CBSE Board Class 12 English Elective Previous Year Question Papers 2011
CBSE Board Previous Year Question Papers 2011 for Class 12 English Elective
A1. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. My father gets a faraway look in his eyes that’s unmistakable. As he looks towards the horizon
and his eyes seek out he bright flashes of snow-capped peaks, we all know what he’s thinking.
Mountain tops have always had that magnetic effect on him.
2. As l grew up I inherited some of my father’s restlessness. I know many people think there must
be some compulsion for the son of Edmund Hillary to climb mountains. They assume that I need to
compete, or measure up as if there was some strong mark on stone that says, “Thou shalt climb
mountains”—and in particular Everest, whether you like it or not. But for me it’s simpler than that.
I think families are like factories some manufacture lawyers while, others produce landscape
gardeners The Hilary family is a limited production mountaineering establishment.
3. Today at the age of 48, I am a determined mountain love to climb them; love, to dream about
them. I have been on more than 30 mountaineering expeditions, from the Himalayas to the
Antarctic. And yes I have climbed Everest— twice. I treasure the same things that drew my father
to climbing—great feeling of friendship and trust among people who work together, sense of
pleasure and excitement, especially in dangerous places where your life depends upon making the
right call. I guess I am luckier than most because I can fall back on all that my father has taught me.
One devastating day in 1995 this advice saved my life.
4. Just below the summit of the mountain known as K2 or the “savage mountain” of the
Himalayas—there is a steep ice channel called—”The Bottleneck” was among a party of eight
climbers heading for the summit, with just 400 meters left to climb. Perched there, 8200 meters
above sea-level and looking east along the northern edge of the Karakoram Mountains to the
Tibetan Plateau, I noticed curls of ominous cloud began to move in suddenly and quickly with
5. As the weather worsened, I became very concerned. I stopped. Something didn’t feel right. At
that moment I clearly heard my father’s voice. Down. Go down. Stick to your guns, Peter.
6.Then from above me, I heard another voice – a woman’s. “Come on up. Use the red rope.” Alison
Hargreaves, a fellow climber, was encouraging me to join her. Not for you, Peter was that my
father’s voice again? The unsettled feeling in me grew stronger. Finally I told Jeff Lakes, my
climbing partner, that I was going down. He too was feeling unsure, but decided to go on ahead. As
I headed down, I looked back at Jeff a couple of time, until a thick, threatening cloud blocked the
view. Soon, the same fast-moving cloud would engulf the summit and plunge me into an isolated
world of terror.
7. Don’t be afraid to make your own decisions. Don‘t be afraid to stand alone. Thai was my father’s
voice. 8. Alone in body but not in spirit I descended. But with fear tapping upon my
shoulders, I was caught in the frightening situation of the rising storm. The flanks “of the mountain
were out of control and so, perhaps, was I.
9. Fear makes you careful. Fear makes you good. Fear, my father told me, is not something you
manage. So I seized on what I could control: a well-clipped de sender and a taut rope. For hours I
continued to go down rope after plunging rope—every rope one closer to the ice ledge at Camp-2.
10. When I awoke in my tent the next morning, it w silent, sunny, still. I alone had successfully
descended from the summit pyramid of K2 that night. The seven above were dead.
11. Life in a famous family has its advantages and disadvantages. — Lunch with Indira Gandhi or a
trip to the North Pole with Neil Armstrong are one — although a rather extraordinary — side of
the coin. The other can be a battle with identity and independence. When I am 80 years old myself,
I know I will more than likely still be greeted with, “Wait a minute, you’re Ed Hillary’s son!” But my
father is quite a man and I am proud of him.
a) What does the son read in his father’s eyes? 1
b) State any two qualities of the father that have rubbed off on his son. 2
c) “The Hillary family is a limited production mountaineering establishment”. What does the
author mean by this? 1
d) In what way does the author consider himself more fortunate than other mountaineers? 1
e) What was the father’s opinion about ‘fear’? How did it help the author? 2
f) What was the fate of the seven companions who climbed the K2 summit? 2
g) Being a celebrity’s son has its own limitations. What are those? 1
A1.2 Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following: 3
a) to be as good/successful as expected (para 2)
b) sitting on high and dangerous position (para 4)
c) tight and completely stretched (para 9)
A2. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
To date happiness has defied definition. Most people tend to equate happiness with fun, good
living, plenty of money. If happiness were synonymous with all this, rich people with all their
luxuries and countless parties would be perpetually happy. But in actual fact, they are, frequently,
acutely unhappy, despite their riches and ability to indulge in fun activities at will. Fun is what we
experience during an act; happiness is that intangible something we experience after an act. We
may have fun watching a movie, going shopping, meeting friends — these are all fun activities that
afford us fleeting moments of relaxation and enjoyment. Happiness, on the other hand, is a much
stronger, deeper and more abiding emotion.
If we perceive happiness as the ultimate goal, we must also devise a way to reach that goal. The
way to happiness, is not a smooth, broad highway along which we can cruise at a comfortable
speed. It is a path through rocky and rugged terrain and the going can become very tough at times.
At these times we have to roll up our sleeves and with pitchfork and shovel makes our way
onwards. This pursuit ‘of happiness lasts a lifetime. Great happiness is earned only by great effort
and effort not in spurts but diligent, constant effort. In this connection we are confronted with another fallacy, that fun and plea sure mean happiness
and thus pain, its corollary, must be synonymous with unhappiness. But in fact the truth is quite
different. Things that bring us happiness, more often than not, involve some amount of pain. It is
because of misconception that people avoid the very endeavor that is the source of true happiness.
Difficult ‘endeavors — such as the raising of children, establishing deeper relation ships with
loved ones, trying to do something worthwhile in life — hold the promise of a world of happiness.
