ExamUnderstanding the New ICSE English Board Exam Pattern for Class X

We'll break down the mark distribution for ICSE English Language and Literature papers for grade X. We will also explain what each paper will require and the mark distribution in detail.

Student Writing Exam

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80+20 Exam Pattern

Both the papers will be for 80 marks, lasting for 75 minutes.

Remaining 20 marks will be based on the internal assessment.

English Language Paper (80 marks)

This paper consists of 5 questions:

  • Composition
  • Letter Writing
  • Email/Notice
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar Questions
English Literature (80 marks)

Section A- 16 MCQs. It is mandatory to attempt all questions.
Section B, C & D consists of reference to context (RTC) questions from literature texts. Students need to pick one from each section.

Detailed Overview of Language Paper

Q1 Composition

  • Word Count: Write a composition of about 300–350 words.
  • Choice of Subjects: Choose from various subjects to test your abilities in organizing, describing, narrating, reporting, explaining, persuading, arguing, and presenting ideas coherently.
  • Skills Tested:
    • Organize ideas with accuracy and precision.
    • Compare and contrast ideas and draw conclusions.
    • Present relevant arguments.
    • Use correct style and format.
    • Use appropriate syntax, punctuation, grammatical constructions, and spelling.

Q2 Letter Writing

Students can choose between two questions, either a formal or informal letter. The evaluation will include assessing the letter's structure, encompassing elements like the address, introduction, conclusion, etc.

You can practice Letter Writing using our Exercises section and view the ideal answers as well.

Q3 Notice & E-Mail

Students will be given a designated scenario and will need to:

(a) Compose the text for a notice following provided instructions.
(b) Write an email conveying the same information as the notice.

For more practice please check our writing exercises page and also view the right answers for free.

Q4 Unseen Passage

  • The examination will contain an unseen prose passage containing approximately 450 words.
  • A specific question will assess candidates' vocabulary comprehension, requiring them to demonstrate an understanding of words and phrases in their given context.
  • A few short-answer questions related to the passage will evaluate candidates' skills in comprehending explicit content, identifying organizational structures, and making inferences regarding information, intention, and attitude.
  • The final question will involve summarization, challenging candidates to distinguish main ideas from supporting details and articulate key points concisely.

Q5 Grammar

Several short-answer questions will assess candidates' proficiency in functional grammar, language structure, and usage. All items within this question set are mandatory and will cover the proper use of prepositions, verbs, and sentence transformations.

Detailed Overview of Literature Paper

Syllabus to be covered in Class X ICSE

1. Drama

The Merchant Of Venice (Shakespeare’s unabridged play by A.W. Verity) - Acts 3, 4 & 5

2. Poetry

3. Prose (short stories)

Treasure Trove - A collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories (Evergreen Publications)

Question Patterns

Section A- MCQs

It will be based on all chapters including the drama.

Section B, C & D- Reference to Context Questions

  • Drama and Prose (Short Stories) Questions set will be central to the text.
  • Students will be required to show that they have understood the passage and are able to clearly give their interpretation of the questions set, which should be in their own words and relevant to the text.
  • A poem, or passages from poems, will be given and questions will be set to test the candidates’ response to the poem. The questions will focus on the content, understanding and the personal response of candidates to the poem as a whole.

You can learn the literature chapter with Aneetta Class’s free in-depth analysis. Click here to start your journey to excellence.

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