Class 12 English Syllabus

Class 12 English Syllabus

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that English is the only subject taken granted universally by all the students in class XIIth. While we invest hours in preparing and revising other subjects, irrespective of the stream we belong to, English hardly gets on the top of our desk! However, it carries equal weightage as other counterparts in the board examination. Class 12 English Syllabus is divided into 2 parts – English Core and English Electives. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is the most sought-after board in India, provides a comprehensive Class 12 English Syllabus of both Core and Elective. While preparing for boards, you are also strengthening your English for competitive exams and can also help you build a career in Functional English. Through this blog, we will walk you through the syllabus and exam pattern for the class 12th board examination. 

Class 12 English Books 2020

While talking about class 12 English syllabus, one of the essential section of the final exam is section D or Literature. One can ace this particular division only by reading chapters and solving back exercises. It is essential for candidates to have a good understanding of chapters. Given below are the list of chapters covered in the books of English Core Class 12th.


The Last LessonMy Mother at Sixty Six
Lost SpringAn Elementary School
Deep WaterKeeping Quiet
The Rat TrapA Thing of Beauty
IndigoA Roadside Stand
Poets and PancakesAunt Jennifer’s Tigers
The Interview
Going Places


The Third LevelThe Tiger King
Journey to the End of the EarthThe Enemy
Should Wizard Hit MommyOn the Face of It
Evans Tries An O-LevelMemories of Childhood
The Cutting of My Long HairWe too are Human Beings

Want to study BA English Literature?

Class 12 English Syllabus & Exam Pattern – Core 2020

The class 12 English syllabus – Core, enables students to develop a good understanding of the language and literature. In the final examination, candidates are evaluated in terms of their Reading, Writing and Literature skills. Given below is the distribution of the same: 

SectionsDistribution of Marks
Section A: Reading Comprehension20
Section B: Writing Skills30
Section C: Literature Section30

Section A: Reading Comprehension

This Class 12 English syllabus section consists of two passages:

  • There will be 1 unseen passage given with a variety of Objective Type Questions, including MCQs and Short Answer type questions to test comprehension, interpretation, vocabulary and inference. From this unseen passage, 5 MCQs and 7 Objective type questions shall be asked. The passage will be of the total length of 800 – 900 words. The passage type could be Factual or Descriptive or Literary passage. (12 marks)
  • In the second passage, students are assessed in Note making and Abstraction. The distribution of marks: Note Making (4 marks) and Summary (4 marks).

Section B: Writing Skills

  • Notices, advertisement, Writing formal and informal invitations, designing or drafting posters. Out of the two Short Answer Questions (SAQs), one question is asked which consists of 4 marks.
  • Letters based on visual/verbal inputs- Student have to answer one question, out of the two Long Answer Questions (LAQs) which consists of 6 marks
  • There are 2 composition questions based on verbal/verbal input, which includes a speech /articles/debate or report- 2 LAQs containing internal choice, which is to be answered by students in 150-200 words. (20 marks each)

Section C- Literature Section 

  • 8 Objective type of questions(OTQs)-  four questions from one poetry and four from one prose extract to test comprehension and appreciation. (8 marks)
  • Out of 7 Short Answer type questions, students have to answer 5 questions, which are based on drama/poetry/ prose from both textbooks. (5*2=10 marks)
  • In Long Answer type questions, one question out of two Long Answer Questions (from textbook Flamingo) has to be answered by students in 120-150 words. (6 marks)
  • One question out of 2 Long Answer Questions (from textbook Flamingo) has to be answered by students in 120-150 words. (6 marks)

Class 12 English Syllabus & Pattern – Elective 2020

Class 12 English syllabus – Elective is an advanced version which focuses more on literary-oriented and covers various aspects of literature. CBSE Class 12 English syllabus – Elective consists of 4 sections. Given below, course structure of English Elective and distribution of marks for each section:

SectionsDistribution of Marks
Section A- Reading Section20
Section B- Creative Writing Skills and Applied Grammar Section30
Section C- Literature Section20
Section D- Fiction Section10

Section A: Reading Section

This section consists of passage (literary and discursive) of about 950-1000 words. Out of this passage, 12 questions are asked which comprises of MCQs. (12 marks= 121) and a poem about 24-28 lines, out of this poem, 4 short questions are asked to test the student’s interpretation and appreciation. (42=8 marks).

