Achiever Home-Tuitions icse-x english-i 2013 (Two Hours) Question 1

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Achiever Home-Tuitions


(Two Hours)

Question 1.

(Do not spend more than 35 minutes on this question.)

Write a composition (350 - 400 words) on any one of the following : [25]

(a) Write an original short story that begins with the words : "In the background I could hear an awful commotion, men's voices raised and women screaming."

(b) "Boarding schools are far better than day schools for the all-round education of a child." Express your view either for or against this statement.

(c) You were on a school trip and were on your way back to the hotel late one night when your school bus, full of children, broke down in a lonely area. Describe what you saw and experienced as you looked around. How was the problem solved ?

(d) Teaching someone else how to do something can be a rewarding experience. Think of a skill that you have helped someone to develop. Perhaps you taught someone how to swim or to bake a cake, or helped someone learn how to study more effectively. Narrate the events that made up the process of teaching the skill, and say what made the experience important and memorable for you.

(e) 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.


In the background I could hear an awful commotion, men's voices raised and women screaming. I couldn't make out the exact situation, but the noise was quite obvious and was growing with each passing moment. 'Why is there so much of disturbance in the background ?' I asked. 'Where are you?' There was no answer from the other end. I thought that probably my voice wasn't audible and repeated myself again. This time dad answered. 'I'm on my way back home. There is a procession going on at Cannaught Place. A group of activists are protesting against the recent gang rape case.' I could hardly understand anything he said after that. The last thing I heard was, 'I will take another route and be home in another hour's time.' I put the receiver down, but the short conversation with dad had intrigued a thought in my mind. Were these protests really serving any purpose ? Or were they adding to the problem of the already frustrated citizens ?

The gang rape case had been making headlines over the past few days and for the right reasons. A girl had been robbed of her innocence, her right to lead a secure life and above all, her life. Justice had also been delayed. The entire nation had rose up to the cause. Candle light marches, justice drives and protests had become a common scene at every landmark in the capital. Barricades and lathi charge on the protesters had been a routine. The national capital had turned into blazing war zone. I had also been a party to many candle light protests because like all others I also felt that this case was one of the many examples of breach in women security in the capital. Of late, there had been an alarming increase in the number of crimes against women and justice was not to be seen anywhere in vicinity. It was essential for the common man to take up the charge and stand up the situation. But were violent protests the right way ?

Today, along with my dad, there were several others out there who were facing the wrath of these justice protests. Traffic jams and route diversions were adding up to the helplessness of the already frustrated common man. Daily office going people, students and commuters—everyone was paying a price one way or the other. Life of many was at stake. No one knew if their acquaintance would come back home securely. 'What was the point of carrying out such justice drives that were stirring up problems in the lives of fellow citizens ? I thought. My thoughts were interrupted by the loud door bell. Dad was finally home. And he was in a sound state. I closed my eyes and thanked God for that.



Schooling plays a pivotal role in an individual's life. The knowledge and values inculcated in the school time helps every individual to grow up to become a learned and responsible citizen. What a student learns during his or her schooling leaves a long-lasting impression on his or her future life. Though every school works equally well in the direction of developing a student's all-round personality, these days parents are exceedingly favouring boarding schools over day schools. And the choice seems quite apt as well. There are a plenty of reasons to decide in favor of boarding schools. Let's take a look at some of them.

1. 24/7 Supervision : This benefit of boarding schools might not catch the

fancy of youngsters but it is definitely a plus point for parents. Boarding
schools act quite effectively when it comes to close supervision of youngsters.
They take care of youngsters at an age when they need the most attention and
dedicated supervision. They understand the thought process of a young adults
mind and tackle their behaviour in an expert manner.

