ICSE Class 10, 9 English Language Practice Papers – 4 With Answers


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


Question 1(b).
Your municipality has decided to spend a vast sum of money on a new Olympic-size cycle track. Write an article for a local newspaper suggesting other better ways in which the money might be spent.
22nd September
The Daily News.
Olympic -size cycle Track-A wasteful endeavour!

A dedicated fenced cycle way comparable to a Olympic size cycle along the entire waterfront of this small beach town involves not only a major investment but also huge manpower,disruption of public life and overlooks the fact that the seafront is for family enjoyment of our glorious beach.

The question that now confronts the readers and citizens is that why would the municipality waste money on a cycle track for a very small minority of cyclists that would actually benefit from this exercise. Why waste money on an Olympic sized cycle track when the everyday , leisure cyclist / commuting cyclist is so under provisioned that it is an embarrassment ? What is the requirement to make a specific cycle path when the majority of the people want a path to skate, area where people can congregate and enjoy the waterfront. But no instead the municipality decides that we should have a £3.4m useless white elephant, a cycle track for perhaps only a handful of people .Such sporting infrastructure is hard to justify for a few moments of national pride.Even cities like Athens, Barcelona and Sydney have their fair share of empty arenas and “tumbleweed” spaces. So why do we need to follow them at such huge deficits?

The cost of upkeep of such a facility is another worry.lt would require yearly maintenance  that would incur huge financial and human resources burden on the municipality which is already in the red.Even if private companies pitch in it would still mean the diversion of valuable resources which can be better utilised for creating a much needed old age home and a multi-specialty hospital .People have to seek medical in nearby towns and the old are living in a dilapidated building which lacks basic amenities. So it is time to stop indulging in illusions. and concentrate on the reality of our Immediate needs!

Question 1(c).
Describe a day at home when everything went wrong. Explain what happened to you and how the day ended.
The chirping birds and clear sunny day made me feel as if it was going to be the best day of my life!

But alas what a day it turned out to be! Even when 1 think back on that day my stomach starts to turn and ache. There wasn’t a thing that went well. From early morning until ,sundown the day was a total mess. Everything seemed out to get me, to trick me. It was the hardest test of my patience and perseverance.

First I stumbled over some clothes that were next to my bed. When 1 looked at the clock, it was already 7.50 a.m. God! I only had 10 more minutes before my working hour started and here, I was still on my bed! “Oh man, today will be a hard day” I murmured.

As fast as lightning, I dashed to  the bathroom. To my bad luck, no water came out from the shower! I quickly searched for water and luckily there was a pail of it outside. After I took my bath, I ran up to my room to dress up. That was the time when whatever things I needed seemed to hide away from me. I got trouble searching for keys, tie, document and my shoes! I managed to find the car keys and dashed to the car .1 drove my car as fast as I could. My mind-set at that time  was to arrive at the office as soon as possible. The traffic did not cooperate with me. There was a big traffic jam. More time     was wasted and then my car decided to play up .It just wouldn’t start. Sweat ran through my body. “Oh God, what’s more!” I screamed to myself. I had no choice. I pushed my car to the side of the road and decided to take a cab. Luckily, there was an empty cab and I arrived at the office at 8.30 a.m.
Everything’s went along normally until the end of working hours. I thought everything would end up happily ever after, but I was wrong. It hadn’t ended, yet! Just as I was about to leave my colleague told me that I had forgotten about the appointment with the board of directors. 1 ran as fast as I could to find the documents needed for the meeting. To my horror, I noticed that I had left all the documents inside my car which was now at the roadside. “Arghh!” I screamed in terror.“Wait a minute; I still have the soft copy in my PC!” I said to myself. I went to my PC and tried to print it. Stuck! Oh my god, help me! Finally it worked and I rushed. In the panic I slipped on the tiled floor and then it was all dark.I woke up in the hospital with a splitting pain in my head but also relieved that finally the day had ended as the watch on the wall showed it was well past midnight.

Question 1(d).
We all experience a situation which poses a challenge to us. Narrate an account of such an experience, describing how you met the challenge.
What is life? Life consists of experiences, challenges, and achievements; all of which are building blocks that essentially create ones path to success. In one’s lifetime they can experience tough and difficult challenges. Sometimes these challenges become unbearable, especially when the odds are against you. However, going against all odds is something everyone is capable of. doing, and to overcome these challenges everyone needs to have a “never quit” attitude in life. My divorce was my biggest challenged had two children to raise on my own and with a song by Gloria Gaynor, “I will survive” I started my journey.

