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PRELIMS, 2020–21




18 DECEMBER 2020, 09:00 AM 18 DECEMBER 2020, 01:00 PM

Section-specific Email ids for sending answers of this PRELIMS:



1. The first page is the Instruction page. The set of questions starts from page 2.

2. The total duration of the Prelims includes 15 minutes reading time and 45 minutes
emailing time.

3. Write your Full Name, Class, Section, Student Id, Paper Name, Date and Page
Number on the top of each page of your answer script.

4. Name the answer file following the naming convention: <Class-Sec>-<Student Name>-

5. The single pdf file should be emailed to the following email id corresponding to your
Class-Section. The Email must have: <Class-Sec>-<Student Name>-<Subject>-
<Date> in the Subject Line.

The set of questions start from the next page…

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Prelims, 2020–21
Paper 1
Time: 3 hours Full Marks: 80

This Question Paper has 6 pages.

You should not write during the first 15 minutes, which should be spent in reading
the Question Paper.
The time given at the head of this Paper is the time allowed for writing answers.
Answer all the four questions.
Begin each answer on a fresh page.
Maximum marks for a question or a part of a question are given in brackets [ ].

Question No. 1 [20]

[ Do not spend more than 45 minutes in answering this question. ]

Write, in about 400–450 words, any one of the following compositions:

(a) Dreams

(b) Write an original short story incorporating the line:

‘There was dead silence when Rahul finished.’

(c) ‘We are the architects of our destiny.’


(d) ‘Life is better now than it has ever been.’

Give your views for or against this statement.

(e) How do you see yourself? Describe yourself, your surroundings, what you like
or dislike, and what makes you similar to or different from other people you know.

(f) Your uncle works for an NGO which looks after street children. He had invited
you to spend a day with him to see the work he does. Give an account of your
experience – the things you saw and did during the course of the day. What
effect did it have on you?

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Question No. 2 [25]

[ Do not spend more than 55 minutes in answering this question. ]

(a) A devastating cyclone has hit your city recently and has left a trail of destruction
in its wake. Write a report on the cyclone and its aftermath in about 300 words,
using the notes given below. You may include other relevant details.

cause of the cyclone – date and time when it struck – warning issued by the
meteorological department – intensity and wind velocity – destruction of
property and loss of life – panic among people – rescue and relief measures
undertaken by the administration – role of media – compensation announced
by the government [15]

(b) You are the Secretary of the School Debating Club. You wish to organize an
Inter-School Debate for senior school students. Write a proposal, in not more
than 150 words, about the event planned and the kind of participation you expect.

Question No. 3 [15]

[ Do not spend more than 30 minutes in answering this question. ]

Answer all the sections (a), (b) and (c).

(a) In each of the following pairs of sentences, A is complete, while B is not.

Complete B, making it as close in meaning as possible to A. In each case,
write only sentence B. [5]
(i) (A) Viruses are too small to be seen without a microscope.
(B) So small …
(ii) (A) The teacher demonstrated how the experiment should be performed.
(B) How the …
(iii) (A) Hilda did not mean to lie to Tom.
(B) Hilda had …
(iv) (A) What can be a more thrilling experience than being alone amidst the
magnificent Himalayas?
(B) Few …
(v) (A) The man said, ‘What an extraordinary success!’
(B) The man …

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(b) Fill in each blank with a suitable word. Write only the words; do not rewrite the
sentences. [5]
(i) She takes ______ her mother in all possible ways.
(ii) Ramesh has taken ______ computers like a duck to water.
(iii) Do not put ______ till tomorrow what can be done today.
(iv) I put ______ at my friend’s house for the night.
(v) Rishi has applied ______ a scholarship to an American University.
(vi) These rules apply only ______ those who are under eighteen years of age.
(vii) We must cut ______ on wasteful expenditure.
(viii) She was not cut ______ for the job of a teacher.
(ix) Ravi distributed the chocolates ______ his cousins.
(x) Lizzie is unusually tall ______ her age.

(c) Fill in each numbered blank with the correct form of the verb given in brackets
after it. Do not copy the passage, but write the numbers in the correct serial
order, and against each number, the form of the verb appropriate to the blank it
represents. [5]

John Boyd Dunlop, was the inventor of the pneumatic tyre. He was one of the
founders of the rubber company that (1) _______ (bear) his name: Dunlop
Pneumatic Tyre Company. He (2) _______ (born) on a farm in Dregham, in
Scotland on 5 February 1840. For generations, the occupation of his family was
(3) _______ (farm). John did not have the sturdy health which a farmer
(4) _______ (require). So, his parents let him study for some other profession.
John (5) _______ (interest) in animals and their diseases from childhood.
Therefore, he (6) _______ (choice) to study veterinary medicine. At the age of
19, he (7) _______ (qualify) as a veterinary surgeon. He was also (8) _______
(interest) in music and could play the violin well. Another talent he had was
(9) _______ (make) mechanical devices. At the age of 27, John moved to Belfast
in Ireland. He not only treated sick animals, but also (10) _______ (invent)
special medicines for them.

