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CBSE Question Paper 2015 class 12 English Core

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CBSE Question Paper 2015 class 12 English Core conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi in the month of March 2015. CBSE previous year question papers with solution are available in myCBSEguide mobile app and cbse guide website. The Best CBSE App for students and teachers is myCBSEguide which provides complete study material and practice papers to cbse schools in India and abroad.

CBSE Question Paper 2015 class 12 English Core

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CBSE Question Paper 2015 class 12 English Core

Class 12 English Core list of chapters


  1. The Last Lesson
  2. Lost Spring
  3. Deep Water
  4. The Rattrap
  5. Indigo
  6. Going Places
  7. My Mother at Sixty-Six
  8. An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum
  9. Keeping Quiet
  10. A Thing of Beauty
  11. Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers


  1. Memories of Childhood
  2. Evans Tries an O-Level
  3. On the Face of it
  4. Should Wizard Hit Mommy?
  5. The Enemy
  6. The Tiger King


  1. The Invisible Man

CBSE Question Paper 2015 class 12 English Core

General Instructions:

  1. This paper is divided into three sections: A, B, and C. All the sections are compulsory.
  2. Separate instructions are given with each section and question, wherever necessary. Read these instructions very carefully and follow them faithfully.
  3. Do not exceed the prescribed word limit while answering the questions.


1. Read the passage given below: 12

(1) Suspense was over when my high school results finally came out. But I was upset. I hadn’t done as well as I had expected. My father tried to console me. “Why are you worried? You have done very well my dear.” “No, I haven’t, Baba,” I protested, controlling my tears, and wondering if I had disappointed him. “It doesn’t really matter,” he assured me. “Do you know what I got when I finished high school ?” I looked into Baba’s face and waited for the answer to his own question. “You know,” he told me. “I’ve never told you this.

I got just a third division. But, look at me, I’ve done quite well.” Baba got a third division! I was almost in shock, but the thought of my having done a lot better than that made me realize that I had no reason to complain. I certainly felt better! “Everything is under control!” said Baba, smiling. That was his favorite phrase.

Posted in Kolkata, my father was then a senior official in the Indian Railway Service and an expert in goods traffic operations. He was soon to become a director with the Railway Board. By the time he retired in 1981, he was general manager of the Central Railways. By the time Baba passed away in November 2000, his name had found place in several hearts as well. He was open, easy to know, and full of life. We were extremely close, but I had so much more to learn about him from many things I came to know after his death.

(2) In September 2000, he was in hospital for treatment of cancer and given just two months to live. When he found out, his reaction was an extremely rational one. He asked me to fetch files from his cupboard so that he could explain the details of my mother’s pension. He also dictated his will from his hospital bed. “Everything is under control !” After Baba’s death, Satish, our old family retainer, was inconsolable. We tried to cheer him up. “Your Baba had scolded me only once in all these years !” he cried. Satish pointed to the watch on his left hand. “I had been coming late for work and everyone in the family was complaining about it,” said Satish. “Then, one day, your Baba gave me this watch and told me, ‘now that you have a watch, you can’t be late’.” That was the scolding Satish received.

On the fourth day after Baba’s death, my sister and I had to perform a ceremony. Since several relatives were expected, we decided to order lunch from a caterer in our locality, reputed for his home cooked food. But, when we went to pay the owner, we got a surprise. He refused to accept any money! “When I wanted to start my catering business, it was your father who lent me money,” he told us. It seems Baba never asked for it back. Now, after four or five years, the caterer wanted to repay that debt. Of course, we made him accept the full payment for the fine food and service. ‘It was Baba’s gift and it ought to remain so,” I told him.

(3) Some days later, there was yet another piece of information as we were preparing for the main ceremony. Vikram, my brother drove me to the local market. On recognizing our car, the parking assistant, in his twenties, came running towards us and asked why he had not seen its owner for long. We had to break the news to him and to our utter surprise, he started crying. We were really surprised by this reaction from a stranger – until the man told us that Baba used to pay his daughter’s school fees and buy her books.

