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For 2024 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
Class 10
Class 12

CBQ-MCQs For English Board Exam 2024

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

Class 12, CBSE


Page Highlights (Click on the Poems to go directly to the Questions)


My Mother At Sixty Six by Kamala Das


Q1. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow.


Driving from my parent’s

home to Cochin last Friday

morning, I saw my mother,

beside me,

doze, open mouthed, her face

ashen like that of a corpse and realized with pain

that she was as old as she

looked but soon

put that thought away…


1.1 Choose the option that best applies to the given extract.

1) a conversation

2) an argument

3) a piece of advice

4) a strategy

5) a recollection

6) a suggestion

a) 1, 3 & 6

b) 2, 4 & 5

c) Only 5

d) Only 1



1.2 Choose the option that applies correctly to the two statements given below


Assertion: The poet wards off the thought of her mother getting old quickly.

Reason: The poet didn’t want to confront the inevitability of fate that was to dawn upon her mother.

a) Assertion can be inferred but the Reason cannot be inferred.

b) Assertion cannot be inferred but the Reason can be inferred.

c) Both Assertion and Reason can be inferred.

d) Both Assertion and Reason cannot be inferred.





1.3 Choose the option that displays the same literary device as in the given lines of the extract.


her face ashen like that of a corpse…

a) Just as I had I had this thought, she appeared and…

b) My thoughts were as heavy as lead that evening when …

c) I think like everyone else who…

d) I like to think aloud when …





Q2. …I looked again at her, wan, pale

as a late winter’s moon

and felt that old familiar ache,

my childhood’s fear, but all I said was,

see you soon, Amma,

all I did was smile

and smile and smile......


2.1 What is the speaker's emotional state when looking at her mother?


A. Confused and disoriented

B. Nostalgic and longing

C. Empathetic and understanding

D. Fearful and apprehensive






2.2 What does the use of the word "but" at the beginning of the line, ‘ but all I said..’, suggest ?





2.3 Select the word that WILL NOT complete the sentence appropriately. The description of the mother as "wan, pale / as a late winter's moon" creates a vivid image of ________ .


A. vulnerability

B. sensitivity

C. frailty

D. mortality




2.4 State whether the given statement is TRUE or FALSE.


The poetic device used in the line, ‘pale as a winter’s moon’ is the same as the one used in the line, ‘the winter wind wistfully wailed at night’.






2.5 What message do these lines highlight, in the context of familial relationships, and the speaker’s sense of anxiety and fear at the prospect of losing her mother?




2.6 Complete the sentence appropriately. The repetition of the word, ‘smile’ suggests that _______________.



Q3. And looked out at Young

Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling

out of their homes, but after the airport’s security check,

standing a few yards away,

I looked again at her, wan, pale

as a late winter’s moon

and felt that old familiar ache…


3.1 What is the most likely reason the poet capitalised ‘Young Trees’? This was to

a) convey a clearer meaning.

b) highlight the adj.-noun combination.

c) enhance the contrast.

d) draw a connection with the title.




3.2 Choose the option that appropriately describes the relationship between the two statements given below.

Statement 1: The poet knows her mother has aged.

Statement 2: The poet feels the pain of separation.


a) Beginning – Ending

b) Cause – Effect

c) Question – Answer

d) Introduction – Conclusion



3.3 Choose the option that completes the sentence given below. Just as the brightness of the winter’s moon is veiled behind the haze and mist, similarly, __________________.

a) the pain of separation has shaded mother’s expression.

b) age has fogged mother’s youthful appearance.

c) growing up has developed a seasoned maturity in the poet.

d) memories warm the heart like the pale moon in winter.



Recommended Reading


Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda


(1) What I want should not be confused

with total inactivity

Life is what it is about;

I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded

about keeping our lives moving–

and for once could do nothing

Perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness

of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with death.


(A) The poet’s intention in the first line is to:

(a) give warning to the readers.

