The English language, be it in the form of a native language or a second language, has acquired global significance. Learning English includes proficiency over such skills as vocabulary, English grammar, English pronunciation, speaking skills, listening skills, reading skills, writing skills, general communication skills, and all other language skills that comprise a complete language course in English learning.

English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and an official language used in Indian governance. 

Good English or advanced level English is taken as a positive sign in job interviews or admission criteria in colleges and universities. Therefore, bilingual education has been recognized as a bedrock of higher learning in India. English is no longer considered a foreign language. English courses are an integral part of the school curriculum in India.

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English language skills encompass both macro as well as micro-level skills, including grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking, etc. | Source: Visual Hunt

English Language Learning in CBSE Class 12

As a school subject, the English language course has been divided into 3 parts - English Elective, Functional English and English Core. English Core Class 12 includes concepts and chapters designed to enhance students' reading, writing and comprehension skills as they learn new words and phrases, strengthen their vocabulary and grammar, and gain overall fluency over a new language, like a native.

Paper Format

The English Core question paper is set for 100 marks, to be answered in 3 hours. Practicing with previous years' question papers will prove beneficial to the students' English writing skills as they understand the pattern of question paper, marking scheme and time management, among other advantages.

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CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12

In order to become a fluent English speaker and to possess English skills on the same level as a native English speaker, it is critical to have a solid foundation of English as a second language, especially in Class 12. These English language skills are ultimately tested in your Board exams. And, in order to give yourself the best chance of securing high scores in the English paper, devise a comprehensive revision strategy.

Include previous years' question papers and the sample question papers that are released by the education boards every year in your revision plan.

The more you practice these question papers of Class 12, the more it will aid in improving your speed and accuracy of writing, focus on your weaknesses and decrease your propensity towards making mistakes.

A Window to the Actual Exam

Sample papers provide a sneak peek into what to expect in your actual exam. Just like all your other subjects in Class 12, English must also be taken seriously to ensure a comprehensive CGPA at the end of the exams.

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The internet can be a great study guide to help you with your exam preparation. Source:

Summary of Benefits of Solving CBSE Class 12 Previous Year Question Papers

Before we delve deeper into how revisions can be expedited with sample papers, here are some useful tips on the benefits of practicing the CBSE Question Papers for Class 12:

  1. They help in assessing the student's level of preparedness.
  2. They give students proper knowledge of the exam pattern and marking scheme.
  3. Students can focus on important topics, based on recurring themes in the sample and old papers, such as specific grammar lessons, or a particular style of literary analysis as demanded by the question paper.
  4. Improve time management skills during the exam.
  5. Improve and increase students' level of confidence.

There are many other resources to help you learn English online as well, such as English lessons in A/V format or online English classes conducted by an experienced English teacher.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exam papers is based on the pattern issued by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). CBSE itself releases these sample question papers each year. Apart from this source, there are many websites where the sample paper for English Class 12 can be downloaded for free, in PDF form.

Practice to Overcome Exam Stress and Fear

Practicing with sample papers in order to improve your English skill sets, such as grasp over adjectives, nouns, adverbs, word order, new vocabulary, English idioms, prepositions, English phrases and other grammatical rules that form the basis of expert language skills also serves another equally important purpose


As the sample paper is based on the actual question paper format, students can form an overview of the pattern of the actual question paper, including the type of questions like short or long answer type questions, mostly asked topics, marks distribution, etc. It helps students relax and tackle their exam blues.

Knowing beforehand what kind of questions to expect in the exam paper can help students relax their anxious mind on the eve of a major exam | Source: Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Better Preparation Analysis

As the CBSE sample papers are based on the latest syllabus of English as prescribed by the Board, students can take advantage of the following:

  • Brief solutions available with the sample papers that will help students analyze their strengths and weaknesses in the English language course.
  • Multiple rounds of practice lead students to decipher patterns of repetitive topics and questions asked in past years' exams.
  • Based on the recurring themes, students can prepare well for most frequently asked questions or those questions carrying high marks.

Gives an Idea of Marking Scheme

It is important to have a clear idea about the marking scheme for English Class 12 paper, as decided by the CBSE Board. This enables students to focus on questions and topics carrying more weightage.

Marking Scheme for Class 12 English Core Exam

  • Comprehension - 20 marks
  • Writing skills - 30 marks
  • Literature textbooks and supplementary reading texts -  30 marks
  • Assessment of listening skills and speaking skills - 20 marks

Download the latest CBSE sample papers for Class 12 English Core. Understand the format of the question paper and the marking schemes. Your understanding of the English writing skills format, come exam day, will depend a lot on this. 

Marking Scheme for Class 12 English Elective Exam

  • Comprehension - 20 marks
  • Creative writing and applied grammar - 30 marks
  • Literature - 20 marks
  • Fiction - 10 marks
  • Seminar - 20 marks
grains of time
Don't let time run through your fingers. Practice with sample papers to better manage your time in the exam hall | Source: Ben White on Unsplash

Increased Writing Speed and Accuracy

English paper revisions with multiple rounds of mock tests based on sample papers and previous years' English Class 12 questions help students improve their speed writing answers, language composition as well as the quality of their answers. This also means they get enough time to revise their papers and minimize the incidence of silly mistakes.

Improved Time-management

The English paper is allotted a total time duration of 3 hours, which students must learn to manage efficiently. Again, solving sample papers can be a great assessment tool for your time-management skills. Calculate the amount of time you want to ideally devote to each type of question. Also, keep in mind that some answers will be a smooth sail, while there might be roadblocks in a couple of them!

English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and in India. Therefore, doing well in your English exams assumes special significance. Solving previous years' question papers is a great way to boost your chances of excelling on the day of the English exam.

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Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.