It seems it was on my father’s advice that he’d even started sending the child to school. More than three years after Baba’s death, as we were looking into Baba’s personal things, we came across an old file with Baba’s certificates and I found among them, his high school diploma from 1937, the one he’d told me about 30 years earlier, about the third division that had made no difference in his life or career. It had made me see beyond mere marks and first classes as the main road to success. But there was one more fact. Baba had actually got a first division, a rare achievement in his day. Today, years after his passing, when I think of Baba, I see a man who was able to sympathise with others so easily and touch their lives in such a special way.

1.1 On the basis of your understanding of the passage answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate options. 1×4 = 4

(a) Why was the narrator in tears when her school results came out?

(i) She did better than she expected.
(ii) She did not do as expected.
(iii) Her Baba had not done well.
(iv) Her Baba had done better than her.

(b) On knowing the result, how did the narrator’s father react?

(i) He scolded her.
(ii) He beat her.
(iii) He consoled her.
(iv) He made fun of her.

(c) Why did the narrator say that she had nothing to complain?

(i) She had done better than her father.
(ii) She had done as well as her father.
(iii) She had topped in her school.
(iv) She had not worked hard at all.

(d) Choose the option that is not correct.

(i) Baba was a senior official in the Indian Railway Service.
(ii) Baba was to become a director with the Railway Board.
(iii) Baba was the general manager of the Central Railways.
(iv) Baba had got a third division in high school

Ans. (a) (ii) She did not do as expected.

(b) (iii) He consoled her.

(c) (i) She had done better than her father.

(d) (iv) Baba had got a third division in high school.

1.2 Answer the following: 1×6 = 6

(a) Why did the narrator’s sick father want her to fetch files from his cupboard?

(b) Why did Baba buy Satish a watch?

(c) Why did the caterer not want to take money from the narrator?

(d) Why were the narrator and her brother surprised on meeting the parking assistant?

(e) Today years after his passing away what has the narrator realized about her Baba?

(f) What was the story that Baba had invented on the day the narrator’s results were published?

Ans. (a) – so that he could explain details of mother’s pension / he had cancer with 2 months to live

(b) – so that he was not late for work

(c) – father had lent him money to start his catering business / felt grateful to the narrator for what Baba had done for him

(d) – he started crying on learning of the father’s death / came to know that father had been helping his daughter by paying for her school fee and books

(e) – he had been a sympathetic man / had been able to touch people’s lives in a special way

(f) – that he had got a third division in high school

1.3 Find words from the passage that mean the same as the following: 1×2 = 2

(i) tension/anxiety (para 1)

(ii) servant (para 2)

Ans. (i) suspense / upset

(ii) retainer

2. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: 10

(1) As dusk falls the neon lights of the jewellery shops in Bowbazaar come alive but the lights have no effect on the face of Mahadeo Yadav who is seated on the footrest of his rickshaw that is parked by the road, feeling very sad. He is sitting on his feet, hugging his knees to keep himself warm in the biting cold, so weakened and lifeless as if he had been dead for days without anyone noticing.

(2) Who would after all notice a rickshaw puller, to check whether he is breathing or not? Yet when the same rickshaw puller goes about his work pulling his rickshaw like a horse, he becomes the most noticed man in Calcutta. He makes a great subject for photographers, writers and film-makers. He is the symbol of poor Calcutta. Many a famous actor has pulled the rickshaw in films set in the city.

(3) Calcutta is said to have about 6000 rickshaw pullers running on its roads, running mostly in its old neighbourhoods. They have something in common apart from their poverty. All of them come from the country side. All of them wear the lungi to work, perhaps for better movement. Almost all of them are elderly; I am yet to see a young man hand pulling a rickshaw. It can be a sad sight to watch a man almost as old as your father struggling his way through the roads dressed only in a vest and a lungi and often barefoot.