Equipped with the knowledge and the experience of hard times and a graduation in accounts degree in hand I set out to face the challenge life had thrown at me. I had recently read a book titled “Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do” by Robert H. Schuller, and it helped me put things into perspective. I got rid of the notion that I was a failure and became optimistic about everything. I first of all decided to find a house and after contacting several property dealers managed one which suited my meagre savings. It had a roof, windows, and doors. Each of the children had a pillow and a blanket and the floor was comfortable. We now had a place to call home, and I had high hope that I.would find, a job before my money ran low. Next I managed to enrol my children into a school nearby as I did not want their education to suffer.I had realised that it was education which was going to save me.

I eventually found a job in a bank and life tottered along. My children completed school and college with two degrees each. There were many days when we had no electricity, no phone, or running water. However, staying positive was always the flavor of the day and it stood me in good stead.God gave me the courage and will to survive. It was hard but painting a picture of a brighter day was more beneficial for my children to thrive. The biggest challenge was getting past self-pity and despondency at my fate but focusing on the challenge at hand pulled me out of the pit and I was able to provide a safe, stable, productive, and optimistic environment for my children.

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 - 4
Sport, it has been said, is not only a manifestation of animal energy of surplus strength to develop more strength; it is, in addition, a safe and wholesome outlet for the aggressive spirit in human beings. Sports foster a spirit of friendship and amity.

There is no doubt that regular participation in sports provides a healthy channel for diversion of energies. Wherever students and other youth participate in sports regularly, misdirection of youthful vigour is much less and the tendency to indulge in indiscipline and mischief is curbed. Sports helps to fruitfully utilise the surplus energy of the youth laying the foundation, for a healthy society, where people are fully aware of the need for discipline, co-operative effort, team spirit, the cult of sportsmanship, of joint devotion to the achievement of a common goal in collaboration with others. Youngsters learn to cultivate the vital quality of knowledge to work together, to become not only good winners, but also good losers. It gives credence to the adage that “the battle of Waterloo was won on the play fields of Eton”, implying that playing games and the spirit of sportsmanship help to inculcate lasting values, which make for good soldiers, good fighters and good discipline, apart from promoting 100 per cent physical fitness. Playing the game on the playground naturally instructs people to play the game of life in the right spirit, which is what matters most, not victory or defeat.

The role of sport in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through innovative partnerships is another point to moot in favour of encouraging sports.

“Sport helps empower girls and women because it changes attitudes. It helps women competitors realise their own potential and it helps others see them in a new light. When a woman athlete triumphs, she often becomes a role model for her family, her community or even her country,” said Anita De Frantz very aptly.

Thus one can conclude that society gains in many ways when sports are encouraged everywhere. It helps people to put everything in the right perspective, and then they seldom conduct themselves in an unsporting, ungentle manly and unbecoming manner. Sports inculcate the habit of respecting the judge and of observing the rules.The crime graph dips society becomes a better place to live in.

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

Question 2(a).
Write a letter to the Minister of Health expressing your concern about the health hazards faced by the young people working in the call centers.
The Minister of Health Ministry of Health Affairs New Delhi
Subject: Concern about Health hazards faced by BPO workers.
I am writing to you to bring to your notice my concern regarding the mental, physical and psycho social health dangers faced by young people working in BPO’s.

A high proportion of workers face sleep disturbances and associated mental stress and anxiety. Sleep disturbance and anxiety is significantly more in international call centers as compared to domestic ones. The daily experience of repetitive, intensive and stressful work, results in employee “burnout”. Standardized work creates relatively uniform and repetitious activities to achieve economies of scale and consistent quality of customer service and this weakens employee autonomy and enhances the potential for management control leading to work related stress.

Besides, the stress, the working hours of call centers also cause sleep disturbances and disturbances in biological rhythm. Physical health is adversely affected because of irregular and sedentary working hours and unhealthy lifestyles. Physical disorders such as musculo skeletal disorders, digestive disorders, eye, voice and hearing problems and obesity are a consequence.

