March 2008 English

Section - A
(Reading Skill, Grammar, Vocabulary, Note-Making and Summary)
Q. 1 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
Government houses seldom came with fences. Mother and I collected twigs and built a small fence. After lunch, my mother would never sleep. She would take her kitchen utensils and she and I would dig the rocky, white ant-infested surroundings. We planted flowering bushes. The white ants once destroyed them. My mother brought ash from her chulha and mixed it in the earth and we planted the seedlings all over again. This time, they bloomed.
At that time, my father's transfer order came. A few neighbours asked my mother why she was taking so much pains to beautify a government house. Why was she planting seeds that would only benefit the next occupant? My mother replied that it did not matter to her that she would not see the flowers in full bloom. She said, "I have to create a bloom in a desert and whenever I am given a new place, I must leave it more beautiful than what I had inherited."
That was my first lesson in success. It is not about what you create for yourself, it is what you leave behind.
  1. What did the mother and the narrator dig? (1)
  2. What did the white ants destroy? (1)
  3. What did the mother mix in the earth? (1)
  4. Why did the mother beautify a government house? (2)
  5. How would you beautify your place of residence? (2)
  6. Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
    1. We planted flowering bushes.
(Rewrite the sentence beginning with 'Flowering bushes …….') (1)
    1. This time, they bloomed. (Add a question tag.) (1)
    2. At that time, my father's transfer order came. (Rewrite as complex sentence) (1)
(7) Find the words from the extract which mean: (i) rarely, (ii) termite (1)
(B) Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed: (4)
(1) ………. Yamuna is ……… tributary of the Ganges. (Rewrite using the appropriate articles.) (1)
(2) Most children remain ……… school ………. the tags of six and sixteen. (Rewrite using the appropriate prepositions.) (1)
(3) The doctor said, "I have given an injection and it will make you sleep." (Change it into Indirect Speech.) (2)
Q. 2 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
The capacity of human beings to savage the one world they have at their disposal can perhaps only astonish a passing extraterrestrial now, considering that it fails to have any effect on the majority of its own so called sapient denizens. But for what it's worth, the four-year-long Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's Summary report is out. It's the first comprehensive global biodiversity evaluation programme and the biggest review of the planet's life support system. Badly put, it says humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the last 50 years than in any other period of their existence. Also that more land has been converted to agriculture since 1945 than in the 18th and 19th centuries put together, resulting in substantial and largely irreversible loss in diversity of life on Earth. Up to 30% of the mammalian, bird and amphibian species are currently threatened with total extinction. That's enough evidence for experts to warn of the likelihood of potentially abrupt changes which could seriously affect human well-being including the emergence of new diseases, sudden changes in water quality, creation of 'dead zones' along coastlines and lifts in regional climate. More ominously, the assessment team warns that the ability of Earth's ecosystem to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.
  1. Which report is mentioned in the extract? (1)
  2. What can no longer be taken for granted? (1)
  3. Who can be astonished by the capacity of human beings to savage the one world they have at their disposal? (1)
  4. Why are the 30% of mammalian, bird and amphibian species threatened with total extinction? (2)
  5. Do you think that the degradation of environment is adversely affecting life on earth? If so, why? If not, why? (2)
  6. Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
    1. It is the biggest review of planet's life support systems.
(Rewrite in the Comparative Degree.) (1)
    1. More ominously, the assessment team warns that the ability of Earth's ecosystem to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.
(Rewrite using the Noun Form of the underlined word.) (1)
    1. That's enough evidence for experts to warn of the likelihood of potentially abrupt changes which could seriously affect human well-being.
(Rewrite the sentence removing 'which') (1)
(7) Match the words in column 'A' with the meanings in column 'B': (1)
  1. evidence
  2. converted
    1. changed
    2. sorted
    3. proof
    4. statement
(B) Note-making: (4)
Read the following extract and make a note of it with the help of clues provided:
With the advent of aviation in the early 20th century, clouds were classified into three main types, according to height and appearance.
High-altitude clouds are wispy and thin, and composed of tiny ice crystals, with their bases 5 - 12 km (16,000 - 39,000 ft.) above ground. They are known as cirrostratus, cirrus and cirrocumulus. Sheet or lump-like, mid-level clouds at 2 - 5 (7,000 - 16,000 ft.) presage rain or snow. They are altostratus, cumulonimbus and altocumulus. Low- lying clouds below 2 km (7,000 ft.) are heap- like, or form sheets. These are stratocumulus, cumulus, nimbostratus and stratus. Cloud bases can, however, be affected by location, season, or time of day.
Sr. No.
