English Language BECE 2002

July 2002
45 minutes

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow

When Suzzie’s mother told her that she would attend school in Ghana, she wept bitterly because she had learned that Ghana was a backward country with no good schools, no good roads and little food. She would miss not only her parents but also her friends and wonderful things in America. But her father insisted that she must leave for Ghana because it was necessary for her to learn the culture and language of her motherland, in addition to those of her fatherland if she should have a balanced education. So, Suzzie left for school in Ghana.

Suzzie had been enrolled in International School for only a year, but she already had a lot of influence on her schoolmates. Her arrival on the first day had caused much excitement. Although her mother was black, her skin was as white as her father’s. In fact she was the only white girl in the school and this attracted many of the girls to her, while some of the boys avoided her. In the early days, her mates found it difficult to understand her American brand of English while she also wondered how they could so easily dance to the beat of the local drums. But as time passed, they learned from one another and Suzzie’s white skin ceased to be odd. They ate together, played together, and enjoyed school together.
Soon Suzzie began to dread the thought that she might be asked to go back to her parents. She had become a complete Ghanaian and hoped they would not ask her to return to America.

1. Suzzie did not want to leave America because she believed that

A. Ghana was not her country
B. she would not be accepted
C. she might not be able to return to America
D. Ghana was underdeveloped

2. Which of the following is true?

A. The boys did not like Suzzie
B. Ghana was Suzzie’s fatherland
C. Suzzie enjoyed Ghana very much
D. Suzzie’s mates found dancing difficult

3. Odd in the passage means

A. strange
B. bad
C. beautiful
D. natural

4. From the passage, we learn that

A. Suzzie’s parents wanted her to return to Ghana
B. Suzzie was eager to make friends
C. Suzzie’s parents wanted her to have a good education
D. Suzzie was anxious to return to her fatherland

5. Suzzie and her classmates learnt to

A. play the drums
B. live in harmony
C. like the country
D. dance together


Boham woke up from a deep sleep in a hospital bed. A young doctor was examining him while another man stood near. A nurse was also beside his bed. Boham looked at the doctor, then gazed painfully at the other man who he gradually but happily recognized as Kankam, his own brother.
“Brother, what has happened? Why am I here?”
“Calm down, I’ll tell you.”
“Then do so, at once!”
“Listen, brother, the results of the lotto draw gave you a great shock as you and

Joe had staked heavily. The tension that had been built in you before the announcement made you faint on hearing the winning numbers. Luckily, a good Samaritan brought you to this hospital.”
“And Joe? Where is he, then?”
“Joe went crazy upon hearing the results. He walked up and down the streets like a mad man and got himself into some trouble.”
“How? What trouble?”
“As Joe walked about in despair, throwing his arms about, he hit somebody’s breast pocket. Thinking that Joe was about to snatch his money, the man shouted, “Thief! Thief!!” Joe was instantly surrounded by many
people who took him for a pick-pocket and nearly lynched him. A policeman intervened, arrested and sent him to the police station where he is still being detained for his own safety.”

6. Boham was in hospital because he had

A. suddenly fallen ill
B. fallen into a deep sleep
C. fainted upon hearing the news
D. been under severe tension

7. Boham could not at first recognize his brother because

A. he was still in great pain
B. the doctor was examining him
C. he had not woken up fully
D. he had not totally regained consciousness

8. Joe was in trouble because he had

A. been walking about the streets.
B. heard a man shout, “Thief, thief!!”
C. been suspected of attempting to steal money
D. thrown his arms about carelessly.

9. A policeman saved Joe from possible death by

A. taking him away
B. warming him
C. beating him
D. pleading with his attackers

10. The word lynched means to be killed

A. slowly
B. for stealing
C. instantly
D. without a trial

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

11. The priest resisted the temptation to steal.

A. withheld
B. refused
C. withstood
D. refuted

12. The man was irritated by his son’s disobedience.

A. uneasy
B. disappointed
C. shocked
D. angry

13. The headmaster had the privilege to shake hands with the chief.

A. luck
B. chance
C. honour
D. capability

14. The excessive speeding made the accident inevitable.

A. fatal
B. certain
C. likely
D. unfortunate

15. Ama broadcast the rumour about the man’s death.

A. spread
B. dispersed
C. revealed
D. scattered

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 rather poured oil on the flames with his reply to the teacher’s question.
This means his reply made the teacher more

A. confused
B. angry
C. careful
D. interested

17. The harsh economic situation has forced many families to live from hand to mouth.
This means many families

A. do manual work
B. live dangerously all the time
C. spend all their money on food
D. are unhappy

18. In spite of the Chairman’s harsh words Kwame kept his head throughout the meeting.
This means Kwame

A. was bold and confident
B. was alert
C. remained silent
D. remained calm

19. Afia rose to the occasion when she was called to give the vote of thanks. This means

A. got up promptly to speak
B. proved she could do well
C. trembled all over
D. accepted the offer

20. I have heard from the horse’s own mouth that he will be transferred.
This means that ……….that he will be transferred.

