English Language BECE 1995

August 1995
45 minutes

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow

Where is the performance of songbirds held? It is not in any concert hall but rather on trees, fences and telephone wires. It is from these places that the little feathered creatures blend their voice in one of the most delightful songs in the world.

Songbirds do not just make noise. The male voices in the choir for instance, have two messages.

First, it is a warning to other males not to come near. Secondly, it is an invitation from the bachelors to the female birds. The most vigorous and interesting songs can be heard during breeding season to impress the lady birds.

Songbirds are very remarkable. They can sing three or four notes at once. To the human ear, these sound like one continuous note, but birds can tell the difference because of their keen sense of hearing. At times, what we hear may not be the true song of our winged friends but simply a call to keep flocks together. It may also be warning others of an approaching danger.

Just how birds learn and invent their songs is an interesting subject. Some have their songs fixed in their brains by the time of birth. Other birds, however, try to invent their own unique songs. They will never copy what they hear others sing.

1. According to the passage, members of the chorus can sing without any difficulty because they …….

A. have to sing
B. easily learn to sing
C. have good songs
D. are born good singers

2. The male songbirds sing to ……….

A. encourage others
B. attract the females
C. entertain others
D. praise nature

3. The most interesting songs are produced

A. during competitions
B. in the morning
C. during mating periods
D. in the evening

4. Unique in the passage means

A. suitable
B. similar
C. exciting
D. special

5. According to the passage which of the following is true? Birds ………

A. are impressive
B. are awesome
C. make too much noise
D. are ridiculous


“Locusts are descending” was joyfully chanted everywhere. Men, women and children left their work or their play and ran into the open to see the unfamiliar sight. The locusts had not come for many years, and only the old people had seen them before.

At first, a fairly small swarm came. And then, there appeared a slow-moving mass like a sheet of black cloud drifting towards the villages. Soon it covered half the sky. It was an amazing sight full of power and beauty.

Everyone was now about praying that the locust should stay in the village for the night. Although most people had never seen locusts before, they knew by instinct that they were good to eat. At last they descended. They settled on roofs and covered the bare ground. Tree branches broke under them and the whole village turned to brown earth colour with locusts.

Many people who went out with baskets trying to catch them were advised to wait until nightfall. And they were right. The locusts settled in the bushes for the night and their wings became wet with dew. Then all the village folks turned out, in spite of the cold harmattan, to fill their bags and pots with locusts. The next morning they were roasted and spread in the sun until they became dry. For many days after, this rare food was mixed with oil and eaten with relish.

6. Most of the village people were excited about the coming of the locusts because they ………

A. were moving slowly
B. had come in a swarm
C. were not common
D. had covered the sky

7. Why was it easier to catch the locusts in the night? Because the locusts ………

A. could not fly
B. were settling down
C. did not like darkness
D. were feeling sleepy

8. According to the passage, the locust were

A. brown
B. black
C. blind
D. bold

9. Turned out in the passage means

A. played outside
B. slept out
C. cried aloud
D. came out

10. Which of the following expressions from the passage indicates that there were a lot of locusts?

A. amazing sight
B. fairly small swarm
C. unfamiliar sight
D. slow-moving mass

11. According to the passage, which of the following is not true?

A. Locusts are delicious
B. Only the aged knew about the locusts
C. The locusts come only in the dry season
D. The locusts created a beautiful sight

Choose from the alternatives lettered A to D the one which is nearest in meaning to the underlined word in each sentence

12. The government has banned the use of hard drugs in the country.

A. destroyed
B. forbidden
C. controlled
D. reduced

13. Our Headmaster invited many prominent citizens to our speech day.

A. known
B. popular
C. distinguished
D. good

14. The dry season is imminent.

A. very close
B. partly over
C. severe
D. gone

15. The meeting was postponed to another date.

A. cancelled
B. removed
C. called
D. shifted

16. The man was furious when his son failed the examination.

A. angry
B. anxious
C. shocked
D. frightened

In each of the following sentences a group of words has been underlined. Choose from the alternatives lettered A to D the one that best explains the underlined words

17. By the end of the lesson, we were completely at sea. This means that we were …………..

A. fast asleep
B. totally confused
C. quite disturbed
D. very inspired

18. She did her best to keep on the right side of her teacher. This means she did her best not to ………….her teacher.

A. interrupt
B. mislead
C. misunderstand
D. offend

19. You shouldn’t have hit Kuuku so hard; it was rather unkind of you. From this we know that Kuuku was ……………..

A. being naughty
B. hurt
C. kind
D. hit

20. If we hadn’t gone to the beach so early, we would have met our visitor. This means that …………….

A. we went to the beach late
B. we did not meet our visitor
C. our visitor waited for us
D. we met our visitor at the beach

From the list of words lettered A to D, choose the one that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word underlined in each sentence

21. There are guards on our border because the government wants to eliminate smuggling.

A. notice
B. manage with
C. encourage
D. investigate

22. The candidate worked the problem with a great deal of precision.

A. sense
B. energy
C. inaccuracy
D. detail

23. My grandmother likes old fashioned clothes.

A. special
B. decorated
C. modern
D. stylish

24. I am going to arrange the books in the cupboard.

A. display
B. scatter
C. list
D. spill

25. Most of the men were sacked by the company.

A. used
B. punished
C. warned employed
D. employed

From the alternatives lettered A to D, choose the one which most suitably completes each sentence.

26. It‟s a pity I have hardly ………..food to give you.

A. a little
B. too much
C. some
D. any

27. I was given ………money than you were given.

A. much more
B. many
C. much
D. many more

28. The book you gave me was not …………..than the one I had before.

A. any better
B. much better
C. any good
D. very better

29. Are you sure ………….shirts on that table were the ones I gave you?

A. that
B. these
C. those
D. some

30. Give me the book ………….I lent you yesterday.

A. whom
B. what
C. whose
D. which

31. Of the three girls, Awo is the ……………..

A. shorter
B. more shortest
C. most short
D. shortest

32. The soldier was promoted because he was the …………..among the lot.

A. most courageous
B. courageous
C. more courageous
D. much courageous

33. Your nephew could not pass the interview because he was not ………..before the panel members.

A. confident much
B. confident quite
C. confident enough
D. confident somehow

34. Mr Amakye has been robbed …………his property

A. from
B. for
C. by
D. of

35. The patient went ………….a lot of body exercises

A. in out
B. out
C. through
D. ahead

36. Can I have a chat ………..you?

A. to
B. with
C. by
D. on

37. Kwesi learnt harder so he …………..the examination

A. passed
B. would have passed
C. can pass
D. passes

38. Let’s go out and play…………….?

A. will we
B. do we
C. would we
D. shall we

39. Can I come to your house on Saturday,……………?

A. all right
B. of course
C. certainly
D. please

40. You aren’t hungry, are you?

A. No, you aren’t
B. Yes, I am not
C. No, I am not
D. No, I am