ICSE Class 9 English Language Sample Question Paper 1 with Answers
[Max Marks : 80
- Answers to this Paper must be written on the paper provided separately.
- You will not be allowed to write during the first 15 minutes.
- This time is to be spent in reading the question paper.
- The time given at the head of this Paper is the time allowed for writing the answers.
- Attempt all five questions.
- The intended marks for questions or parts of questions are given in brackets [ ].
- You are advised to spend not more than 30 minutes in answering Question 1 and 20 minutes in answering Question 2.
- For Email and Notice Writing, anyone format may be followed, both are acceptable.
(Do not spend more than 30 minutes on this question.)
(i) Write a composition (300 – 350 words) on any one of the following : 
(a) Write an original short story which clearly illustrates the friendship between a boy and his dog.
(b) You mistakenly went to your school on a day which was a holiday. Everything was closed and the school was empty. Write a description of what you saw and heard. What were your feelings at the end of the visit?
(c) Your room has been very untidy for a long time and your parents have been urging you to tidy it. Narrate your experience of cleaning and tidying your room. What did this experience teach you?
(d) Express your views either for or against the statement:
“Life’s best lessons are learnt from friends.”
(e) Study the picture given below. Write a short story or a description or an account of what it suggests to you. Your composition may be about the subject of the picture or you may take suggestions from it; however, there must be a clear connection between the picture and your composition.
An Unconditional Friendship
(a) Kenneth was a little boy who loved animals especially dogs. He loved being with them and enjoyed playing with puppies the most. He would always hold them, every time he saw one, stray or otherwise. There was a dog in the campus where he lived. It belonged to a Korean family but was allowed to roam freely in the campus.
Kenneth’s family called her ’Wolfe’ because she resembled a wolf. She had a salt and pepper coat and seemed to be of a mixed breed; but she was the gentlest dog there could be. She always came to Kenneth’s house and sat there at their door everyday irrespective of the weather. The interesting part was Wolfe went to her owner’s place when they would come to their house or leave. She was faithful to them, but she seemed to find comfort at Kenneth’s place.
Kenneth played with her, sat next to her and sometimes on her. She was always gentle with him. Kenneth talked to her as if she was his own friend and the best part was, she slept in Kenneth’s house quite often.
In two years, Kenneth’s sister was born. Soon his sister started crawling around and Wolfe was there to play with her too. She too would sit on Wolfe and Wolfe would do nothing to topple the baby off. It was always wonderful to watch Wolfe and the kids play together. This went on for a few years and Wolfe would come to Kenneth’s house bringing in comfort. Her quiet presence seemed a surety until she passed away one night.
Wolfe passed away near the window of Kenneth’s bedroom and that left a deep mark on all those who loved her especially Kenneth and his family. It took some time to heal and soon things changed when Kenneth got a puppy called Pepper.
My School on a Holiday
(b) My dad and mom had gone on a vacation and as it was school time I had to stay back and study. I enjoyed the first few days of freedom as there was no one to be at my back all the time. I enjoyed the food our helping maid prepared because she made all my favourite dishes. I enjoyed school and mostly because I got to do my work in peace at home. I studied and listened to music and had fun.
I met my friends, played and watched movies. All of this was going well and soon I developed a routine.
One day, when I reached the school, I found all the gates locked with a lone watchman there. I wondered what had happened and when I asked the security guard what had happened, he smiled and told me that it was a holiday due to a local festival. I looked at him sheepishly and told him that I had forgotten about it as I was busy having fun by myself.
I parked my cycle and looked around the campus and realised that the school did look amazing. The forest had flowered spreading out like a coloured carpet; red and yellow across the campus. I heard the seven sisters chirping and hopping around and it was great to see the birds flitting around freely as there was no one.
The quietness was peaceful which made me realise how privileged I was to study in such a school. As I pondered upon this serene place, I went out counting my blessings, which many children do not have.
My Experience of Tidying My Room One Day
(c) The first thing you would notice in my room would be things strewn all around. Cleaning was one thing I did not like to do and like all mothers, my mother too liked to run a tight ship, but I was a hindrance to all that because every time she cleaned my room, I messed it up again.
It was not that I did not like cleanliness, it was just that I believed I found order in chaos. I knew or thought I knew where everything was and it would not be difficult to find anything. With holidays around the comer and my cousins visiting our home, my mother gave me a deadline to clean the room as I had to share my room with my cousins.