2. Disciplined Environment : Discipline is the basic lesson that defines an

individual's behaviour in life. At day schools teachers focus more on spoon-fed
learning and often neglect discipline. This is not the case in boarding schools.
Their rigorous schedules, closely scrutinized environment and disciplinary
activities inculcate strict discipline values in students, making them better

3. Diversified Curriculum : Though both boarding schools and day schools

teach the same curriculum, there is a slight difference in the designing of both.
Curriculum in day schools primarily focuses on text-book learning while
curriculum in boarding schools focuses on overall learning. This includes
learning through sports, arts, moral education and other extra-curricular
activities. This ensures that the student doesn't become a book worm and
progresses in every facet of life.

4. Emphasis on Sports : Boarding schools put a lot of emphasis on extra­

curricular activities especially sports. They have dedicated sports sessions that
pay heed to all-round physical development of students. This makes the
students physically active and keeps lethargy at bay.

With an array of benefits to offer, boarding schools prove to be far better than day schools for the all-round education of students.


Though a debate has been going on since always on the above point but then it is quite clear that day schools are better than boarding schools. Some of the points which strengthen this view are;

Firstly, in boarding schools a child can only learn the book language while missing on other important learning's of life which can only be understood when staying in a family.

Secondly, a child studying in a boarding school feels as if they are in a protective bubble and they have no idea about the world outside that bubble. They only get to learn and face what goes on inside that bubble. But in a day school, a child gets to face everything that not just goes on in their school amongst their peers but also amongst their families and relatives. Thus there is an all round development which takes place.

Apart from the above points it is also important to notice some other points like cost benefit, emergency situations, lesser scope of ragging etc. Day schools are more cost-effective as compared to boarding schools because in boarding schools you have to pay for facilities like lodging and boarding, food, bedding etc. Moreover, if there the child is stuck in an emergency situation, boarding schools are less accessible. At day schools parents can reach their children as soon as possible in case there is an emergency, but most boarding schools being located at distant locations, it becomes difficult for parents to make it within time. Another advantage day schools have over boarding schools is that of lesser fear of ragging. In boarding schools students are under the supervision of teachers only when they are at school and not while they are in their dorms. This increases the chances of being ragged. The students may also fall into the company of destructive groups.

The points above will make it clear that boarding schools might look quite

lucrative and attractive but then the learning that a child receives from a day
school is much better and they actually help the child in understanding the
finer nuances of life.


Our school had organized a trip to Shimla the previous month, and I had decided to join the trip along with my friends. We took permission from our parents and left for Shimla on Monday morning. We reached our hotel in the evening and after dinner our teachers told us to rest.

The next day after breakfast, we left for our trekking spot. After trekking we went to a local restaurant for lunch after which we went for river rafting. We enjoyed a lot.

It was dark when we left for our hotel where we were staying. We had only reached half way when suddenly the bus stopped. The driver told us that the front left tyre has punctured. We were a little worried because we couldn't arrange for any help and were stuck in a very lonely place. We had no clue as to what we should do because it was very dark and we knew no garage at any place. The driver left to find some garage so that he could get it fixed. Finally, after a couple of hours the bus driver returned with a man who worked in a garage.

He was extremely helpful and he assisted the .driver in changing the tyre. While they were fixing the problem, we saw that there was a beautiful valley nearby. Since it was dark, we couldn't see a lot but the place was very beautiful with a cold breeze and a very pleasant weather. We could also see a small tea corner a few steps away and waited there until the problem was fixed. After replacing the tire, we left from there. We were very thankful to the man as he even escorted us to our hotel. It was midnight by the time we reached the hotel.

Once we reached the hotel, we went further to settle in our rooms and gathered back for the dinner in the hall. Our teachers had also insisted that the stranger who helped us should stay back for dinner with us. He hesitated but after much persuasion he stayed back. Post dinner, we all went out into the open lounge for a quick cup of coffee and some chit chat. Everyone was there, but the man who had helped us was nowhere to be seen. We looked around, but could not locate him. So we inquired with the hotel staff. And we were amazed by what the staff said. They said that they did not see any person accompanying us and no one had come with us to the hotel or had dinner with us. We were shocked ! I started getting Goose bumps. Where did the man disappear suddenly ? Why hadn't anyone other than us seen him?

