English Language BECE 1996

August 1996
45 minutes

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow

The class was very quiet when suddenly Mr Mensah heard a giggle from the back of the classroom. Of late he has observed that giggling and murmuring have reared their ugly heads in the class. This time he was determined to find the cause of this naughty behaviour and discipline the culprits.

Pretending not to have heard the noise, he moved to the blackboard as if to write something on it but in reality to set a trap. Immediately the giggling and murmuring resumed, he turned and spotted three big boys at the back of the class chattering. His turning was so quick that he caught them right in the act. He also saw one of the boys passing on a magazine to the boy next to him.

With the speed of lightning, Mr Mensah got there, asked the three boys to stand up and then searched them in order to seize the magazine. Smart though he was, the boys were even smarter, for the boy sitting next to the window had thrown the magazine onto the veranda. After a thorough search Mr Mensah nearly gave up. It was, perhaps, an exercise book he had seen and not a magazine. However, his long years of teaching experience suggested to him that the boys could have thrown the magazine outside. When he looked through the window, lo and behold, there lay the magazine! He retrieved it, flipped through it and saw that it was full of obscenities. Mr Mensah fumed.

1. According to the passage, Mr Mensah was determined to ………..

A. find the trouble makers.
B. write on the board.
C. insult the class.
D. talk to the three big boys.

2. The children giggled and murmured because ………….

A. Mr Mensah turned to write on the board.
B. they thought Mr Mensah was funny.
C. of what they saw in the magazine.
D. the boy near the window threw the magazine away.

3. The boys threw the magazine away because ………..

A. they were murmuring and giggling
B. the window was open
C. the teacher turned quickly
D. they did not want the teacher to see it.

4. The teacher found the magazine because …………

A. it was thrown onto the veranda
B. of his many years of teaching experience
C. he walked quickly to the back of the class
D. the children gave it to him

5. The expression have reared their ugly heads in the passage means have become unpleasantly ………..

A. common
B. funny
C. troublesome
D. ugly

6. The word fumed in the passage means ……….

A. exclaimed
B. left the room
C. smoked
D. became very angry


Kwadwo’s naming ceremony on the fifteenth day was a grand occasion to which everyone at Elmina had come. Aboagye had specifically invited only the three elders but over three hundred people had come to the ceremony without any invitation.

“The ceremony will start at 5:30 a.m.”, Aboagye told everyone who passed his shop the previous day. They in turn went and told others and at 5 a.m., when the ceremony was about to begin, there were about seventy people already in the house.

“Will you bring chairs from the rooms?” Aboagye requested the young ones among the guests. They entered every room in the house and brought out chairs and benches of all shapes and sizes. They were placed in a circle with the three elders sitting in the centre. “Where is the child? The ceremony should be completed before the sun rises”. One of them said.

The mother soon brought the two-week old baby. Twelve calabashes scrubbed the previous day were brought. They looked white and dry. The old man took one and poured some of the gin into it. He raised the head of the child and dipped his finger into the gin. He turned and asked the second elder sitting next to him, “Have you got the name?” “Agyepong, alias Koo Kra” .

7. The people gathered in order to ……

A. settle a serious case
B. drink gin
C. witness a ceremony
D. hear Mr Aboagye

8. The expression of all shapes and sizes tells us the pieces of furniture were …………..

A. big
B. long
C. measured differently
D. of different types

9. Aboagye was a ………………

A. teacher
B. lawyer
C. counsellor
D. trader

10. The word grand means….

A. smooth
B. solemn
C. happy
D. noisy

11. Which of the following is not true according to the passage?

A. The ceremony must be performed before sunrise
B. The elder dipped the head of the child into the calabash
C. The first elder did not know the name of the child
D. The ceremony was well attended.

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

12. The thieves who raided the house last night have been rounded up.

A. killed
B. beaten
C. arrested
D. wounded

13. When you come across a new word look it up in a dictionary.

A. examine it
B. observe it
C. find the meaning
D. record the meaning

14. The radio won’t talk because it is defective.

A. dirty
B. broken
C. faulty
D. tuned

15. Our team was eliminated at the semi-final stage.

A. forgotten
B. kicked out
C. wiped off
D. promoted

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

16. The boy, reluctant to go on the errand, walked at a snail’s pace. This means that the boy walked ……….

A. carefully
B. slowly
C. noisily
D. carelessly

17. It was a red-letter day. This means it was a ……………

A. day I got a red letter
B. day I was sad
C. memorable day
D. real day

18. I have a bone to pick with my prefect for reporting me. This means …………

A. the prefect and I are going to chat
B. I have to report the prefect
C. I have to take the bone to the prefect
D. I have a quarrel with the prefect.

19. His failure in the examination came out of the blue. This means his failure was

A. destined
B. obvious
C. surprising
D. sent from the blue

20. Efua behaves like a fish out of water among boys. This means Efua …………….among boys.

A. breathes heavily
B. feels uncomfortable
C. swims better
D. looks quite happy

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. These fruits are stale; please take them away.

A. juicy
B. sour
C. fresh
D. nice

22. Moses is on a temporary appointment.

A. daily
B. permanent
C. probationary
D. weekly

23. The beggar vanished when he saw the policeman.

A. showed
B. defected
C. jumped
D appeared

24. The taxi driver drove recklessly throughout the journey.

A. speedily
B. carefully
C. noisily
D. leisurely

25. Those machines are not genuine brands.

A. fine
B. tested
C. fake
D. new

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

26. I am free to sleep now, I ……..my work.

A. completed
B. do complete
C. have completed
D. complete

27. After Roderick ……….the dress, he looked round for a pair of shoes that would match it.

A. has bought
B. is buying
C. had bought
D. was buying

28. I saw him while he …………the cloth.

A. is folding
B. has been folding
C. was folding
D. had been folding

29. You can’t eat all, ………?

A. can’t you
B. do you
C. can you
D. don’t you

30. Not only was she pretty …………intelligent.

A. or
B. nor
C. but also
D. and also

31. Neither the headmaster nor his assistant ……….today.

A. is working
B. do work
C. have worked
D. are working

32. The antelope ……..when the hunter fired.

A. is eating
B. is eaten
C. was ate
D. was eating

33. There were ………..cars at the beach.

A. plenty
B. most
C. much
D. many

34. Lucy is the ……….beautiful girl in her class.

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

35. He is …………….to fight with a fool.

A. too wise a man
B. too a wise man
C. a too wise man
D. a man wise too

36. Mantey and Kofi shook hands with ………….

A. each other
B. each one
C. one another
D. themselves

37. The school organised a …………..art exhibition.

A. two days
B. two day
C. two-day
D. two-days

38. We told the stranger we would put him …………if he wanted.

A. down
B. up
C. on
D. over

39. In wrestling, it is not wise to take ……..someone twice your size.

A. off
B. in
C. on
D. over

40. He was sure he gave the pan to ………….else.

A. anyone
B. someone
C. somebody
D. everybody