CBSE Class 12 Half Yearly Question Paper

Subject: English
Academic Year: 2014 – 2015

General Instructions:

  1. This paper is divided into three sections : A,B and C, All the sections are compulsory.
  2. Attempt the paper in the order of the questions given in the question paper.
  3. All the answers must be correctly numbered as in the question paper and written in the answer sheet.
  4. Leave one line after every answer.
  5. Do not exceed the word limit.

Section – A (Reading Unseen Passages and Note Making) 30 Marks

1. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

1. So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingly less dependent on specialized labour. No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer; for there are countless do-it yourself publications. Armed with the right tools and materials, newly-weds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes. Men of all ages spend hours of their leisure installing their own fire-places, laying out their own gardens; building garages and making furniture. Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to make their own record players and radio transmitters. Shops cater for the do-it yourself craze rot only by running special advisory services for novices, but by offering consumers bits and pieces which they can assemble at home. Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent-up creative energy, but unfortunately not all of us are born handymen.

2. Wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and versatile. Even husbands who can hardly drive a nail in straight are supposed to be born electricians, carpenters, plumbers and mechanics. When lights fuse, furniture gets rickety, pipes get clogged, or vacuum cleaners fail to operate, wives automatically assume that their husbands will somehow put things right. The worst thing about the do-it yourself game is that sometimes husbands live under the delusion that they can do anything even when they have been repeatedly proved wrong. It is a question of pride as much as anything else.

3. Last spring my wife suggested that I call in a man to look at our lawn mower. It had broken down the previous summer, and though 1 promised to repair it, I had never got round to it. I wouldn’t hear of the suggestion and said that I would fix it myself. One Saturday afternoon I hauled the machine into the garden and had a close look at it. I was not at all iffy about my skills and observed it as like a professional technician would have eyed it I moved all around the machine to analyse its every groove and bolt. After an hour’s scrutiny, I decided to work hands-on the machine. To me overall the machine only needed a minor adjustment; a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and It would be as good as new. I did not waste more time in reevaluating my decisions making skills and sat down to mend it out. Inevitably the repair job was not quite so simple. The mower firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it. The garden was soon littered with chunks of metal which had once made up Co lawn mower. But I was extremely pleased with myself. I had traced the cause of the trouble. One of the links in the chain that drives the wheels had snapped.

But the mess all around me filled me with fear. For one moment lily own decision of getting it repaired myself irked me a lot. But the other moment, I despised it and moved ahead all full of confidence. I decided to go to the market to buy a new chain. But. oops! Whom and where to go to. I wasn’t very much aware of the market too. I quietly called up my servant. Quietly because 1 did not want to be laughed at, and in no way by my wife. I gathered the required information from him and got all set to browse the nearby market I went into the hardware shop to get a new chain.

4. After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again. I was not surprised to find that the machine still refused to work after I had reassembled it, for the simple reason that I was left with several curiously shaped bits of metal which did not seem to fit anywhere. I gave up in despair, The weeks passed and the grass grew. When my wife nagged me to do something about it, 1 told her that either I would have to buy a new mower or let the grass grow. Needless to say that our house is now surrounded by a jungle. Buried somewhere In deep grass there is a rusting lawn mower which I have promised to repair one day.

1.1 On the basis of your reading of the passage. answer the following questions by choosing the best of the given choices. 11 Marks

(a) Shops that cater to the do-it-yourself craze provide ……… (1)

(i) advisory services and record players.
(ii) bits and pieces to assemble and building garages
(iii) advisory services and bits and pieces to assemble
(iv) bits and pieces to assemble and building garages

(b) According to the writer. the serviceable lawn mower needed ………. . (1)

(i) to be laid out in the garden
(ii) a replacement of the old link in the chain
(iii) a tightening of the machine
(iv) dismantling of its steel

(c) The writer could not buy a new chain for the lawn mower because ……… (1)

(i) he did not know from whom and where to buy it
(ii) he needed his servant to buy it
(iii) he needed to gather more information
(iv) there was no hardware shop in the vicinity

1.2 Answer the following questions briefly.

(a) Why do people not rely on specialised labour so much nowadays, according to the writer ? (2)
(b) What do wives tend to believe about their husbands ? (1)
(c) Why do husbands think that they can do anything even when proved otherwise ? (1)
(d) What is the disadvantage of do-it yourself game ? (1)