On enquiring further, we came to know that it had happened with a lot of people earlier also. They had been accompanied by a stranger to the hotel, who would later suddenly disappear into thin air. Some said that he was good spirit who wandered around just to help people who were in trouble. Others said that he was a maniac. No one knew who he was exactly, but everyone was terrified by this, specifically me. I could not sleep for the entire night and for many nights to come.

We came back to Delhi after three days, but I could not forget the episode all date. The incident still gives me goose bumps and I will never be able to forget this trip.


Recently one of my friends wanted to learn how to bake a cake. One might think why something like baking a cake needs to be taught. It is just eggs, flour, butter, sugar and a few more ingredients and a recipe. How difficult can it be? Well as it turns out it can be very difficult. My friend came to me to learn cake baking after a few miserable attempts where once the cake did not rise, once it got burnt and once it remained under-cooked in the center. While baking a cake one must be aware of the exact recipe, the exact method and also one must know one's oven well.

When I taught my friend how to bake a cake these are the steps that I taught her to ensure that the cake is made properly. I taught her how to make a basic sponge cake which is the base of many cake recipes. The following were the steps that I taught her :

• First I listed all the ingredients that were needed-eggs, sugar, flour, butter,

vanilla extract, baking powder and baking soda. I also told her the exact
quantities that were required.

• Once she had all the ingredients in place I explained how the batter is

made and all the tricks involved to make a good batter, the consistency needed
and how to correctly mix all ingredients without over mixing the batter or
incorrectly whipping the egg.

• After my friend folded the batter in a correct manner the next step was to

teach her how to grease the cake tin and correctly line the tin with butter


• Once the cake was ready and I had shown my friend the correct temperature it needs to be preheated on, she placed the cake in the oven to bake according to the time and temperature that was told by me.

• She then took the beautifully risen golden cake out of the oven and we checked whether it was perfectly cooked. Then we left it to cool.

• Once cooled we carefully removed the cake from the tin.

My friend was amazed that she could make a nice cake by following simple steps and exact measurements. The delighted look on her face was truly wonderful to see after which we both cut nice large portions of the cake and enjoyed eating the delicious sponge cake that we made.


That day I went to spend my weekend on the lake nearby my house. The lake is one of the most preferred picnic spot for the people living in the vicinity. For me and my friends, this type of outing is a regular affair, so we packed our food and drinks and headed towards the spot. That was a sunny winter day so we were quite happy that now we can spend our day enjoying in the sunlight. But our enjoyment was short lived. On reaching there, as we were about to set up our seating place we heard some school kids screaming. The noise was so loud that we couldn't stop and moved towards the direction from where screams were coming. To our surprise we saw 4 school kids, all of 10-14 years old sitting on an elephant along with the master of the elephant and a helper. That was not the usual scene of an elephant ride because the animal was crossing the lake with all these 6 people sitting on it. The lake was deep and the water was quite cold that day so the animal was slightly uncomfortable crossing the lake. Elephant was loosing its balance and this was the reason that kids were screaming. Everybody present there were only looking at the helpless kids as even the elephant's master was unable to control the balance of his animal. Although the kids were holding each other but still they seem to be afraid. Suddenly, the elephant lost its balance and to everyone's surprise all its passengers fell in the water. Kids started yelling for help. Me and my friends didn't even think twice and jumped into the lake for their rescue. We1 all were good in swimming hence did not find it difficult to save the kids. Elephant's master and his helper were both good swimmers so they helped themselves. By God's grace, we succeeded in our rescue mission. All kids came out of the water safely. On asking, the animal's master told that kids insisted for a ride on elephant and that also in the flowing lake. Although for elephant it was a normal routine to walk in the lake water, but with water being so cold it didn't go well with it. However, everything became normal very soon. Even the parents of all those kids came to the accident spot and they all were taken back to home safely.