(b) give right direction to the readers.

(c) give choice to the readers.

(d) give a clarification to the readers.






(B) Select the option that best explains the stand of the poet in the expression:

‘‘I want no truck with death’’.

(a) He advises people to escape death.

(b) He asserts that death is inevitable.

(c) He assures that he does not advocate death.

(d) He expresses his desire not to die.







(C) Select the option that aptly describes the tone of the poet in the expression:

‘‘If we were not so single minded’’.


(a) Regretful (b) Critical (c) Encouraging (d) Friendly




(D) According to the poet who is to blame for the condition of threatening ourselves with death? (a) Stressful life

(b) Keeping quiet

(c) Lack of understanding

(d) State of confusion









(E) The tone of the poet in the expression ‘‘perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness’’ is: (a) unsure yet optimistic.

(b) sure and confident.

(c) poetic & melodramatic.

(d) hopeful but not confident.











(F) “What I want should not be confused with total inactivity.”

Choose the option that draws the most accurate parallel.

keeping quiet: total inactivity = ______ : ______

a) reflection and death

b) silence and chaos

c) stagnation and introspection

d) mindfulness and fear




2. If we were not so single-minded

about keeping our lives moving,

and for once could do nothing,

perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness

of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with death.


(A) What do you think is the mood of the poet in the above extract?

a) gloomy, cynical

b) reflective, inspired

c) introspective, aware

d) critical, demotivated





(B) Pick the option that DOES NOT complete the given sentence suitably, as per the extract. Threatening ourselves with death __________

a) feeds on the fear of death.

b) challenges finiteness of life.

c) keeps us rushing through life.



(C) What might the “huge silence” signify?

a) melancholy

b) understanding

c) discomfort

d) flexibility





(D) Which of the following can be inferred to lead to ‘threatening ourselves with death’?

(a) Constantly being silent

(b) Constantly rushing about

(c) Constantly being sad

(d) Constantly doing nothing






(E) According to the poet, it can be inferred that silence can help humans ....................

(a) understand the earth.

(b) understand each other.

(c) understand themselves.

(d) understand stillness.






3. For once on the face of the Earth

let’s not speak in any language,

let’s stop for one second,

and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment

without rush, without engines, we would all be together

in a sudden strangeness. (CBSE Question Bank 2021)


(i) The poet uses the word ‘let’s’ to

(a) initiate a conversation between the poet and the readers.

(b) invite readers as part of the poem’s larger call to humanity.

(c) welcome readers into the world of the poem and its subject.

(d) address readers as fellow members of the human race.






(ii) Margaret Atwood said, “Language divides us into fragments, I wanted to be whole.”

Choose the option that correctly comments on the relationship between Margaret Atwood’s words and the line from the above extract – “let’s not speak in any language”.

(a) Atwood endorses Neruda’s call to not speak in any language.

(b) Atwood justifies Neruda’s request to not engage in any speaking.

(c) Atwood undermines Neruda’s intent to stop and not speak in any language.

(d) Atwood surrenders to Neruda’s desire for silence and not speak in any language.





(iii) Why do you think the poet employs words like “exotic” and “strangeness”?

(a) To highlight the importance of everyone being together suddenly for once.

(b) To emphasise the frentic activity and chaos that usually envelops human life.

(c) To indicate the unfamiliarity of a sudden moment without rush or without engine.

(d) To direct us towards keeping quiet and how we would all be together in that silence.





4. “What I want should not be

confused with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about;

I want no truck with death.”


(i) About which confusion the poet is referring to here?

(a) Keeping still means total inactivity.

(b) Introspect for sometime while being active.

(c) Stillness and keeping quiet for some time does not mean end of everything.

(d) All of the above






(ii) What is life about according to the poet?

(a) Living it gainfully

(b) Living a hectic life with no time for anything else

(c) Multiple activities to earn as much money as possible

(d) Gainfully occupied with time to analyse and introspect






(iii) Choose the book title that perfectly describes the purpose of the given lines.