A. people are saying
B. it is rumoured
C. he himself says
D. it has been announced

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. Hunters are always careful in catching wild animals.

A. tame
B. confined
C. calm
D. free

22. It is compulsory for all citizens to take part in communal labour.

A. advisable
B. optional
C. good
D. unnecessary

23. The film was so boring that I fell asleep.

A. exciting
B. ordinary
C. disorderly
D. long

24. The classroom is surprisingly chaotic today.

A. busy
B. dirty
C. hectic
D. orderly

25. Our friends gave us a warm welcome.

A. plain
B. calm
C. hostile
D. steady

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

26. There was not much sense in all …………the man said.

A. those
B. which
C. what
D. that

27. My father does not object ……………my giving you the book.

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

28. You walk ………..fast that I cannot catch up with you.

A. quite
B. very
C. so
D. to

29. The referee’s partial decision sparked ………….the fighting

A. on
B. out
C. up
D. off

30. No sooner had my uncle left the house ………..my aunt arrived.

A. when
B. before
C. than
D. then

31. Have you ever heard Kwesi ……….a lie?

A. to tell
B. told
C. tells
D. tell

32. John has gone to bed early because he ………….a headache.

A. has
B. has been having
C. will be having
D. is having

33. Appiah is not playing table tennis today because he doesn’t want …..

A. it
B. so
C. to
D. that

34. She arrived at the party late, …………?

A. didn’t she
B. isn’t it
C. didn’t it
D. wasn’t she

35. ………….as Musah did, he could not get the correct answer.

A. Tried
B. Trying
C. Try
D. To try

36. The candidates were called ……….. turns to meet the panel.

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

37. Only by working hard …………………..this examination well.

A. a candidate can pass
B. can pass a candidate
C. a candidate pass can
D. can a candidate pass

38. Your writing is …………than mine.

A. worst
B. worse
C. bad
D. poor

39. Our teacher is ……….man that we all like him.

A. such kind a
B. such a kind
C. a such kind
D. a kind such

40. Ibrahim visited the zoo after he …………his breakfast.

A. had
B. have had
C. have
D. had had

April 2002
45 minutes

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow


Antobam‟s first day in senior secondary school was the day he would never forget. That morning he got up earlier than usual ready for his father to take him to the new school. With the help of his father’s houseboy, his trunk and chop box were packed into his father’s car. At exactly eleven o‟clock, the car sped off as Antobam happily waved goodbye to his brothers and sisters.
After about one and a half hours’ drive, they arrived at the school. Antobam beamed with smiles as the car pulled up in front of the administration block. Some huge boys rushed to the car shouting, “Hommo, welcome; hommo, welcome!” Antobam misunderstood this for a warm welcome, but he was soon proved wrong.

From the list of newcomers displayed on the notice board, Antobam’s father saw his son’s name under House Two and wanted to take the luggage there. But one of the boys politely said, “Daddy, stop. We have a tradition here.” Before he knew what was happening, two of the boys had lifted his trunk and chop box and put them on Antobam’s head. He had never carried any load on his head before, but here he was with the arduous task of carrying two heavy boxes. Tears started flowing as his father looked on in disbelief. He later left the school very disturbed, wondering what was going to happen to his beloved son.

1. Antobam got up early that morning because he …..
A. was very happy
B. was anxious to go to his new school
C. would never forget that day
D. was woken up by his father

2. Antobam arrived at his new school at half past ……….

A. ten
B. eleven
C. twelve
D. two

3. The senior boys made Antobam carry his boxes because they …………

A. welcomed his father
B. were following tradition
C. thought he was strong
D. tried to seize his provisions

4. Arduous in the passage means

A. strange
B. new
C. additional
D. difficult

5. Antobam’s father left the school ……

A. a happy man
B. crying for his son
C. a worried man
D. promising to come back


Every year, thousands of African school leavers from the rural areas rush to the urban areas to seek employment. Apart from leaving the countryside thinly populated, these youths cause overcrowding in the cities. They cannot get any house to live in so they are found sleeping in market places and on verandas.