Question 2.

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

Select one of the following: [10]

(a) You will soon have to make a decision about the subjects that you

wish to study in classes XI and XII.

Write a letter to your Grandfather telling him about the subjects that you plan to take up. Be sure to explain the reason for your choice and how you think these subjects would help you in the future.

(b) The children in your neighborhood are forced to play on the street for
want of a proper play area. Write a letter to the Editor of a popular
newspaper, pointing out the need for a playground in your neighborhood.

Give reasons why you think a play area is necessary and point out how it would benefit everyone who lives in that area.

Answer 2.

(a) Letter to Grand Pa

C-187, Villa No. 4

Green Street


February 29th, 2013

Dear grandpa,

Hope you're doing well. My final examinations have got over and I have just returned from a weekend trip to a nearby resort with my friends. Next week after my result, I am supposed to choose my stream of subjects for the 11th and 12th standard and I am very confused regarding the same. I did not know which stream will suit me the best so I decided to opt for one week trial classes.

After attending those classes I thought I would be able to cope up with science stream in the best manner. Physics and Maths are the two subjects of my interest and I would love to study them in depth. But at the same time, I will have to work hard in chemistry because I am a little weak at it. For this purpose, I've thought to join a coaching center where I would get proper help and would be able to cope up with the pressure.

In this stream there are two other subjects which are compulsory, English and Physical education or computers out of which I have chosen to go with Physical education. I feel that I have taken the correct decision because I also love taking part in various sports activities of the school. Also, I have great interest in studying English and feel that I have the ability to score well in it.

I have also joined a coaching class for 4 days a week for physics, chemistry and maths so that I will riot be overburdened with studies and can relax and find time for other things on the remaining three days.

I have also considered the future prospects of these subjects and I think that I can really get a lot of benefit In the future. I can choose to go into various fields of engineering. My main aim is to get into mechanical engineering because I am most comfortable with that stream. Apart from engineering there are various other areas in science where I can get into.

I hope you will also find my decision to study in the science stream right and support me in this decision. Hope to see you soon. Yours lovingly Sahil
(b) Letter to the Editor

The Editor

XYZ Newspaper,

March 9th, 2013

Sub. : Need for a playground in out neighbourhood

Dear Sir,

It has come to my notice that our neighbourhood does not have a good playground for the children to play. The population of our neighbourhood is quite sizable so naturally there are many kids in the neighbourhood. Through­out the area I see kids of all ages playing on the crowded streets in whatever space they can get.

It is extremely dangerous for children to play on the streets. With the traffic congestion in our area there are lot of vehicles, passing through every street in our neighbourhood. Children while playing on the streets are often engrossed in their play. Such situations can lead to accidents, some fatal in nature. If the kids are to play on the streets, it is not possible to send younger kids to play as streets are even more unsafe for younger kids. Play-grounds are much safer as adults know where their kids are and adult supervision can be maintained.

It is essential that children gets a play-ground with proper facilities to play for the physical development and growth of the kids. It also helps them make friends and develop social skills.

If the play-ground has modern facilities like basketball nets, cricket pitches, football nets etc., children will be able to play sports and also develop Interest and skill in sports at their neighbourhood play-ground. Parents can bring younger kids to the play-ground's children park area to play on seesaws, slides, jungle gyms etc. Adults can also use these parks for jogging and walking.

Many children also have to stay at home instead of playing outside because the streets are unsafe for them to play and the parents rightly do not send them to play on the streets. They then become lonely and also addicted to electronics at home like TV , computers, smart phones, video games etc., when rightly they should be out playing with their friends. Staying at home instead of going out to play can lead to many psychological problems among the children.

Our neighbourhood children are in desperate need of a good playground area with proper facilities. Through this letter I request the government to please consider how important this problem is and work towards building a new play-ground for the kids. We all will be thankful if a new play-ground is constructed in our area by the government.

