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For 2024 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
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English Competency-Based Questions | Class X

Updated: Jan 22

Lessons Covered:

  • A Letter to God

  • Nelson Mandela

  • The Sermons At Benares

  • The Proposal

  • Madam Rides the Bus

  • Mijbil-the Otter

  • Glimpses of India

  • Two Stories About Flying

  • From the Diary of Anne Frank

  • A Letter to God

  • How To Tell Wild Animals


For Chapter-wise Previous-year Board Exam Questions, Visit HERE
For CBSE English Sample Paper, Click Here
For Answer Key of the following Questions, Click Here

A Letter to God

  1. People get support from family and friends during bad times. How does Lencho’s family behave after the harvest is ruined?

  2. ‘Lencho was an ox of a man, working like an animal in the fields, but still he knew how to write.’ What does this line tell us about the norm amongst such farmers, then?

  3. What, according to you would have been the likely reaction of Lencho’s wife upon knowing about him writing an actual letter to God?

  4. Lencho waited eagerly for a reply to his letter to God. Do you think the postmaster was also very keen to know Lencho’s reaction upon receiving the ‘reply’?

  5. ‘The field was white, as if covered with salt.’ This is how the field is described after the hailstorm. The pelting hailstones could have been easily seen as sugar cubes. Do you think comparing it with sugar would have been more appropriate? Why/ Why not?

  6. Lencho and his family knew the implications the hailstorm would have on their lives. Write a conversation between Lencho and his wife as they watched the downpour turn to a hailstorm.

  7. Lencho did not bother exploring any other means to resolve his situation but just turned to God. Do you feel that his approach was justified? Why/Why not?

  8. The postmaster was a representative of God. Evaluate this statement in the context of your understanding of ‘A Letter to God”.

  9. The people at the post-office contribute to put together whatever they can manage, for Lencho. (a) What do you think was the main reason behind their help? Would you have done the same if you were one of the employees? (b) As an employee, write about your perspective and reason(s) for contributing to the fund. The fact that you don’t want to say ‘no’ to a cause initiated by your boss, can also be an equally compelling reason!

  10. Explain what is surprising about Lencho’s reaction to receiving the money.

  11. Why do you think Lencho uses the metaphor ‘new coins’ to describe the raindrops?

  12. How does the concept of Lencho's 'new coins' turn into a nightmare in the story? Explain with reference to the story.

Long Answer-Type Questions ( 6 Marks)

  1. Irony and ungratefulness is demonstrated in Lencho's condemnation of the post office employees as a ‘bunch of crooks’. Do you agree? Justify your answer with reference to the story.

  2. Lencho's trust in God cannot be justified as he has no faith in humanity. Do you agree? Justify your answer with reference to his treatment of post office employees.

  3. There are two kinds of conflict in the story: between humans and nature, and between humans themselves. How are these conflicts illustrated?

Recommended Reading: A Letter to God

Nelson Mandela

  1. What did Nelson Mandela thank the International Leaders for?

  2. What is the 'extraordinary human disaster' Nelson Mandela refers to in his speech?

  3. What does Mandela pledge to achieve for the people of South Africa?

  4. How did the policy of apartheid create 'a deep & lasting wound' in South Africa?

  5. What, according to Mandela, was the unintended effect of the decades of oppression and brutality?

  6. Would you agree that the “depths of oppression” create “heights of character”? How does Mandela illustrate this?

  7. What did Mandela learn from the comrades of freedom struggle in South Africa?

  8. How does Mandela justify that love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite? Illustrate with the help of an example.

  9. What, according to Nelson Mandela, are twin obligations? Why do you think one should fulfil those obligations in a civilized society?

  10. Were the people of colour in South Africa able to fulfil those obligations? Give reasons to support your answer.

  11. What were the different types of freedom Nelson Mandela speaks about? Explain with instancs of each type.

  12. How did the perception of freedom change as Mandela grew up? Justify with instances from the text.

  13. Why, according to Mandela, should the oppressor be liberated just as surely as the oppressed?

  14. How did Mandela’s ‘hunger for freedom’ change his life?

  15. 'Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.' Illustrate this statement with the help of an example.

Project Question
  1. You have read the story about Nelson Mandela in your textbook, First Flight, and the struggle of the people of South Africa. Mandela draws our attention to the meaning and importance of freedom and leading a life with freedom. He states that freedom comes with responsibilities. Explain in your own words how freedom and responsibilities go hand in hand.

Recommended Reading: Nelson Mandela

Two Stories About Flying


Q1. “The young seagull was alone on his ledge.” How far do you think this condition was by his choice?

Q2. Why do you think the young seagull was unable to muster courage to fly off the ledge?

Q3. “The young seagull was alone on his ledge.” How far do you think this condition was by his choice?

Q4. Describe the young seagull’s emotions when he flew over the sea.

Q5. How did the young seagull's brothers, sister & mother motivate him to learn the art of flight?