Most of our youths regard agriculture as a poor man’s business. They prefer white-collar jobs to farming and forget that one can gain fame or wealth through agriculture. Most of these youths are greatly disappointed in the townships. Lack of jobs and money force them to join bad companies, break into houses at night or snatch people’s bags at lorry parks or in the street during the day. They often wear dirty clothes and are seen in the streets trying to find something to eat.

One way of checking this movement is by setting up factories in the rural areas and establishing large farms where the school leavers can easily find work. Other ways are providing good means of transport and communication. Libraries, medical services and post offices are equally important amenities necessary in rural areas.

These facilities together with good drinking water and electricity will make these areas attractive enough for the youth to remain and help grow food and cash crops for the country. They can also produce raw materials for our industries.

6. School leavers migrate to the cities and towns to …….

A. seek enjoyment
B. look for work
C. look for amenities
D. continue their education

7. One of the results of the movement of the youth in the rural areas is that the

A. towns are overcrowded
B. rural areas lack money
C. youth are greatly disappointed
D. rural areas lose their people

8. White-collar jobs as used in the passage means ………

A. working in the cities
B. working in offices
C. wearing white-collar shirts
D. working for white men

9. The word snatch means ……….

A. carry
B. steal
C. push
D. damage

10. When the youth come into the cities ………

A. there is over population
B. amenities are provided
C. jobs are created
D. they become very happy

11. When the youth remain in the rural areas they can help produce ………

A. electricity
B. food
C. libraries
D. water

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

12. James was so wicked that all his mates abhorred him.

A. dismissed
B. beat
C. hated
D. ignored

13. The students listened to the headmaster with rapt attention.

A. true
B. equal
C. undivided
D. single

14. Sam was appointed the office boy because of his faithfulness.

A. honesty
B. cleverness
C. punctuality
D. neatness

15. We were taught that banks give credit to needy businessmen.

A. instalments
B. debits
C. transfers
D. loans

16. Most men normally do not wear costly jewellery.

A. good
B. expensive
C. shiny
D. new

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. The wall clock in the assembly hall is a white elephant. This means that the clock

A. does not work accurately
B. is very big
C. does not work any longer
D. is very strong

18. His clothes are always out of date. This means that his clothes are …………

A. torn
B. too tight
C. faded
D. old-fashioned

19. When it comes to honesty, Kweku is the odd one out. This means that Kweku

A. is always absent
B. does not tell the truth
C. does not behave normally
D. is very tricky

20. I stopped going out with Joe because he is light-fingered. This means that Joe is a

A. lazy person
B. liar
C. thief
D. dishonest friend

21. The manager’s strange behaviour made the workers smell a rat. This means that the workers became..…

A. rude
B. discouraged
C. disappointed
D. suspicious

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. My former headmaster has consented to be my referee.

A. promised
B. planned
C. decided
D. refused

23. The suspect was guilty.

A. free
B. innocent
C. discharged
D. imprisoned

24. When school starts the national flag is hoisted.

A. lowered
B. dropped
C. saluted
D. hung

25. We could see that mother was very proud of her dark complexion.

A. natural
B. clean
C. fair
D. attractive

26. The car needs a hard push in order to start.

A. drag
B. tow
C. force
D. pull

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

27. The doctor advised the patient to stay away ……..alcohol.

A. for
B. on
C. from
D. with

28. You have not paid your fees, ……..?

A. will you
B. won’t you
C. hadn’t you
D. have you

29. His pair of trousers ……..torn.

A. is
B. are
C. have
D. has

30. I prefer honey ………sugar.

A. to
B. are
C. from
D. for

31. If it rains I …………..my crops.

A. have planted
B. had planted
C. will have planted
D. shall plant

32. I can …………time for my homework.

A. find enough easily
B. find easily enough
C. easily enough find
D. easily find enough

33. Have you heard the national anthem ………..in your language?

A. sing
B. sung
C. sang
D. sings

34. This bag is ……….heavy for a child to carry.

A. so
B. very
C. too
D. much

35. ………..you dislike the girl, you shouldn’t beat her.

A. Even if
B. Since
C. As
D. Of course

36. Ghana is over forty years, therefore she …………of age.

A. came
B. come
C. has come
D. is coming

37. To be a teenager is indeed great ………..?

A. isn’t it
B. aren’t you
C. it is
D. does it

38. Alf and Pat look so identical that it is difficult to pick the ………of the two.

A. oldest
B. old
C. elder
D. eldest

39. Uncle Ebo brought a carpenter who easily climbed ………..the roof to repair the leakage.

A. into
B. on
C. at
D. onto

40. Bola is the …………beautiful of the three girls.

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