CBSE 10th Class English Language and Literature Syllabus

Course Structure

Sections Topics Marks
A Reading Skills 20
B Writing Skills with Grammar 25
C Literature Textbooks and Extended Text 25
D Assessment of Speaking and Listening (ASL) 20
Total 90

Pattern of Exams and Marks Distribution

  • There will be one written paper of English at the end of each term carrying 70 marks. The time limit of this exam will be 3 hours.

  • The distribution of marks for Formative Assessments carrying 40% weightage may be done by the schools themselves.

  • A variety of activities to assess all the skills of language may be used for Formative Assessments.

  • The Summative Assessment Question Papers, if developed by the schools themselves, may be for 70 marks to which 20 marks may be added for Assessment of Speaking and Listening skills making the paper total of 90 marks.

  • The one third of the 90 marks i.e. 30 should be added each in both Summative Assessments.

  • Assessment of Speaking and Listening Skills (ASL) will be done formally at the term end examination in Summative II.

  • Schools can conduct ASL for Summative I themselves as per the guidelines provided by the CBSE.

  • However, assessment of these skills may also be done under the Formative activities spread over two terms.

Section A: Reading

Section A - I

  • Q.1: A Factual passage 300-350 words with eight very short answer type questions. [8 marks]

  • Q.2: A Discursive passage of 350-400 words with four short answer type questions test inference, evaluation and analysis with four very short answer questions to test vocabulary. [12 marks]

Section B: Writing and Grammar

  • Q.3: Letter to the editor/article in about 100-120 words based on visual or verbal stimulus. [5 marks]

  • Q.4: Writing a short story based on a given outline or cue/s in about 150-200 words. [10 marks]

The Grammar syllabus will include the following topics in classes IX & X.


  • Modals (have to/had to, must, should, need, ought to and their negative forms)

  • Use of passive voice

  • Subject – verb concord

  • Reporting −

    • Commands and requests

    • Statements

    • Questions

  • Clauses −

    • Noun clauses

    • Adverb clauses of condition and time

    • Relative clauses

    • Determiners

    • Prepositions

The above items may be tested through test types as given below −

  • Q.5: Gap filling with one or two words to test Prepositions, Articles, Conjunctions and Tenses. [3 marks]

  • Q.6: Editing or Omission [4 marks]

  • Q.7: Sentences reordering or Sentence Transformation in context. [3 marks]

Section C: Literature Textbooks and Long Reading Text

  • Q.8: One out of two extracts from prose/poetry/drama for reference to context. Three very short answer questions. [3 marks]

One mark in each extract will be for vocabulary. One question will be used for testing local and global comprehension and one question will be on interpretation.

  • Q.9: Four short answer type questions from FIRST FLIGHT & FOOTPRINTS WITHOUT FEET (two from each) to test local and global comprehension of theme and ideas (30-40 words each) [2 × 4 = 8 Marks]

  • Q.10: One out of two long answer type questions to assess how the values inherent in the texts have been brought out (FIRST FLIGHT & FOOTPRINTS WITHOUT FEET). Creativity, imagination and extrapolation beyond the text and across the texts will be assessed. (80-100 words) [4 marks]

  • Q.11: One out of two Very Long Answer Questions on theme or plot involving interpretation and inference and character sketch in about 100-120 words based on prescribed extended reading text. [10 Marks]

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