Yours faithfully

Question 3.

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow :

There were other boys in Manjari village, but Bisnu was the only one who went to school. His mother would not have fussed if he had stayed at home and worked in the fields. That was what the other boys did; all except lazy Chittru, who preferred fishing in the stream or helping himself to the fruit oif other people's trees. But Bisnu went to school. He went because he wanted to. No one could force him to go; and no one could stop him from going. He had set his heart on receiving a good schooling. He wanted to read and write as well as anyone in the big world and so he walked to school every day. A colony of langoors lived in the forest. They fed on oak leaves, acorns, and other green things, and usually remained in the trees, coming down to the ground only to play or sun themselves. They were beautiful, supple-limbed animals, with black faces and silver-grey coats and long, sensitive tails. They leapt from tree to tree with great agility. The young ones wrestled on the grass like boys.

A dignified community, the langoors did not have the cheekiness or dishonest habits of the red monkeys of the plains; they did not approach dogs or humans. But they had grown used to Bisnu's comings and goings and did not fear him. Some of the older ones would watch him quietly, a little puzzled. They did not go near the town; because the boys threw stones at them. And anyway, the forest gave them all the food they required.

Coming from another direction was a second path, and at the junction of the two paths Sarru was waiting for him. Sarru came from a small village about three miles from Bisnu's and closer to the town.

They hailed each other, and walked along. They often met at this spot, keeping each other company for the remaining two miles.

There was a panther in our village last night,' said Sarru.

This information interested but did not excite Bisnu. Panthers were common enough in the hills and did not usually present a problem except during the winter months, when their natural prey was scarce.

'Did you lose any animals ?' asked Bisnu.

'No. It tried to get into the cowshed but the dogs set up the alarm. We drove it off.'

'It must be the same one which came around last winter. We lost a calf and two dogs In our village.'

'Wasn't that the one the shikaris wounded ? I hope it hasn't become a cattle-lifter.'

‘It could be the same. It has a bullet in its leg. These hunters are the people who cause all the trouble. They think it's easy to shoot a panther. It would be better If they missed altogether, but they usually wound it.'

'And then the panther's too slow to catch the barking-deer and starts on our own animals.'

'We're lucky it didn't become a man-eater. Do you remember the man-eater six years ago ? I was very small then. My father told me all about it. Ten people were killed in our valley alone.'

'What happened to it ?'

'I don't know. Some say it poisoned itself when it ate the headman of the village.'

Bisnu laughed. No one liked that old villain. They linked arms and scrambled up the stony path to school.

(a) Give the meanings of each of the following words as used in the passage.

One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) agility (line 13)

(ii) hailed (Line 24)

(iii) villain (line 48) [3]

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

(i) How was Chittru differentfrom other boys ? [2]

(ii) What was Bisnu's ambition ? [2]

(iii) What information did Sarru give Bisnu ? [2]

(iv) How did the information affect Bisnu? [2]

(v) Why did the panther become a cattle-lifter ? [2]

(vi) What joke does Sarru make ? [2]

(c) (i) In not more than 60 words describe what the narrator tells us about the behavior of the langoors. [8]

(ii) Give a title to your summary in 3 (c). Glue a. reason to justify your choice. [2]

Answer 3.

(a) (i) Agility-Quickly and Efficiently

(ii) Hailed-Called Out

(iii) Villain- A wicked person

(b) (i) Chittru was different because he was lazy and preferred fishing in the
stream or helping himself to fruit off other people's tree.

(ii) Bisnu had an ambition of receiving a good schooling. He wanted to read and write as well as anyone in this big world.

(iii) Sarru informed Bisnu that there was a panther in their village last night.

(iv) The information interested Bisnu but did not excite him because panthers were a common affair in hills.

(v) The panther became cattle-lifter because it was too slow to catch the barking-deer.

(vi) Sarru joked that the man-eater had poisoned itself when he ate the headman of the village.