(4) Mahadeo Yadav, the rickshaw puller is in his seventies and has been pulling the same rickshaw in and around Bowbazaar for fifty years. For him, fifty years, half a century is not an achievement, but merely the time that has passed ever since he came to Calcutta to earn a living.

(5) He lives all alone in Calcutta, in a room in a nearby lane, paying a monthly rent of fifty rupees. He is out with his rickshaw between three in the afternoon and ten at night, sometimes earning sixty or seventy rupees a day and sometimes nothing.

Every month without fail he sends ` 300 to his wife back home, and once every year visits her. “I will pull the rickshaw as long as I can”, he says, “this is my only source of livelihood. These days I tire easily. Sometimes my feet hurt and sometimes my back. But do I have a choice?” He answers all my questions without looking at me even once, but continued to stare ahead blankly, his arms folded around his knees. I take a good look at his rickshaw: the two – the rickshaw and the rickshaw puller – make quite a pair.

2.1 Choose the correct alternatives from the options given below: 1×2 = 2

(a) A rickshaw puller is noticed only when he

(i) acts in a film.
(ii) becomes a subject for photographers.
(iii) sits all alone.
(iv) is old and tired.

(b) Pick out the statement which is not true.

(i) Most rickshaw pullers are old.
(ii) The rickshaw pullers earn very little.
(iii) Many renowned actors are rickshaw pullers.
(iv) They are neglected by people.

Ans. (a) (ii) becomes a subject for photographers.

(b) (iii) Many renowned actors are rickshaw pullers.

2.2 Answer the following questions: 1×6 = 6

(a) Why does Yadav “stare ahead blankly”?

(b) Why are rickshaw pullers known as the icons of poor Calcutta?

(c) Which instance tells you that Yadav loved his family?

(d) Where does Yadav stay?

(e) What comparison does the writer draw between the rickshaw and its puller?

(f) What do the rickshaw pullers have in common?

Ans. (a) – he is feeling sad / has no choice / is in pain / back hurts / rickshaw pulling only source of livelihood / feeling tired / future bleak / steeped in poverty

(b) – their poverty represents the poor of Calcutta / he makes a great subject for photographers, writers and film-makers

(c) – visited home once a year / sends Rs 300/- per month

(d) – in a room / in a nearby lane / Calcutta

(e) – rickshaw puller compared to horse with the rickshaw compared to a carriage/ the make quite a pair / both are old and withered

(f) – all hail from the countryside / all wear lungi / almost all are elderly / often barefoot / poor

2.3 Pick out words from the passage that mean the following: 1×2 = 2

(a) well-known (para 2)

(b) income (para 5)

Ans. (a) famous / most noticed

(b) livelihood / earning

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

Although stupidity is commonly defined as ‘a lack of normal intelligence’, stupid behaviour is not the behaviour of a person lacking in intelligence but the behaviour of a person not using good judgement or sense. In fact, stupidity comes from the Latin word that means ‘senseless’. Therefore, stupidity can be defined as the behaviour of a person of normal intelligence who acts in a particular situation as if he or she isn’t very bright. Stupidity exists at three levels of seriousness.

First is the simple, relatively harmless level. Behaviour at this level is often amusing. It is humorous when someone places the food from a fast food restaurant on the roof of the car while unlocking the door and then drives away with the food still on the roof. We call this absent-minded. The person’s good sense or intelligence was temporarily absent. At this level, other than passing inconvenience or embarrassment, no one is injured by the stupid behaviour.

The next type-serious stupidity-is more dangerous. Practical jokes such as putting sugar in the salt shakers are at this level. The intention is humorous, but there is a chance of harm. Irresponsible advice given to others is also serious stupidity. An example is the person who plays psychiatrist on the basis of an introductory psychology course or doing a TV program on psychiatry. The intention may be to help, but if the victim really needs psychiatric help an amateur will only worsen the situation.

