CBSE Class 10 English Communicative Exam specifications

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CBSE Class 10 English Communicative Exam specifications. CBSE issues sample papers every year for students for class 10 board exams. Students should solve the CBSE issued sample papers to understand the pattern of the question paper which will come in class 10 board exams this year. The sample papers have been provided with marking scheme. It’s always recommended to practice as many CBSE sample papers as possible before the board examinations. Sample papers should be always practiced in examination condition at home or school and the student should show the answers to teachers for checking or compare with the answers provided. Students can download the sample papers in pdf format free and score better marks in examinations. Refer to other links too for latest sample papers.

Qs 1-4. Students will be expected to attempt four unseen passages of total length of 650-800 words carrying five marks each. 

Passage types will include literary, discursive and factual. One out of the four passages will be a poem.

 Two out of four passages will have Multiple Choice Questions carrying.

 Two out of four passages will have questions wherein students will be expected to supply the responses. This will carry 5+5=10 marks. Question types will be: gap filling, sentence completion, table completion, word attack questions, short answer questions and reference questions.


The writing section comprises three writing tasks as indicated below.

Q5. A short answer question of upto 80 words in the form of a biographical sketch (expansion of notes on an individual's life or achievements into a short paragraph)/ data interpretation, dialogue writing or description (people, places, events). 

The question will assess students' skills of expressing ideas in clear and grammatically correct English, presenting ideas coherently and concisely, writing a clear description, a clear account of events, expanding notes into a piece of writing or transcoding information from one form to another.

Q6. A long answer question (minimum 120 words) in the form of a formal letter/ informal letter or an email. The output would be a long piece of writing and will assess the use of appropriate style, language, content and expression.

Q7. A long answer question (minimum 150 words) in the form of a diary entry, article, speech, story or debate

Students' skills in expression of ideas in clear and grammatically correct English, planning,organising and presenting ideas coherently by introducing, developing and concluding a topic, comparing and contrasting ideas and arriving at a conclusion, presenting an argument with supporting examples, using an appropriate style and format and expanding notes into longer pieces of writing and creative expression of ideas will be assessed.

Important Notes on Format and Word Limit:

  Format will not carry any separate marks and in most cases, format will be given in the question paper.

 The word limit given is the suggested minimum word limit. No candidate may be penalised for writing more or less than the suggested word limit. Stress should be on content, expression, coherence and relevance of the content presented.


 This section will carry five questions of four marks each

 Out of five questions two questions (question 8 and 9) carrying 4 marks each i.e. total eight marks will have MCQs .The test types for MCQs include:

 Gap filling

 Sentence completion

 Dialogue completion

◊ Question 10, 11, and 12 will be based on response supplied by students.

These test types which will not be tested as MCQs include:

  Sentence re-ordering



 Sentence transformation


Q13. A One out of two extracts for reference to context with MCQs (based on poetry / prose/ drama) The extract will carry

B) One extract for reference to context (based on poetry / prose/drama) where students will be expected to supply the answer. The extract will carry 3 marks. (20-30 words each)

Q14. Four out of five short answer type questions based on prose, poetry or plays of 2 marks each. The questions will not test recall but inference and evaluation. (30-40 words each) 

Q15. One out of two long answer type questions to assess personal response to text by going beyond the text/ poetry / prose/drama. Creativity, imagination and extrapolation beyond the text and across two texts will also be assessed. (120 words)

Please click the link below to download full pdf file for CBSE Class 10 English Communicative Exam specifications.


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