ICSE Class 10, 9 English Language Practice Papers – 3 With Answers


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

Question 1(a).
School students should not be allowed to use mobile phones in schools.Give your views  either for or against the statement.
Many children these days have cell phones. You often see teenagers talking on their phones,
or, just as often, texting. It has become a part of everyday life, and a part of our society It is encouraged socially, especially among teenagers, to have a phone, and many teenagers get phones just because of peer pressure. Cell phones can be very useful, for communication between kids and parents and can be very important in emergencies. However, mobile phones in the hands of school children can also create problems sometimes.Many teenagers believe that cell phones should be allowed in school, during class but this is .wrong because they would provide distractions for students and teachers, allow for cheating on tests, and for other social reasons. If a student’s cell phone rang during class, it would obviously distract him from the class and whatever the teacher is teaching. If this continued, it could prove detrimental not only to that student’s education but also to other students.Plus, it would certainly be distracting for the teacher-trying to talk over students who are talking.

Mobile phones could also provide a means of cheating on tests. Youngsters have become adept at texting and it would be easy for kids to text each other the answers to tests during exams. Allowing cell phones in school would mean condoning cheating, allowing students to get unfair test grades, and would only prove detrimental in preparation for college and life in the real world as they would get used to using unfair means.

Another negative point is that mobile phones are impersonal and rather anti-social.If a teenager   is texting on his phone all the time he wouldn’t need to be actually talking to others, which would degenerate social skills, which are very important in life for jobs, creating good family relationships, and making and keeping friends.

If cell phones were allowed to be used throughout the school day, it would be easier for students to use technology to bully other students .They could use texting to abuse and torment other students without getting caught unless they are reported by the victim who is too scared to do anything like that.

Besides a study by Gaby Badre shows that teenagers who use their phones constantly often experience “increased restlessness with more careless lifestyles, more consumption of stimulating beverages, difficulty in falling asleep and disruptive sleep, and more susceptibility to stress and fatigue.”

One of the most common reason that parents like their kids to keep their phones with them at school is so that in the case of an emergency, their kids can call them. However, in an emergency situation, cellphones can sometimes create as many problems as they solve. Not only can cell phones escalate emergencies in school they can even cause them, students have been known to call in bomb threats in order to get out of class

Thus to sum up .allowing cell phones during school would not be a good idea because of distractions to students and teachers, a new and easy way of cheating on tests, and enhanced social problems, including loss of social skills and cyber-bullying.

Question 1(b).
Write a composition stating the simple joy, hardships and family life of a farmer.
A farmer lives a life that is simple and full of hardships.The work is long, gruelling, and often unprofitable. His day starts early when most people in the city are still warm in their beds. He gets up early in the morning, takes his plough, and with his cattle goes to his field even before it is full daylight. He works there all day without caring of the hardships of the weather. Winter, summer or rains, it is all the same for him. We find him working on his field sowing, ploughing or reaping in biting cold as well as in the host winds of summer. Often his songs are his only solace as he tries to break the monotony of his hard labour.

It is only with the apprpach of darkness that he returns home. At the door of his humble cottage, he is greeted by his children, some young and some a bit grownup. Then he rests a while and spends some time with his family. This is the happiest time of the day for him. Now he is the king of his humble cottage.

However,in spite of his hard labour, he lives a life of extreme poverty. He is “born in debt, lives in debt and dies in debt”. His crops are at the mercy of rains. Famines or floods often take away the fruits of his hard labour. Still he is contended and God fearing. When he falls ill, he finds that there are no medical facilities for his treatment. Often he dies untreated and un cared for. There are also only a few schools for the education of his children. The mud huts in which he lives often fall down during rain and his humble belonging are all ruined. Blistering summers and cruel winters are commonplace. Frequent drought spells makes farming even more difficult eats further into the farmers’ profits.

Fanners lack political power and politicians turn deaf ears to the farmers’ cries. Social problems are also prevalent. Communication is difficult in lonely far off farms and loneliness is widespread. The farmer is too busy making ends meet and looking to the needs of his family to ever really enjoy his life. He spends his time working hard day in and day out. Farm life is monotonous compared with the bustling cities.

Besides these the farmer is dependent upon weather for his crops. His profits are low and expenses often cripple him and he lives a life of penury.Farmers are faced with the growing costs to run their farms. These costs include taxes, insurance, and regular farm costs.

But his life is not only dark there is a bright side too.He enjoys fresh air and sunshine, the two great blessing of God. He gets more wholesome food than those who live in the cities. Moreover, the villagers are sympathetic to each other and extend greater co-operation to each * other in times of distress. Such fellow-felling and brotherhood are not heard in city, where even next door neighbours do not know each other.

