CBSE Class 12th Syllabus

Class 12th Syllabus for English Elective:-

Unit-wise Weightage

AReading Skills20
BWriting Skills and Grammar40
CLiterary Texts & Long Reading40

Section A: Reading Skills

Very short answer / Short answer and MCQ type questions:

Two unseen passages (including poems) with a variety of questions including 04 marks for vocabulary such as word formation and inferring meaning. The total range of the two passages including a poem or a stanza, should be around 1000-1100 words to assess comprehension, analysis, inference, evaluation and literary appreciation.

  1. 550-600 words in length (for note-making and summarising)
  2. 450-500 words in length (to test comprehension)

The passage could be of any one of the following types:

  • Factual passages, e.g., illustrations, description, reports
  • Discursive passages involving opinion, e.g., argumentative, persuasive
  • Literary passages, e.g., poems, extracts from fiction, biography, autobiography, travelogue, etc. In the case of a poem, the text may be shorter than the prescribed word limit.

Section B: Writing Skills and Grammar

Short Answer Question: Notices, advertisements, factual description of people, places and objects, drafting posters, drafting, accepting and declining invitations.

Long Answer Question: Letter of any of the following types based on a verbal or visual input:

  1. Official letters for making inquiries, suggesting changes – registering and responding to complaints, asking for and giving information, placing orders and sending replies.
  2. Letters to the editor on various social, national and international issues.
  3. Application for a job including CV (Curriculum Vitae) / Resume.

Very Long Answer Question: Sustained writing task such as writing a speech, an article for a magazine or a report based on verbal / visual input.


A variety of questions, as listed below may be asked, involving the application of grammar items in context (i.e., not in isolated sentences). The grammar syllabus will be sampled each year. Though only modals, determiners, voice and tense forms have been dealt with in class XI, however, other grammar items such as prepositions, verb forms, connectors which have been learnt earlier would also be included.

Very Short Questions and Multiple Choice Questions

  • Reordering of words and sentences
  • Composing a dialogue based on a given input
  • Error correction in sentences
  • Drafting questions / questionnaires based on given input

Section C: Literature: Prescribed Books and Long Reading Text (Novel)

Questions to test comprehension at different levels and of different kinds – local, global, interpretative, inferential, evaluative and extrapolatory.

Very Short and Short Answer Questions: Two based on out of three extracts from different poems to test theme, setting and literary devices.

Short Answer Questions: Based on different prose / drama / poetry / pieces from the Literature Reader; to test local and global comprehension of ideas and languages used in the text.

Long Answer Question: Extended questions based on one of the prose texts or play in the Literature Reader to test global comprehension and for extrapolation beyond the text.

Long Answer Questions: To test understanding, appreciation, analysis, inference in a plot and writing a character sketch.

Note: Values based questions for 4 marks may be asked in Sections – B or C.

Prescribed Books

1. Language Skills book – Class XII English Elective CBSE published by Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi.

2. Literature Reader – Class XII English Elective CBSEpublished by Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi.

3. Novel (either one)

  1. The Invisible Man (unabridged) by H.G. Wells
  2.  Silas Marner (unabridged) by George Eliot

Deleted Portion for English Elective

Deleted Topics from CBSE 12th English (Core) Syllabus 2020-21: 

⇒ Reading

Note Making & Summarizing

⇒ Literature


1. Poets and Pancakes 1. A Roadside Stand

2. The Interview

3. Going Places


1. The Tiger King

2. Journey to the end of the Earth

3. Memories of Childhood

⇒ Writing

• Poster making

• Business or official letters for making enquiries, registering complaints, asking for and giving information, placing orders and sending replies.

• Speech, Debate

Deleted Topics from CBSE 12th English (Elective) Syllabus 2020-21: 

cbse class 12th syllabus

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