Thursday, June 3, 2010

ISC English Paper I and II Allocation of Marks

Aims (English Language)
1. To develop habits of:
(a) clear articulate expression, using accepted
syntactical forms and structures, with a firm
grasp of idiom;
(b) critical thinking, involving assessment and
analysis of the written material provided.
2. To develop the capacity to critically and
innovatively examine and to assess the value of
passages of argumentative writing, to consider the
assumptions upon which the arguments rest and to
trace the implications that follow.
3. To develop adequate and appropriate vocabulary.
4. To develop the ability to comprehend and
appreciate good prose.
Aims (Prescribed Texts)
1. To develop an appreciation of literature through a
critical study of selected literary works.
2. To help students achieve through the study of
literature, an understanding of the study of man.
3. To create an interest in the warp of thought which
differs from that of the group to which the student
4. To develop the power of expression.
There will be two papers as follows:
Paper 1: English Language (3 hours) – 100 marks
Paper 2: Prescribed Textbooks (3 hours) – 100 marks
Paper 1: English Language (3 hours)
Question One: A composition on one of a number of
subjects. ...30 Marks
Question Two: A short composition based on
suggested points – a review or an article which may
be descriptive or argumentative in nature. ...20 Marks
Question Three: Short-answer questions to test
grammar, structure and usage. ...20 Marks
Question Four: Comprehension. ...30 Marks
It is recommended that in Paper 1 about 50 minutes
should be spent on Question one, 40 minutes on
Question two, 30 minutes on Question three and
one hour on Question four.
Question One
Candidates will be required to select one composition
topic from a choice of six. The choice will normally
include narrative, descriptive, reflective and
discussion topics.
The suggested length of the composition is 450 – 500
The main criteria by which the compositions will be
marked are as follows:
(a) The quality of the language employed; the range
and appropriateness of vocabulary and sentence
structure, syntax, the correctness of grammatical
constructions, punctuation and spelling.
(b) The degree to which candidates have been
successful in organising both the composition as a
whole and the individual paragraphs.
Question Two
Candidates will be required to write a composition
based on the information and ideas provided. A
situation and the purpose of the composition will be
specified. Skills such as selecting, amplifying,
condensing, describing, presenting reasoned
arguments, re-arranging and re-stating may be
involved. The candidates' ability in the above skills
will be taken into account and above all their ability to
handle the language appropriately in the context of the
given situation.
It is emphasised that only one question will be set in
the examination paper and that this will be
Question Three
All the items in this question shall be compulsory, and
their number may vary from year to year. They will
consist of short-answer, open completion items or any
other type, which would test the same areas of ability
in English language. Only two or three types will be
included in any one examination.
Question Four
For this question, a passage of prose of about 500
words will be provided. Questions based on this
passage will be set to test the candidates’ ability to
understand the content and argument of and to infer
information and meanings from the given text.
Question to test the ability to summarize will be
included. There will be no alternative questions.
All questions will have to be answered.
Paper 2: Prescribed Texts (3 hours)
Candidates will be required to answer five questions
as follows:
One textual question (compulsory) on the
Shakespeare play/alternative prescribed play together
with four other questions on at least three texts,
which may include the Shakespeare play/alternative
Question 1 compulsory.... 20 Marks, four other
questions, each carrying 20 Marks
(Note: Candidates are reminded that infringement of
the rubric will certainly invite penalty during the
marking of answer scripts.)
The textual question, which will be set on the
Shakespeare play/alternative play, will contain four
short passages and candidates will be required to
answer questions set on three of the passages. These
questions may require candidates to explain words and
phrases, to rewrite passages in modern English, or to
relate an extract to the work as a whole.
The rest of the questions on the Shakespeare
play/alternative play and on the other prescribed texts
will require essay-type answers and will be set on the
context, plot or plots, characters and other prominent
literary qualities of the works prescribed.

P.S. I am grateful to the official Website of the ISC Board, New Delhi for the above content and guidelines.


  1. Please explain Act 1Sc-2 Macbeth Pg 2 Line (8-23)

    Captain:- Doubtful it stood.....and fixed his head upon our battlements.

  2. Tamojit,
    Thanks for commenting. Please see the archive for the explanation.