I had no clue from where to begin, so I started picking up things from all over and sorting them out. I found there were quite a bit of dirty clothes thrown around and I felt ashamed that there were stinking clothing flung all around the room. I put all the dirty ones for washing and soon kept all the things in the right place. I found a lot of things I did not use and so, I packed them up according to their usage and asked my mom to give the rest away to clarify.
I recognised that I had more than enough space once things were cleared. I spruced up the room with some DIY decor and bingo ! My room was as good as new. I felt great that I had accomplished something and was very glad when my mother told me that she would consider allowing me to paint the room in the colour T like and I could do it on my own. I love such challenges.
Life’s Best Lessons are Learnt from Friends
(d) (i) For the Motion
Friends make up for the most important part of our lives. The friends we make in our childhood mean a lot as we appreciate every moment with them. Time with friends when young is all about petty fights, sleepovers, picnics and playing endlessly.
Friends are there when it is time to play and also when we are hurt and want to share our burdens. Friends teach us about ‘trust’. We can share our deepest thoughts and feelings with our friends without the fear of being judged.
Friends are encouraging and when we are depressed they are present to support us. Friends inspire us to be the best version of ourselves. One also learns that one is never alone when he/she is with friends. Friends are present in times of need, to share one’s joys arid sorrows. Problems become lighter when friends care for each other.
There is nothing greater than having a friend with whom we can share our feelings and secrets.
Friends teach us about many things in life. Life’s lessons about trust, faith, love, courage etc., are developed along the path of friendship. Friends enrich our lives with happiness and add so much meaning and blessing to our lives.
(ii) Against the Motion
“A friend in need is a friend indeed”. This is a quote we often hear especially in negative situations. But sometimes friends pull out in the last minute and leave us in the lurch. It is also an irony that some of the negative issues also teach us certain lessons.
Though friends are present most of the times, it is the family that one turns to when one is in dire need. Friends knowingly or unknowingly bring us down by not paying attention to us or not being there when we need them the most. In times of need when we need someone to encourage or console us, it is the family that steps in at such moments.
Most often friends make us do things which are inappropriate that we might regret later in our lives. For example, a friend might ask us to take drugs or cheat, which can ruin our character and steer us to the path where we are not supposed to go.
Friends who are not loyal will never praise the good efforts we put in and discourage us to do things that are beneficial for us in the long run. Friends can push us away by repetitively being mean to us where we might feel frustrated causing us to drift away. We might also pick up the bad influence subconsciously, changing everything within us. We might become more like them than who we really are. Thus, it can be said that some bad lessons in life are learnt from friends.
(e) The picture suggests that there is joy in learning and children thrive when a learning environment is provided for them. The broad spectrum that involves acquiring skills and gaining knowledge is called education. Every child has the right to education and in India there are laws to promote individual freedom and empowerment which is possible only through education.
In our country, it is essential that every child between the age of 6 and 14 years is educated of age and it is a matter of pride as we are among the 135 nations to make education a fundamental right. This makes it imperative that the state governments ensure the completion of elementary education for every child.
This also means that even private schools have to take in 25% of their admissions under the Education Act and it should be made free.
This picture is indeed pleasing and delightful to see children learning especially a girl. This should motivate everyone to ensure that every girl child is educated in the country. Both the government and private schools should make it their mission to provide education for all the children including every girl child until it becomes a reality and not a privilege.
(Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this question.)
Select any one of the following : 
(a) You have behaved very rudely to a friend. Write a letter to him/her apologizing for the rude behaviour. Explain what happened and tell him/her what you plan to do to make amends.
(b) You are in charge of the Nature Club in your locality. Write a letter to the Secretary of the Sports Club in the neighbourhood requesting permission to hold a Nature Fest on the club grounds nearby. Give details of your plans for the event.
F Block, Anna Nagar East,
15th May, 20xx
I am not even sure how to approach you again after the way I behaved with you and uttered all those mean things to you. I have no excuse to justify what I did, but I am extremely sorry that I behaved in an inappropriate manner and I hope that you will forgive me for what I did. I wish to mend the situation by taking you out for dinner. I also want to promise you that I will not let my temper and emotions get the better of me, and will try to be honest and open with you.
I hope that you will forgive me and accept my apology.
