Before you Begin…

  • The answers to these tests are available! You can buy them as an eBook shortly before your final exams. All the best.

Skimble Shanks

You can play no pranks with Skimbleshanks!
He’s a Cat that cannot be ignored;
So nothing goes wrong on the Northern Mail
When Skimbleshanks is aboard.

Oh, it’s very pleasant when you have found your little den
With your name written up on the door.
And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet
And there’s not a speck of dust on the floor.

  1. Mention any two qualities of Skimbleshanks. (1 mark)
  2. What do you mean by, “He is a cat that cannot be ignored?” (1 mark)
  3. From the third and fourth lines of the first stanza, what do you understand about Skimbleshanks’ importance for the Railway. (1 mark)
  4. What is the rhyme scheme of the stanzas? Do both stanzas have similar rhyme schemes? (2 marks)
  5. What does ‘little den’ mean? (1 mark)
  6. Does the poet say that it is Skimbleshanks who keep the sheets clean? What makes you think so? (1 marks)

Silver Lining – Chaman Nahal

  1. Did the Bhandari Guest House comfortably accommodate the narrator? Support your answer. (2 marks)
  2. ‘His strange, ambiguous silence, his sudden rush for the girl on reading the note – all became instantly clear to us.’
    1. Who is referred to as he? (1 mark)
    2. What became clear to the narrator and the rest? (2 marks)
    3. Who are ‘us’ in the above context? (1 mark)
  3. What was so charming or special about Pramodini’s appearance and behavior that Mr. Dhanda couldn’t help smiling? (2 marks)
  4. Pick out four statements about the Railway Cat that appear to be extraordinary for a cat but in fact very ordinary for every cat. Explain how these statements are ordinary. (2 marks)
  5. How did David bring a change in the lives of the Bhandaris? (4 marks)
  6. If you were in the place of Pramodini with parents as the Bhandaris, how could you initiate a change in your life without a helper like Mr. David? (4 marks)
  7. The disabled understand the disabled. Comment. (4 marks)

B Wordsworth – V S Naipaul

  1. How was B Wordsworth different from the rest of the callers?
    Most people who called on the narrator’s family to borrow money and food. Very rarely, there were rogues who behaved absurdly. On the contrary, B Wordsworth came only to observe the bees in the narrator’s yard. He was least like the others.
  2. Why does B Wordsworth like to be known so?
    B Wordsworth was a poet with a different way of understanding the world, himself and poetry. He had a lot of love for nature just like William Wordsworth. Apart from this similarity with Wordsworth, he was of a dark complexion. For these reasons, he liked to be called B Wordsworth, where B stands for ‘Black.’
  3. Why was the narrator’s mother worried about B Wordsworth?
  4. What makes B Wordsworth a peculiar character in your opinion?
  5. What did B Wordsworth refer to as ‘a poet’s tragedy?’
    By a poet’s tragedy, B Wordsworth refers to the tragedy of poets who have no buyers for their most beautiful poems even at the cost of four cents. He felt it tragic owing to the mentality of the people who consider the creativity of a poet absurd and worthless.
  6. What for did B Wordsworth visit the narrator the second time?
  7. What was special about B Wordsworth’s hut and its surroundings in Albert Street? (1 mark)
  8. Why did mother beat the narrator? What did he do in response to it? (1 mark)
  9. Do you think that B. Wordsworth is the boy poet in the story? Why do you think so? (2 marks)
  10. As the narrator of the story, write a diary entry about your meeting B Wordsworth. Include details such as: what is so special about him; why you like him; why your mom hated him; what do you think about him as a poet, etc.
    (Recommended starting – Today I met the most noted man in my life. His name is Wordsworth. When came to our yard in the morning we thought that he had come for some help but he was not. He said he had come to watch the bees on our trees…)

Reading Section

Reading Comprehension 1

When the brave meets with an obstacle, he faces it; when the soldier meets his enemy, he lifts his weapon to attack him; when the lion meets a hunter, it pounces upon him but when the coward has to face a little difficulty, he either runs back for his life or tell lies to escape. Telling lies is what a coward does. It is easy to tell a lie. Say, “I was ill,” “I didn’t hear you,” “I thought you meant it that way,” etc.

Although everyone resorts to telling lies, students and businessmen do that the most. Students have to tell lies because they are afraid of their teachers, Principals and back home, their parents. Businessmen have to tell lies because it is how they make profit. They buy a book from a wholesaler for 20 bucks and then sell it out to the customer for 100 bucks. Today’s children are tomorrow’s businessmen yet we do not want our children lie. Lie kills one’s self esteem as well as social status.

While we cannot make the grown up businessman stop lying, we can ask our little ones. The best parents can do is not to bring the children to a situation where they obviously have to lie. If you, as a parent, knows that your child would lie if you ask him/her if he had stolen money from your wallet, do no ask such a question. If you do so, you are forcing him/her to lie. At the same time, do not make him/her feel that you are an idiot. Make your child know that you know how many lies he/she tells and advise that telling lies only pulls himself down.