Question 1(c).
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of competition.
Advantages: 1) Motivates people to perform better. 2) Increases efficiency. 3) Brings perfection. 4) Enhances productivity. 5) Results in better quality of work. 6) Ensures delivery of work on time. 7) Brings in higher profitability.

Disadvantages: 1) Leads to too much stress. 2) Work pressure affects the health of the competitors. 3) Team spirit gets affected as each individual remains suspicious of the other person’s motives. 4) Unhealthy competitipn leads to rivalries and friction.5) Each individual works for his own selfish motives. 6) Reduces productivity and profits.
Competition has existed since the dawn of human civilization. It plays a major role in the survival of mankind. Competition offers lots of benefits to individuals, societies and nations. However, it not only has advantages but there are disadvantages too.

Let us first examine the advantages.The first and foremost thing is that it encourages people to be diligent and perform better. In the modem times people are working hard to be successful, to maintain positions, to get promotions and to be famous in the society. Hence to achieve these goals they work diligently and efficiently so that they can go ahead in the competition.

It is due to the diligence and efficiency of the workers that production is enhanced. Everyone tries to give his best and as a result work quality improves leading to higher production and better quality of products.

When everyone strives to work better that the other work also gets done on time as everyone tries to complete their work according to the given deadlines. It all is a chain reaction where hard-work leads to higher production, better quality and work being completed on time.

One of the main advantages of competition in the workplace is that it can create an environment where employees push each other to exceed their normal limits, which can result in increased production, both at an individual level and among the entire workforce as a whole. As individual production numbers increase, so do those of the entire team of workers who seek to outdo one another. Competition can be rewarded with bonuses or various types of rewards. Another advantage of competition is that it can spur a commitment to self-improvement. Those employees who see the bigger picture may take the competition as an opportunity to better themselves in the process of winning the competition. Self-improvement may include actions like changing work habits, be more organized, and simply performing higher quality work.

But there is a flip side too. There are numerous disadvantages also. Sometimes it becomes difficult to withstand the pressures of competition. As companies demand high quality manpower, professionals get highly tensed and selfish to maintain their positions. And competition makes people resort to unethical practices to defeat the opponent. Fierce competition may also result in a “win at all costs” attitude that may bring out the worst in some workers.

Workplace competition is not always positive. It can create unhealthy rivalries that result in workers resenting one another, which is especially true if one person or team always wins the competitions. This can result in a gap between the “haves” and “have not’s” that may prove to be unhealthy.

Competition can also create undue stress that may actually prove to be counterproductive to some worker’s efforts. Some workers don’t perform well under pressure and are actually more productive when the work environment allows for a more easy-going approach to getting work done.

Sometimes due to competition people lose the sense of comraderie and become selfish, working hard to only achieve their own selfish ends. This leads to a lack of team spirit and sharing the burden and as a result the production and quality suffer. Ever individual wants to go ahead alone and is suspicious of each other’s motives. Friction and stress are the result. In conclusion one might say that that competition is ubiquitous and success and failure are results of it. Even though it has some disadvantages, yet it promotes sportsman spirit, hard work and cooperation among individuals and nations. So it is clear that the advantages of competition far outweigh its disadvantages.

Question 1(d).
Write a short story based on ‘A Mysterious sound.’
It was a cold dreary afternoon during my holidays and I was sitting in the living room and writing my assignment. Suddenly, I heard a dull, steady droning like that of a diesel engine idling down the street.Initially I ignored it but when it persisted I decided to see where it was coming from. I looked up out of the window into the street but there was not a single automobile that could have made the sound.I again started doing my work but the sound continued and it was disturbing my concentration. I went to the kitchen where my mother was cooking kitchen and asked, “Amma can you hear a droning sound?” “Isn’t it disturbing you?” She said she hadn’t and continued to cook. I was surprised because I could hear it clearly.

I went back but the sound seemed even more clear. It was disconcerting to say the least that no one else could hear it and there seemed no visible explanation for it. I then realised that what I was previously dismissing as some background nuisance like car traffic or vehicle malfunction or an airplane passing overhead, was something abnormal.

Once I realized that this wasn’t simply the ambient noise of living in my little corner of the world, I went through the typical stages and steps to try to isolate the sources. I assumed it may be an electrical problem, so I shut off the mains to the entire house. It got louder. I went driving around my neighbourhood looking for the source, and 1 noticed that even in the streets nobody seemed to hear it.

