The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is the premier board of education in India, based in New Delhi. Thousands of CBSE schools and Kendriya Vidyala across all states of India, including Punjab, West Bengal, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, etc. fall under the purview of this prestigious board of school education. The school certificate bears the stamp of the Government of India.

The annual board exam conducted by the CBSE is upon us. Class 10 students are in scurry to perfect their last-minute revisions for the English language and literature paper. From getting their chapter list in order to the collection of exam sample for a mock test, CBSE aspirants are all geared up to impress with their 10th result!

The CBSE English curriculum for Class 10 is designed with the twin objectives of English communication, along with an understanding of the nuances of language and literature. Both are equally important in developing a complete understanding and mastery of the English language.

The Board prescribes two textbooks prepared by the  National Council of Education, Research and Training (NCERT), viz. First Flight and Footprints Without Feet Supplementary Reader. Along with this, there are several reference books, revision notes, NCERT Solutions that boost students' chances of scoring well in the Board examination.

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English Literature
Literature is the most refined outcome of a language. Source:

The Utility of CBSE English Sample Papers for Class 10 with Solutions

To facilitate students to have an idea about the actual pattern and format of the exam paper, the CBSE 10th English Language and Literature Sample Papers with Solutions, based on the Board model, are provided by the Board itself.

Students would do well to thoroughly go through these sample exam questions which are available in full PDF.

Students can either view PDF online or download the free PDF and view them on their computer through a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader.

Students can derive a host of benefits by taking mock tests to check their academic writing style, familiarity with the course structure and subject knowledge based on these sample papers. Some of the advantages of practicing with a model paper are:

  • Form an idea about the exam pattern
  • Form an idea about the marking scheme of the paper
  • Know the types of questions that are asked
  • Practice how to frame the answers using the sample solutions
  • Practice how to time their answers on the actual day of the exam.

Like all subjects, students need to focus on formulating good revision strategies for their English (Communicative) and English Language and English Literature curriculum. Practicing with sample papers and previous years' question papers can be extremely fruitful in this regard. Set yourself the same rules of the exam when you take a mock test with a sample question.

Practicing and revising with these papers will help students improve their time-management skills and sharpen their focus, leading to an overall increase in confidence. Moreover, students will also be able to grasp the meanings of each chapter more in-depth with the help of previous years’ board question papers (CBSE class 10 question paper 2018, CBSE class 10 question paper 2019).

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Physics notes
It helps to be familiar with the whole syllabus and structure of the exam paper | Source: Visual Hunt

Format of the Exam Paper

A total of 11 questions will be present in the examination paper. They will be divided into three sections - A, B, and C, in the following manner:

  • Section A: Reading – 20 marks (Q. No. 1-2)
  • Section B: Writing and Grammar – 30 marks (Q. No. 3-7)
  • Section C: Literature – 30 marks (Q. No. 8-11)

For more details, you can check the latest sample papers released by the Board on online portals where the resources are available for free download in PDF files. We will also discuss some of the details in the following section.

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Section-wise Revision Tips

For your benefit, we have put together some of the most important advice from experts across the board on how to go about preparing for each section of the English question paper. Here is a summary.

Section A – Reading

Get into the habit of reading. Only then will you be able to master the art of comprehending the meaning of a passage. As a last-minute measure of revision, you can, for example, select 2-3 past question papers for  CBSE 10th English Language and Literature, read out the passages in them and solve the comprehension questions and answers.

Section B – Writing & Grammar

This is the area where you can score full marks, provided you get the answers right! However, grammar questions can prove to be tricky too! Again, remember the old saying - "Practice makes one perfect!" Strengthen your grasp of grammar rules, such as the use of articles, pronouns, verbs, conjunctions, and prepositions.

Practice topics like sentence correction and the rearrangement of sentences to form meaningful sentences. For writing articles, stories and letters, memorize the format and practice writing.

Section C – Literature

This section consists of questions from the NCERT books. As a last-minute prep, you can do the following:

  • Memorize the names of all the chapters (prose and poetry) along with the names of their authors.
  • Prepare revision notes (you can use flashcards or sticky notes for this) on the important characters, events, and dialogues from each chapter.
  • Revise the summary of all the chapters
  • Revise the character sketches of all important players in the chapters.
Reading is a great habit
Reading is a great way to sharpen your mind and to enrich your vocabulary. Source:

Pro Tips for Exam Day

Now that you have arrived on the eve of the Board exams, you realize this is the last date for preparing yourself mentally as well! You have revised the entire syllabus, gone through the online PDF exams and sample questions, even grappled with the task of having to prioritize the preparation of all your electives - Maths, Political Science, Business Studies, Social Science, Home Science, and others. Now, it is time to focus your attention on the actual exam.

Read the Question Paper Thoroughly

The exam bell has sounded. You are all settled in your seats. The teacher hands out the paper. Take a deep breath. Relax your mind, Now, read the question paper, more than once, if necessary. Understand exactly what is being asked and how many marks have been allocated to each question.

You can also mentally categorize your questions based on what you think is the level of ease/ difficulty with which you will be able to answer them. Don't spend more than 15 minutes on this exercise!

Prioritize Your Answers

Attempt the easy questions first before moving on to the more difficult ones. This way, you can make optimum use of the time available to you. Also, it helps to build confidence if you don't feel stuck with a particularly challenging question.

Getting stuck is the worst nightmare for a student in an examination hall. Tell yourself that you can work around them.

Spend some time understanding what the question is asking. It helps when you convince yourself that everything has a solution out there!

Make Smart Choices

There will be a few MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions). Take your time to understand the difference and the wordplay as these can be tricky to decipher at first glance. Make smart choices, based on a complete understanding of the question.

Speak fluently quickly
Mock tests with the help of previous years' question papers can lead to improved time management skills | Source: Visual Hunt

Be Aware of the Time

Answering in short and simple language usually helps to save time. Moreover, it has the added advantage of maintaining accuracy in writing, which is refreshing for the reader (here, the examiner). Who knows, you may earn some brownie points for this!

In the end, make sure that you also have ample time to revise your answers well.

Stick to the Word Count

Practicing with sample papers helps immensely in this regard. Especially with the literature questions, there will be word count mentioned. Make sure to count the number of words and to maintain the stipulated word count.

Use Neat Handwriting

We cannot stress this enough. Nobody likes a clumsy and messy answering script! Again, if you have practiced writing during your revision exercises, you will ace the requirement for clean and legible handwriting without a sweat. Mind you, not everyone is blessed with beautiful handwriting. What you can control is the maintenance of cleanliness in your handwriting, ensuring proper spacing and punctuation.

No Slangs, Please!

If you were paying attention to the English language class, you probably heard your teacher explaining the differences between written English and spoken English. For example, you cannot afford to use SMS language in your answers. They will be counted as spelling mistakes and marks will be deducted accordingly! We suggest reading some real books, instead of Facebook or Twitter posts to tackle this!

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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.