ISC English Specimen Paper 2023 for Class 12: The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has released the specimen papers for the upcoming higher secondary Indian School Certificate (ISC) examination 2023. The class 12th ISC exams are upon us, commencing from February 13. The time couldn’t be more apt to start solving specimen papers, especially for subjects like English (Code: 801), which are lengthy and descriptive. The English course in ISC Class 12 comprises two papers: English Language and Literature in English. The former emphasizes the application of English through comprehension, grammar and creative writing, while the latter focuses on analyzing poetry, play and stories. Solving ISC 12th English specimen papers becomes necessary as both papers are held in quick succession and are essential to ace for all students as English is compulsory and one of the most important subjects in ISC Class 12. The ISC Class 12 English specimen paper also helps students manage anxiety and provides an idea of the exam blueprint, marks distribution, type of questions, and difficulty level asked in the final exam. Check here the ISC English Specimen Paper Class 12 and download the pdf for both English Language and Literature in English specimen papers.
ISC Class 12 English Specimen Paper 2023
- The ISC Board class 12 English course consists of two papers of 80 marks and a duration of three hours each.
- The questions will be of both objective and descriptive type.
- 15 minutes of reading time will be provided and writing answers will be prohibited during this period.
- Literature in English paper will have two sections A and B. Both sections will be compulsory for all students.
- English Language paper will feature four questions of 20 marks each.
- Internals choice between questions will only be provided in Paper 2.
- Crossing the word limit while writing answers will be penalized.
Related: ISC Class 12 English Syllabus 2023
Read the 2023 ISC English Specimen Paper for class 12 in pdf format here. The download link is provided at the end of the article.
Paper 1: ISC English Language Specimen Paper for Class 12
Write a composition (in approximately 400 – 450 words) on any one of the following subjects:
(You are reminded that you will be rewarded for orderly and coherent presentation of matter, use of appropriate style and general accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar.) 
(i) Last year, you visited your grandparents. There, you participated in a local festival. Describe the way people were dressed, the different cultural events and the food sold in the stalls. What were your feelings as you returned from the festivities?
(ii) While you were at home during the lockdown due to the pandemic, an exciting event took place that turned you into a local hero. Narrate the incident.
(iii) Advertisements should only present the truth. Argue for or against this idea.
(v) ‘Be the change you want to see.’ Present your reflections on this statement.
(vi) Write an original short story that begins with the following words.:
He stood still in the kitchen, wondering what to do, when…
(i) You are the Head Boy/ Head Girl of The XYZ School and you have been asked to give a speech at the morning assembly on the topic – Waste Not, Want Not. Use the following guidelines to write the speech:
Greeting and address to the gathering—importance of resources—careful use of food—careful use of money—conserving electricity—preserving the environment for the next generation. 
(ii) As the President of the Student Council of The XYZ School, you have been asked to organise a food festival. The proceeds from the sale will be donated to an animal shelter nearby. Write a proposal in not more than 150 words, outlining the steps you would take to make this event a success. 
Answer sections (i), (ii) and (iii).
(i) In each of the following items, sentence I is complete, while sentence II is not. Complete sentence II, making it as similar as possible to sentence I. Write sentence II in each case. 
(z) (I) The heavy showers of rain revived the plants
(II) The plants……..………………………………
Answer: (z) The plants were revived by the heavy showers of rain.
(a) (I) They are repairing my piano at the moment.
(II) My ……………………………………….
(b) (I) If you do not reach the theatre early, you will not get a good seat.
(II) Unless ……………………………………
(c) (I) There were many obstacles, yet she succeeded in her mission.
(II) Although …………………………………
(d) (I) Chocolate cake is the best dessert I have ever eaten.
(II) No ………………………………………..
(e) (I) Scarcely did the famous store open when they all rushed in.
(II) As soon as ………………………………..
(ii) Fill in each blank with a suitable word. (Do not write the sentence.) 
(a) She decided not to give _________ to the pressure.
(b) The teacher asked me to give _________ the worksheets.
(c) The young man set _______ his own business.
(d) The CEO set ________ the rules on the very first day of the year.
(e) When his friends come home, he puts ______ a fake accent.
(f) Do not put ________ for tomorrow what you can do today.
(g) She advised me not to look __________ on what had already happened.
(h) If you look ________ it carefully, you can see the mark.
(i) Go __________ the document carefully before you sign it.
(j) The price of gold is not likely to go _________ anytime soon.
(iii) Fill in the blanks in the passage given below with the appropriate form of the verb given in brackets. Do not write the passage but write the verbs in the correct order. 
