English Language BECE 1997

August 1997

45 minutes

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow

When the car suddenly screeched to a halt sending tons of dust into the air, the children of the village ran helter-skelter. Then they rushed to Mr Opiah’s compound where the car had stopped. They were delighted to see a car again after a very long time and marvelled at its beauty.

Akwasi Seth, Mr Opiah’s eldest son, the darling boy of the village had finally arrived. The day before, the gong-gong had been beaten to announce the arrival of the first son of the village who had gone to learn the ways of the white man. Everybody was prepared to give him a rousing welcome.

Fervent preparations started there and then. However, the children’s only anxiety was to see what the man had brought and listen to what he had to say.

Meanwhile, Mr Opiah and his family, immaculately dressed and full of joy and anxiety, were seated in the house. There was great expectation written all over their faces. They had been told that their son would arrive at 7 a.m. but by 1 p.m. there was still no sign of him. So when they heard the screeching of the car, they all heaved sighs of relief. They were extremely happy when Akwasi Seth entered the compound. The women began to sing his praises.

Akwasi had not forgotten his culture. He went round shaking hands with everybody. When it was his father’s turn the old man hugged him beaming with smiles. His mother also hugged him and shed tears of joy.

1. The children ran helter-skelter because ………….

A. they were expecting a car
B. of the sudden screeching of the car
C. they hadn’t seen a car before
D. the car was marvellous

2. The villagers got to know that Akwasi Seth was arriving on that day because ………

A. the car stopped in front of Mr Opiah’s house
B. the gong-gong beater had announced it
C. Mr Opiah had told them about it
D. The children ran to Mr Opiah’s house

3. Mr Opiah’s family members were anxious because they ……..

A. were afraid he might not come
B. were planning what to do for him
C. thought Akwasi Seth would not recognize them
D. were surprised at how greatly Akwasi Seth had changed

4. According to the passage, Akwasi Seth

A. was a truant
B. was immaculately dressed
C. shed tears of joy
D. was loved very much

5. Marvelled in the passage means

A. laughed
B. surrounded
C. wondered
D. entered

6. Akwasi’s mother shed tears of joy because …………

A. Akwasi looked strange
B. she was ill
C. she was very happy
D. Akwasi remembered his culture


At the far end of the village beyond the houses, in its ground, stood the village school, ruled over by the head teacher, Mr Kodwo Twum. Surrounded by shady trees and with large games field to one side, it was one of the best schools in the area.

Mr Twum himself was a teacher of the old school, of the days when education had to be fought for, for the boys walked many kilometres for a chance to read and write. He was very strict, but was held in such esteem by both parents and teachers that no one resented his discipline. He took a personal interest in all his pupils and was affectionately known as “Master” by the big men in the city who had passed through his hands.

The ground round the school was always well kept and tidy, for cutting and weeding the grass was one of the punishments given to inattentive or insolent children. A small farm belonging to the school stretched down the hillside behind it and the children were taught the elements of farming as part of their lesson.

Master Twum’s house was across the road from the school and next to that belonging to John Agyemang the catechist, so that the two men were often seen gossiping together in the evenings or going into the small village church to discuss parish affairs.

7. The school was to be found ………..

A. on the outskirts of the village
B. in the centre of the village
C. near Mr Kodwo Twum
D. with the houses.

8. According to the passage the school was surrounded by ……..

A. shady trees
B. the games field
C. the best schools
D. the village

9. Which of the following is not true of Mr Twum?

A. He was respected
B. He was a disciplinarian
C. He was hated by many people
D. He was liked by all his people

10. Insolent in the passage means

A. ruffian
B. difficult
C. disrespectful
D. lazy

11. Mr Twum and the catechist were able to gossip most of the time because they were ……….

A. adults
B. free
C. very good neighbours
D. members of the church

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

12. She is very sincere with the people she works with.

A. free
B. careful
C. good
D. honest

13. We could not stand the scent in the market.

A. rush
B. sight
C. smell
D. noise

14. My brother needs somebody to assist him complete the work.

A. help
B. encourage
C. join
D. guide

15. The chief’s palace was demolished by the rainstorm.

A. opened
B. built
C. destroyed
D. painted

16. The visitors were happy about the calm nature of the village.

A. neat
B. good
C. lovely
D. peaceful

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. Ekua visits her grandmother once in a blue moon. This means Ekua visits her grandmother ……

A. every month
B. once a week
C. occasionally
D. often

18. Joana is a clever girl and will come out of her examination with flying colours. This means ………

A. she will pass in her favourite subjects
B. she will excel in some subjects
C. her results will be very good
D. she will work hard

19. The Manager hit the nail on the head in his speech to his workers. This means the manager ……..

A. spoke the truth
B. was not straight forward
C. spoke harshly
D. was not happy with his workers

20. Akosua will go to the cinema if Adjei will foot the bill.
This means Akosua will go to the film show if………….

A. Adjei will take her there on foot
B. The two of them will go together
C. Adjei will pay for her
D. She will walk there with others

21. The Pastor advised Yaw and Mensah to bury the hatchet. This means Yaw and Mensah are to ……..

A. keep their cutlass in a safe place
B. work together on their farm
C. forget about their quarrel
D. bury their old cutlass

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

22. This room is too dim.

A. bright
B. shining
C. clear
D. lit

23. That box contains very expensive jewellery.

A. beautiful
B. cheap
C. better
D. fine

24. They are waiting in the arrival hall.

A. departure
B. return
C. acceptance
D. common

25. It is very unlikely that he will report before Saturday.

A. similar
B. credible
C. close
D. possible

26. This is made from artificial materials.

A. new
B. preserved
C. wonderful
D. natural

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

27. I object …………your joining our school team.

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

28. This secret should remain ………you and me.

A. for
B. with
C. in
D. between

29. The kind woman gave ………a box of sweets.

A. all and each one
B. all and everyone
C. each and all
D. each and everyone

30. Tokyo is the ………….expensive city in the world.

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

31. You have to help your parents …………….?

A. have you
B. you do
C. isn’t it
D. don‟t you

32. The car my uncle bought was the …………..

A. model latest of the Benz
B. Benz latest of the model
C. latest model of the Benz
D. latest Benz of the model

33. I will wash my clothes when I ………….home.

A. went
B. have gone
C. could go
D. go

34. She is very jovial ………….she is an orphan.

A. since
B. as
C. though
D. even

35. If you ………more attentive you wouldn’t have been in such a bad situation.

A. are
B. were
C. had been
D. could

36. Kwabena often …………his grandfather after school.

A. had visited
B. visited
C. has visited
D. visit

37. The farmer had saved …………money for his son‟s education.

A. few
B. enough
C. most
D. plenty

38. This is my book; that one is…….

A. your’s
B. your
C. yours
D. yours’

39. Birds fly, don’t they?

A. Yes, they don’t
B. No, they do
C. Yes, they do
D. Yes, they can’t

40. The rains had ……….stopped when we set off.

A. yet
B. either
C. already
D. now