1.3 Find words in the passage which mean the same as: (3)

(a) beginners (para 1)
(b) zealous (para 1)
(c) break (para 3)

2. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

1. Punctuality is a necessary habit in all public affairs of a civilised society. Without it nothing could ever be brought to a conclusion, everything would be in a state of chaos. Only in a sparsely populated rural community it is possible to disregard it. In ordinary living there can be some tolerance of unpunctuality. The intellectual, who is working on some abstruse problem, has everything coordinated and organised for the matter in hand. He is therefore forgiven if late for the dinner party. But people are often reproached for unpunctuality when their only fault is cutting things fine. It is hard for energetic, quick-minded people to waste time, so they are often tempted to finish a job before setting out to keep an appointment. If no accidents occur on the way, like punctured tyres, diversion of traffic, sudden descent of fog, they will be on time. They are often more industrious useful citizens than those who are never late. The over-punctual can as much be a trial to others as the unpunctual. The guest who arrives half an hour too soon is the greatest nuisance. Some friends of my family had thrs irritating habit The only thing to do was to ask them to come half an hour later than the other guests. Then they arrived just when we wa1ted them.

2. If you are catching a train, it is always better to be comfortably early than even a fraction of a minute too late. Although being early may mean wasting a little time, this will be less than if you miss the train and have to wait an hour or so for the next one. And you avoid the frustration of arriving at the very moment when the train is drawing out of the station and being unable to get on it. And even a harder situation is to be on the platform in good time for a train and still to see it go off without you. Such an experience befell a certain young girl the first time she was travelling alone.

3. She entered the station twenty minutes before the train was due, since her parents had impressed upon her that it would be unforgivable to miss it and cause the friends with whom she was going to stay to make two journeys to meet her. She gave her luggage to a porter and showed him her ticket To her horror he said that she was two hours too soon. She felt in her handbag for the piece of paper on which her father had written down all the details of the journey and gave it to the porter. He agreed that a train did come in the station at the time on the paper and that it did stop, but only to take on water, not passengers. The girl asked to see a timetable, feeling sure that her father could not have made such a mistake. The porter went to fetch one and arrived back with the station-master, who produced it with a flourish and pointed out ~ microscopic ‘0’ beside the time of the arrival of the train at his station. This little ‘0’ indicated that the train only stopped for water. Just at that moment the train came into the station. The girl, tears streaming down her face, begged to be allowed to slip into the guard’s van. But the station-master was adamant: rules cannot be broken. And she had to watch that train disappear towards her destination while she was left behind.

1.1 On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the best of the given choices. 11 Marks

(a) A person arriving late for a dinner party is forgiven if he …….. (1)

(i) is from a rural background
(ii) is an intellectual working on some abstruse problem
(iii)has been an industrious and useful citizen
(iv) is in the habit of arriving half an hour before time

(b) The girl had arrived at the station 20 minutes earlier ….. (1)

(i) as her parents had instructed her likewise
(ii) she wanted to be there to see the train go off
(iii) to give her luggage to the porter
(iv) she wanted to slip into the guard room

(c) The ‘O’ in the timetable indicated ….. (1)

(i) the train would not halt in that station
(ii) it was just a stopover to pick up railway staff
(iii) the train only stopped for water
(iv) the station master could apply the rules

1.2 Answer the following questions briefly.

(a) Why is punctuality necessary in a civilised society? (1)
(b) What are the dangers of leaving the bare minimum of time for appointments? (1)
(c) The over-punctual can be as much a trial to others as the unpunctual. Why? (1)
(d) Why did the author’s family ask some guests to come half an hour later than others? (1)
(e) Why do energetic, quick-minded people arrive late for appointments? (2)

1.3 Find words in the passage which mean the same as ….. (3)

(a) blamed (para 1)
(b) hardworking (para 1)
(c) thinly (para 1)

3. Read the following passage carefully : ….. 8 Marks

The day the child is born, the parents dream of making it a doctor, engineer, architect, or an lAS. As the child develops, the hopes and aspirations of parents also develop. They want to see their children earning a handsome amount of money.

Having an ideal career is a dream for all and as parents of a teenager, thoughts of your child’s career may not be very far from your mind. Most youngsters at that age, however, wrongly believe that they are at the beginning of their career path. But they have been on that road for years – their school studies, recreational activities and hobbies help a child gravitate towards its interests. These interests must drive their ambitions.

