An Approach to ICSE English provides a platform to contribute, discuss and comment on the various issues related to the study and practice of English for the students and teachers of ICSE syllabus. Even with its focussed nature, An Approach to ICSE English will be beneficial to everyone involved in the learning the niceties of the English language.
Monday, 22 February 2016
ICSE March 2016 Pre-final Examinations ENGLISH Paper 1
ICSE March 2016 Pre-final Examinations
Answer to this paper must be written on the paper provided separately.
You will not be allowed to write during the first 15 minutes.
This time is to be spent in reading the question paper.
The time given at the head of the paper is the time allowed for writing the answers.________________________________________
Attempt all four questions.
The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [ ].
You are advised to spend not more than 35 minutes in answering Question 1 and 20 minutes in answering Question 2.
(Do not spend not more than 35 minutes on this Question.)
Write a composition (350-400 words) on any one of the following: 
(a) Recently you had visited a Home for the Aged in your city. During your visit, you got attracted to an old man living in the Home for the Aged and decided to visit him/her every week. Describe one of your visits to see the old man, highlighting what impressed you the most about him and also bringing out your feelings about him and his present condition.
(b) Street quarrels are common nowadays in our towns and cities. Describe a street quarrel you have witnessed.
(c) It is better to try and fail than not try at all. Discuss.
(d) Write a short story entitled The Narrow Escape.
(e) Study the picture given below. Write a story or a description or an account of what the picture suggests to you. Your composition may be about the subject of the picture or you may take suggestions from it; but there must be a clear connection between the picture and your composition.
(Do not spend not more than 20 minutes on this Question.) 
Select ONE of the following:
(a) You, along with some of your friends, have visited a place of tourist interest recently. Write a letter to your uncle about the visit, describing the attractions of the place and its impact on you.
(b) Write a letter to the editor of a national daily about the increasing levels of pollution in your city. Suggest a few ways in which the menace of pollution can be controlled.
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions a, b, c, and d that follow:
The Star-Child is the story of an infant boy found abandoned in the woods by a poor woodcutter, who pities him and takes him in. He grows up to be exceedingly beautiful, but vain, cruel, and arrogant, believing himself to be the divine child of the stars. He lords himself over the other children, who follow him devotedly, and takes pleasure in torturing the forest animals and town beggars alike.
One day, a beggar, haggard and with bleeding feet, comes to town in search of her lost son, who the Star-Child is revealed to be. However, he rejects her and sends her away, and in doing so, is transformed into a loathsome cross between a toad and a snake as a punishment. His followers abandon him, and he sets off to seek forgiveness from his mother. He also repents his cruelty and asks forgiveness from the animals he tortured.
At length, he comes to a city, where he is captured and sold into slavery. His master treats him cruelly. On his first task, he sends him to find a piece of white gold hidden in the forest. The Star-Child searches all day, but cannot find it. On returning to the city, he sees a rabbit caught in a trap and stops to free him. In gratitude, the rabbit shows him where the gold is and the Star-Child gets it. However, returning with the gold, a beggar calls to him that he will surely starve unless he can give him money for food. The Star-Child gives him the gold, and his master beats him and gives him neither food nor water that night.
For the second task, he is told to go find a piece of yellow gold hidden in the forest. Again, the rabbit shows him where it is, and again, the beggar meets him at the gate, and again, the Star-Child gives him the gold. His master beats him and chains him up.
For the final task, his master tells him that unless he finds the hidden piece of red gold, he will kill him. The rabbit shows him where the gold is hidden, and he returns to the city with it. Along the way, he again meets the beggar and gives him the gold, deciding it means more to him than it does to himself.
Upon entering the city, everyone awaits him to crown him the new king, and he discovers the city's present rulers to be his mother, the beggar woman, and his father, the beggar he had given the gold to. At that point also, he is transformed to his former beautiful self.
(a) Three words or phrases are given below. Give the meaning of each as used in the passage. 
(b) Answer the following questions briefly and in your own words 
i. Who is Star-Child? How does he grow up?
ii. Who is the beggar that comes to the town one day? What happens to the star-child then?
iii. What were three tasks given by the master to the Star-Child?
iv. Who helped the Star-Child to succeed in the tasks?
v. What did the Star-Child do after he had succeeded in each of the tasks?
vi. What happened to the Star-Child at the end of the story? Why?
(c) In not more than 60 words, write a summary of the above story. 
(d) Choose a suitable title for the story and give reasons for the choice of the title. 
a) In the following passage, fill in each of the numbered blanks with correct form of the words given in brackets. Do not copy the passage, but write in correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate in the blank space. Example: 0 = contains 
A regular cup of coffee …..0…… (contain) approximately 100 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content varies …..1…… (depend) on how strong the coffee is made. Caffeine increases epinephrine (adrenaline) release, which stimulates the central nervous system, increases alertness and increases heartbeat. Despite its …..2…… (grow) popularity, most people ….3…… (believe) coffee to be a somewhat toxic …..4…… (addict) taken only as an indulgence or to overcome sleep and boost alertness. Numerous studies now, however, reveal that coffee ….5…… (consume) and caffeine does not contribute to cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and stroke, even in people who drink more than four cups of coffee a day. Even though coffee does cause a transient increase in blood pressure, moderate coffee …..6…… (drink) does not pose a significant risk to those with hypertension. A recent study …..7…… (report) that coffee is a major source of dietary anti-oxidants and may inhibit inflammation and thereby lower the risk of cardio-vascular diseases and other …..8…… (inflame) diseases
b) Fill in the blanks with appropriate words: 
1. He is giving French lessons …… exchange for English lessons.
2. The office staffs were seated …… the bottom of the table.
3. Many Italian words are derived …… Latin.
4. The army was alerted to deal …… the disorder in the city.
5. He was then faced …… an immediate problem.
6. The magazine had a feature …… Tagore.
7. He has always been critical …… my success.
8. He was ignorant …… her plans.
(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but, or so. 
1. Tina went to Tom’s house in the evening. She lost her anklet.
2. Those days were marvelous. Can we forget them?
3. Susanna gave a blanket to her maid.. She bought it last week.
4. Rashmi has a remunerative job. She does not look after her family
(d) Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given after each of them, Make other changes necessary, but do not change the meaning of the sentence. 
1. It is a pity that the culprit was not punished.
[Begin: I wish …………..]
2. Rosanna was so ecstatic with the success that she started weeping.
[Begin: So ………………]
3. Richard returned to work a week ago.
[Begin: It has been ……...]
4. A loving heart is the divinest creation of God.
[Begin: No other ………..]
5. Hardly had Serena won the match when the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
[Begin: No sooner……….]
6. Marita said to Mathew, "Please, do not forget to bring the flowers tomorrow".
7. There was heavy rain. The game continued.
8. The taxi is very slow. We cannot reach the station in time.
An Approach to ICSE English Gopakumar Menon