As the highway policeman was _________ (1) (watch), he _________ (2) (notice) a car inching along really slowly. Thinking that an extremely slow car is as dangerous as a speeding one, he _______ (3) (pull) the car aside. He _________ (4) (approach) it and noticed that there were five old ladies, two in the front and three at the back, looking wide eyed and white as ghosts. The lady who had been _________ (5) (drive) said, “Officer, I was not speeding. Why did you pull me up?"
The officer ________ (6) (reply) that going below the speed limit was also dangerous for other drivers.
“Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was ________(7) (do) exactly twenty-two miles per hour!” the old woman ________ (8) (say) proudly, pointing to a board.
The officer chuckled and said, “Ma’am, that’s the route number, not the speed limit.”
A bit embarrassed, the woman smiled and ___________ (9) (thank) the officer for pointing out the error. As she started the car, the officer said, “Before I let you go, I must ask, are these other ladies ok? They seem to be a bit shaken and have not ____________ (10) (utter) a word.”
“Oh, they’ll be alright in a bit. We just got off route 119.”
Read the passage given below and answer the questions (i), (ii) and (iii) that follow:
(1) Mrs. Knight’s school, to which Katy Carr went, was a low, one-storey building, and had a yard behind it, in which the girls played at recess. Next door to it was Miss Miller’s school, equally large and popular, and with a yard behind it also. Only a high board fence separated the two playgrounds; and a feud raged constantly between the two schools as to the several merits of the respective teachers and their methods of teaching.
(2) Mrs. Knight’s had one great advantage over the other; it possessed a wood-shed with a climbable roof, which commanded Miss Miller’s premises, and upon this roof the girls used to sit in rows, turning up their noses at the foe in the next yard.
(3) One morning, Katy was late for school. She could not find her things. Her algebra, as she expressed it, had “gone and lost itself” and the string was off her sun-hat. She ran about searching for these articles and banging doors, till Aunt Izzie was out of patience.
(4) “As for your algebra,” she said, “if it is that very dirty book with only one cover, you will find it under the kitchen table; and here is the hat-string. Now, stand still and don’t fidget! You shan’t stir till I have sewed it on properly.”
(5) It was not easy to do so, but Katy bore it as well as she could, only shifting perpetually from one foot to the other. The minute she was released, she flew into the kitchen, seized the algebra, and rushed like a whirlwind to the school.
(6) She ran as fast as she could, but time ran faster, and before she was half-way there, the town clock struck nine, and all hope was lost. She marched into school in a very cross mood.
(7) A day begun in this manner is pretty sure to end badly, as most of us know. All the morning through, things seemed to go wrong. Firstly, Katy made errors in her grammar lessons. Then her hand shook so much when she wrote her composition, that the writing could hardly be read and Mrs. Knight said that she had to do it all over again. This made Katy crosser than ever; the tears came into her eyes from vexation, and she made a bolt for the yard as soon as the bell rang, climbing up all alone to the wood-house roof, where she sat with her back to the school, trying to get her face in order before the rest should come.
(8) Miss Miller’s clock was about four minutes slower than Mrs. Knight’s, so the next playground was empty. It was a warm, breezy day, and as Katy sat there, suddenly a gust of wind blew, and seizing her sun-hat, which was only half tied on, whirled it across the roof. She clutched after it as it flew, but too late. Once, twice, thrice it flapped and Katy saw it lying in a crumpled little heap in the enemy’s yard.
(9) This was horrible! Not merely losing the hat, but to lose it so! In another minute, the Miller girls would be out. Was it to be endured? Never! Katy set her teeth, and sliding rapidly down the roof, seized the fence, and with one bold leap, vaulted into Miss Miller’s yard.
Adapted from: What Katy Did By Susan Coolidge
(i) (a) Given below are three words and phrases. Find the words which have a similar meaning in the passage: 
(1) Break time
(2) Prolonged quarrel or dispute
(3) A feeling of being annoyed
(b) For each of the words given below, write a sentence of at least ten words using the same word unchanged in form, but with a different meaning from that which it carries in the passage: 
(1) cross (line 22)
(2) bolt (line 28)
(3) school (line 29)
(ii) Answer the following questions in your own words as briefly as possible:
(a) Explain the phrase, ‘turning up their noses’. State how this feeling is brought out in the passage. 
(b) Describe the uniqueness of Katy Carr’s school. 
(c) What made Katy late to school one day? 
(d) How did Aunt Izzie help her out? Explain whether this served the purpose. 
(iii) Summarise all the things that went wrong for Katy in school, ultimately forcing her to jump into Miss Miller’s playground (paragraphs 6 to 9). You are required to write the summary in the form of a connected passage in about 100 words. Failure to keep within the word limit will be penalised. 
You can read and download the entire ISC Class 12 English Specimen Paper 2023 below.