(a) Silence: The Power of Quiet in the world full of Noise by Thick Nhat Han.

(b) Of chaos and clarity by Rubu Yari

(c) Awareness, Clarity, Power by Jill’s McDonald

(d) The confusion by Neal Stephenson





(iv) Explain: ‘No truck with death’.

(a) Inactivity mean death

(b) No association with death as life is to be lived fully

(c) Stillness and inactivity for few minutes in different from death

(d) Both (b) and (c)






5. Now we will count to twelve [All India 2016]

and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the Earth

let’s not speak in any language,

let’s stop for one second,

and not move our arms so much.


Answer the following.

(a) What does the poet urge humanity to do?

Ans: The poet urges humanity to remain silent for the duration of twelve counts.


(b) Why does the poet want us not to speak any language?

Ans: The poet wants us not to speak any language as during the introspection, we shall all reflect on the universal language of love and brotherhood.


(c) Why should we not move our arms so much?

Ans: We should not move our arms so much so as to be able to focus on the task of introspection.


(d) What will ‘counting up to twelve and keeping still’ help us to achieve?

Ans: Counting up to twelve and keeping still will help us to realize the real impact of our selfish actions on each other and, finally, on the entire humanity.


6. It would be an exotic moment

without rush, without engines,

we would all be together

in a sudden strangeness.





















Those who prepare green wars,

wars with gas, wars with fire,

victory with no survivors,

would put on clean clothes

and walk about with their brothers…













8. ...perhaps a huge silence [Foreign 2016]

might interrupt this sadness

of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with

death.















9. Perhaps the Earth can teach us

as when everything seems dead

and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve

and you keep quiet and I will go.













Recommended Reading


A Thing of Beauty by John Keats


1. Pick the opinion that is NOT TRUE about the theme of the poem.


(a) A thing of beauty transcends time and doesn’t fade away.

(b) Beauty doesn’t dispel darkness and is surrounded by evil.

(c) A thing of beauty is not only physical but spiritual as well.

(d) A beautiful thing has a therapeutic quality and brings in a ray of hope.

[CBSE Question Bank 2021]





2. Pick the statement that contradicts the idea as expressed by the poet:


(a) People are beautiful not in looks but just in what they are.

(b) Beautiful people have known suffering, struggle and loss.

(c) We must think of all the beauty that is left around us and be happy.

(d) We must dwell on the beauty in life and be inspired by it.

[CBSE Question Bank 2021]


Ans. (b) Beautiful people have known suffering, struggle and loss.

Explanation: It can be inferred that only option (b) contradicts the idea of beauty as expressed by John Keats in his poem. Hence option (b) is the correct answer. Options (a), (c) and (d) are incorrect since they support Keats’ idea of beauty.


3. Choose the quote that best describes the poet’s attitude to beauty:


(a) Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. —Ashley Smith

(b) The seeds of beauty are in humility. —Maxime Lagacé

(c) Beauty is how you feel inside and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical. —Sophia Loren

(d) Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. —Franz Kafka


Ans: (a) Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. —Ashley Smith


Explanation: All the quotes talk about beauty but only one talks about noticing it and living life. Hence, option (a) is the correct answer. Options (b), (c) and (d) do not come close to John Keats’ vision of beauty. So, they are not the correct answer.



4. Choose the ‘unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways’ from this list:


(1) indulge in excess of eating and sleeping

(2) discover a new business idea

(3) make deals with corrupt people

(4) help other people earn money

(a) (1) and (3)

(b) (1) and (4)

(c) (2) and (4)

(d) (3) and (4)


Ans. (a) (1) and (3)


Explanation: Keats’ ‘unhealthy and o’erdarkened ways’ could be inferred to apply to one’s own and others’ physical and financial health as well. This points to option (a) as the correct answer. Options (b), (c) and (d) are partially correct, and hence not the correct answer.


