoo of Urique’s coat of arms.Moreover the kid was about twenty or twenty one which was the same age as Uriques’s son would have been as he was eight when he was lost and twelve years had passed since then. The boy had been list in Texas and the Kid was also from Texas.

Question 2.
What did Urique do after his son was lost? What was the reaction of Lady Urique then?
Urique spent thousands of dollars to look for his son .Lady Urique was broken most of all .She believed that her son would come back some day to her.

Question 3.
What was Thacker’s intention in sending Kid to Urique’s house?
Thacker wanted to use the Kid to steal money from Urique’s house.Urique was in the habit of keeping $50,000 to $100,000 in his house all the time and Thaker wanted the kid to open the safe and steal that money .

Question 4.
What did Thacker do after Kid had gone to Urique’s house?
After the Kid went to Urique’s house Thacker waited for a month for the Kid to commit the robbery as planned but when nothing happened he sent a message asking the Kid to meet him.

Question 5.
How did Urique and his wife react at the consulate after meeting Kid?
When Urique’s wife met Kid at the consulate she gave him a long look of the most agonised questioning. Then she turned to look at his left hand to see the tattoo.After that she caught Llano Kid and hugged him with a sob .She became very emotional.

Question 6.
Why didn’t Kid abide by the scheme proposed by Thacker?
The Kid did not abide by the scheme proposed by Thacker for two reasons. Firstly he was quite happy being with Urique and his wife who doted on him and felt that it was better for him to continue living with them who considered him their son and were ready to give him everything. Secondly, he had already killed Urique’s son in Laredo and was confident that now he could safely stay with them without danger of detection.And maybe he was also a little repentant for killing their son.

Question 3(c).
In not more than 60 words, briefly state the plan made by Thacker and how it failed at the end.
Thacker had planned to plant Kid in Urique’s house to impersonate as Urique’s son to steal money and then flee with Thacker. But his planned failed when Kid refused to do as planned and decided to continue staying with a doting mother and maybe he was repentant for killing their son.

Question 3(d).
Give a title to the passage and give a reason to justify your choice.
An apt title would be Deceiver Deceived because of two reasons-                              .

  1. Thacker who wanted to deceive Urique was himself deceived by his accomplice
  2.  Kid had gone to deceive Urique and his wife about their son and rob them but ultimately was deceived into staying because of the motherly love showered upon him.

Question 4(a).
In the following passage, fill in each of the numbered blanks with the correct form of the words given in brackets. Da not copy the passage but write in correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate to the blank space.
While-1—(teach)in the class, the teacher looked outside the window of his classroom. There he -2—(see)a none -year- old boy, shabbily—3—(dress) and —4—(shiver) with cold.The teacher called him in.The poor boy —5—(be)in tears. “I have done nothing wrong,” he said. “I was just here to listen to your lessons and learn something before—6—(go) to the store;but if you don’t want me here I won’t come back.” “Why don’t you go to school?” asked the teacher. “Because my father can’t afford to  pay the school fees every month,” sobbed the boy, “Well,let me see if you know anything.Tell me something about what I —7—(teach) in class yesterday.” The boy remembered everything and the astonished teacher said, “Don’t worry about the fees.I —8—(speak)to your father.”Later, the boy became a great scholar and an outstanding writer.

  1. teaching
  2. saw
  3. dressed
  4. shivering
  5. was
  6. going
  7. had taught/taught
  8. will speak|

Question 4(b).
Fill in the blanks with appropriate words:

  1. I saw Jane last summer, but since then I haven’t seen her.
  2. There were old magazines lying about in his room.
  3. A wooden barrier was placed across the road.
  4. The child crawled under the bed in an attempt to hide.
  5. They do not work properly during the festival week.
  6. We walked on till we reached the bridge.
  7. These souvenirs are of no value.
  8. We decided against a picnic in view of the bad weather.

Question 4(c).
Combine each of the following set of sentences without using and ,but ,or so

1. Bring me the newspaper. It is in the drawing room.
Ans. Bring me the newspaper that is in the drawing room.

2. Could he give us a loan? I did not know.
Ans. I did not know if he could give us a loan.

3.Everyone opposed Edison. However, he disregarded their opinion.
Ans. Edison disregarded the opinion of everyone who opposed him.

4. My father will send my sister to college. He will also send me to college.
Ans. My father will send me as well as my sister to college.

Question 4(d).
Rewrite 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.

(1) Both the sons never help her in the morning. ( Begin: Neither______)
Ans. Neither of the sons help her in the morning.

(2) “If you need help, contact the travel agent.” I advised the tourists.(Begin: The Tourists    )
Ans. The tourists were advised by me to contact the travel agent in case they needed any help.

(3) Both Arun and I walked out of the meeting.(Begin: Arun walked out_______ )
Ans. Arun walked out of the meeting,so did I.

(4) My cousin is short,yet he is a good basketball player.( Use: Inspite of________ )
Ans. Inspite of being short, my cousin is a good basketball player.

(5) The government will raise the oil prices soon.(Begin: The oil prices_______ )
Ans. The oil prices will soon be raised by the government.

(6) She can only, go for the picnic if she gets better. (Use: Unless________ )
Ans. Unless she gets better she cannot go for the picnic.

(7) Didn’t I meet you in the school yesterday? (End: _______ didn’t I )
Ans. I met you in the school yesterday, didn’t I?

(8) He said, “I have not done that.” (Begin:He denied________ )
Ans. He denied having done that.

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