Types of clouds
Height/ Level
Known as
Q. 3 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (11)
When one of India's most famous monuments needs a makeover what's the best way to do it? Give it a mudpack facial. The Archaeological Survey of India, which is responsible for the upkeep of the Taj Mahal is taking recourse to a pack of Multani mitti to restore the yellowing monument to its pristine white beauty.
Multani Mitti; a lime-rich clay which takes its name from a place in Pakistan where it is abundant, has been used for years by Indian women as a beauty treatment. Now, it's going to give Shahjahan's marvel in marble - which was recently voted as 'one of the new seven wonders of the world'- it's sheen back. In a couple of months, say ASI officials, a sterilised version of this mud will be applied to the mausoleum, left to dry for a couple of days until it flakes off and then the Taj will be washed clean with salt free water. The result? A sparkling white Taj sans the years of polluting build-up that have changed its colour. "It's a non-abrasive formula that won't do any damage to the monument and will remove accretionary deposits," said a senior ASI official.
(1) What is the effect of pollution on Taj? (1)
(2) What is the Archaeological Survey of India responsible for? (1)
(3) Why are the ASI officials taking recourse to Multani mitti? (1)
(4) What would be the procedure adopted by the ASI officials? (2)
(5) What suggestions would you give for the upkeep of our famous monuments? (2)
(6) Rewrite the following sentences in the ways instructed:
(i) What is the best way to do it?
(Rewrite using the 'gerund' form of the underlined infinitive.) (1)
(ii) The Taj will be washed clean with salt free water.
(Rewrite using a modal auxiliary showing 'obligation.') (1)
(iii) Multani mitti takes its name from a place in Pakistan.
(Rewrite using Present Perfect Tense.) (1)
(7) Give meanings of: (i) abundant, (ii) sans (1)
(B) Summary: (4)
Write a summary of the above extract focussing on the work of the Archaeological Survey of India. Suggest a suitable 'title' for the extract.
Section - B: Poetry
Q. 4 Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (8)
When the things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must …… but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow ……
You might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
  1. How is life described in the above lines? (1)
  2. Why does the poet advise not to give up? (2)
  3. What do you do to get rid of tension? (2)
  4. Write rhyme scheme and rhyming words of the first stanza. (1)
  5. What is the impact of the poem on you? Why is it so? (2)
Section - C: Rapid Reading and Composition
Q. 5 (A) Read the following extract and answer the questions given below: (4)
But he had not gone very much further when, all of a sudden, clear out of the blue, there was something wrong; he could feel it. At first it was only a feeling, a suspicion; then it grew and thickened in him, it began whispering in his ear 'Don't go!' It swelled
He felt himself getting goose-pimples when he started to take a few steps further.
Then he saw that there were no flying curtains beckoning to him and all the windows were closed; the flowers and plants were drooping in a pathetic sort of way. And he had a sudden and full recollection; that he was not living there any more but up the hill at his aunt's; that the house was empty and his mother had died one week ago. At first, he just stood still, looking, not knowing what he should do. There was a big lump in his throat and he felt like crying. Then tears came into his eyes and he wanted to cry a lot. But he could only cry quietly.
  1. Where was the boy living? (1)
  2. In what condition were the flowers and plants? (1)
  3. Why did the boy feel like crying? (2)
  1. Composition: (4)
Imagine that you were the boy in the story and rewrite the above given extract in your own words.
Section - D: Written Skills
Q. 6 (A) Letter Writing - Write any ONE of the following letters: (4)
Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper highlighting the water pollution problem in your area.
Your friend has appeared for the S.S.C. examination. He has been suffering from illness and now, does not want to appear but quit.
Write a letter encouraging him / her and do the best in the examination without wasting a valuable year.
(B) Write on any ONE of the following items as direct: (4)
Write a tourist leaflet about any hill station with the help of the following points:
    1. How to go there?
    2. Where to stay?
    3. Places worth seeing.
    4. Anything special about the place.
(C) Read the following table and prepare a short paragraph regarding the formation of different types of soil: (4)
Sr. No.
Types of Soil
Laterite soil
Sandy desert soil
Black cotton soil
Alluvial soil
Washing of silica, salt, organic matter, accumulation of sesqui oxides.
The action of winds.
Mechanical weathering of igneous rocks
Depositing processes of rivers.
Imagine you are a class-representative. Your college has arranged for 'Blood Donation Camp' Write a speech, appealing the students to donate blood generously for a good cause.
Q. 6 (A) Essay Writing: (7)
Write an essay on any ONE of the following in about 250 words:
  1. My Idea of Happiness.
  2. A Journey by Train.
  3. Role of Mobiles in the Modern World.

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