Thursday, 14 March 2013


Question Paper Analysis and Answer Key

This year's SSLC English Examination was not at all an easy walkover for most of the students. For the English medium students, it was OK. But for the common majority and the students from the rural schools it was the opposite case. Many questions puzzled them. Unfamiliar question types like “Report of a Debate” and “Describing a Night” were examples. The wordings and style of most questions were complicated and beyond the comprehension of the students. There was a 'technical' error of misplacing hints and even a more serious error like spelling mistake (see Q.20 hints)!

At the same time some students and teachers feel that it was a “standard” question paper with innovative changes. They believe that it was a remarkable deviation from the traditional pattern and that it catered to the creative skills of the students

Questions 1-6
  1. “To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H” (and the date “1884”)
  2. Sherlock Holmes had a well-polished, silver plated coffee pot in front of him and it reflected everything behind him.
  3. “ I believe you have eyes in the back of your head”
  4. They missed the visitor and had no idea of the purpose of his visit. Now they got the visitor's walking stick which might give them some hints about him. So the stick gained importance.
  5. The task assigned to Watson was to reconstruct the visitor by examination of the stick.
    (this question was a little embarrassing to many students. It could be in simpler words)
  6. practitioner

Questions 7-10
  1. Ten hours of heavy rain made the scorpion crawl beneath the sack of rice
  2. “parting with his poison”
  3. “he risked the rain again”
  4. any visual image (eg. Sack of rice, steady rain, dark room etc)

Questions 11-14
  1. the song fell to earth
  2. The speaker could not follow the the flight of the song because the flight of a song was very fast and his sight was not so keen and strong to follow it . (the speaker believes that nobody has so keen and strong a sight to follow the flight of a song. )
  3. aabb
  4. any line and suitable justification

Questions 15-18
  1. can you help us, Gandhiji?
  2. Because the followers of Tagore knew that he would not go against the advice of Gandhiji.
  3. “ Are you not comfortable that you have come out from your resting room?”
  4. No Gandhiji could not compel Tagore to take rest because he was impressed by Tagore's commitment to his goal.
Questions 19-26(discourses)
(This part of the question paper was remarkably different from the usual question papers. At the same time it caused a lot of confusion and frustration among the students. The style and wordings of the questions were very much complicated . The question setter seemed to have forgotten the majority of common and average students writing the SSLC Examination.)

  1. A. Write up
    scores may be given for
  • correct form of the discourse
  • content size
  • sequencing of ideas
  • relevance of the points discussed
  • quality of language
B. Review of the play “The Beggar and the King”
(This type of question was quite unexpected to the majority of students. Earlier, there was heated discussions even among the teachers in the cluster meetings and DRG/SRG training sessions on the suitability of asking a question on writing a review in the SSLC question paper. Writing a review could be made a classroom process rather than an item in the public examination question paper.)
  1. Letter
    scores may be given for
  • correct format of the letter
  • content size
  • sequencing of ideas
  • quality of language
    This letter would be the most familiar and the easiest of all discourses. The misplaced hints below this question was surely a distraction for many students.
  1. Description of the Night
scores may be given for
  • A suitable title
  • logical sequencing of ideas
  • cohesion and coherence
  • quality of language
    Description can be considered a comparatively new question. But students were certainly confused at such a question.
  1. Speech
scores may be given for
  • A proper beginning
    (addressing the audience, introduction of the topic etc.)
  • proper development and sequencing of ideas
  • relevance of the points discussed
  • proper conclusion
  • content size
  • quality of language
    A speech was expected. But the wordings and style of question was very tough.
  1. Report of the debate
    This question was never expected. There was no such question in the question pool prepared by the SCERT. There was no hint about such a question in the evaluation source-book prepared by SCERT. This had to be avoided.
  2. Profile
  3. Conversation

Questions 26 – 30

  1. Blindness
  2. If on a winter's Night a Traveller
  3. Paulo Coelho
  4. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  5. 411

Questions 31-35
In this part also many questions were vague and couldn't be properly answered by the students. The most confusing question was Q.33 (a) and (d)

  1. Editing
    1. met
    2. boys
    3. finally
    4. where
    5. was taken
  1. Reported Speech
    1. The hotel keeper asked the author where he was going
    2. The author replied that he was going out for a walk in the night
  1. Incomplete Conversation
    1. ?
    2. don't you?
    3. When will he be back?
    4. ?
  1. Use of Phrasal Verbs
Here also there is a confusion in the instruction. Students are required to use the correct tense form of the phrasal verbs. But the instruction reads “Fill in the blanks with suitable phrases from the box given below”. Most students filled the blanks with the phrasal verbs without any change of it.
    1. Went on
    2. turned down
    3. came across
  1. Word Pyramid : Expansion of a Noun Phrase
                                                Head Noun
    Determiner+Head Noun
    Determiner+Qualifier+Head Noun 
    Determiner+Qualifier+Noun+Prepositional Phrase 
    Determiner+Qualifier+Noun+Prepositional Phrase+Clausal Element

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