(c) (i) According to the narrator, a colony of langoors lived hi the forest.
They were beautiful, supple-limbed animals, with black faces and silver-grey coats and long, sensitive tails. They were extremely swift. The langoors were not cheeky and dishonest as they did not approached dogs or humans to harm them in any sense.

(ii) The Beautifully Agile Langoors. This title is apt because the above summary describes about the agility and active behaviour of langoors who are supple-limbed and beautiful creatures.

Question 4.

(a) 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.

Example :

(0) A woman ______ (watt) at an airport one night, with several long

hours before her flight.

Answer: was waiting.

She (1) ______ (hunt) for a book in the airport shops, (2) ______ (buy) a bag of cookies and found a place to sit She (3) ______ (engross) in her book but happened to see that the man sitting beside her, bold as could be, grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene. So she (4) ______ (munch) the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy thief diminished her stock. She (5) _____ (get) more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I (6) ______ (black) his eye." With each cookie she took, he took one too. When only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he (7) ______ (take) the last cookie and broke it in half. He offered her hay, as he ate the other. She had never known she could be so angry and
turned to gather her belongings. As she reached for her baggage, she
gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his, and he (8) ______ (try) to share. [4]

(b) Fill in the blanks with an appropriate word :

(i) She takes a lot of trouble ______her work.

(ii) Our English friends have taken ______ Indian food quite quickly.

(iii) He got an A ______ the Mathematics test.

(iv) He jumped ________ the river to save his friend from drowning.

(v) Always be prepared ______ a surprise test.

(vi) She hid ______ the cupboard and gave everyone a fright.

(vii) She is fond ______ pets. ,

(viii) The brothers quarreled ______ themselves for their father's property. [4]

(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so.

(i) We had better get ready now. We may not have time to reach the airport.

(ii) Mr. Liew has been sick. He has been so since he came back from Japan.

(iii) The debating teams were very happy. Both were declared joint-champions.

(iv) He escaped from the prison. He looked for a place where he could hide. [4]

(d) Re-write the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. Make other changes that may be necessary, but do not change the waning of each sentence.

(i) These windows need cleaning again.

(Begin : These windows will ______ )

(ii) My mother said I could go with you only if I returned home by five O' clock.

(Use : as long as)

(iii) It doesn't matter which chemical you put into the mixture first, the results will be the same.

(Use: difference)

(iv) Who does this pen belong to ?

(Begin: Do you know ______ )

(v) Heavy rain has caused the cancellation of the outdoor garden party.

(Begin: Due ______ )

(vi) I've never seen so many people in this building before.

(Begin: This is ______ )

(vii) If we light the fire, the rescuers will see us.

(Begin: We will ______ )

(viii) Only a few books were remaining on the shelf when we left.

(Begin: Most ______ ) [8]

Answer 4.

(a) 1. hunted 2. Bought 3. was engrossed

4. munched 5. was getting 6. would blacken

7. took 8. was trying.

(b) (i) for (ii) to (iii) in

(iv) into (v) for (vi) in

(vii) of (vii) among.

(c) (i) We would better get ready now or we might not have time to reach to the airport.

(ii) Mr. Liew has been sick since he came back from Japan.

(iii) Both the debating teams were very happy as they were declared joint-champions.

(iv) As he escaped from the prison, he looked for a place where he could hide.

(d) (i) These windows will have to be cleaned again.

(ii) My mother said I could go with you as long as I returned home by 5'O clock.

(iii) Which chemical you put in the mixture first doesn't make a difference; the results will be the same.


It doesn't make any difference to the results, which chemical you put first into the mixture.

(iv) Do you know to whom does this pen belong ?

(v) Due to heavy rains, the outdoor garden>party has been canceled.

(vi) This is the first time I have seen so many people in this building.

(vii) We will light the fire so that the rescuers will see us.

(vii) Most of the books were removed from the shelf when we left.

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