Even worse is the third kind of stupidity. Kind people, who would never injure another living being, stupidly throw away a box of six-week-old kittens along a country road. Lacking the heart to kill the poor things, they sentence them to almost certain death from wild animals, infections, exposure or the wheels of a passing vehicle. Yet they are able to tell themselves that they will find nice homes’ or ‘animals can get along in the wild’. Another example of this kind of stupidity is the successful local businessman who tries to have as many office affairs as he can get away with.

He risks the loss of his business and his home. He fails to see that what he is doing is wrong. His is the true moral stupidity of a person not willing to think about the results of his actions or take responsibility for them. The common defence of a person guilty of stupidity is – ‘But I didn’t think….. ‘This, however, is not a proper excuse, especially when serious or harmful stupidity is involved.

(a) On the basis of your reading of the above passage, make notes on it using headings and sub-headings. Use recognizable abbreviations, wherever necessary. (5)


Distribution of Marks

Abbreviations / Symbols (with /without key) – any four


Content (minimum 3 headings and sub-headings, with proper indentation and notes)

Suggested Notes


Accept the notes and summary in the third person.

Also accept them written in the first person provided the format is

correct and content is covered properly.

Title: Facts about Stupid Behaviour / Stupidity / any other relevant title

1. Definition

1.1 common def.

1.1.1 lack of normal int.

1.1.2 behaviour without good judgement / sense

1.2 author’s def.

1.2.1 behaviour of normal int. not acting brightly

1.2.2 has 3 levels

2. Levels of Stupidity

2.1 1st level

2.1.1 simple

2.1.2 harmless

2.1.3 often amusing

2.1.4 absentmindedness

2.1.5 no one injured

2.2 2nd level

2.2.1 more dangerous

2.2.2 intention humorous but chance of harm

2.3 3rd level

2.3.1 worst

2.3.2 moral stupidity

2.3.3 unwilling to take responsibility

(b) Write a summary of the passage in not more than 80 words using the notes made and also suggest a suitable title. (3)

Ans. Summary

The summary should include all the important points given in the notes.



Advanced Writing Skills

4. An inter class drama competition is to be held in St. Stephens School, Visakapatanam. As Akash, Head Boy of the school draft a notice to be put up on the notice board inviting entries. Provide all necessary information in about 50 words. (4)


You have cleared your IIT Entrance Exam and so want to sell off the reading material you have with you. Write an advertisement to be placed in the ‘For Sale’ columns of a local daily giving all details of the material you have with you in not more than 50 words. You are Mohan/Mohini. Contact No. 9811111111.



The format should include: NAME OF THE INSTITUTION (ISSUING AUTHORITY) / NOTICE / TITLE, DATE, and WRITER‟S NAME WITH DESIGNATION. The candidate should not be penalized if he has used capital letters for writing a notice within or without a box.



– Suggested value points


– what – interclass drama competition

– when – day, date, time

– where – venue

– entries to be made

– to whom – by when

– any other relevant details

Suggested value points


– what – charity show in aid of cancer patients

– when – day, date, time

– where – venue

– entry fee

– inform students to make it a success

– any other relevant details





Suggested value points


– details of reading material

– condition

– expected price

– contact number

– any other relevant details

(due credit should be given for economy of words used)

Suggested value points


– details of watch – colour, make etc.

– approximate time it was lost

– approximate place it was lost

– reward to finder

– contact address

– any other relevant details

(due credit should be given for economy of words used)

5. You are Ketan Panday of 63, Civil Lines, Delhi. You saw an advertisement in The

Hindu for the post of accountant in a reputed firm. Write an application in

120-150 words to the area manager of Gayatri Consultants, 2, Barakhamba Road,

New Delhi, giving your detailed biodata. (6)


You are Ravikant, sports teacher of Sunshine Public School, Karol Bagh, Delhi. A

month ago you placed an order for the supply of a few sports goods. So far you have

not received the goods. Write a letter in 120-150 words to the Sales Manager,

Olympic Sports F-12 Darya Ganj, Delhi requesting a speedy delivery of the goods.


