CBSE Class 12th (English Core), Test 3

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Time allowed: 3 hrs.

Maximum Marks: 100

General Instructions:

  1. This paper is divided into three sections — A, B and C. All the sections are compulsory.
  2. Separate instructions are given with each section and question wherever necessary. Read these instructions very carefully and follow them faithfully.
  3. Do not exceed the word limit wherever given while answering the questions.

Section-A (Reading) Max.  Marks: 20

1. Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow: (12 marks)

  1. A passion for austerity can effectually squeeze out the aesthetic sense to a last drop. But, if we can properly regulate our pursuit of discipline, having fullness of life in view, we need not do violence to anyone human at the cost of the others. Rather would they strengthen each other in the process.
  2. The fact is that the foundation must be strong to be able to support a super structure. That which upholds or gives shape must be firm. However soft and supple the flesh might be, if it were not laid on the rigid frame of bones it would be shapeless lump. Likewise joy and wisdom needs must have a firm basis, else wisdom would end in fantasy and joy in delirious drunkenness. This foundation is the discipline of restraint which is strong enough to discriminate and discard…
  3. If beauty is to be to the uttermost, restraint is essential. Unrestrained imagination cannot hope to create beauty in the same way as one does not set the house on fire to light the lamp. The fire must be kept in check so that it may illumine. The same holds good for our desires and passions. Allow these to flare up unrestrained, and they will burn to ashes that which they would rather irradiate.
  4. It is true, whenever our desires and passions sit down to feast, nature garnishes the table with beautiful things. The fruit does not merely appease hunger, it delights the senses with form and odour, colour and taste. The touch of beauty heals our hurts. Beauty has brought our instinctive urges under control. Dire need or want humiliates our humanity. We are no more slaves of dire necessity because the joy of beauty is there to liberate us.
  5. It may be seen, therefore, that ultimately beauty makes for restraint. One who rebels against the idea of controlling passion because they are bad, would readily discard them because they are ugly. As beauty draws us gently towards what is restrained, so does discipline deepen our enjoyment of beauty. If the honeybee does not have poise as it sits on the flower, it cannot suck the honey out of its core.
  6. In creating important works of art, artists have proved the strength of their character. Our unchecked passions tend to create a world of their own, out of harmony with the world around. The colourful may captivate the eye, but the beauty of harmony calls for understanding. It may be seen that mere eyesight is not enough, it must be reinforced by the insight of the mind in order that beauty may lie revealed in its nobility. One must have training to develop the insight.

(Extract taken and edited from Tagore’s Lectures on Art and Aesthetics)


  1. What is not required in order to seek discipline? (1 mark)
  2. When will flesh turn into a shapeless lump? (1 mark)
  3. What will happen if you go unrestrained?  (2 marks)
  4. Change the voice of the following sentences: ‘The touch of beauty heals our hurts’. (1 mark)
  5. Give a gist of paragraphs 4 to 6. (4 marks)
  6. Find words from the passage which mean:
  1. bending or moving easily (Para 2)
  2. anything that is added to improve the appearance (Para 4)
  3. to charm, excite and attract (Para 6) (3 marks)

2. Read the passage given below: (8 marks)

It’s just a two letter word. It takes less than a second to utter. And it’s by far the simplest term in the lexicon. Yet, we all stumble helplessly when it’s time to use it. We moan, cry, crib and look at people’s backs dagger-eyed, but we just don’t pucker our lips enough to say a firm, resounding ‘NO!’. In fact, most of us don’t even whimper a meek ‘no’. We sit with a befuddled expression as our list of things to do extends to the neighbour’s house; we mutter curses under our breath when more work than we can handle is shoved at us; and we daydream about leaving on a jet plane, only to crash-land when a distant relative calls up demanding to be a house guest for a few days. Somehow, saying ‘no’ doesn’t figure anywhere in the list of options.

