English Language BECE 2001

April 2001
45 minutes

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions that follow each of them.


There stood an enormous tree in the centre of the town. Its big branches and dense foliage gave shelter in all weathers and so it had become a natural meeting place. Benches had been placed round the base of its huge trunk so that the elders of the town might sit in comfort and gossip or talk about serious affairs of the town. This particular morning, three old men were resting on one of the benches. They had chosen the side which overlooked the road entering the town.

From there they could see the market, the lorry park and the main street.
As they watched, a large green bus drove into the lorry park. It was surrounded immediately by a jostling crowd. Those who wished to travel hurried forward and food sellers rushed from all sides struggling to sell their wares.

In the general uproar which followed, new passengers tried to get into the bus, whilst those who had reached their destination tried to alight. Others who were not willing to risk losing their seats stood blocking the doorway or leaned out of the bus windows as they bargained with the food sellers.

1. According to the passage the elders sit under the tree to

A. travel outside
B. buy and sell
C. discuss matters
D. drink palmwine

2. Which of the following could the old men not see from where they sat?

A. The benches
B. The market
C. The lorry park
D. The main street

3. Uproar in the passage means

A. fight
B. movement
C. selling
D. confusion

4. Some people on the bus tried to alight because they wanted to

A. buy things
B. gossip
C. rest
D. go home

5. Some of the passengers blocked the way because they

A. did not like the food sellers
B. did not want to lose their seats
C. wanted to stop the new passengers
D. wanted to see the old men


As I stood by a street in Accra that late afternoon watching people rushing home from work, I felt very safe. My sense of security came from the fact that Ghanaians are generally a kind and hospitable people, particularly to strangers. Although I had just arrived from my village, I was a Ghanaian and in my own capital. I should not fear anything.

Just then, I felt a firm grip on my arm from behind. I did not feel threatened; rather I was relieved. I thought an old schoolmate must have spotted me, James Cudjoe, and decided to play our old game on me. How welcome! The good old days are here again.

I turned to look the fellow in the face but the more I turned to my left the faster he moved to my right as he tightened his grip on my wrist watch. Suddenly he let go of my arm and bolted. I saw him vanish into the thick crowd. Certainly, this was not how to welcome a friend. People of the city are surely very strange!

Totally confused, I made my way towards the lorry park to leave for my brother’s house. In the gathering darkness, I tried to find out what time it was. To my utter surprise, I discovered that my wrist watch was gone. The rascal had made away with it. It was hardly new or even expensive yet the rogue found it worth stealing.

6. The writer thought he was safe in Accra because

A. he saw people rushing home from work
B. he had just arrived from his village
C. Ghanaians would welcome him
D. Ghanaians are famous for their kindness.

7. Spotted in the passage means

A. looked at
B. recognized
C. marked
D. pointed at

8. The writer turned to his left because he wanted to

A. see the person behind him.
B. keep his wrist watch safe.
C. welcome his old friend.
D. play with his schoolmate.

9. According to the passage, the fellow grabbed Cudjoe’s arm because

A. he wanted to embrace him
B. they were mates
C. he wanted to steal the watch
D. they stood together

10. Rogue in the passage refers to

A. a worker
B. the schoolmate
C. the thief
D. a citizen

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

A. People in Accra are strange
B. People in Accra are classmates.
C. There are thieves in Accra.
D. Workers in Accra return home in the evening.

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

12. The director was humiliated when the theft was detected in his ministry.

A. angered
B. cautioned
C. discouraged
D. disgraced

13. Nortey was industrious so he was duly rewarded.

A. intelligent
B. hardworking
C. careful
D. courageous

14. Born and bred in an affluent home, he never experienced any hardships in life.

A. respectable
B. religious
C. happy
D. rich

15. Dazzled by the bright headlights of the approaching vehicle, our driver drove into the bush.

A. Disturbed
B. Worried
C. Blinded
D. Discouraged

16. He gave a precise definition of the word.

A. learned
B. hasty
C. accurate
D. short

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. After serving ten years in prison he returned home under a cloud.

A. in dull weather
B. very depressed
C. in disgrace
D. very secretly

18. His father’s death, which was a bolt from the blue, greatly affected his education.

A. a disastrous event
B. a complete surprise
C. a mournful affair
D. a blessing in disguise

19. Kofi Mensah found it difficult to do away with his bad habits.
This means that Kofi Mensah could not ………….his bad habits.

A. continue
B. hide
C. stop
D. talk about

20. Many people dislike Abugri because he enjoys blowing his own trumpet.
This means that Abugri is

A. boastful
B. greedy
C. disrespectful
D. shameless

21. When Susan was caught stealing money, she shed crocodile tears.
This means that Susan

A. pretended she was sorry.
B. was annoyed.
C. was embarrassed.
D. cried like a crocodile

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. The health officer advised the people not to contaminate the water any further

A. fetch
B. store
C. purify
D. use

23. Theresa wanted to know the time of arrival of the plane.

A. schedule
B. routine
C. departure
D. boarding

24. I must consent to this proposal.

A. ignore
B. question
C. disagree with
D. react to

25. Yesterday my cousin looked very depressed.

A. contented
B. active
C. surprise
D. cheerful

26. The level of the river subsided after the floods.

A. outflowed
B. ascended
C. enlarged
D. rose

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

27. I suggest that they ………….the piano instead.

A. are playing
B. play
C. playing
D. will play

28. ……………..frankly, I hate the idea.

A. Speak
B. Spoken
C. To speak
D. For speaking

29. I think we …………….Kwesi’s offer.

A. better taking
B. had better take
C. had better taken
D. better to take

30. …………… the arable land was under cultivation.

A. Most
B. Many of
C. More
D. Most of

31. In attempting to control us, the headmaster gave ………….a great deal of trouble.

A. themselves
B. himself
C. ourselves
D. yourself

32. Do you believe in witches? ……………………

A. Yes, I don’t
B. No, I won’t
C. Yes, I won’t
D. No, I don’t

33. Aba insisted that Adjoa ………….to the party.

A. to have come
B. has come
C. to come
D. should come

34. Esi: “I felt rather tired yesterday.”
Afua: “Yes, …………….”

A. I did too
B. so I did
C. so did I
D. I didn’t

35. The students complained that there was ……………sugar in their tea.

A. plenty
B. few
C. little
D. small

36. One of the duties of the police is to …………….traffic.

A. lead
B. regulate
C. direct
D. move

37. He decided to …………….the entrance examination again.

A. have sat
B. sit
C. be sitting
D. have been sitting

38. We won the school debate, …………….?

A. hadn’t we
B. isn’t it
C. couldn’t we
D. didn’t we

39. The plumber turned the pipe so hard that it ………………

A. will break
B. breaks
C. had broken
D. broke

40. He was introduced …………………..the directors by his co-worker.

A. by
B. to
C. through
D. from