Q6. To what extent can the young seagull’s motivation to fly be attributed to being hungry? Support your stance with evidence from the text.

Q7. Describe how the narrator recounts his horrifying experience while he was flying to England.

Q8. Who do you think helped the narrator to reach safely to London? What elements of mystery do you find in the story?


Recommended Reading:

(i) His First Flight here
(ii) The Black Aeroplane here

The Sermons at Benares


Q1. 'The Buddha did not see much suffering during his early years.' Justify this statment with an instance from the text.

Q2. Do you think Kisa Gotami was optimistic after talking to Buddha? Give a reason to justify your answer.

Q3. What lesson did Kisa Gotami learn by watching the lights on the streets? What did she think about herself afterwards?

Q4. What does the symbolism of ‘ripe fruits’ and ‘earthen vessels' illustrate in Buddha's preching?

Q5. What, according to Buddha can one obtain 'peace of mind'? Illustrate with an example.

Q6. What is the significant of the metaphor of the ‘arrow of lamentation.’

Q7. Grief is often seen as a measure of love. Do you think the Buddha’s sermon undermines a mother’s love? Justify your response.

Q8. What message might the Buddha’s story hold for those who are in positions

of power and privilege?


Recommended Reading: The Sermon at Benares

The Proposal


Q1.What kind of an impact do the arguments between Lomava & Natalya have on their relationships?

Q2. Describe the petty arguments between the characters.

Q3. What, according to you, is the turning point when Natalya accepts Lomov’s claims of owning the Oxen meadows?

Q4. When does Natalya accuse Lomov of being a landgrabber?

Q5. During the heated arguments between Lomov & Natalya the cordial relation between the neighbours was dampened and the proposal was forgotten. Justify this statement with instances from the text.

Q6. Why do you think Chubukov welcomed Lomov very cordially when Lomov visted his house?

Q7. 'At the end of the story good economic sense prevailed that led to the mariage between Natalya & Lomov.' Explain with reference to the story.

Q8. Why do you think Natalya Stepanova asked her father to call Lomov back when she heard that he had come with a proposal?

Q9. When Natalya comes to meet Lomov, she quotes her father’s words – “and papa said, “Go; there’s a merchant come for his goods.” What do you think Chubukov meant?


Long Questions ( 6 Marks) | CBE Based


Q1. Arguments over insignificant things have led to disastrous results, especially between close family members and friends. Do you agree? Justify your answer with reference to the story. Q2.The marriage proposal is a mockery of romance and marriage in the upper class. Justify your answer with reference to the story.

Q3. The pride in property, even the superiority of dogs, take priority over love and marriage. The characters lack patience, stop listening to each other, and then contradict each other. Do you think these quarrels will promise a happy life? What qualities would you consider for a well-matched couple? Justify your answer with reference to Lomov, Natalya & Chubukov.

Q4. Do you think all of us should know how to manage our anger? What happens when emotions are governed by materialsitic ambition? Answer with reference to the story.


Recommended Reading: The Proposal

Madam Rides the Bus


Q1. The dialogue between Valli and the bus conductor appears to be educative for every child. What should a child learn from Valli's interactions with the bus conductor.

Q2. What kind of haughtiness like ‘I’m not a child, I tell you.' is displayed by Valli in her dialogues with the bus conductor. Mention two instances to justify your answer.

Q3. Do you think Valli was empathetic in nature? Explain with reference to the dead cow.

Q4. This wish became ‘stronger and stronger until it was an overwhelming desire.’ Write instances from the story to justify that Valli was a keen observer and had an eye of minute observation.

Q5. Valli didn’t like the way adults treated her during her bus journey. Describe how you would feel and react if you were to find yourself in a similar situation.


Long Questions/6 Marks


Q1. Do you think Valli was right in travelling alone on a bus to a nearby town? What preautions should a child as adventurous as Valli take if at all they need to travel alone to a neaby place?

Q2. 'To Save a penny is to earn it'. Justify this statement with refernce to Valli's sacrifice of a lot of recreations & pleasure.

Q3. Valli was sensitive, but at the same time she was fearless and quite determined. Think of another character from your textbook, First Flight, who displayed similar character traits. Compare and contrast the lives of Valli and the other character.


Recommended Reading: Madam Rides the Bus


Mijbil the Otter


Q1. No animal likes to be confined. They remain healthy, strong and active only in their natural habitat. Explain the statement with reference to the Otter as described in the story.

Q2. Why do you think Mijbil was neither hostile nor friendly for the first twenty-four hours after he was brought home?

Q3. How can you say that Mijbil loved to be in water which was its natural habitat? Explain with reference to the story.

Q4. Mijbil caused a sensation in London. Expound with reference to the chapter “Mijbil the Otter”.

Q5. What was the greatest obstacle faced by the narrator in transporting Mijbil to Camusfearna?

