NBSE Class 10 English 2021 Question Paper (Old)

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Disclaimer: The given NBSE Class 10 English 2021 question paper has been sourced from NBSE


Total marks : 80 || Time : 3 hours

General instructions:

i) Approximately 15 minutes is allotted to read the question paper and revise the answers.
ii) All questions are compulsory.
iii) The question paper consists of 18 questions, divided into Units I, II, III, and IV.
iv) Internal option is given in some questions.
v) Marks allocated to every question are indicated against it.
vi) Alternate question for the visually impaired students is provided in question 13.

Only the visually impaired students have to attempt such alternate questions.
N.B: Check that all pages of the question paper are complete as indicated on the top left side.

UNIT I (Literature)

Answer the following questions:

1. Why did Mehouviu’s relatives send messengers to Morusa’s village? (3)

2. Briefly describe the incident at the Holborn Restaurant.  (3)

3. What were the witches’ prophecies for Macbeth when he visited them for the second time?  (3)

4. Would you agree with Gandhi’s view on giving up attempts to absorb British culture? Give reasons.  (5)
Do you think the witches’ evil prophecies led Macbeth to his death? Give reasons.

5. Answer either 5(1) or 5 (ii) or 5 (iii)  (5)

(i) Read the lines and answer the questions that follow:

As the villagers smoked the lover’s bodies
For the last rites, they watched in silent awe.
At the two smokes rising high up in the air
Holding hands in their mingled ecstasy
Their spirits riding the valleys of peace.

(i) Explain “as the villagers smoked the lover’s bodies”. (2)
(ii) Why did they watch in silent awe? (2)
(iii) Pick out the antonym of the word ‘agony’ (1)

(ii) Give the summary of the poem, ‘Death the Leveller’ (5)

(iii) The poem, ‘The Windhover’ is about a bird, but it is also open to strong religious interpretations Discuss. (5)

6. Why wouldn’t you give him your blessing and he looking round in the door? Isn’t it sorrow enough is on everyone in this house without your sending him out with an unlucky word behind him, and a hard word in his ear?

(i) Who is the speaker here? (1)
(ii) Explain the ‘hard word’ in this context. (2)

7. Briefly characterise Maurya. (3)
Bartley was the last surviving male member of the family. With his death, what do you think will happen to the family?

UNIT II (Reading)

8. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:

Arthur Ray Hawkins, one of the most outstanding United States Navy pilots, was the first man to jump out of an airplane when travelling at a speed greater than sound. Jumps of this sort have long been regarded as impossible. During an air show over Mississippi in 1954, Hawkins was flying an entirely new type of airplane. At 40,000 feet, the nose of the plane dipped sharply. No matter how hard he tried, Hawkins could not pull out of the dive and it gathered such speed that it was soon travelling faster than the speed of sound. Strapped in his seat and hanging upside down, the pilot could not reach the button that would destroy the top of the plane. Near him, however, there was another button which was to be used only in times of very great danger. Hawkins pressed it. There was an explosion, and his seat, which shielded him to some extent, burst through the glass shell above his head. While still half-conscious, Hawkins tried to pull the ribbon that would open his parachute.

It was fortunate that he failed in his attempt, for at such speed, the parachute would have been torn to pieces. As he sped towards earth, he realised that the breathing tube that supplied him with air had also been torn away. Rapidly losing consciousness due to the lack of air, he knew that he had to open the parachute quickly—otherwise he might not get another chance to do so. At about 29,000 feet, he opened the parachute and Hawkins pulled the handle, which freed him from the pilot seat. While swinging through the air in slow motion, he began to tremble with cold and everything went grey: he was not getting enough air. Just then, he remembered a rule for breathing at great heights. He took short, sharp breaths and forced air into his bloodstream. This kept him alive until, at 10,000 feet, he could breathe without difficulty. Soon afterwards, he landed safely in a field of cotton. His plane crashed into a wood nearby, but luckily no one was hurt.

(i) Answer the following questions:

(a) What sort of jumps have long been regarded as impossible? (1)
(b) Why couldn’t Hawkins reach the button which would destroy the top of the plane” (2)
(c) Hawkins had to open the parachute urgently. Why? (2)

(ii) Complete the following sentences: (6x12=3)

_______________was one of the first United States Navy________to jump out of a speeding airplane while traveling at a height of___________ feet. When the nose of the plane________________ sharply, he was strapped in his seat unable to pull out of the dive At about 29,000 feet, he  opened the__________, freed himself from the pilot seat and by taking short, sharp __________ he was able to stay alive.

9. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.