One wonders whether we are just suckers for punishment. Why else would a majority of the populace give the word ‘no’ step-motherly treatment? According to clinical psychologist and psychiatrist, Seema Hingorrany, the inability to say ‘no’ is generally a self-esteem issue. “You’ll find it difficult to say ‘no’ if you always want to please everyone. It is also a personality problem that may have roots in your childhood. For instance, if you’ve been deprived of positive reinforcement from your parents in your early years, then your need to be accepted by everyone is greater in adulthood,” she explains. That explains why the word ‘yes’ is forever tripping out of our mouth. Saying ‘yes’ means inclusion in a crowd and saying ‘no’ means being left out in the cold, all by your ownsome lonesome. No wonder we live in a world where adults walk around with a child-like need to be praised and acknowledged…

New Jersey-based psychologist Patricia Farrell agrees and adds that the need to please is instilled in us from an early age when we learn to “be nice”. Now being nice, of course, has a million connotations. From accepting invitations for parties which encourage you to sleep on your feet to accepting projects that’ll surely induce a bad cause of nerves, niceness is a rubber band that can be stretched forever…

According to Hingorrany, people who can’t say ‘no’ have an intense fear of failure. That coupled with the obsession of proving to others that they are perfectly capable of handling everything, makes them say ‘yes’. And thus starts the vicious cycle as the more you bend, the more weight will be pilled on your back. Till you finally buckle under pressure, i.e. leave something undone, which will again maraud your self-confidence. “And to rebuild that confidence, such people will yet again start saying ‘yes’,” explains Hingorrany. She adds that basically it is a matter of conditioning and attitude. If you’ve grown up thinking that by saying ‘no’ you are grievously hurting the other person, then till your golden years you’ll just be busy saying ‘yes’ to the world. “Such people normally put others and their needs over their own self and individuality,” she says.

And of course, gender divide exists here too! John Townsend, a California-based therapist who has authored the self-help book, Boundaries, feels that while women do more people-pleasing in relationship, men are more likely to say ‘yes’ to tasks. According to him, most of us want to avoid conflict, so we give in, without realizing that by doing so, we are inadvertently training the other person to continue to be have with us in the same manner.

The answer, of course, is to stand firm and bellow ‘no’. Though if only life was that easy…

  • Make your ‘no’ a firm one and don’t quibble or buckle under pressure at the last minute.
  • Realize that you need to set boundaries for yourself and allowing others to overstep is detrimental to your physical and mental well-being.
  • Ask yourself if the task you are agreeing to is necessary and beneficial in the grander scheme of things.
  • Stick to your plan, if saying ‘yes’ to something throws your other plans to the wind, ask yourself if it’s worth it. Remember that agreeing to everything will mean similar requests in the future.
  • Explain to the other person exactly why you can’t accommodate his request. And know that you are not being unreasonable.
  • Try to lose the guilt. Guilt-ridden tasks are rarely well-accomplished, so you’d actually be doing a favour by not taking it up in the first place.


  1. On the basis of the reading of the above passage prepare notes using appropriate headings and sub-headings, along with recognizable abbreviations and symbols where necessary. (5 marks)
  2. Write a summary of the above passage in about 80 words. Also suggest a title. (3 marks)

Section-B: Advanced Writing Skills Max. Marks: 35

3. As the senior student and secretary of the ‘Health Club’ of your school you realize that ‘physical fitness and disciplined mind’ complement each other. Draft a poster to invite students and teachers to attend a week’s yoga workshop to be conducted by Baba Ramdev, the international-fame yoga guru, in your school. (5 marks)


Draft a formal invitation inviting various schools to attend a week-long yoga workshop to be conducted by Swami Ramdev, in your school. You are Rajeev Sharma/Rajni Mathur, Secretary Health Club of your school. Give all necessary details.

4. You attended a ten-day workshop on yoga conducted by Swami Ramdev organized by the physical training incharge of your school, on your school grounds. Draft a report giving necessary details like its inaugural session; other schools’ participation etc. in about 100–125 words. (10 marks)


Imagine your were the eye witness to the 7/11 Mumbai serial train blasts. Write a report covering
the necessary details like immediate sight, people’s as well as Government’s reaction and police probe etc. in about 100–125 words.