Exasperated, I turned my focus to scientific literature on the net and came across an article about a mysterious noise called the Hum. The Hum referred to a mysterious sound heard in places around the world by a small fraction of local population. It’s characterized by a persistent and invasive low-frequency rumbling or droning noise often accompanied by vibrations .lt was written that somewhere between 2 and 10% of people can hear the Hum, and inside isolation is no escape. Most sufferers find the noise to be more disturbing indoors and at night. Much to their dismay, the source of the mysterious humming is virtually untraceable.

It was then that I felt a severe shaking and realised that I had fallen asleep and my mother was waking me .What a relief it was to come back to reality from my dream.I had been working on a Physics assignment about sounds and had fallen asleep and dreamt it all.

Question 1(e).
Study the picture given below. Write a story or an account of what the picture suggests to you.Your composition maybe about the subject of the picture or you 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 - 3
In the course of my duty I come across various criminals and have to deal dispassionately with them. Infact robbers,thieves and murderers surround me and as a consequence 1 have almost become a cynic and always distrust people.

Thus when recently I arrested a young 27-year-old I was not surprised that a man who was extraordinarily handsome and looked dashing enough to be a model even in his poverty ,could be a criminal. He was arrested for his alleged role in a robbery that had happened earlier. He was one of the two people involved in a purse snatching that happened in broad daylight in the vicinity of a shopping mall.

A 79-year-old woman and her grand-daughter were reportedly returning to their vehicle after leaving the mall when the old woman was suddenly approached by a man who violently grabbed her purse from her arm. She fell to the ground but the robber pulled the purse away from her,disregarding that she had hit her head on a stone and was bleeding profusely.. The man then ran to a waiting van that was driven by another man. As the girl started screaming for help the two miscreants sped away from the scene. The vehicle had not been traced as  in the panic no one had noted the number.

The victim was treated for minor injuries at the civil hospital and released later that day. However two days later, officers stopped a van after reportedly recognizing the vehicle as matching the description of the vehicle involved in the robbery. The driver a 28-year- had outstanding warrants and was arrested. Even the van was later identified as a stolen vehicle.

Evidence was found inside the vehicle that tied the driver and his friend, about whom he confessed,to the robbery. As I handcuffed the man I could not help feeling that he could easily pass as a model or actor so why had he turned to a life of crime? Maybe it was in his blood?

Question 2(a).
(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question.)
Select one of the following:

Write a letter to the Chief Minister of your state, complaining about the lack of drinking water facilities in your area.
To .
The Chief Minister Orissa
Subject: Lack of drinking water facility.
It is my humble request that you look into the matter of lack of drinking water in my remote village named, Jhamuri village in Orissa.I am writing to you after running pillar to post to bring this matter to the attention of the liacal administration but all my efforts have been in vain.Hence I had no option but to approach you although you must be occupied wit more pressing matters.

The water supply is very erretic and some times days pass without any fresh water. Most of the time the taps remain dry. The supply is made only two hours in the morning and one hour in the evening. Besides the water is muddy and polluted. The water pipes are old and rusty. Many residents have fallen sick. There are complaints of jaundice and loose motions after drinking this water.

Earlier the villagers would get their drinking water from their private wells. But in last two to three years, unfortunate monsoon failure and scanty rain have put us into immense trouble. Our only means of getting drinking water is from these taps .As all the villagers are poor farmers, there is little possibility of improving the situation with their private efforts. They would surely meet the cruel fate of extermination unless government takes initiative, to improve their lot and repairs or changes the pipes and installs pumps for water.

I have full confidence and hope that you will listen to my plea and take measures to improve the drinking water facility.

Yours faithfully
Ram Gopal

Question 2(b).
Write a letter to your friend describing your recent visit to a zoo.
24, Curzon road
Mumbai Maharashtra
Dear Shirley
It has been a long time since I met you. How are you? Last weekend visited the zoo located about 20 km from my house. I really enjoyed myself. As you know A zoo is a place where various birds, animals and reptiles are kept a zoo does not contain ordinary birds and animals which we usually see in our villages and towns. It contains those birds and animals which we cannot generally see.The zoo is located on the outskirts of the town in an extensive area .Entrance to the zoo is by tickets. It is open from 10 a.m. on wards. There are separate enclosures for birds, animals and reptiles. Tigers and lions have separate well protected enclosures. After entering the zoo which has a beautiful garden in its front, one comes across the enclosures meant for birds, One can see there different kinds of parrots, pigeons, peacocks and other birds of different colours and from different countries. One can also see the ostrich, a bird which cannot fly. It is an African bird.