Q6. Mijbil is an active animal who shows many emotions. Explain with instances from the text.


Long Answer-type Questions/6 Marks


Q1. From your reading of the story 'Mijbil-the Otter' describe how the writer portrays the otter and its relationship with humans.

Q2. Without the assistance of the airhostess, the narrator could not have transported Mijbil from Basra to London safely. Comment.

Q3. Peculiar behaviours are a characteristic of Otters. Discuss with respect to “Mijbil the Otter”.

Q4. Discuss the commitment the author has shown for keeping his pet- Mijbil in his house.


English Project

Q. What all do you have to do to keep the animal with you at home? (You can refer to the dos and don’ts given on page no. 102 of the textbook First Flight.) Make a project report keeping in mind the efforts the author made to keep Mijbil as his pet.


Glimpses of India


Q1. Describe key features of the place about Coorg.

Q2. Why does the author in ‘Coorg’ say that the visitors’ search for the heart and soul of India would be found in Coorg?

Q3. How did the baker become synonymous with celebrations and occasions in Goa?

Q4. Do adventure sports like river rafting and rock climbing require a person to possess just physical strength? Why/Why not?

Q5. Coorgis belong to a valorous and hospitable race. Comment on this statement with reference to the text.

Q6. The narrator shares, “Baking was indeed a profitable profession in the old days.” What do you feel has changed now? Why?

Q7. Is bread an important part of Goan life? How do you know this?


Long Answer-Type Questions ( 6 Marks)


Q1. The culture, lifestyle and traditions of a place are influenced by the people who lived or settled there at some point of time. Cultural assimilation adds flavour to the existing structure of a society. Summarise your opinion on the given idea.


Q2. Rajvir did his study before his visit to the tea plantation. Is it good to do one’s research before the start of a new venture or does it take away from the thrill of discovery? Elucidate your stance.


Q3. In the chapter, ‘A Baker from Goa’ the narrator talks about his childhood in Goa and his fond memories. Explain with reference to the story.


Q4. 'Glimpses of India' portrays three different regions of India, giving an idea of how varied and charming and beautiful our country is. Explain in brief summarising distinct cultures, lifestyles & traditions as described in the story.


Recommend Reading:

(ii) Coorg

From the Diary of Anne Frank


Q1.Why do you think Mr Keesing chose the title - ‘An Incorrigible Chatterbox’ - for Anne, to write on?

Q2. Why does Anne think that Paper has more patience than people?

Q3. If the diary were a ‘real friend’, what qualities would Anne expect it to have?

Q4. Why do you think that Anne doesn’t plan to let anyone else read her diary?

Q5. Anne wrote in her diary to get things off her chest. List any two reasons why getting things off one’s chest is recommended by counsellors as therapeutic.

Q6. Do you agree with Anne when she says that teachers are the most unpredictable creatures on earth? Explain with a reason.

Q7. Do you think that Mr Keesing was innovative with his punishments? Justify your answer.


Long Answer-Type Questions ( 6 Marks)

Q1. Explain what Anne's diary shows us about her feelings about her family and friends.

Q2. How does Anne Frank personify her diary with a name 'Kitty'? Justify your answer with reference to her emotional attachment to pour her thoughts in her diary.

Q3. Anne said that the only thing missing was the presence of a true friend. Imagine that Anne had access to the internet and had chosen to blog instead of writing a diary. As Anne, write a blog post on the value of a true friend.

Q4. Anne was very much attached to her grandmother. What should be our attitude towards our elders? What do you learn from Anne?


Recommended Reading: From the Diary of Anne Frank

How To Tell Wild Animals?

  1. Why do you think the poet chose to use playful and humorous language in the poem?

  2. How does the use of poetic devices such as rhyme and rhythm contribute to the overall effect of the poem?

  3. What is the poet's message about wild animals and our interactions with them?

  4. How does the poem challenge common stereotypes or perceptions about wild animals?

  5. What is the significance of the poet's decision to include both physical and behavioral characteristics of wild animals in the poem?

  6. How does the use of humor in the poem contribute to its overall impact and effectiveness?

  7. Discuss the role of cultural and literary references in the poem. How do they enhance the reader's experience?

  8. How does the poem challenge traditional notions of categorizing animals and their characteristics?

  9. Explore the role of language and wordplay in the poem. How does it contribute to the poem's tone and effectiveness?

  10. Explore the theme of human-animal interactions in the poem. How does the poet portray the relationship between humans and wild animals?

  11. Discuss the cultural and ecological significance of the wild animals mentioned in the poem. How do they symbolize certain qualities or represent their respective habitats?


For Chapter-wise Previous-year Board Exam Questions, Visit HERE


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1 Comment


Monotosh Dey
Monotosh Dey
Dec 25, 2022

Hi There,

These competency-based questions are meant for reference for Board Exams for our beloved students & teachers all across the country. Awaiting your feedback & suggestions.

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