Gone ore the days when one began and ended one’s professional career at the same job. Getting a job is no longer as important as choosing the right career path – one that promises more personal satisfaction and growth, and of course earnings that will let them live a good life. Sf) making a wise choice becomes all the more important. Developing a keen self-knowledge is essential to making the right career decisions. But all youngsters are not so self-aware. In fact many of them admit that they need help in planning there careers. Inexperienced, unsure and ill-informed, young people must turn to others for help. And though career counsellors at school are helpful, experts agree that parents are the number one influence on a child’s choice of career, Sadly many parents are not themselves very sure about how best they can help. Many parents mistakenly try to “teh” kids – directly or indirectly – about the kind of expectations they have with regard to the child’s choice of career. The chances are that the child ends up following its parents’ dream, not Its own, will not be a happy, satisfied professional in its adult life. HA child relies on Information from peers when it comes to career options. But a parent has many options to get and pass on details about various career options. Parents must guide their wards and allow them to make an informed decision,” says S.C.Moha, executive director of the All India Management Association (AlMA).

(a) On the basis of your reading of the above passage, make notes using headings and sub-headings. Use, recognisable abbreviations, wherever necessary (minimum 4). Lise a format you consider suitable. Also supply an appropriate title to it. (5)

(b) Write a summary of the above passage in 80 words. (3)

Section – B (Writing Skills) 30 Marks

4. As the cultural Secretary of your school, write a notice Informing the students of VI to XI classes about the selections for annual day cultural programme. Selections will be done by famous dancer, Vaibhavi Merchant. Sign yourself as Meera Marwah. (4)

5. You are leepakshi Kapoor. You have completed Your graduation and Wish to join a course in web designing. Write a letter of enquiry addressed to the Chairman , The Web World Institute , 19, Saket , New Delhi, asking for the relevant details (6)

6. Due to massive influx of population into all major cities of the country, the management of traffic h05 become a serious problem. To tackle it needs planning and specialized training for the traffic personnel. Write in article in 150·200 words on the problems of traffic jams in bigger
cities of the country and how to tackle them. (10)

7. These days young boys and girls are getting attracted towards the call centre jobs offered by multinational companies. These jobs offer attractive pay packages but at the some time pose a lot of health problems too. On the occasion of World Health Day, prepare a speech for the morning assembly on the topic ‘ Youth Employment – A Health Hazard. You are Aditi Bhatnagar, the School Captain. (word limit 150-200) (10)

Section – C (literature) 28 Marks

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

Perhaps thc Earth can “each us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive,
Now I’ll count up to twelve.
and you keep quiet find I will go.

1. Explain the figure of speech used in the first line. (1)
2. What can the ‘Earth’ teach us? Why? (1)
3. What does the poet ask everyone to do? Why? (2)


Unless , governor, inspector, visitor
This map becomes their window and these windows
That shut upon their lives like catacombs,
Break O Break open till they break the town

I. What do the windows and the map symbolize? (1)
II. What role should the governor, inspector and visitor play ? (1)
III. Explain the reference to ‘catacombs’. (2)

9. Answer the following questions In about 50-60 words each: 4 * 3=12 marks

I. What does the WI Iter mean when she says’ “Saheb Is no longer his own master” ?
II. How did the incident at the Y.M.C.A. pool affect William Douglas later in his life?
III. Why did Jo think Rogf.’r Skunk W3!. better off with the new smell ?
IV. Why did the servants leave Dr. Sadao’s house?

10. Answer any one of the following in about 150 words each : (6)

How did Douglas overcome his fear of water?


Do You think the doctor’s final solution to the problem was the best possible one in the Circumstances:Answer with reference to the chapter ‘The Enemy’.

11. “It takes longer to build a School ”

After reading the story ot Saheb’s sad predicament, you are forced to examine the tact that you are among the privileged in our society and that you have a responsibility towards those like Saheb, You realize that young people like yourself can actually make a valuable contribution by teaching street children who are unable to go to school. Write an article for your school magazine in about 120 – 150 words talking about the virtues of a literate society urging young people to take on the onus of educating at least one to two children. (6)

Long Reading Text – Novel

The Invisible Man (12 Marks)

12. Give the character sketch of Mrs.Hali. (6)

13. Why did the stranger decide to go to I ping village? (6)

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