Paper 2: ISC Literature in English Specimen Paper for Class 12
SECTION A – 20 MARKS
Choose the correct options for the following questions: 
(i) What is Ferdinand doing at the beginning of Act III Scene I?
(a) Cursing Prospero.
(b) Gathering wood.
(c) Planning to escape.
(d) Sighing deeply.
(ii) What is Ferdinand willing to become for Miranda in Act III Scene I?
(a) King of Naples.
(b) A patient log man.
(c) Her beloved.
(d) A traitor to Prospero.
(iii) In the masque scene, whom does Iris tell Ceres not to be afraid of?
(iv) Where had Ariel confined the “three men of sin” in the beginning of Act V?
(a) In Caliban’s cave.
(b) In the wrecked ship.
(c) In the line-grove.
(d) In Prospero’s cave.
(v) What are we told about Louise Mallard right at the beginning of the short story, The Story of an Hour?
(a) She is proud.
(b) She is lonely.
(c) She has a weak heart.
(d) She cannot tolerate noise.
(vi) In the short story, To Build a Fire, who advises the Man not to travel alone in the cold weather?
(a) The old timer at Sulphur Creek.
(b) His mates.
(c) Another traveller.
(d) His dog.
(vii) In the short story, The Singing Lesson, what did Mary Beazley give Miss Meadows as the latter entered the music hall?
(a) Her music books.
(b) A yellow rose.
(c) A yellow chrysanthemum.
(d) A letter from Basil.
(viii) In the poem, Crossing the Bar, which voyage is the poet referring to?
(a) A voyage of discovery.
(b) The voyage from life to death.
(c) The voyage of self-discovery.
(d) The voyage of the imagination.
(ix) What does the word “coppice” mean in the poem The Darkling Thrush?
(b) Dense Forest
(x) In the poem We are the Music Makers, where are the creative people usually found?
(b) In crowded cities.
(c) Near streams and sea- breakers.
Complete the following sentences by providing a reason for each: 
(i) In Act III Scene I of The Tempest, Miranda disobeyed her father and crept out to meet Ferdinand because ______________________________.
(ii) At the end of Act III of The Tempest, Prospero is not surprised at the love that has bloomed between Miranda and Ferdinand because ____________________.
(iii) In Act III Scene II of The Tempest, Caliban is annoyed with Trinculo because ______________________________.
(iv) In Act V of The Tempest, Prospero embraces Alonso because ______________.
(v) In the short story, To Build a Fire, the man carried his lunch wrapped in a handkerchief, next to his skin because ______________________________.
(vi) In the short story The Story of an Hour, Richards hurried to give the news of Bently Mallard’s death to Mrs. Mallard because _________________________.
(vii) In the short story, The Sound Machine, Mrs. Saunders turned and ran up the garden into her house because ______________________________.
(viii) In the poem, The Darkling Thrush, all humankind had sought their household fires because ______________________________.
(ix) In the poem, Birches, the poet often dreams of going back to his childhood because ______________________________.
(x) In the poem, We are the Music Makers, the poet declares that music makers are considered failures because ______________________________.
SECTION B – 60 MARKS
The Tempest: William Shakespeare
(i) Referring closely to Act IV of the play, explain why Prospero ends the masque suddenly? What does he tell Ferdinand about the impermanence of the world? 
(ii) With close reference to Act III Scene II of the play, describe the plot that Caliban hatches to murder Prospero. 
(a) Referring closely to the masque presented by Prospero for Ferdinand and Miranda, explain the purpose of the masque. 
(b) Referring closely to the interaction between Prospero and Alonso in Act V of the play, describe the changes that you notice in both these characters. 
(i) Referring closely to the short story The Sound Machine, describe the events that occurred when Klausner went to the park with his sound machine. 
(ii) Describe the interaction between Miss Meadows and the Science Mistress in the short story The Singing Lesson. Comment on the behaviour of Miss Meadows. 
(a) What do you conclude about the struggles and challenges faced by women from the short story, The Story of an Hour? 
(b) The cold becomes a character in the short story, To Build a Fire. Do you agree? Give your views by referring to the story. 
(i) In the poem, Crossing the Bar, discuss why the thought of death poses no fear for the poet. 
(ii) Music makers are change makers. How is this conveyed in the poem We are the Music Makers? 
(a) How does the poet resolve the crisis in his mind in the poem The Darkling Thrush? What are his thoughts at the end of the poem? 
(b) Dover Beach combines beautiful natural description with a commentary on the contemporary situation. Discuss. 
You can read and download the entire ISC Class 12 English Specimen Paper 2023 below.
Check all the latest Specimen Papers of ISC Class 12 below.
Also Read: ISC Class 12 Syllabus 2023
Also Read: ICSE Syllabus 2023