Happiness is not a permanent vacation. Another prevalent belief is that if one
were rich enough not to have to work one would be blissfully happy. But a job is more than just a
pay cheque. Almost all religions teach us that work is worship. Work holds the key to happiness as
doing something which increases confidence and self-worth. It brings on a feeling of satisfaction,
of doing something, of contributing. Job satisfaction comes less from how much one earns than
from the challenge of the job. Of course the pay-cheques count. It would be unrealistic to suggest
that one could be happy without a basic shelter, roaming the streets on an empty stomach.
A secret ingredient of happiness is contentment. Contentment here does not mean apathy or lack
of ambition, just as commitment does not mean curtailment of freedom. Commitment teaches us
to give so that we may receive and contentment helps us to cherish the gifts we have received.
These things are worth a try even if they don’t promise access to the pinnacle of success. Success,
after all, has been described as getting what one wants, whereas happiness likes what one gets.
A2.1 On the basis of your reading of the above passage makes notes on it using headings and subheadings. Use recognizable abbreviations wherever necessary. 5
A2.2 Write a summary of the above passage in 80 words, and also suggest a
suitable title. 3
SECTION B (WRITING SKILLS)
B1. You are Rajan/Rajani, residing at 30A, Munirika. Your friend has to undergo an operation for
which he needs rupees two lakhs. Some generous people have donated some money but that is not
sufficient. Draft an appeal/notice which will be published in the local daily to generate money for
the operation. Do not exceed 50 words. 5
Your company launching a new range of shoes for children next month. Draft an attractive poster
which can be displayed on all the market areas of your town to promote its sale. Do not forget to
mention the specialty of these shoes. (50 words).
B2. You are Rahul/Rani working for a weekly magazine called ‘Freedom’. Last week you attended
a programme for the senior citizens in an old age home named ‘Sandhya’. Write a report in 100-
125 words on this programme highlighting the activities and services rendered by this old age
You are Rajan/Ramani, reporter of a national daily. A campaign was conducted by various
organizations in your city to create awareness among people to conserve water. Write a report in
100-125 words highlighting the activities conducted by local agencies through rain water
harvesting and other method to save water face the shortage in the summer months. B3. You are Rama residing at 75 A, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal Write a letter to the editor of a national
daily highlighting the seriousness of drunken driving, requesting him to publish articles, cartoons
and slogans against drunken driving and also urging the government to take severe action against
those who drive in drunken state. 10
You are Rama residing at 75 A, Nehru Nagai Bhopal. An open and well maintained park meant for
the residents and children of your area will soon be converted into a shopping complex. Write a
letter to the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Bhopal requesting him not to disturb the
park which is the only open space in your area. Also suggest alternate space for the shopping
complex away from the residential area, giving suitable reasons.
B4. You are Mani. Many of your friends are getting expensive gifts from their parents but not the
attention and time of their parents. Write an article for your school magazine urging all the
parents give their time and moral support to their children, especially the adolescent. Also stress
on how a secure home atmosphere plays a key role in promoting success in life. (Word limit 150-
200 words) 10
You are Mani. You are worried after reading a report on obesity among school children and the
growing craze for junk food and diseases related to it. Write an article, highlighting the need to
have good eating habits especially for students, to be published in the local daily. Do not forget to
suggest a few tips to s food habits. (Word limit 150-200 words)
SECTION C (LITERATURE)
C1. 1. Choose any one of the following extracts and answer the questions given below the extract:
‘I want to be what I used t be
When I was like you. I want
to unlearn all these muting things
Most of all. I want to relearn
how to laugh, for my laugh in the mirror
shows only my teeth like a snake’s bare fangs!’
a) Why does the poet want to unlearn certain things? 1
b) What does he want to relearn’ 1
c) Why does the poet say that his teeth are like a snake’s bare fangs? 2
‘Freedom from the insult of dwelling in a puppet’s world,
where movements are started through brainless wires,
repeated through mindless habits,
where figures wait with patience and obedience for the master of show, to be stirred into a
moment’s mimicry of life.
a) What does the poet mean by ‘dwelling in a puppet’s world,’? 2
b) Who is the ‘master of show’ here? 1
c) Why does poet associate life with mimicry? 2
2. Answer the following in 30-40 words each: 3x2=6
a) What does the poet in ‘Written in Early Spring’ lament on what Man has made of Man? b) How doss Ben Jonson in his poem ‘The Noble Nature’ explain the truth ‘we live in deeds not in
c) Why did the plate of gold become a plate of lead?
C2. Answer the following in 30-40 words each: 5X2=10
a) Quote two instance to show Mr. Gupta’s concern for Maggie’s family.
b) Why did Gandhiji think that women were the mainstay of his
c) How did Mrs. Bouncer react when Box encountered Cox?
d) Why did the author call Mr. Berri ‘a model jailor’?
e) What were the two major issues of impeachment against Warren Hastings?
C3. Answer the following in 125-150 words: 10
Bertrand Russell says that machines are important in the modern day and at the same time they
deprive us of some important aspects of life. — Elaborate.
Max Mueller says that India has solutions for many problems that confront man kind. How does he
elaborate on it in the lesson. ‘What India can teach us’?
C4. Answer the following in 125-150 words: 7
What advice did Lord Chesterfield give his son to exhibit good conduct and true character when he
is in the company of others?
How did Baldwin resist the temptation of accepting money from Gresham and win the respect and
admiration of his family members and Gresham?
C5. Answer the following in 30-40 words each: 4x2=8
a) How, did Barin try to hide his identity from Mr. C?
b) What did Gandhiji do to impart the training of the spirit?
c) Why did Mrs. Wang help the wounded Japanese soldier?
d) Why does the author call the youth the ‘vanguard of the nation’?
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