Many CBSE Class 10 students find learning English and revising their English lessons difficult, especially on the eve of their exams. The reason is quite simple. Throughout the academic year, most students tend to prioritize subjects like Mathematics, Physics,  Social Studies, etc.

English language skills are a necessity in today's globalized world, even if your native language is something else and English happens to be your second language.

It is important to realize that working on English skills should be a priority as English is a global language. Students must learn how to speak English well, improve their pronunciation and English vocabulary. Language skills include listening skills, speaking skills, writing skills, and English reading, etc.

all subjects
Every subject is important in the Board exam, as the cumulative score decides your final CGPA | Source: Clarissa Watson on Unsplash

Get a Headstart on English Preparation

In order to improve your English exam preparedness, start early! Getting a headstart on revising your English language course. This will not only prepare you mentally for the impending Board examination, but it will also help you to gain confidence and help you improve your communication skills.

Find your Online English speaking course here.

The First Steps

The major first step is to get yourself acquainted with the English courses as prescribed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in India for Class 10. Pay attention in your English classes to form an idea about the exam pattern and marking schemeThis helps in forming competent learning strategies for English learners while revising.

For the latter, focus on the NCERT textbooks as the question papers are based on these books.

Students must practice writing English words to build a good vocabulary, and improve their writing skills, memorize grammar rules like nouns, adverbs, tenses, phrasal verbs, prepositions, adjectives so they can compose their answers confidently.

You can also help yourself by revising thoroughly the meaning of words you find especially challenging to avoid making mistakes in the exam paper. CBSE Class 10 English paper is divided into three sections - Section-A (Reading; 20 marks), Section-B (Writing and Grammar; 30 marks), and Section-C (Literature; 30 marks). 

Cover All Chapters

While it is important to become proficient in basic grammar and English language skills, students must also devote sufficient time to improving their reading and writing skills in the Literature section (Section C). The Literature section comprises four questions, including long answers. Practicing with sample paper for class 10 English and CBSE previous years question papers for class 10 English will definitely aid in getting your English writing on track.

The CBSE English Literature curriculum consists of the following reading materials:

Class 10 English First Flight 

  • A Letter to God
  • Dust of Snow
  • Fire and Ice
  • Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
  • A Tiger in the Zoo
  • Two Stories about Flying Crow
  • How to Tell Wild Animals
  • The Ball Poem
  • From the Diary of Anne Frank
  • Amanda
  • The Hundred Dresses-I
  • The Hundred Dresses-II
  • Animals
  • Glimpses of India
  • The Trees
  • Mijbil the Otter
  • Fog
  • Madam Rides the Bus
  • The Sermon at Benares
  • For Anne Gregory
  • The Proposal
Books and Notes
Prepare each lesson by maintaining a set of corresponding revision notes | Source: Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Class 10 English Footprints without Fee

  • A Question of Trust
  • A Triumph of Surgery
  • Footprints without Feet
  • Bholi
  • The Book that Saved the Earth
  • The Hack Driver
  • The Making of a Scientist
  • The Midnight Visitor
  • The Thief’s Story
  • The Necklace

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.

Additional Resources for Revision

  • NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English
  • CBSE Class 10 English First Flight Chapter Wise Question Bank
  • CBSE Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Chapter Wise Question Bank
  • CBSE Class 10 English First Flight Extra Questions
  • CBSE Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Extra Questions
  • CBSE Revision Notes for Class 10 English First Flight
  • CBSE Revision Notes for Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet

Exam Day Do's and Don'ts

You may be able to ace your exam paper by following this sequence of answering on the day of the exam, in order to better manage your time and have enough in the end for a couple of rounds of revisions.

  1. Section A: The Reading section is usually the most time-consuming so it is advisable to tackle this section first.
  2. Section B: Writing requires a lot of thought on your part. Thus, take care of this section next.
  3. Section C: Finally, attempt the section whose answers you are most familiar with, i.e. the literature section.

Your private English teacher will probably ask you to learn new words to build a strong inventory of English vocabulary words. This is sure to impress the Board examiner! Additionally, smart learning tools (e.g. learning videos to learn English online) and the following revision strategies for each section can further improve your chances of scoring well.

Reading Section

  1. Read the questions first and then read the unseen passage, keeping the questions in mind. This will save you a lot of time.
  2. Make sure you get enough practice with reading comprehension passages every day for a week prior to the date of the exam.
  3. Practice with previous years' questions.

You can find an English typing tutor on Superprof.

English vocabulary
Build up your English vocabulary and writing skills with the help of dictionaries and thesaurus | Source: Jovike on Visual Hunt

Writing and Grammar Section

  1. Memorize the formats of letter, story, and article writing.
  2. Practice with previous years' questions on letter, story and article writing.
  3. Keep the stipulated word limit in mind.

Literature Section

  1. Read all the chapters from your school textbooks at least once.
  2. Write long answers first.


  1. Maintain proper spacing.
  2. Underline important points.
  3. Write headings with a black pen and underline the subheadings.
  4. Try to maintain fluency in your writing.
  5. You can also opt to use a black pen to underline important words and phrases in your answers.

More Tips on How to Ace the Reading Section

For an English learner, proper development of reading skills is essential in order to properly infer the meaning of English texts. Based on this understanding, students are expected to answer related questions from a given passage.

If done properly, the reading comprehension can fetch high marks for the examiner.

A careful reading of the given passage and the related questions is of the utmost importance when attempting to answer. Regular practice with reading and listening can aid the development of increased reading speed.

And Some More, for the Writing, and Grammar Section

The best way to learn English grammar is through regular practice. Your ability to correctly apply the rules of English grammar in the correct places will increase manifold if you devote at least an hour of your day to practicing grammar exercises from the NCERT reference books and sample question papers.

Don't forget to practice writing letters, stories, essays, articles, etc. and scan through sample letters and articles. In the grammar section, students can prepare themselves with exercises in fill-in-the-blanks, re-arrangement of sentences, and omission type questions. Speaking in English is also a useful practice tool that helps to improve understanding of grammar.

Grammar is Key

Most students find English grammar lessons challenging. This often leads them to ignore or neglect their practice of grammar. However, the best way to tackle this weakness is to work on it regularly with the help of quality reference and guide books such as Wren & Martin, CBSE Class 10 English Grammar Complete Material available at, or the All in One English Language & Literature CBSE Class 10.

There are also many online resources available such as websites that are specifically designed to learn English online, blogs on language learning and apps that have specially curated English language courses. The fun part is that most of these online sources are available for free! If you encounter any doubts, approach teachers of English online. 

exam day
The most important preparation you can take before an exam is the ability to relax your mind | Source: Barry Zhou on Unsplash

Studying English is Not a Waste of Time!

Studying English as a major can lead to fruitful career opportunities, contrary to popular beliefs. There needs to be a shift in our mindset to make English learning more mainstream so that students don't end up considering it a Herculean task to prepare for their English paper in the 11th hour!

In order to score well in English, you need to befriend the subject first.

Students can start by developing an understanding of the importance of the English language. Consider this. Every professional course in India across major recognized colleges are taught in the English language. Also, in a globalized world, your job interviews are likely to be conducted in English, not to mention the fact that English is the official language of the country. Therefore, ignoring the subject will only compound your long-term worries! So, start paying attention in English class today.

Don’t let exam stress get the better of you. Build your confidence with the useful tips outlined in this article and relax your mind for exam day. Get adequate sleep before your exam and sail through the exam woes without flinching!

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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.