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Question no 4 [20]

[ Do not spend more than 50 minutes in answering this question. ]

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions (a), (b), and (c) that

I like an attic. Not to live in: as residences they are inconvenient. There is too much
getting up and down stairs connected with them to please me. The form of the ceiling
offers too many facilities for bumping your head and too few for shaving. And the note
of the tomcat, as he sings to his love in the stilly night, outside on the tiles, becomes
5 positively distasteful when heard so near.
No, for living in, give me a suite of rooms on the first floor of a Piccadilly mansion;
but for thinking in let me have an attic up ten flights of stairs in the densest quarter of
the city. There is a sublimity about their loftiness. I love to listen to the dull murmur of
the human tide ebbing and flowing ceaselessly through the narrow streets and lanes
10 below. How small men seem, how like a swarm of ants sweltering in endless
confusion on their tiny hill! How petty seems the work on which they are hurrying and
scurrying! How childishly they jostle against one another! They jabber and screech
and curse, but their puny voices do not reach up here. They fret, and fume, and rage,
and pant, and die; ‘but I, sit above it all; I am alone with the stars.’
15 The most extraordinary attic I ever came across was one a friend and I once
shared many years ago. Of all eccentrically planned things, from Bradshaw to the
maze at Hampton Court, that room was the most eccentric. The architect who
designed it must have been a genius, though I cannot help thinking that his talents
would have been better employed in contriving puzzles than in shaping human
20 habitations. No figure in Euclid could give any idea of the apartment. It contained
seven corners, two of the walls sloped to a point, and the window was just over the
fireplace. The only possible position for the bedstead was between the door and the
cupboard. To get anything out of the cupboard, we had to scramble out of the bed,
and a large percentage of the various commodities thus obtained was absorbed by
25 the bedclothes. Indeed, so many things were spilled and dropped upon the bed that
towards night-time it had become a sort of small cooperative store. Coal was what it
always had most in stock. We used to keep our coal in the bottom part of the
cupboard, and when any was wanted, we had to climb over the bed, fill a shovelful,

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and then crawl back. It was an exciting moment when we reached the middle of the
30 bed. We would hold our breath, fix our eyes upon the shovel, and poise ourselves for
the last move. The next instant we, and the coals, and the shovel, and the bed would
be all mixed up together.
I’ve heard of the people going into raptures over beds of coal. We slept in one
every night and were not in the least stuck up about it.
35 But our attic, unique though it was, had by no means exhausted the architect’s
sense of humour. The arrangement of the whole house was a marvel of originality.
All the doors opened outwards, so that if anyone wanted to leave a room at the same
moment that you were coming downstairs, it was unpleasant for you. There was no
ground floor – its ground floor belonged to a house in the next court, and the front door
40 opened direct upon a flight of stairs leading down to the cellar. Visitors, on entering
the house, would suddenly shoot past the person who had answered the door to them
and disappear down these stairs. Those of a nervous temperament used to imagine
that it was a trap laid for them, and would shout murder as they lay on their backs at
the bottom till somebody came and picked them up.
45 It is a long time ago now that I last saw the inside of an attic. I have tried various
floors since but I have not found that they have made much difference to me. Life
tastes much the same, whether we quaff it from a golden goblet or drink it out of a
stone mug. When we reside in an attic, we enjoy a supper of fried fish and stout.
When we occupy the first floor, it takes an elaborate dinner at the Continental to give
50 us the same amount of satisfaction.
[ Adapted from On Furnished Apartments by Jerome K. Jerome ]

(a) (i) Find words in the passage to match the following meanings – one word
for one meaning: [3]
(A) of such excellence, grandeur or beauty as to inspire admiration or awe
(B) small and weak
(C) feeling of intense pleasure or joy

(ii) Construct a sentence of not less than 10 words with each of the following
words taken from the passage. Each word must have a meaning different
from that it has in the passage. Do not change the form of any of the
words. [3]
(A) form (line 2) (B) just (line 21) (C) shoot (line 41)

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(b) Answer the following questions:
(i) According to the narrator, why are attics not suitable as residences? [2]
(ii) What does the narrator feel attics are suitable for? [2]
(iii) What makes the narrator say that ‘the arrangement of the whole house
was a marvel of originality’? [2]

(c) In not more than 100 words, describe the attic the narrator shared with a friend
once. Why was it difficult to take anything out from the cupboard, and what
would usually happen when any one of them tried to take coal out from it?

Write your answer in the form of a connected passage.

[ Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalized. ] [8]

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