Please let me know if we can make it to the dinner.
G Block, K. K. Nagar,
15th May, 20xx
Subject: Request for organising ‘Nature Fest’
I an writing on behalf of the Nature Club in K. K. Nagar and we are looking forward to host a Nature Fest on June 5, 20xx, as a part of our anniversary celebrations. I request you to give us the permission to use the club grounds for this purpose.
We would like to use the premises from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. We also need a power source for the PA system and fans. We promise to give back the premises to you as clean as possible as we believe in doing what we can to keep the environment clean. Looking forward to hear from you.
Incharge of Nature Club
(a) Your school is hosting an Inter-school music competition. Write a notice to be put up in your school informing students about the event and inviting them to participate in the Inter-school music competition. 
SA RE GA MA MUSIC FEST Inter-school Music Competition
Date : Wednesday, 25 September, 20xx Time : 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Venue : Stephen Miller’s Hall of St. Joseph’s School
Interested students from class III to XII may register with the Cultural Secretary, Vivekni Mishra on or before 15 September, 20xx
(b) Write an e-mail to the Principal of a neighbouring school requesting him/her to send a team to participate in the event. 
To : firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Inter-school Music Competition
I am Ankit Shah, the Cultural Secretary of the Student Council, St. Joseph’s School, We are celebrating its 20th anniversary and as part of the celebrations we are hosting an after-school Music Competition. It will he held on 25th of September, 20xx, from 3 p.m. am and 8 p.m. at the Stephen Miller’s Hall of St. Joseph’s School.
We request you to send two teams of five students each from classes III to XII participate in the event. The themes for the event are contemporary and fusion. We look forward to your school’s participation in the competition.
Cultural Secretary, Student Council
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow :
With dry lips, parched throat, and ink-stained fingers, and exhaustion on one side and exaltation on the other, Swaminathan strode out of the examination hall on the last day.
Standing in the veranda, he turned back and looked into the hall and felt slightly uneasy. He would have felt more comfortable if all the boys had given their papers as he had done, twenty minutes before time. With his left shoulder resting against the wall, Sankar was lost to the world. Rajam, sitting under the second ventilator, between two third-form boys, had become a writing-machine.
Mani was still gazing at the rafters, scratching his chin with the pen. The Pea was leaning back in his seat, revising his answers. One 10 supervisor was drowsing in his chair; another was pacing up and down with an abstracted look in his eyes. The scratchy noise of active nibs, the rustle of papers, and the clearing of the throats, came through the brooding silence of the hall.
Swaminathan suddenly wished that he had not come out so soon. But how could he have stayed in the hall longer? The Tamil paper was set to go on till five o’clock. He had found himself writing the last line of the last question at four-thirty. Out of the six questions set, he had answered the first question to his satisfaction, the second was doubtful, the third was satisfactory, the fourth he knew was clearly wrong (but then, he did not know the correct 20 answer).
The sixth answer was the best of the lot. It took only a minute to answer it. He had read the question at two minutes to four-thirty, started to answer a minute later, and finished it at four-thirty.
He had found it hard to kill time. Why wasn’t the paper set for two and a half hours instead of three? He had looked wistfully at the veranda outside. If only he could pluck up enough courage to hand in the paper and go out – he would have no more examinations for a long time to come – he could do what he pleased – roam about the town in the evenings and afternoons and mornings – throw away the books – command Granny to tell endless tales. 30
He had seen a supervisor observing him, and had at once pretended to be busy with the answer paper. He thought that while he was about it, he might as well do a little revision. He read a few lines of the first question and was bored. He had to pretend that he was revising. He set his pen to work. He went on improving the little dash under the last line indicating the end, till it became an elaborate complicated pattern.
He had looked at the clock again, thinking that it must be nearly five now. It was ten minutes past four-thirty. He saw two or three boys giving up their. papers and going out, and felt happy. He briskly folded the paper and wrote his name. 40 The bell rang. In twos or threes the boys came out of the hall. It was a thorough contrast to the preceding three hours. There was din of excited chatter.
(a) Give the meaning of the following words as used in the passage :
One word answers or short phrases will be accepted. 
(i) pacing (line 11)
(ii) wistfully (line 26)
(iii) din (line 42)
(i) walking up and down
(b) Answer the following questions briefly in your own words.
