CBSE Class 12 English sample paper

If you are a class 12 student, preparing for CBSE English exam, here is a sample paper based on new exam pattern for you. 

CBSE class 12 English sample paper: The CBSE board exams are one of the most anticipated moments of a student’s scholastic life. This year, the CBSE 12th boards are all the more special considering the entire session has been held online due to the pandemic and exams will be offline. CBSE has not only reduced the syllabus by 30 per cent but has also changed the exam pattern by increasing conceptual-based questions in line with the NEP.

It is critical to solve the sample papers based on the new exam pattern. If you are a class 12 student, preparing for the CBSE English exam, here is a sample paper based on new exam pattern for you.

By: Ms Ruby Hore

Class – XII

Subject:English                                                    Time Allowed: 3Hrs.

Date:                                                                    Maximum Marks:80


General Instructions:

Part A (40 Marks) READING (20 marks)

 Through human history, weather has altered the march of events and caused some mighty cataclysms. Since Columbus did not know where he was going or where he had arrived when he got there, the winds truly deserve nearly as much credit as he for the discovery of America. Ugly westerlies helped turn the 1588 Spanish Armada away from England in a limping panic. Napoleon was done in twice by weather: once by the snow and cold that forced his fearful retreat from Moscow,laterbytherainthatbedevilledhimatWaterlooandcausedVictorHugo to write: “A few drops of water … an unseasonable cloud crossing the sky, sufficed for the overthrow of a world.” In 1944 the Allied invasion of Normandy was made possible by a narrow interval of reasonably good weather between the bad. It was so narrow, in fact, that Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisen how later expressed gratitude to”the gods of war”. Paganism dies hard.

Every year brings fresh reminders of the weather’s power over human life and events in the form of horrifying tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. These leave behind forgettable statistics and unforgettable images of devastated towns and battered humanity that can only humble people in the face of such wrath. Farmers often suffer the most, from the drought and plagues of biblical times to the hailstorms or quick freezes that even today can wipe out whole crops in minutes. Icy assaults serve as reminders of the inescapable vulnerability of life and social well-being to the whims of the weather. And history is packed with reminders of far worse. The weather, for example, provoked a major social dislocation in the United States in the 1930’s when it turned much of the South-west into the Dust Bowl.

No wonder, then, that man’s great dream has been some day to control the weather. The first step toward control, of course, is knowledge, and scientists have been hard at work for years trying to keep track of the weather. The United States and other nations have created an international apparatus that maintains some 100000 stations to check the weather round the clock in every sector of the globe and, with satellites, in a good deal of the more than 16 billion cubic kilometres of the atmosphere. With computers on tap and electronic eyes in the sky, modern man has thus come far in dealing with the weather, alternately his nemesis and benefactor. Yet man’s predicament today is not too far removed from that of his remote ancestors. For all the advances of scientific forecasting, in spite of the thousands of daily bulletins and advisories that get flashed about, the weather is still ultimately capricious and unpredictable. Man’s dream of controlling it is still just that – a dream.

1.  The writer is of the opinion that Columbus

  • did not discover America.
  • stole the credit for the discovery of America from someone else.
  • does not deserve to be known as the man who discovered America.
  • was not aware he had discovered America.


2.  According to the passage, what helped the Allies to carry out a successful invasion of Normandy in1944?

  • It was a spell of bad weather.
  • It was a short period of fairly good weather.
  • It was good weather followed by bad weather.
  • It was the excellent weather conditions.


3.  What is the main topic of the first paragraph?

  • It is the development of history up to modern times.
  • It is the part weather played in the progress of events in
  • It is the way fate influenced the outcome of events in
  • It is the idea that success in all past undertakings depended on the weather.


4.  In the second paragraph weather is seen as

  • a capricious and an unpredictable force.
  • man’s benefactor.
  • man’s chief enemy.
  • a powerful destroyer of human life and property.


5.  How did the weather cause great upheaval in America a few decades ago?

  • It devastated towns in the form of tornadoes, hurricanes and floods.
  • It destroyed crops in the form of hailstorms and quick freezes.
  • It turned cold so suddenly that it caught millions of
  • It created a large area of arid land from which people had to move

6.   How can man stop being a victim of the whims of the weather?

  • He must find ways to
  • He must learn all he can about it.
  • He must learn to live
  • He must protect himself against it.