The workers in BPO’s also suffer from various psycho social problems in the form of disruptive family relations, poor recreation opportunity, vices such as alcohol and tobacco use, and faulty eating habits. Symptoms and health problems caused or aggravated by work are common.

Not only this the high salaries paid in these BPO’S adversely affects the lifestyle of these youngsters and they get attracted to drugs, sex, smoke and drink, outside foods, night life in hotels etc.

Many people feel compelled to leave the job within a short span of time especially due to the mental and physical health reasons. After leaving the job, it is very difficult to adjust with new reality. A mid-life crisis begins and this aggravates the problems.

Hence, I request you to look into this problem as it is a serious issue and needs certain measures to ensure the physical and mental health of our youth if we do not want to face a bleak future in our country. I hope you will take heed and deal with the situation.
Thanking you.
Yours sincerely

Question 2(b).
You are studying in a residential school. Write a letter to your father,explaining how you are spending your time in the hostel.
Vivekananda Hostel
Room No-57
Dear Father
My dear father

I was glad to receive your affectionate letter today. As you wanted me to tell you about my life and routine in the hostel I will describe in detail so that you do not worry about my well being.

The hostel life here is entirely different from the village life,and I am enjoying it thoroughly. It is a very good hostel and the wardens ensure our safety and health.. There are one hundred and fifty-three rooms and two halls inside the hostel premises. I share the room with two other students.We all students share a very cordial and friendly relationship.

As regards our diet we get milk, bread,eggs and biscuits at 7:30 am, the breakfast time. Then we are served lunch at 12:30 pm. The food served here if fresh and tasty. Dinner is served at 8:30 p.m and is wholesome with a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian food.

There is a library in the hostel and a TV room also. We play games in the evening before retiring to our rooms.There we study for some time before lights out at 11 p.m.The main doors are locked by the warden and rooms checked .At night two guards are on duty.
I am sure you must be feeling relieved now.I am busy with my studies and outdoor games too.
Convey my respect and love to every one and tell Mother I miss her home cooked food.
Your loving son

Question 3.
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
I was very much in love with Varinka-a tall, slender, graceful, and stately young lady. She held herself very erect, and carried her head high, and that together with her beauty and height gave her a queenly air.

I was at that time a very gay, lively, careless fellow, and had plenty of money too. When my love for her was at its strongest, on the last day of the carnival. I was at a ball at the military officer’s hall. I did not drink that night, because without it I was drunk with love. Varinka looked admirable. Well, I danced for the most part with her, and did not notice how time was passing.

‘Look, they are urging my father to dance’, she said to me, pointing to the tall, stately figure of her father, a colonel with silver medals, who was standing in the doorway with some ladies.

Varinka’s father was a very handsome, well-preserved old man. He had a good colour, curled moustaches and white whiskers. He was splendidly set up, with a broad military chest, and he had powerful shoulders and long slim legs. When we approached the door the colonel took the hand of his daughter, and waited for the music.

At the first sound of the music, the two began dancing. Varinka swaved gracefully beside her father, rhythmically and easily, making her steps short or long, with her little feet in their white satin slippers. All the people in the room applauded every movement of the couple. As for me I not only admired, 1 regarded them with enraptured sympathy. When I went home, I could still see her before me.

At dawn, I put on my overcoat, opened the front door and stepped out into the street. When I approached the field near Varinka’s house, 1 saw at one end of it, in the direction of the parade ground, many black objects through the mist. 1 went along in that direction in company with a blacksmith, who wore a dirty coat and an apron, and was carrying something. The soldiers in black uniforms stood in two rows, facing each other motionless, their guns at rest.

‘What are they doing?’ I asked the blacksmith, who halted at my side.

“An officer is being beaten through the ranks for his attempt to desert,” said the blacksmith in an angry tone, as he looked intently at the far end of the line.

I looked in the same direction, and saw between the files a man approaching me. He was, stripped to the waist and fastened with cords to the guns of two soldiers. He was Varinka’s father, with his rosy and white moustache.

I wondered whether the scene I had witenessed was wicked. I do not think so, since it was done with such assurance, they doubtless knew something which I did not know.

As far as my love for Varinka is concerned, it has certainly decreased from that day.

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

Question 1.
carnival – an annual festival, typically during the week before Lent in Roman Catholic countries, involving processions, music, dancing, and the use of masquerade.

