Class 10 Board exam is undoubtedly one of the most relevant standards of formal education in India. Students get to decide their future academic paths depending on the Board result.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), under the ambit of the Department of Education, Government of India, conducts a certificate examination in the months of February-March every year, making it one of the most competitive exams in the country.

CBSE results are an important indicator of a student's preparedness for higher school education as well as various entrance exams for admission into reputed colleges, further down the road. Hundreds of private schools, Kendriya Vidyalaya across the length and breadth of the country, including New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab and other states fall under the ambit of the Board.

CBSE Class 10 Grading System

Failures are the pillars of success
CBSE, in a welcome move, will no longer label students based on their failures or successes | Source: mrsdkrebs on VisualHunt

Under the CBSE grading scheme, the 10th result is calculated according to a nine-point scale grading system. This entails qualifying grades that students will have to acquire in four of the five elective subjects such as Science, Social Science, Business Studies, etc. to get promoted to the next level.

Marksheets will no longer carry the tags, 'pass' or 'fail', reducing the stigma attached to these tags for students. The latter are given four options to improve upon their grades within a period of two years from their exam.

The grading system follows a five-point scale, grading students from A to E. This does away with the need to display the raw scores on the evaluation report of each student. This grading system is based on two parameters - absolute and percentile marks. In other words, a uniform model is followed in the assessment of all subjects. However, the individual parameters differ for each subject. For example, A star grade would signify 9 points for Maths, while the same would signify 7 points for English.

CBSE Class 10 English Assessment Scheme

CBSE Class 10 English (Language and Literature) exam is assessed for a total of 100 marks, divided into two parts; 80 marks for annual theory exam and 20 marks for internal assessment.

Internal Assessment

The internal assessment, an essential part of the school education system, is aimed at the continuous evaluation of a student’s performance. It is conducted on the basis of the following activities:

  • Periodic Tests (10 marks)
  • Assessment of Listening and Speaking Skills (5 marks)
  • Subject Enrichment Activities like role-playing, skit, dramatization, etc. (5 marks)

CBSE Class 10 English Question Paper Format

The exam dates for CBSE 2020 have already been announced. Exam preparation is incomplete without proper knowledge of what to expect in your English exam paper. The theory paper for English carries 80 marks.

The format for the Board exam will be based on the latest CBSE Sample Paper released online and available for download in PDF form.

You can use any PDF viewer like Nitro PDF, Foxit reader or a free online PDF viewer in order to make optimum use of the PDF files. The CBSE English question paper for Class 10 (Language and Literature) will have a total of 11 questions divided into three sections - A, B, and C.

Prepare for your exam with an English speaking course.

basics of class 10 physics
Revising with sample papers helps in making the concepts more stronger. Source: Unsplash

Section A: Reading (20 Marks)

It includes two questions based on reading comprehension:

  • Question 1 - factual passage with eight objective-type questions asked in different formats like MCQs, fill in the blanks and true/false type questions.
  • Question 2 - discursive passage with four short answer type questions and four objective-type questions to test analytical skills and vocabulary, respectively.

Section B: Writing and Grammar (30 Marks)

This section tests the students' writing skills and knowledge of grammar:

  • Question 3 - a choice between a question on formal letter writing and a question on article writing. (8 marks)
  • Question 4 - story-writing based on a given outline or by taking cues from a given picture. (10 marks)
  • Question 5 - gap-filling by choosing the correct words from the given options. (4 marks)
  • Question 6 - editing or omission to present the given sentence in the correct form. (4 marks)
  • Question 7 - rearranging a given set of words to form meaningful sentences. (4 marks)

Section C: Literature (30 Marks)

This section consists of four questions, based on the literature textbook and extended reading text:

  • Question 8 - a choice between two extracts from poetry and play. Four objective-type questions are asked to test interpretation skills. (4 marks)
  • Question 9 - five short answer type questions from the literature textbook. (2 marks each)
  • Question 10 - a choice between two long answer type questions form the textbooks. (8 marks)
  • Question 11 - a choice between two very long answer questions based on the prescribed extended reading text. (10 Marks)

Remember: All questions in the CBSE Class 10 English paper are compulsory.

It's never too late to turn to the expert for help. These great courses in English are just what you need on the eve of your exams.

CBSE English Language Syllabus

  • Tenses
  • Modals
  • Use of passive voice
  • Subject-verb concord
  • Reporting
    • Commands and requests
    • Statements
    • Questions
  • Clauses:
    • Noun clauses
    • Adverb clauses of condition and time
    • Relative clauses
  • Determiners
  • Prepositions
  • Story Writing
  • Article Writing
  • Letter Writing

Thoroughly imbibe the lessons from the NCERT textbooks for Class 10 English Literature - First Flight and Footprints Without Feet, and practice with NCERT solutions English class 10.

Online learning notes
Go online to find study materials that are available for easy download in PDF format | Source: Jacqueline Kelly on Unsplash

Study Timetable For Class 10 CBSE

Each and every student learns differently. There is no one-size-fits-all formula to be applied to every student. Create your own study timetable, keeping your unique goals and styles in mind. The following points can help you to start off:

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

In order to do this, students need to get themselves acquainted with the Class 10 CBSE syllabus and the CBSE Class 10 marking scheme. Only then will you be able to focus on the areas you are good at and those that need further improvements. For the latter, you may choose to devote more time to those chapters you find particularly challenging.

Separate Time For Separate Activities

This is very important to keep in mind. Not everything you do to get an education requires the same amount of time and dedication or hard work. Learning new words in English to build up your vocabulary will require a more sustained approach than practicing with previous years' questions or taking mock tests. Allocate different amounts of time for each one of them.

Small Goals are More Manageable

Set up study and revision goals based on your learning speed. These goals can be set on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Keep these goals in mind so that you achieve them in time. This will also help you develop your time-management skills.

Devote Time towards Rejuvenating Yourself Between Studies

Give yourself a break! There is nothing wrong with spending a couple of hours watching your favorite show on the telly or playing your favorite sports. But, don't get hooked on (avoid computer/ mobile phone games).

Health is Wealth!

Eat healthily. Sleep well. Exercise a lot. All your hard work will go down the drain if you don't look after yourself, physically as well as mentally.

Check for an English speaking course online.

Different ways to de-stress.
Student anxiety is a real thing. Try and relax your mind just before you take an exam | Source: Visual Hunt

Why Class 10 Board Results Matter and Why They Don't

As already mentioned once, the 10th board results are decisive in the process of admission to higher classes. They are also an indicator of a student’s academic performance. Out of all subjects you learn in Class 1o, you get to choose your areas of interest later on, based on the scores you obtain in class 10. So, make them count!

The Class 10 Board exams make you step out of your comfort zone. This can only boost your confidence further.

It's Not the End of the World

It is important to remember that class 10th percentage/CGPA is not the final measure of who you are and what you are capable of achieving. Students with a low percentage in class 10 have gone on to clear JEE, IAS prelims and entrance exams and other highly ranked all India exams with flying colors. Therefore, do your best but don't let the scores dictate your life!

Need a teacher?

Did you like this article?

5.00/5 - 1 vote(s)


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.