(i) Why did Swamy feel slightly uneasy as soon as he came out of the examination hall? 
(ii) Why did he think he had answered the sixth question best of all? 
(iii) What did he plan to do with his books once the examination was over? 
(iv) Which word in the passage tells you that Swami used to bully his grandmother? 
(v) Why do you think Swami drew an elaborate complicated pattern after his last answer? 
(i) Swamy felt uneasy as soon as he came out of the examination hall because almost everyone else was still writing and he had finished his paper and wondered if he had done right by coming out so early. He was being unsure of himself.
(ii) He thought that the sixth question was the best of all because he was very sure of the answer and it took him only a minute to answer it.
(iii) He planned to throw away the books because he felt that he might not need them
X for a very long time. He also planned to roam around the town throughout the day.
(iv) The words, ‘command granny to tell endless tales/ tells us that he often bullied his grandmother with whatever he wanted and it also shows that he got away with it.
(v) Swami just wanted to put a small dash but as he was clueless on what to do with the rest of the time, he ended up drawing an elaborate pattern.
(c) In not more than 50 words, describe what Swami’s classmates and supervisors were doing in the examination hall. 
The scene at the classroom during the examination portrays both lackadaisical and fervent moods; the listless Sankar and Rajam and Mani were lost; Pea was revising the answers and two students were writing like a machine. One of the supervisors was dozing in the chair and the other was pacing up and down.
(a) Fill in each of the numbered blanks with the correct form of the word given in brackets. Do not copy the passage, but write in correct serial order the word or phrase appropriate to the blank space. 
looked Suraj (0) ……………….. (look) out of the door. He (1) ……………….. (Catch) sight of the board (2) ……………….. (bear) the station’s name. He was so (3) ……………….. (astonish) that he almost (4) ……………….. (fall) out of the compartment. He was back in his home town! After ……………….. (5) (travel) for forty or fifty kilometers, here he (6) ……………….. (is) home again. He ……………….. (7) (can) not understand it. He ……………….. (8) (climb) out of the compartment slowly. 
(b) Fill in each blank with an appropriate word : 
(i) Bobby waited in front …………… the school.
(ii) The children were told to return home …………… it became dark.
(iii) He wore an old muffler wrapped …………… his neck.
(iv) We saw the bird fly high …………… the tower and disappear.
(v) Music therapy is a cure …………… many ills.
(vi) The thief ran …………… the staircase and out into the yard.
(vii) Mr. Roy jumped into his car and drove …………… as fast as he could.
(viii) Please do not get carried …………… by these rumours.
(c) Join the following sentences to make one complete sentence without using and, but or so : 
(i) The teacher arrived. The class started.
(ii) The drive was so tedious. I fell asleep on the backseat.
(iii) He was found in possession of the stolen goods. He was punished.
(iv) Stop talking. Leave the classroom.
(i) The teacher arrived before the class started.
(ii) The drive was so tedious that I fell asleep on the backseat.
(iii) He was punished as he was found in possession of the stolen goods.
(iv) Either stop talking or leave the classroom.
(d) Re-write the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. Make other changes that may be necessary, but do not change the meaning of each sentence. 
(i) “I saw a panther this morning”, he said modestly.
(Rewrite using indirect speech ……………….. )
(ii) Kiran is the fastest runner in our school.
(Begin: No other ………………. )
(iii) Susan hid her grandmother’s spectacles.
(Begin : Her grandmother’s ………………. )
(iv) Ali was too embarrassed to speak clearly.
(Begin : Ali was so ………………. )
(v) As soon as the election results were out, the victory procession started.
(Begin : No sooner ………………. )
(vi) Ranji prefers reading a book to watching a movie.
(Begin : Ranji would rather ………………. )
(vii) Anu does not study enough, but she still stands first.
(Begin : Despite ………………. )
(viii) If Aruna practices, she will win the competition.
(Begin : Unless ………………. )
(i) He modestly said that he saw a panther that morning.
(ii) No other runner is as fast as Kiran in our school.
(iii) Her grandmother’s spectacles were hidden by Susan.
(iv) Ali was so embarrassed that he could not speak clearly.
(v) No sooner had the election results come out than the victory procession started.
(vi) Ranji would rather read a book than watch a movie.
(vii) Despite not studying enough, Anu stands first in the class.
(viii) Unless Aruna practices, she will not win the competition.