Why does a person become overconfident? The reason lies in over assessment of his capabilities. Sometimes people over-assess their competence and jump into situations that are beyond their control. Napoleon Bonaparte, who became Emperor of France, would say that the word “impossible” was common only among fools. The overconfident Napoleon invaded Russia in the winter of 1812. This proved to be a big disaster. Overconfidence generally leads people into misadventures, endangering their chances in life. People take into account only their planning, generally ignoring external factors. As a result, they are unable to foresee future developments. Hence, a great risk of failure. Then there is the question: how can one manage overconfidence? The formula is very simple. Before taking a decision, discuss the matter with other informed people with an objective, and when it is proved that you are about to go off the path, accept reality, and say without delay, “I was wrong.” Overconfidence is a flaw characterised by people who lack the virtue of modesty. Modesty makes you a realist. You become a person who is cut down to size.

People of this kind become very cautious, before taking an action, they assess the whole situation. They adopt a realistic approach. Overconfident people live within their own thoughts. They know themselves but they are unaware of others Living inside their own cell, they are unable to make use of the experiences of others. This kind of habit is highly damaging to all concerned.

(i) Answer the following questions

a. Why does a person become overconfident? (1)
b. How can one manage overconfidence? (2)
c. What kind of person does modesty make you? (2)

(ii) Find words in the passage that has the same meaning as: (3×1=3)

a. threatening
b. evaluate
c. practical

10. Read the poem carefully and fill in the blanks:

Easter Morning
This morning reminds me of Easter morning
After the sunrise service was long past.
And I aw oke and walked to the door left ajar,
‘Mama, who’s left the sun on
It’s hurting my eyes!’
Child, she said
Come out of the dark
And stand in the light awhile
Let it warm your back and shoulders
Let it travel down your limbs
Let it slowly enter your heart
It gets easier to bear each time.

(Easterine Iralu)

Fill in the blanks to complete the summary of the poem: (8x12=4)

In the poem, the ___________ of the child invites her to stand in the light of Christ’s bright love. The child complains that the ________ hurts her __________ Her mother gently chides her and asks her to come out of the ____________ of ignorance She then tells her child to let the light warm her _________ and ____________ so that it travels down her __________ and enters her ____________ 

UNIT III (Writing)

11. You are James, the president of the Residents’ Welfare Society Your colony has decided to ban plastic in your colony Write a notice informing the residents about the decision taken by the Society. (4)
A leading school in your town has advertised for the post of a senior English teacher. Draft the advertisement.

12. Write a paragraph in about 80-100 words on, ‘Good health’ using the inputs given: (4)

our most precious possession – essentials of good health-nutritious food, fresh air, exercise, enough sleep – avoidance of unhealthy and bad habits

13. Based on the visual input given below, write on” advantages of technology” in about 120–150 words: (5)

Alternate question for the visually impaired students: (5) 

Based on the inputs given below, write on “advantages of technology” in about 120-150 words. saves time – ease of mobility – easy access to information-better means of communication – cost efficiency – innovation in many fields improved banking online learning.

14. You are Kent, a student editor of your school magazine. Write a letter to a person holding an important post, seeking an appointment for an interview for your school magazine. (7)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world has undergone vast changes. As everything has its positive as well as its negative side, everyone can witness and sense the positive impacts that took place all around the world due to this very pandemic. Write a speech on the positive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic all around the world in not more than 200 words.

UNIT IV (Grammar)

15. Rewrite the given sentences as directed in the brackets: (5×1=5)

(a) Look at _________ mess.
(Fill in with the correct demonstrative determiner)

(b) A child plays in the park.
(State whether the underlined verb is a finite or non-finite verb)

(c) Have you read the notice on the board?
(Underline the phrase in the sentence)

(d) The ship sank suddenly!
(State whether the underlined verb is transitive or intransitive)

(e) ___________ I would like to travel around the world.
(Fill in with Type 2 conditional clause)

16. Change the narration (4×1=4)

(a) The old woman said to the boy, ‘please, carry my bag’.
(b) He says, ‘I will not take revenge’.
(c) The teacher ordered me not to talk to my neighbour.
(d) Riya said that she was flying to Mumbai the next day.

17. Change the voice: (3×1=3)

(a) She has written a critically acclaimed novel.
(b) I was told the truth by him.
(c) We will be blamed by everyone.

18. Combine the following pairs of sentences by using adjective clauses. (3×1=3)

(a) My friend is a singer. He lives in Mokokchung.
(b) The nurse called the doctor. He came immediately.
(c) Parul was an old woman. She was my neighbour.


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