  1. Mention one reason why children tell lies. (1 mark)
  2. Why do businessmen resort to telling lies? (1 mark)
  3. Why shouldn’t one tell lies? (1 mark)
  4. Why shouldn’t parents bring their children to a situation under which he/she may lie? (1 mark)
  5. What should parents do when they see that their children lie? (1 mark)
  6. Find words that have similar meanings: (1 mark)
    1. A person who is not brave.
    2. Depend on

Writing Section

Informal Letter

  1. Write a letter to your friend Amit describing the new botanical garden you have built in front of your house with three more friends of yours and your younger brother Deepak and elder sister Divya. You are Divik, 123/B, Shalimarbagh, Delhi – 88. (5 marks)

Message writing

Read the following conversation and, as Sou Ki, write a message to Kevin.

  • Ms. Charlotte – Good morning, Mr. Sou Ki. I am Charlotte, your son’s discipline in-charge at Presentation School. The Principal wishes to know why Kevin has not attended the school for the past three days.
  • Mr. Sou Ki – Good morning, Ms Charlotte but it has given me great shock hearing this. I have no idea about this because Kevin has never bunked school nor does he have friends who could misguide him.
  • Ms. Charlotte – That’s unfortunate, Mr. Sou Ki. However, kindly pass him this message. He is to meet the Principal tomorrow at 10.35 exactly with an explanation letter signed by you. Besides, he is to be prepared to face strict disciplinary measures in case he is offtrack.

Article Writing

  1. Write an article on the rising significance of gadgets in our daily life. Discuss facts, causes, consequences, suggestion/solutions. 200 words.


Choose the correct article for the following



Formal Letters

Subject Verb Agreement

  1. The difficulty level of value-based questions …… (has/have) increased.
  2. Not only the natives but also the expatriates …… (has/have) violated traffic rules.
  3. Neither my friends nor my brother ….. (has been/have been) honest to me.
  4. The old mayor as well as the new …… (was/were) present on the occasion of the farewell.
  5. None of my answers …….. (was/were) correct. I wished one …… (was/were) correct.
  6. One of my cousins ……. (is/are) in critical list while some of his friends ……. (is/are) seriously injured.





Active – Passive

  1. I have bought you a ship. (Convert to Passive) You have been been bought a ship.
  2. No one has ever visited the Mouyavoo Castle. (Convert to Passive)
  3. One of my answers was copied by the whole class. (Convert to Active)
  4. Why didn’t you tell me that you were not part of the mission? (Convert to Passive) Why was I  not told that you were not…
  5. When have you painted this one? It is really magnificent! (Convert to Passive)

Merchant of Venice


Tom Sawyer

  1. Write a character sketch of Aunt Polly.
    1. Tom’s aunt and guardian.
    2. She is a simple, a heart full of kindness although she struggles to balance her love for her nephew with her duty bring him up as a disciplined child.
    3. In most attempts to teach Tom a lesson, it is she who learns the same lesson that Tom was not going to change his ways.
    4. She worries about Tom’s safety so she doesn’t put hard punishments upon him.
    5. Above all, Aunt Polly wants to be appreciated and loved.

Revision Test November

Reading Section

  1. Unseen Passage
  2. Unseen Poem

Grammar & Writing

  1. Active Passive
    1. Sam has constructed another house.
    2. They are asking everyone to donate half of his income for the construction of the statue.
    3. I have heard that your son has returned from Australia.
    4. What do people say about the Son of God?
    5. Can you bring my luggage from the railway station?
      Can my ….
    6. Are your brothers teaching poor children to uplift the society?
  2. Process Writing
    1. Boil a cup of pure cow-milk for three minutes.
    2. Drop two teaspoonful coffee powder into the boiling water.
    3. Add two teaspoonful sugar and stir the coffee well.
      To make coffee, first …. ….. …. ….. ….. for three minutes. Next, …. ….. …. …. ….. ….. into the boiling water. Finally, …. ….. …. …. the coffee is ……. well.
  3. Notice Writing
    1. Your school has decided to place 100 litter-bins in the city. For this an NGO is visiting your school on 8 November, Monday, to train students to make litter-bins from cane and bamboo. The NGO will provide cane and bamboo for which each student has to pay ₹ 300. Write a notice as Aditya/Aditi, class 8B, GD Goenka School, Delhi – 22.
  4. Tense

Literature Section

The West Wind

  1. It’s the white road westwards is the road I must tread
    To the green grass, the cool grass, and rest for heart and head,
    To the violets, and the warm hearts, and the thrushes’ song,
    In the fine land, the west land, the land where I belong.
    1. Name the poem and the poet. (1 mark)
    2. Why is the road said to be ‘white road?’ (1 mark)
    3. Who is the speaker of this stanza? (1 mark)
    4. What does the poet mean by ‘the land I belong’? (1 mark)
    5. What is the rhyme scheme of the stanza? (1 mark)
    6. How does the poet describe the land that he belongs to? (2 marks)
    7. Pick out a line that contains an alliteration and underline the alliteration. (1 mark)

A Shot in the Dark

  1. Why did Sletherby refuse to help Bertie Saltpen? (2 marks)
  2. How did Philip Sletherby realize that he had refused to help the real Bertie Saltpen? (4 marks)

Tom Sawyer 16

Tom Sawyer 17

Tom Sawyer 18

Tom Sawyer 19

Next – January 22, 2018

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men. He gives live classes on Skype and Facebook. You can attend his 3 Day Classes (English & Business Studies) in Delhi, Bangalore, Qatar and Dubai. His Contact number is 91 9810740061.

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