5. You are Anjali Gaur/Amit Gaur, a close associate of Jessica Lal who was murdered in 1999. Though delayed, justice was pronounced on Manu Sharma, the main culprit, of life imprisonment and four years for his friends guilty of  destroying the evidence. Write a letter to the Editor ‘The Hindustan Times’ voicing your reaction in aout 150 words. (10 marks)


Recently you opened a restaurant and orderd a big supply of bone-china crockery; silver cutlery and dinner sets, at famous ‘Pink City Cutlers’, Big Shoppers, Malviya Nagar, Jaipur. On receiving the consignment and checking the items you were completely disillusioned about the name and fame of the shop, as you found most of the crockery in multiple pieces due to poor packaging and many things less according to the list of order. Write a letter of complaint to the Manager signing yourself
Amit Saxena/Garima Shah.

6. You as a commonman are deeply dismayed by the present judiciary system and the political interference specially in cases of death sentences pronounced on the hardcore criminals/terrorists hailing from upper strata of society. Write an article giving vent to your feelings under the title. ‘Borrow Hearts of the Sufferers’ or any other catchy headline. (150–200 words) (10 marks)


The world is left shell-shocked at the rising graph of students indiscipline limelighted through the print and electronic media and movies which are ironically responsible for this increase. As a responsible youth prepare a speech to be delivered on the Children’s Day, at Delhi University. (150–200 words)

Section C: Literature Max. Marks : 45

7.  (a) Choose any one of the following extracts and answer the questions that follow: (4 marks)

The news

Ran swift as light, and soon from every quarter came

Nobles and munshis, scholars, holymen,

And all renowned for gracious or for splendid deeds,

Meanwhile the priest in solemn council sat and heard.

  1. What was the news? (1 mark)
  2. Comment upon the simile used by the poet in the above lines. (1 mark)
  3. Why and where did all the renowned people gather? (2 marks)


“Yes : quaint and curious war is!

You shoot a fellow down

You’d treat if met where any bar is,

or help to half-a-crown.”

  1. Who makes the above observation and when? (½ + ½ mark)
  2. What is the rhyme scheme of the above lines? (1 mark)
  3. ‘You’d treat’, whom would you treat and how? (2 marks)

(b) Answer any three of the following questions in about 30–40 words each. (6 marks)

  1. In the opening stanza of the poem ‘Written in Early Spring” what contrasting moods of the poet are reflected and why. (2 marks)
  2. In the poem ‘Once Upon a Time’, why does the poet turn to a child (his son) than an elderly person to teach him? (2 marks)
  3. What is the central theme of the poem ‘Freedom’? (2 marks)
  4. Bring out the contrast between the lives of an oak tree and a lily flower. (2 marks)

8. Answer the following in about 30–40 words each: (10 marks)

  1. In what ways was Maggie different from other girls of her age? (2 marks)
  2. What legislative reforms emerged from Gandhi’s dream of uplifting the status of Indian women? (2 marks)
  3. “We live in an age of ideals,” what made Gwendolen say so? (2 marks)
  4. To what extent is the master of a machine in contact with it? (2 marks)
  5. Markwardt was a co-worker and a co-victim of Parsons in chemical incident yet different from him. Comment. (2 marks)

9. Answer any one of the following in about 125–150 words. (10 marks)

Justify with illustrations Max Mueller’s glorification of India in totality.


Draw a brief character sketch of Bhai Parmanand and his companions that you learn from the lesson ‘The Andaman Island’.

10. Answer any one of the following in about 125–150 words. Gandhiji’s concept of teaching and of a school master was unparallel. Illustrate. (7 marks)


Imagine you were one of the survivors of the Japanese attack in the lesson ‘The Old Demon’. Write a diary paying homage to the person because of whom you call yourself the lucky one.

11. Answer the following in 30–40 words. (8 marks)

  1. Mention the various fields suggested by Dr. Karan Singh where youth of India can contribute.                 (2 marks)
  2. How has Mr Balwin expected to save Mr Gresham during the trial? What was he offered for that? (2 marks)
  3. What were the signs of familiarity in Barir Bhowmik’s co-passenger? (2 marks)
  4. Why does Lord Chesterfield suggest his son to ‘take, rather than give, the tone of the company you are in’? (2 marks)

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