In the next enclosure deer of all kinds, including black bucks, a rare Indian variety, are kept, Then one goes to the enclosure of elephants and camels. Children can have joy rides on elephants and camels. Then one moves on to the artificial lake where crocodiles are kept. Next is the enclosure kept for zebras and bears.

Next comes the tiger enclosure. There are Indian tigers, brown in colour, with black stripes.                      There are also two white tigers which are a rare variety. There are a few leopards and cheetahs also. There is a separate enclosure for lions where they can be seen roaming freely.One can go in a closed safari park van and have a close look at them. We saw some hippos and also a rhino. We heard the loud roar of a lion. One tiger was in a fit of anger. The tiger was strong and handsome. I was reminded of Blake’s lines.
“What immortal hand or eye dare frame the fearful symmetry?”
There are canteens to take lunch and benches to take rest under the green woods. On the other side one can see different kinds of monkeys, chimpanzees and guerrillas which are man’s ancestors. Then comes the reptile section where different kinds of snakes are kept.

There is a separate enclosure for animals and reptiles which move during nights. The enclosure is dark and has dim light. One can see the nocturnal creatures moving about in darkness. There is a train to take one on ride all around the zoo. I really enjoyed the train ride and we ate sandwiches and chips.
We passed many happy hours in the zoo. It was a pleasing experience for all of us.When you visit me I will show you the zoo and we can enjoy together.
Hope to see you soon
Your loving friend

Question 3.
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
“Why have I not been shown your mother’s letters?” asked Alicia. “Your mother,”  continued she, “invites us to make a visit to the farm. I have never seen a farm. We will go there for a week or two, Robert.”

“We will,” said Robert, with a grand air, “I did not lay the invitation before you because I thought you would not care to go. I am much pleased at your decision.”

A week passed and found them landed at the little country station five hours out from the city. Robert’s brother had come to receive them. They drove homeward. The cities were far away. And then all the voices of the soil began a chant addressed to Robert. The old  voices of the soil spoke to him. Leaf and bud and blossom conversed with him in the old vocabulary of his careless youth.

A queer thing he noticed in connection with it was that Alicia, sitting at his side, suddenly seemed to him a stranger. She did not belong to this recurrent phase. Never before she seemed so remote, so colourless and high-so intangible and unreal. And yet he had never admired her more than when she sat there by him in the rickety spring wagon.

That night when the greetings and the supper were over, the entire family, sat together in the front porch. Alicia, not haughty but silent, sat in the shadow dressed in an exquisite pale-gray tea gown.

When Robert saw his father sitting without his pipe and writhing in his heavy boots- a sacrifice to rigid courtesy-he shouted: “No, you don’t!” He fetched the pipe and lit it; he seized the old gentleman’s boots and tore them off. The last one slipped suddenly, and Mr. Robert Walmsley, tumbled off the porch backward. Tom laughed sarcastically.

“Gome out here, you rustic,” Robert cried to Tom, “and I’ll wrestle with you.”

Tom understood the invitation and accepted it with delight. Three times they wrestled on the grass. Dishevelled, panting, each still boasted of his own prowess. The rustic mania possessed Robert. He sang, he told stories that set all but one shrieking; he was mad, mad with the revival of the old life in his blood.

By and by Alicia asked permission to ascend to her room, saying that she was tired. On her way she passed Robert. He was standing at the door, the figure of vulgar comedy, with ruffled hair, reddened face and utter confusion of attire-no trace there of the immaculate Robert Walmsley, the ornament of the cultured society.

As Alicia passed in, Robert started suddenly. He had forgotten for the moment that she was present. Without a glance at him she went on up the stairs. Robert followed her. He sighed and went near the window where Alicia was standing. He was ready to meet his fate. A confessed vulgarian, he foresaw the verdict of Alicia. Dully he awaited the approaching condemnation.

“Robert”, said the calm, cool voice of Alicia, “I thought I married a gentleman. But I find that I have married someone better-a man.”

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) Recurrent
Ans. recurrent— occurring often or repeatedly.

(2) Remote
Ans. remote—– far away in distance, time, or relation: not close.

(3) prowess
Ans. prowess— skill or expertise in a particular activity or field.

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

Question 1.
What made Alicia and Robert visit the far.
Alicia and Robert visited the farm in response to the repeated invitations by his mother in her letters to him.

Question 2.
How was Robert welcomed in the countryside.
The voices of the soil welcomed Robert and spoke to him. The leaves, buds and blossoms conversed with him reminding him of the 
words of his youth.