5. Choose the word that DOES NOT mean ‘despondence’:

(a) Unhappy

(b) Melancholy

(c) Misery

(d) Exuberance

Ans: Exuberance.


6. Which poetic device is used in this line: ‘of the gloomy days,/ Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways’?

(a) Internal rhyme

(b) Transferred epithet

(c) Oxymoron

(d) Inversion

Ans. (b) Transferred epithet

Explanation: The adjective ‘gloomy’ and ‘unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways’ describe the human but the epithet has been transferred to the objects like 'days & Ways' here. The poetic device used here is transferred epithet. Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.


7. What purpose do ‘sweet dreams, health and quiet breathing’ have in our lives?

(a) To help us understand the origin of beauty in life.

(b) To help us see the beauty of nature and human life.

(c) To help us tolerate the trials and tribulations of life.

(d) To help us appreciate the true beauty of human life.

Ans: (d) To help us appreciate the true beauty of human life.



Extract-Based Questions


1. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

A thing of beauty is a joy forever:

Its loveliness increases, it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.


(A) Which poetic device is used in the first line: ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’?

(a) Anaphora

(b) Transferred epithet

(c) Epigram

(d) Metaphor

Ans: (c) Epigram

Explanation: Epigram: A short witty statement in verse or prose which may be complementary, satiric or aphoristic. Ex: A thing of beauty is a joy forever


(B) Which of the following options describe ‘to pass into nothingness’ ?


(a) To slip away

(b) To survive

(c) To become alive

(d) To become extinct

Ans: (d) To become extinct

Explanation: ‘To pass into nothingness’ means to become extinct. Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.


(C) Which poetic device is used in ‘but still will keep/A bower quiet for us’?

(a) Anaphora

(b) Transferred epithet

(c) Epigram

(d) Metaphor

Ans: (d) Metaphor

Explanation: Metaphor: A figure of speech in which one thing is described in terms of another. A comparison is usually implicit, whereas in simile it is explicit.

For Example:

  • A bower quiet for us (the clam and quiet of the bower is equated with the clam offered by beauty)

  • … are we wreathing A flowery band to bind us to the earth, (beauty and beautiful things bind us to the earth)

(d) According to the poet, it can be inferred that beauty can help us ................

(a) lead a healthy and wholesome life.

(b) love each other and attain peace.

(c) understand the human condition.

(d) enjoy nature’s delightful bounty.

Ans: (a) lead a healthy and wholesome life.



2. And such too is the grandeur of the dooms

We have imagined for the mighty dead;

All lovely tales that we have heard or read;

An endless fountain of immortal drink,

Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.


(A) Which of the following does the ‘grandeur of the dooms’ refers to?

(a) The stories told to commemorate the dead.

(b) The forests grown to give shelter to people.

(c) The fountains built in honour of beauty.

(d) The monuments erected to honour the heroes.

Ans: (a) The stories told to commemorate the dead.


(B) Which poetic device is used in this line ‘We have imagined for the mighty dead’?

(a) Oxymoron

(b) Apostrophe

(c) Assonance

(d) Symbol

Ans: (a) Oxymoron

Explanation: The poetic device ‘oxymoron’ is used in the phrase ‘mighty dead’. It is a figure of speech which combines incongruous and apparently contradictory words and meanings for a special effect. Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

(C) Whose tales has the poet heard of or read?

(a) The joy of beauty

(b) The eternal fountain

(c) The heroic dead

(d) Gods and goddesses

Ans: (c) The heroic dead

Explanation: The poet praises the heroic dead for their deeds and for inspiring the living through the tales of their bravery. Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.


(D) Which of the following pours from the heavens according to the poet?

(a) nector

(b) Beauty

(c) Streams

(d) Grandeur

Ans: (a) nector


Recommended Reading

Questions with answers for MCQs of All Poems will be uploaded soon.

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