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Exam Special

ICSE 10 Physics (Science I) Exam Review and Analysis

Was the ICSE 10 Physics paper really tough? Read more to know.

By Admin 16th Mar, 2018 06:34 pm

The Class 10 Board Exams for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, popularly known as ICSE, have been going on since 26th February 2018, and today, the ICSE Class 10 students had their Physics (Science Paper I) exam, the most dreaded subject after Mathematics.

Like always, students got a day to prepare themselves for this Physics exam. Let us analyse the paper and check whether this 1-day break was good enough for students.

Question Paper Structure

The ICSE X Physics exam comprises a theory paper (of two hours duration) which has questions of a total of 80 marks and an internal assessment with practical work carrying 20 marks.

The theory paper was divided into two sections, Section I (40 marks) and Section II (40 marks).

Section I was compulsory and had a total of 4 questions on the entire syllabus, mostly of the ‘short answer type’.

Section II had a total of six questions. Students were given an option to answer any four of these six questions.

To help our student readers who attempted the various questions, we have reviewed the theory paper of 100 marks without considering the options.

They say, ‘change is the only constant’, even so in ICSE where exams and annual syllabus upgradation are concerned. On comparing this question paper with that of previous years, we find that the weightage of the units ‘Light’ and ‘Electricity and Magnetism’ increased substantially. The corresponding weightage was decreased from the units ‘Sound’ and ‘Modern Physics’.

Question Types and Difficulty Level

The Physics question paper of ICSE Class X had three broadly divided types of questions:

Subjective questions are theoretical questions testing the remembering and understanding capability of a student. Diagram-based questions are based on evaluation, drawing or explaining the concept with a diagram. These test the understanding, evaluating and drawing abilities of a student. Numerical questions are problems which involve being given the values of physical quantities and other quantities are asked to be calculated using an equation, formula or relationship.

This year’s ICSE X Physics board exam paper was designed in a manner that out of 100% of the marks (without considering the options), a student would be able to score about 50% of the marks by answering subjective questions, 30% of the marks by solving numerical problems and 20% of the marks by confidently attempting the diagram-based questions. All the units in the syllabus were fairly put up in the question paper across these three types of questions.

The below table will help you understand the ‘Unit vs. Type of Questions’ distribution in the ICSE X Physics 2018 board exam.



Question Type


Diagram Based

Numerical Problems


Force, Work, Power and Energy















Electricity and Magnetism










Modern Physics






Students with thorough knowledge on the units of ‘Light’, ‘Electricity and Magnetism’ and ‘Force, Work, Power and Energy’ would find this paper to be very scoring. The questions in Section II, based on the unit ‘Sound’, proved to be a score-enhancing ladder for all students.

A diagram-based question on ‘Amplitude and Wavelength’ and a lengthy but easy numerical based on ‘Echo’ must have been a relief for students.

It would be unfair to conclude that this paper was very easy, but yes, this paper gave a great scoring opportunity to students who were regular with their learning of concepts and practising with sample papers.

Now without wasting much time in thinking about the things of the past, students of ICSE Class X should pull up their socks for the next major exam of Chemistry (Science Paper II) which is to be held on 19th March 2018.


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