Question 3.
What did Robert notice in Alicia in the wagon?
In the wagon, seated beside him,Alicia suddenly appeared a stranger to him.She did not belong to the memories connected with the countryside and seemed remote and unreal yet peculiarly he admired her more than ever before.

Question 4.
How did Robert treat his father?
Robert realised that his simple,rustic father was uncomfortable sitting without his pipe and wearing heavy boots as a sign of courtesy to Robert’s city bred wife. So Robert decided to do away with all formality and fetched his father’s pipe and pulled the boots off his feet,

Question 5.
Show how Robert acted in a rustic manner.
Robert wrestled on the grass with his brother Tom like a common country bumpkin. He was soon panting and looked unkempt and untidy,not at all the well groomed city gentleman.He sang loudly and told humorous stories that set all laughing .In fact he seemed to be slightly mad with the revival of his old life.

Question 6.
When Alicia was going back to her room ,how did Robert appear to her?
Robert appeared like a clown,a compete figure of vulgar comedy, with his usually immaculate now ruffled untidily,his face reddened with the exertion of wrestling with Tom and his clothes completely in disarray. He did not even remotely resemble the Robert who was the toast of the cultured city society.

Question 3(c).
In not more than 60 words state how Robert acted like a man rather than a gentleman.
Amidst his rustic family and surrounded by the fond memories of his country life .Robert did not behave as if he was superior to them .Rather he put his family at ease and showed them that he was still the same .He did not behave like a fake and was not ashamed to show his wife that he still belonged to his country roots and that is what made him a real man.

Question 3(d).
Give a title to the passage and give a reason to justify your choice.
The most apt title is-A Manly Gentleman.
It is suitable because Robert proved that he was a real man and a gentleman.

Question 4(a).
 In the following passage, 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 the correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate to the blank space.
___ 1___ (walk)     along a Russian street during the      famine  ,Tolstoy__ 2__ (meet) a
beggar.Tolstoy__ 3__ (check) through his pockets 4               (find) something    he might
give to the man. But they were empty. He S (‘give! away all his money earlier. „ In his pity he reached out,took the beggar in his arms,kissed him on his hollowcheeks and said: “Don’t be angry with me,my brother, I have nothing_______ 6___ give) you.”

The pale, thin face of the beggar______ 7___ (light) up. Tears ____ 8___ (shine) in his eyes,as he said, “But you called me brother-that is a gift.”


  1. Walking
  2. met
  3. checked
  4. to find
  5. had given
  6. to give
  7. lighted
  8. shone

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

  1.  Inflation has driven away the investors.
  2. The Government proceeded against the tax evaders.
  3. The Sports Day went very well this year.
  4. Our teacher went over the difficult poems.
  5. Our neighbours came across to help us in our difficulties.
  6. Many companies are competing with each other for the contract.
  7. The government came down heavily on smugglers.
  8. He had to break open the lock because he had lost the key.

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

(1) The sum is very simple. Even a child can do it.
Ans. Even a child can do this simple sum. or
Even a child can do it because the sum is very simple.

(2) I waited long for the bus. I got tired.
Ans. The long wait for the bus tired me. or
I got tired because I waited long for the bus.

(3) I remember the school .1 studied here for ten years.
Ans. I remember the school as I studied here for ten years.

(4) My sister will always be grateful to the teacher. She helped her.
Ans. My sister will always be grateful to the teacher because she helped her.

Question 4(d).
Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given after each.Make other changes that maybe necessary,but do not change the meaning of each sentence.

(1) Only my uncle knew the secret.(Begin: No one—)
Ans. No one except my uncle knew the secret.

(2) He decided to walk instead of taking the bus. (Begin: Rather than—)
Ans. Rather than take the bus he decided to walk.

(3) Mr Mittal is the best tutor to teach him. (Begin: There is —)
Ans. There is no better tutor than Mr Mittal to teach him.

(4) He gave up his studies for the sake of going abioad.(Use: so that —)
Ans. He gave up his studies so that he could go abroad.

(5) This was the best drama I had ever enjoyed. (Begin: Never —)
Ans. Never had I enjoyed a better drama than this.

(6) Come what may, we will have the match tomorrow. (Begin: Whatever—)
Ans. Whatever happens we will have the match tomorrow.

(7) Many people died in China due to floods. (Begin: Floods—)
Ans. Floods killed many people in China.

(8) As Thambi knew Hindi, he had no difficulty moving around Delhi. (Use: knowledge—)
Ans. Thambi’s knowledge of Hindi helped him move around Delhi without any difficulty.

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