[Note: – No marks are to be awarded if only the format is given. Credit should be given for the candidate’s creativity in presentation of ideas. Use of both the traditional and the new format is permitted.]


1. sender’s address, 2. date, 3. receiver’s address, 4. subject / heading, 5. salutation, 6. complimentary close.



grammatical accuracy, appropriate words and spelling

coherence and relevance of ideas and style


Suggested value points

– details of education, qualifications and experience

– express desire to work

– detailed bio data

– any other relevant details



Suggested Value Points

– reference to the order placed (order details)

– mention about the delay

– request for speedy delivery

– any other relevant points

6. You are Dikshit, a sportsman, You are worried about the decreasing interest of

students in sports and games. Write an article in 150-200 words to be published in a

magazine on the need for sports and games. You are Amit/Anita. Use the hints given

below. (10)

  • sitting most of the time
  • excessive use of internet
  • most don’t walk to the school
  • more importance to examination results


The rising prices of essential commodities make life difficult for the common man.

As a concerned citizen write an article in 150-200 words on ‘Rising Prices’. Suggest

solutions to solve this problem. You are Amit/Anita.


Format (title and writers‟ name)



grammatical accuracy, appropriate words and spelling

coherence and relevance of ideas and style

Suggested Value Points

(NEED FOR SPORT AND GAMES/ any other suitable heading)

– improves physical and mental health

– learns to work in a team

– inculcates discipline

– increases self confidence

– no games leads to obesity, diabetes and other health problems

– sensitise parents

(any other relevant details)


Suggested Value Points

(RISING PRICES / any other suitable heading)

– life difficult for common people Reasons

– increase in cost of production and transportation / inflation


– provide commodities at a subsidised rate to BPL

– strict control of essential commodities

– hoarders to be penalised

(any other relevant details)

7. Outside the gate of your school there are a few food carts. They don’t observe strict hygienic standards. You have observed that so many of your students go to them immediately after the school is over. This can create health problems. As Principal write a speech in 150-200 words on ‘Healthy Food’ to be delivered in the morning assembly. (10)


Today’s children are not yet aware of many opportunities awaiting them after they complete their school education. As an academic counsellor give a talk to the students of St Antony’s School on the need for career guidance and how knowledge of the available careers can benefit the youth. Write the speech in 150-200 words.


Format (opening address and conclusion)



grammatical accuracy, appropriate words and spelling

coherence and relevance of ideas and style

Suggested Value Points


The problem

– a few food carts selling unhygienic food to students

– this may create health problems


– keeping the surroundings clean

– regular inspection

– effective waste management

– creating awareness

(any other relevant details)


Suggested value points:


– many children unaware of opportunities available to them

– knowing options helps them to choose

– able to take independent decisions regarding future

– need not succumb to peer and parental pressure

– decisions should be one’s own

– any other relevant details

(Literature: Text Books and Long Reading Text)

8. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow: (4)

‘It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.’

(a) Which exotic moment is referred to in these lines? (1)

(b) Why would that moment be strange? (1)

(c) What does the poet advocate in the poem? (1)

(d) What does the poet mean by the word, ‘engines’? (1)


And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

(a) Name the poem. (1)

(b) Who are the ‘mighty dead’ referred to here? (1)

(c) What is the endless fountain of immortal drink? (1)

(d) What does the word, ‘brink’ mean? (1)

Ans. (a) – moments when everyone keeps quiet and there are no movements

– Aunt‟s creation / knitted (embroidered) tigers on a screen

(b) – no rush or engines / it will happen for the first time / it will bring the whole humanity together

– green forest / tigers belong to the green forest

(c) – think before you act / introspect / save mankind from disaster / keep quiet for 12 seconds and introspect

– tigers – brave / dignified / chivalric / confident / immortal aunt – weak / frightened / lacking courage and confidence / mortal

(d) – machines / automobiles / factories etc.