Question 2.
swayed -move or cause to move slowly or rhythmically backwards and forwards or from side to side

Question 3.
applauded- show approval or praise by clapping.

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

Question 1.
Give the physical appearance of Varinka.
Varinka was a tall,slender,graceful and stately young woman.She held herself erect and carried her head high which coupled with her beauty and height gave her a queenly look.

Question 2.
How was the father of Varinka described by the narrator?
The narrator describes Varinka’s father was a very handsome,well -preserved, old, military man. He had a good complexion, curled moustaches and white whiskers. He had a broad chest ,powerful shoulders and long ,slim legs.

Question 3.
Describe the dance of Varinka with her father.
Varinka danced gracefully,swaying rhythmically and easily along with her father, adjusting her steps to the music.

Question 4.
What did the narrator see one day at dawn near Varinka’s house?
One day at dawn the narrator saw two rows of soldiers, standing motionless,facing each other with their guns at rest. At the far end of the line was a man .stripped to his waist .tied with a chord to the guns of two soldiers was being beaten .The man was Varinka’s father.

Question 5.
What explanation did the blacksmith give to describe what was happening there.
The blacksmith explained that an officer was being beaten for his attempt to desen the army

Question 6.
What did the narrator think at the end about the scene he had witnessed.
The narrator did not think that the scene he had witnessed was wicked because the soldiers did it with complete assurance that they were doing the right thing,so he felt they knew something he did not.

Question 3(c).
In not more than 60 words, describe the narrator’s love for Varinka and how it decreased at the end.
The narrator was drunk on Varinka’s beauty and madly in love with her.But learning that her father was a traitor and was planning to desert decreased his love for her at the end.

Question 3(d).
Give a title to the passage and give a reason to justify your choice.
An apt title would be “Appearances are deceptive”.
This title would be apt as it sums up that Varinka’s father and she were not as upright and praiseworthy as they appeared to an onlooker.

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
A reporter ___ 1__ (cali)on Thomas.A.Edison one afternoon__ 2___ (interview) himabout a substitutefor lead in the manufacture of storage batteriesthat the scientist__ 3__ (look)for. Edison informed the man that he__ 4__ (make)20,000 experiments but none of them 5 (work)“But aren’t you___ 6__ (discourage)by all this waste of effort ?’ the reporter askedamazed. “ Waste??” exclaimed Edison, “there 7 (be) no waste. I____ 8___ (discover)

  1. called
  2. to interview
  3. was looking
  4. made
  5. worked
  6. discouraged.
  7. is
  8. have discovered.

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

  1. The car crashed into a wall.
  2. We are hoping for a revision in salary.
  3. The company has taken over a number of small firms
  4. I came across a good article in a magazine.
  5.  The girl takes after her mother.
  6.  I ran across George yesterday.
  7.  They admire him for his courage.
  8. Julie aimed the gun at the target.

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

(1) You must apply now.If not,your application will be late.
Ans. Either you apply now or your application will be late.

(2) I was a pleasant day. We went out for a long walk.
Ans. I was a pleasant day. We went out for a long walk. OR

As it was a pleasant day, we went out for a long walk.

(3) The swimmer did not succeed .He made every effort.
Ans. Although the swimmer made every effort yet he did not succeed.

(4) The building must be repaired. The cost does not matter.
Ans. The building must be repaired whatever the cost .

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) There was alot of furniture in the room. (Begin: The room was …….. )
Ans. The room was full of furniture.

(2) The decision of the principal surprised us. (Begin:We…….. )
Ans. We were surprised by the decision of the principal.

(3) “You can go now, Simi” he said. (Begin: He told Simi……… )
Ans. He told Simi to go.

(4) The fireman extinguished the fire. (Use put)
Ans. The fireman put out the fire.

(5) Although he was selected for the post, he did not join the office. (Use: Despite)
Ans. Despite being selected for the post, he did not join the office.

(6) His speech was received well by the audience. (Use: went down—)
Ans. His speech went down well by the audience.

(7) She said to us, “Let us through the syllabus.” (Begin:She suggested…………. )
Ans. She suggested that we let her through the syllabus.

(8) He left London two weeks ago after completing his work. (Begin: It has been…….. )
Ans. It has been two weeks since he left London after completing his work.

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