Descriptive Essay ICSE 2016

This Descriptive Essay was asked in ICSE 2016 board exam. You can find Previous Year Descriptive Essay Topics asked in ICSE board exams.

Descriptive Essay ICSE 2016

Narrate an incident from your own experience when you expected to do very well, but for some reason were unable to do so. Explain what happened and why it happened. What lesson did you learn from it? (ICSE 2016)

Won the semifinal race with a huge margin

  • Resolved to break the school record in the final 400 metres race
  • Put all my energy in the first round
  • Tried to accelerate the speed in the final lap but could not do so
  • Greatly disappointed on losing the race

‘Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.’

“On your mark, get set… go,” shouted the referee. I sprinted on the racing track, along with the other contestants, in the semifinals of the 400 metres race for the annual athletic meet in the school, I ran the first round of the field, closely followed by two contestants. As I began the final round, the children cheered. This propelled me to put all my energy and I breasted the rope, winning the race by a huge margin. Exhausted I lay on the ground as my friend clasped my hand and pulled me up and hugged me warmly. My sports teacher patting me on my back said “Well done Rohit, a little more effort and you will break the school record of 2 minutes.”

I had been preparing for this event for the last one year. Getting up early in the morning and jogging in the park outside my house. The big margin by which I had won bore testimony to the hard work and dedication, I had put in. Assured of winning the race, I resolved to improve my performance and break the school record in the 400 meters race to be held on the final day of the athletic meet.

With such thoughts racing my mind, I took position on the racing track. No sooner did the referee utter the word go, I ran as I had never run before. The loud cheering of spectators made me accelerate the momentum. Looking back after the first round, I saw my nearest contestant way behind me.

Assured of winning the race by a huge margin, I tried to accelerate the speed in the final lap. However, to my utter surprise my legs started to feel heavy. They just refused to move as fast as I wanted them to move. As a result my speed slackened. I helplessly saw other contestants overtake me. Feeling weary and drained out, I somehow managed to complete the race, being the last one to do so.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I walked to the visitors’ gallery to meet my parents, who were waiting for me. “Good race,” said my father, as he thumped and hugged me warmly. Wiping the tears, my mother consoled me with words of encouragement. I returned home feeling like a wounded warrior.

Utterly disappointed with my performance, I introspected as to what had gone wrong. I soon realised that in my enthusiasm, I had set a goal of breaking the school record, without chalking out a strategy for achieving it. Instead of conserving my energy for the final round, I had exhausted myself in the first round. I had learnt an important lesson in life, for in the words of Tom Landry, “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”


  • You have experienced a situation that posed a challenge to you. Narrate an account of such an experience, describing how you met the challenge.
  • You have won a prize in a competition. Give an account of the competition, the effort you made to win. The nature of the prize and your feelings on winning the same.

You walk home from school one afternoon to find the door unlocked and on entering you are shocked to see the house in total disarray. You call out but get no answer. Describe in detail what you saw, the reason behind your house being in total disarray and how you found your family. Mention also how the experience ended and what impact it had on your life. (ICSE 2016)

Returned home late from school after buying a surprise gift for mother

  • Found the house in total disarray
  • Called out but got no response
  • Enquired from neighbour and learnt that my parents had left in a hurry
  • On return father reported to the police that someone told them that I had met with an accident
  • My irresponsible behaviour was the root cause of the problem

I resolved to be more responsible in future and never blindly trust strangers.

“Mummy, see what I have brought for you?” saying this, I left the bicycle in the driveway and raced up the stairs to surprise my mother with the present I had brought for her on ‘Mothers Day’. To my surprise I found the front door unlocked. I pushed it open and walked straight into the drawing room. I stopped in my track, for before me the room was in total disarray.

The showcase with all its articles lay on the floor or on the sofa. Sensing something terribly wrong, I loudly called out “Mummy, Mummy, where are you?” but got no response. I ran towards the bedroom to find the almirah wide open. The clothes and other articles lay on the bed and the floor, as though somebody had ransacked the house in a hurry. A cold chill ran down my spine, as horrible thoughts raced through my mind.

Panic stricken I ran out of the house and pressed the door bell of my neighbour. Narrating my plight to Mrs Sharma, I learnt that someone had come to the house an hour ago, after which my parents in an agitated condition had left in a hurry. Reassured of their safety, I asked her to call my father on his mobile. I heard my father heave a sigh of relief, on learning that I was waiting for them at home.

Coming out of the car my mother hugged and kissed me, as though I had come after a long time. My father called the police to report the burglary. Recalling the sequence of events to the police he informed, that one person had come to the house and told them that 1 had met with an accident and was in the emergency ward of the civil hospital. As a good Samaritan he had come to inform them about this unfortunate accident. Shocked by this news my parents immediately locked up the door and left for the hospital. This person in all probability was behind the robbery.

‘While the police took down the report, I felt dejected for being the cause of the misery. In my eagerness to surprise my mother, I had not informed her of my plan to buy a present while returning from school. This irresponsible behaviour was the root cause of the unfortunate incident. The miscreant had observed my movement, and taking advantage of it, made my parents venture out to search for me, while he ransacked the house.

This incident impacted my life profoundly. I resolved to be more responsible in future and never trust strangers blindly.


  • Relate a real or imaginary experience of the problems you faced or an interesting incident that occurred when your parents went out of station and left you to manage the house.
  • Narrate an incident which occurred while you were walking in the park.