Section B: Creative Writing Skills and Applied Grammar Section

In Long answer type questions, 2 questions
are to be answered out of three questions
by the students in 120-150 words each.
(12 marks=2*6)
Out of 2 Long Answer type questions,
1 questions are two be answered by
the students in 150-200 words each.
(10 marks=2*5)
Transformation of Sentences: 8 objective
type questions
(8 marks=8*1)

Section C- Literature Section

  1. Out of 2 Short Answer type questions, one question has to be answered by the students in about 50-60 words. (2 marks)
  2. Out of 3 Short Answer type questions, two questions have to be answered in about 60-80 words. (8 marks= 4*2)
  3. Out of 3 Long Answer type questions, two questions have to be answered by the student in about 80-100 words, which test the deeper understanding, apprehension and interpretation skills of students. (10 marks= 5*2)

Section D- Fiction Section

  1. Out of 2 Short Answer type questions, one question needs to be answered in 60-80 words, which tests understanding, interpretation, evaluation and appreciation of characters, events, episodes and interpersonal relationships (4 marks).
  2. Out of 2 Long Answer type questions, one question needs to be answered about 120-160 words, which test deeper understanding, drawing inferences and apprehension. (6 marks).


The seminar part comprises of 20 marks, which includes, Presentation- a play /a short story/novel/ book review/ novella (tale, table, parable), Poetry Reading to be followed by interpretative tasks based on close reading and literary analysis of the text and Conducting a theatre workshop to be followed by a discussion.

Class 12 English Previous Year Questions 2019

Now that you are familiarized with the Class 12 English syllabus, here are some of the important questions from the CBSE Class 12 English 2019 Question Paper:

1. You are Ramesh/Reena of Class XII. You are disturbed to see the poor plight of girls in society as they are not given equal rights and privileges. You decide to give a speech in the school assembly making suggestions as to how to improve their position in society. (150 – 200 words)

2. A sedentary lifestyle gives birth to a number of health problems. Write an article in 150 – 200 words for your school magazine on the importance of daily exercise.

3. Answer any one of the following questions in 120 – 150 words:
(a) How did Mahatma Gandhi help the Champaran peasants?
(b) How are Jansie and Sophie different from each other?
(c) How did Franz’s feelings about M. Hamel and school change?

4. Aunt Jennifer’s fingers fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull
The massive weight of uncle’s wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand.

(a) Why are Aunt Jennifer’s fingers fluttering through her wool ?
(b) What is Aunt Jennifer doing that she finds very hard to do ?
(c) Why does the wedding band seem too heavy ?
(d) What impression do you form of Aunt Jennifer from the extract ?

5. Answer any one of the following questions in 120 – 150 words:

(a) What impression do you form of Dr. Sadao as a man and as a
surgeon after reading ‘The Enemy’?
(b) How did Mr. Lamb change Derry’s life?
(c) How did Zitkala-Sa fight against oppression?

6. Answer any one of the following questions in 120 – 150 words:

(a) Describe the encounter between Colonel Adye and Griffin. (The
Invisible Man)
(b) Describe the tragic end of Griffin.
(c) How did the people of Raveloe react to Silas on his arrival?
(d) How did Eppie arrive at Silas’ Cottage?

7. Answer any four of the following questions in 30 – 40 words each: (3*4 = 12 Marks)

(a) Mention any two long-term consequences of the drowning incident
for Douglas.
(b) What does the poem ‘An Elementary Classroom in a Slum’ tell us
about the children?
(c) Describe the irony in Saheb’s name.
(d) How does the Governor convince the Secretary that Evans deserves
to take the O-level German examination?
(e) Why did the General not send Dr. Sadao to the war front where he
was most needed?
(f) How does Jo want the story to end and why? (Should Wizard Hit

These questions have been sourced from the official website of CBSE. You can explore the complete 2019 Class 12 English question paper by clicking here.

Hope the blog has delivered all that you need to know about class 12 English syllabus. If you are planning to study BA English or make a career in Foreign Language after 12th from leading universities abroad, seek guidance from Leverage Edu, our experts will push you forward towards your goal!

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