– they are brave and fearless by nature / they are ferocious wild beasts


(a) – A Thing of Beauty

– not well lighted or ventilated / it was a class in some slum / the surroundings were grey / there weren‟t many bright students in the class

(b) – our ancestors / the people we respect / great people of the world

– a young, sweet boy unnoticed by others

(c) – stories told to us as children and interesting books we have read / all things of beauty which sustain mankind

– dreaming of squirrel’s games / dreaming of being like a squirrel in a tree room

(d) – an edge at the top / the point of onset / any other similar and relevant meaning

– An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum

9. Answer any four of the following questions in 30-40 words each: 3×4 = 12

(a) Why does Jo call the skunk’s mommy stupid?

(b) Why is Raj Kumar Shukla described as being ‘resolute’?

(c) What were the poet’s feelings as she drove to Kochi airport?

(d) Whom did M. Hamel blame for Franz’s inability to answer his questions?

(e) What lesson did Douglas learn when he got rid of his fear of water?

(f) Which important call did the governor receive when the examination was going on?

Ans. (a) – mommy hit the wizard and forced him to change the skunk’s smell / Jo thought mommy was stupid because if the skunk smells bad he would have no friends – moreover the wizard was hero to the little girl / mommy couldn’t understand why Roger skunk wanted to change his smell (any one)

(b) – had come to Congress session to complain about injustice of landlord system in Bihar

– asked to speak to Gandhi

– Gandhi told him of his appointments in Cawnpore and other parts of India

– Shukla accompanied him everywhere including his ashram near Ahmedabad

– did not leave Gandhiji‟s side for weeks begging him to fix a date for Champaran

– Gandhiji impressed asked him to meet him in Calcutta on a particular date and take him from there

– after months, on appointed date Gandhiji found him waiting at appointed spot and finally accompanied R K Shukla to Champaran (any two)

(c) – she watched her mother – dozing open-mouthed

– the thought that she looked old and withered – disturbed the poet

– she wondered whether her mother would still be alive on her return

– her childhood fears haunted her (any one)

(d) – Hamel blamed the parents who sent the children to work instead of sending them to school

– he also blamed himself for making them water the plants and giving them a holiday when he wanted to go fishing

– he blamed the students for delaying the learning of their lessons (thinking that there was plenty of time)

– the experience taught him that what we have to fear is fear itself and if that fear is overcome we can achieve anything we want (any one)

(f) – the first call was from the university regarding a correction slip which was not sent with the question paper

– the second call was supposedly from the magistrate’s office requesting for a van and two prison officers

10. Answer the following in 120-150 words: 6

“It is his karam, his destiny” that made Mukesh’s grandfather go blind. How did

Mukesh disprove this belief by choosing a new vocation and making his own destiny?


 To be grateful is a great virtue of a gentleman. How did the peddler show his

gratitude to Edla?

Ans. – Mukesh decided to become a motor mechanic

– had the courage to break free from the family lineage of bangle making

– had seen his parents and others suffer because of the vicious circle of poverty and exploitation

– was ready to walk a long distance to reach the garage to learn the vocation of car mechanic (any three points)


– Edla knew that her father was mistaken when he invited the peddler home thinking that he was his long lost friend

– knowing that he was a complete stranger and not a straight-forward man

– she invited him home and gave him food, shelter and clothes

– she begged her father not to send him away on Christmas eve when his real identity was discovered

– her kindness and sympathy brings out the goodness in the tramp

– he leaves a packet for her as Christmas gift

– it contains a rat trap and three ten kroner notes stolen from the crofter and a letter in which he signs himself as captain

– it was her concern and care which changed a tramp into a dignified captain (any three points)

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