7.  In order to be able to control the weather man must first

  • fight
  • know how to escape from it.
  • be able to manipulate it.


8.   Today,man

  • has the weather under control.
  • is still far from being able to control the weather.
  • has made no advance whatsoever towards the control of weather.
  • can forecast the weather with great accuracy.


9.  What does ‘predicament’ mean? (Para3)

  • Quandary
  • Both A &B.
  • None of the above

10.  Choose the word/ words which is/ are nearest in meaning to – cataclysm (Para1)

  • Calamity
  • Catastrophe
  • Debacle
  • All the above



2.       Read the following passage and tick the best option :                             (1×10=10Marks)


these days that hardly anybody pays heed to them. However, when the Lascaux cave complex was discovered in 1940,


Early artists drawing these animals accomplished

a monumental and difficult task. They did not limit themselves to the easily accessible walls but carried their painting materials to spaces that required climbing

Unfortunately, the paintings have been exposed to the destructive action of water and temperature changes, which easily wear the images away. Because the Lascaux caves have

Although they are not out in the open air, where natural light would have destroyed them long ago, many of the images have deteriorated and are barely recognizable. To prevent further damage, the site was closed to tourists in 1963, 23 years after it was discovered.


1.  Which title best summarizes the main idea of the passage?

  • Wild Animals in Art
  • Hidden PrehistoricPaintings
  • Exploring CavesRespectfully
  • Determining the Age of FrenchCaves


2.  In line 3, the words ‘pays heed to’ are closest in meaning to                .

(A)discovers               (B) watches                  (C)notices                   (D)buys


3.  Based on the passage, what is probably true about the south of France?

  • It is home to
  • It has a large number ofcaves.
  • It is known for horse-racing events.
  • It has attracted many famousartists.


4.  In line 8, the word ‘depict’ is closest in meaning to                   .

(A) show                     (B)hunt                        (C) count                     (D)draw

(A)Birds                      (B)Bison                      (C)Horses                    (D) Wildcats


6.  In line 12, the word ‘They’ refers to              .

(A)walls                      (B) artists                    (C)animals                   (D)materials


7.  Why was painting inside the Lascaux complex a difficult task?

  • It was completely dark inside.
  • The caves were full of
  • Painting materials were hard to find.
  • Many painting spaces were difficult to reach.


8.  According to the passage, all of the following have caused damage to the paintings EXCEPT                           .

  • temperature changes
  • air movement
  • water
  • light


9.  What does the passage say happened at the Lascaux caves in1963?

  • Visitors were prohibited from entering.
  • A new lighting system was installed.
  • Another part was discovered.
  • A new entrance was created.


10.  The word “accomplished” in line 11means

  • tocomplete (B)toachieve                (C)to target                 (D) None ofthese


LITERATURE (20 marks)


The instructor put a belt around me. A rope attached to the belt went through a pulley that ran on an overhead cable. He held on to the end of the rope, and we went back and forth, back and forth across the pool, hour after hour, day after day, week after week. On each trip across the pool a bit of the panic seized me. Each time the instructor relaxed his hold on the rope and I went under, some of the old terror returned and my legs froze. It was three months before the tension began to slack. Then he taught me to put my face under water and exhale, and to raise my nose and inhale. I repeated the exercise hundreds of times. Bit by bit I shed part of the panic that seized me when my head went under water


i.                           What was the impact of the pool incident?

  • Developedfear
  • Became confident
  • Became overconfident
  • Hydrophobia was revived


ii.                            Douglas had to repeat exhaling and inhalingexercises

  • hundred times
  • forty times
  • fifty times
  • ten times


iii.                             He practised in the pool

  • ten times a week
  • five days a week
  • twice a week
  • thrice a week


iv.                            How did the instructor make Douglas a good swimmer?

  • Planning
  • With the help of ropes
  • By pushing him into the pool
  • With the help of ropes and belts


“Now, Jo, are you listening?” “Yes.”

