Attempt all four questions. You are advised to spend not more than 45 minutes on Question 1, 55 minutes on Question 2, 30 minutes on Question 3 and 50 minutes on Question 4. 

Question 1

Write a composition (in approximately 400 – 450 words) on any one of the following subjects: [25]

(You are reminded that you will be rewarded for orderly and coherent presentation of material, use of appropriate style and general accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar.)

(a) You had gone on a trekking expedition with a group of friends. As night closed in, you realised that you were separated from the group. Describe your initial feelings and the place where you got lost. How did you spend the night alone before you were reunited with your group?

(b) It is easy to advise others not to worry, but difficult for oneself to follow the same. Narrate an experience which made you realise the truth of this statement.

(c) ‘The best things in life come free’. Write for or against the statement.

(d) Photographs

(e) In order to be successful, one should rely on oneself and not expect others to help. Express your views on the given statement.

(f) Write an original short story beginning with the following words: She was delighted to find the sealed envelope lying on her table. As she reached for it……………

Question 2

(a) You are Nitin / Nita from XYZ School. You wish to start applying to various colleges for admission after your ISC examination. In about 300 words, draft your personal profile using the guidelines given below:

Your name, years spent in the school you are passing out from – academic interests and performance – cultural activities you participated in – sports – positions of leadership held during your stay in the school – your future plans and goals – two characteristics that you consider to be your strengths – two characteristics that set you apart from the others. [20]

(b) As a member of the Student Council of your school, you wish to start an old clothes collection drive. These clothes are to be donated to an orphanage nearby. Write a proposal in not more than 150 words, stating the steps you would take to make it a success. [10]

Question 3

Answer sections (a), (b) and (c).

(a) In each of the following items, sentence A is complete, while sentence B is not. Complete sentence B, making it as similar as possible to sentence A. Write sentence B in each case. [10]

Example:
(0) (A) All nooks and corners were checked.
(B) No……..………………………………
Answer: (0) No nook or corner was left unchecked.

1 (A) He is so old that he cannot remember events of the past.
(B) He is too.……………………………………………..

2 (A) As soon as the bell rings, the children run out to play.
(B) No sooner……………………………………………..

3 (A) No other planet is as big as Jupiter.
(B) Jupiter………………………………………………..

4 (A) He is forgetful as well as careless with his work.
(B) Besides……………………………………………..

5 (A) It is probable that the ship will reach the shore.
(B) In all…………………………………………….

6 (A) She said that she would return the book to the library the next day.
(B) She said, “………………………………………”.

7 (A) Only trained graduates need to apply for the post.
(B) None…………………………………………….

8 (A) His attitude towards his parents has always puzzled me.
(B) I have……………………………………………...

9 (A) He loved his little daughter, but he was in mortal fear of her fierce temper.
(B) Although…………………………………………..

10 (A) When she heard the news of her daughter’s result, she was very happy.
(B) On…………………………………………………

(b) Fill in each blank with a suitable word. (Do not write the sentence.) [5]

  1. She turned ________ the offer to work at the factory.

  2. To everyone’s surprise, he turned _________ at the party.

  3. He broke ________ in the middle of his speech at the function.

  4. The burglars broke _________ the house when the family was away.

  5. He agreed to carry _________ the manager’s orders.

  6. Sita’s daughter carried __________ the family business when Sita went abroad.

  7. He ran ___________ from home at the age of ten.

  8. I ran __________ my old friend in the market place.

  9. Her aunt looks _________ her aging grandparents.

  10. The Principal looks _________ matters of complaint from teachers and students.

(c) Fill in the blanks in the passage given below with the appropriate form of the verb given in brackets. Do not write the passage, but write the verbs in the correct order. [5]

One day I _________(1) (be) in the lunch line, and there I saw a pile of apples. The teacher-in-charge _________(2) (stare) at me and said, “Just _______(3) (take) one. God _________(4) (watch)”. So, I _________(5) (take) an apple, and the line ________(6) (move) along. At the next table there ________(7) (be) a pile of chocolate chip cookies. I _________(8) (not know) what to do. “Psst,” the kid behind me __________(9) (whisper). “_________(10) (take) all you want. God’s watching the apples.”

Question 4

Read the passage given below and answer the questions (a), (b) and (c) that follow:

(1) At the Literary Society’s meeting, Isola read out the letters written to her Granny Pheen, when she was but a little girl. They were from a very kind man – a complete stranger. Isola told us how these letters came to be written.

(2) When Granny Pheen was nine years old, her cat died. Heartbroken, sitting in the middle of the road, she was sobbing her heart out.

(3) A carriage, driving far too fast, came within a whisker of running her down. A very big man in a dark coat with a fur collar, jumped out, leaned over Pheen, and asked if he could help her. Granny Pheen said she was beyond help. Muffin, her cat, was dead.

(4) The man said, ‘Of course, Muffin’s not dead. You do know cats have nine lives, don’t you?’ When Pheen said yes, the man said, ‘Well, I happen to know your Muffin was only on her third life, so she has six lives left.’ Pheen asked how he knew. He said he always knew - cats would often appear in his mind and chat with him. Well, not in words, of course, but in pictures.

(5) He sat down on the road beside her and told her to keep still – very still. He would see if Muffin wanted to visit him. They sat in silence for several minutes, when suddenly the man grabbed Pheen’s hand.

(6) ‘Ah – yes! There she is! She’s being born this minute! In a mansion – in France. There’s a little boy petting her, he’s going to call her Solange. This Solange has great spirit, great verve – I can tell already! She is going to have a long, venturesome life.’

(7) Granny Pheen was so rapt by Muffin’s new fate that she stopped crying. The man said he would visit Solange every so often and find out how she was faring. 

(8) He asked for Granny Pheen’s name and the name of the farm where she lived, got back into the carriage, and left.

(9) Absurd as all this sounds, Granny Pheen did receive eight long letters. Isola then read them out. They were all about Muffin’s life as the French cat − Solange. She was, apparently, something of a feline musketeer. She was no idle cat, lolling about on cushions, lapping up cream – she lived through one wild adventure after another – the only cat ever to be awarded the red rosette of the Legion of Honour.

(10) What a story this man had made up for Pheen – lively, witty, full of drama and suspense. We were enchanted, speechless at the reading. When it was over (and much applauded), I asked Isola if I could see the letters, and she handed them to me.

(11) The writer had signed his letters with a grand flourish:
VERY TRULY YOURS,
O.F. O’F. W.W.

It was highly possible that Isola had inherited eight letters written by Oscar Wilde, for who else could have had such a preposterous name as Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Willis Wilde.

Adapted from: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – By Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

(a) (i) Given below are four words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage: [4]

(1) adventurous
(2) cat-like
(3) appreciated
(4) received something on someone’s death

(ii) For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage: [4]

(1) kind (line 2)
(2) mind (line 13)
(3) still (line 15)
(4) sounds (line 26)

(b) Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible:

  1. Where did Isola get the letters from to read at the Literary Society’s meeting? [2]

  2. Who consoled Granny Pheen when she was heart-broken? What did he say about Muffin’s lives? [2]

  3. What did the man say when Granny Pheen asked him how he knew about cats’ lives? [2]

  4. According to the man, what was Muffin’s new fate? [3]

(c) In not more than 100 words, summarise why the eight letters were a treasure to Granny Pheen. (Paragraphs 2 to 10). Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalised. You will be required to write the summary in the form of a connected passage in about 100 words.