“Because this is very interesting. Roger Skunk’s mommy said, ‘What’s that awful smell?’


“And, Roger Skunk said, ‘It’s me, Mommy. I smell like roses.’ And she said, ‘Who made you smell like that?’ And he said, ‘The wizard,’ and she said, ‘Well, of allthe nerve. You come with me and we’re going right back to that very awful wizard.”


i.  Choose the option that best demonstrates the relevant traits of Jo and Jack respectively, based on the extract provided.


ii. Jo’s “Wha-at?” indicated what she was feeling. Pick the option that correctly states these feelings.


iv.  Mommy says, ‘Well, of all the nerve.” This reveals her



  • Identity as a citizen of India
  • Identity as a foreign citizen
  • Identity as a Bangladeshi
  • None of the above


ii.               The phrase ‘transit homes’ refer to the dwellings of

  • dwellers ofSeemapuri
  • dwellers ofBangladesh
  • the slum dwellers
  • none of the above


iii.            Identify the figure of speech used in the sentence “Garbage to them is gold”.

iv.            What does ‘acquired the proportions of a fine art mean?

4.  ReadtheextractsgivenbelowandattemptANYONEofthetwogivenbyansweringthe questions that follow.

put that thought away, and looked out at Young

Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling out of their homes,”

  • short fast race
  • rowing a boat
  • playing tricks
  • running around trees


ii)                  The theme of the poemis

  • separation from friends
  • separation from relatives
  • fear of separation from the mother
  • love and hatred


iii)                ‘Trees sprinting’ and ‘merry children spilling’ is an attempt by the poet to create

  • suspense
  • laughter
  • visual imagery
  • chaos


iv)                Kamala Das has successfully drawn comparisons between the

  • children and her mother
  • father and mother
  • uncle and aunt
  • nephew and niece



On sour cream walls, donations. Shakespeare’s head, Cloudless at dawn, civilised dome riding all cities.

Belled, flowery, Tyrolese valley.

Open-handed map Awarding the world its world.

And yet, for these Children, these windows, not this map, their world, Where all their future’s painted with a fog,


  • happy and poor state
  • happy and rich state
  • points out poor condition of the classroom
  • none


ii)   The map of the world in the classroom symbolizes

  • hopes and aspirations of
  • travel plans of the school authorities.
  • a world that is unconnected to the children.
  • Interconnectivity within the world.


iii)   What does the expression ‘Open handed map”show?

  • power of the poor
  • the poor are powerful
  • the poor are powerless
  • maps are drawn at the orders of the powerful people


  • classroom is as foggy as the paint on the walls.
  • beautiful valleys are not a part of the children’s future.
  • life ahead for the slum children is as unclear and hazy as fog.
  • fog often finds itself in the classrooms through broken windows.



5.  Attempt ANY EIGHT questions from the ten given below. (1x 8 =8)

  • Igniting patrioticfervour
  • Playing the band to reduce warstress
  • People of Alsace are nowenslaved
  • Prussians cheering up the victory overFrance


ii.    Rajkumar Shukla’s efforts resulted in Gandhi’s fight for the farmer’s cause. This showcases that hewas

  • meticulous andkind.
  • sincere andcurious.
  • enterprising andpersistent.
  • respectful andcongenial


iii.   Fishermen not harming whales’means

  • not causing extinction ofwhales


  • not disturbing balance innature
  • not going forfishing
  • not disturbing thesea


iv.   ‘inhuman dearth’ according to the poet, is a referenceto

  • lack or shortage of beauty
  • lack of energy
  • lack or shortage of human beings with good values
  • lack of resources


v.      Why did aunt embroider tigers on the panel?

  • to express her suppressed feelings
  • to express her strengths
  • to express her fighting spirit of a warrior
  • All these


vi.    They are symbolic of the joy, and the brightness of life which these childrenare deprivedof

  • elementary school
  • visitors
  • ships, sun and love
  • leadsky


vii.  What was stopping Douglas to get into the waters ofCascade?

  • Memories of Washington
  • Memories of California
  • Instructions given by the instructor
  • Memories full of terror in the pool


viii.                 Why did the Peddler feel that he had fallen into the Rat trap?

  • Because he fell into a pit
  • Because he fell in love with Edla
  • Because his heart is changed
  • Because of his greedy action and pitiable circumstances


ix.    How is Mukesh’s attitude different from that of his family?

  • Being daring, firm and clear
  • Being a fighter
  • Being a coward
  • Not clear


x.      Why has the mother been compared to the late winter’s moon?

  • To refer to her pale and wan appearance.
  • To emphasize that the mother is inching close to death
  • To emphasize that the mother is old at the age of66.
  • None of these.

Writing – 16 marks

Q6. Attempt Any One of the following:                                                                  (3)

While walking in a park in your neighbourhood you found a small plastic bag containing some documents and some cash. Write a notice in about 50 words to be put on the park noticeboard asking the owner to identify and collect it from you. You are Amar/Amrita 9399123456


You want to sell your five-year-old Maruti Wagon R car. Draft a suitable advertisement in about 50 words to be published in the ‘For sale’ columns of The Times of India.

Q7. Attempt any one of the following:                                                                  (3)

The Head Girl of St John’s School, Jammu, invited Sh. Haji Nisar Ahmed, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, to be the Chief Guest on the occasion of the Annual Day Celebrations of the school. On behalf of the Minister draft a reply accepting the invitation. Do not exceed 50 words.


You are Sajjan Raj, s/o Sh. Dharam Raj of Greater Kailash, New Delhi. Your father wants you to draft a formal invitation to be sent on the occasion of your sister, Anita Raj’s marriage.

Prepare the invitation.

Q8. Attempt any one of the following:                                                                    (5)

The world had seen an unanticipated dependence of technology during the Covid 19 times. The entire human activity would have come to a standstill, thanks to technology that the show went on. Keeping in view the role played by technology during the unprecedented times write an article on “Role of Technology in 21st Century” for your School magazine. You are Akshara/ Akshar Bhardwaj.


Thousands of migrant workers left the cities to head for their hometowns on foot. On the way they suffered many difficulties. ‘Care for All’ an NGO had set up a camp near your city for the migrant workers, to help them with various facilities like food, shelter, medical facilities etc.

The camp sheltered around two thousand workers. You visited the camp, as Abhay/ Abhilasha, TOI Correspondent, write a report of your visit.

Q9. Attempt Any One ofthefollowing:                                                                (5)

You are Aniket / Ankita Shukla of B 4, Safgarjung Enclave, New Delhi. You have recently come across the following advertisement in The Times of India.

Draft an application in response to the advertisement giving your detailed resume.


Due to pandemic, there had been a dramatic decrease in human activity resulting in slowdown of industrial emissions, road traffic and tourism. This restricted human interaction had appeared to be a blessing for nature and environment. The result was improvement of air and water quality, thriving of flora and fauna, the nature seemed to be breathing afresh. Man has caused immense damage to the planet. Write a letter to the editor of The New Times, voicing your concern on the issue and suggesting some measures to improve the situation. You are Aarohi / Aarya of B1, Vijeta Enclave, Meerut.

LITERATURE (24 marks)


10.  Attempt ANY FIVE out of the six questions given below in 30-40 wordseach.(2×5=10)


11.  AttemptANYTWOoutofthethreequestionsgivenbelowin30-40wordseach.(3×2=4)


12.  Attempt ANY ONE of the following questions in120-150words                    (1×5=5)

The story Deep Water talks about Douglas’ attempts to overcome his fear of water. The story can also be viewed as a figurative manifestation of life’s many challenges.

Elaborate with reference to the text.


The ban on teaching French strengthened the resolve of the Frenchmen to learn their language. Give evidence from the text to prove/disapprove the above statement.(The Last Lesson)

13.  Attempt ANY ONE out of the following questions in120-150words.             (1×5=5)

With respect to the events in the story, ‘Should Wizard Hit Mommy’, who would you support- Wizard or Mommy? Justify your choice.


Givean account oftheblunderscommittedbytheprisonauthoritieswhichhelpedEvans in escaping from the prison. (Evans tries an olevel)

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