English Language BECE 2003

April 2003
45 minutes

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow

The children rushed out of school that afternoon innocently singing the song they had just learned:

Rain, rain, go away.
Go and come another day.
Little children want to play.
Rain, rain, go away

But they stopped abruptly when they looked up and saw dark clouds racing across the sky. These were signs of rain and the children were beside themselves with joy. Then they burst into yet another song:

The rains will soon come.
The sky will be bright
And the guns will boom

As they sang and danced, they were soon joined by their parents in their happiness. It was six months since it had last rained and all that time the farmers prayed for rain that would not come. The result was famine in the country for the land became so dry that new crops could not be sown and cassava could not be uprooted. The streams and the wells had also dried up and the people could find very little water for themselves and their livestock. Was it then strange that adults danced and sang like children in the hope that their troubles would soon be over? They were sure that the fetish priest’s sacrifices would not be in vain.

But they woke up the next morning to find that the land was still dry; there was not a drop of rainwater anywhere.

Then they became angry and ran after the fetish priest. But he was gone before they could lynch him.

1. The children changed their song because

A. the guns would be fired.
B. it was going to rain.
C. their parents had seen the fetish priest.
D. they did not like their teacher’s song.

2. The parents also sang and danced because

A. they wanted to be happy.
B. the children were returning from school.
C. it started to rain.
D. they believed it would rain.

3. Which of the following is true?

A. The people beat the fetish priest
B. It had rained for six months
C. There was little water to drink
D. The children did not want the rain

4. Abruptly in the passage means

A. soon
B. totally
C. slowly
D. suddenly

5. The people wanted to lynch the fetish priest because

A. there was famine
B. the streams had dried up
C. he did not perform the sacrifices
D. he had deceived them

6. From the passage we learn that

A. the children were innocent
B. man cannot fully rely on nature
C. adults play like children
D. it had not rained for several days


Teacher Amu never lost the opportunity to give pep-talks to his students. “Variety is the spice of life,” he often began. Then he would tell them how life has opposites, like good and bad. He would talk about the variety of
birds, the different kinds of fish and species of trees. His students could always tell when teacher Amu’s sermons were about to end. He would raise his voice and loop up as he made his point: “God made them all and He said, “It is good”.

These words had a lasting effect on his students. When the class was over, they would go on reeling with laughter as they recited these words. Soon, it was not surprising when they began to call Teacher Amu, “God made them all” whenever his back was turned.

But one of them, Kofi Abre, did not consider Teacher Amu’s pep-talks funny at all. He was not amused that his classmates joked with his teacher‟s words. Teacher Amu had said that the world was made up of different things, different people and different habits. So why did they bother when he, Abre, acted differently?

The other day, he shouted down a school mate who called him lazy. He almost bloodied a friend’s nose too when this friend scolded him for not doing his homework. Teacher Amu warned that he would punish Abre. It was an act of indiscipline. Kofi Abre shook his head. It was his friend who offended him yet Teacher Amu would punish him for being violent and different.

7. The expression, “Variety is the spice of life” means life

A. has its ups and downs
B. is like a tasty food
C. should be taken seriously
D. is full of different and interesting things

8. The students called Teacher Amu “God made them all” because

A. it was his favourite saying
B. he always looked up
C. his pep-talks were funny
D. he liked preaching

9. Kofi Abre did not like the jokes because he

A. hated his classmates
B. was afraid of his teacher
C. loved his teacher’s words
D. was lazy

10. The word scolded in the passage means

A. reminded
B. annoyed.
C. rebuked
D. questioned

11. Teacher Amu punished Kofi Abre because he

A. did not do his homework
B. did not behave well
C. did not like pep-talks
D. shook his head

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

12. Abass was not selected to play because he had little stamina.

A. love
B. potential
C. endurance
D. skill

13. The town was deserted after the war.

A. destroyed
B. built
C. quiet
D. abandoned

14. The police interrogated the suspect at the police station.

A. warned
B. questioned
C. detained
D. beat

15. John was impressed with Joana’s gift.

A. moved
B. deceived
C. calmed
D. pleased

16. Most doctors are cautious in treating patients.

A. careful
B. good
C. experienced
D. friendly

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 Chairman was disturbed because only fifteen members turned up for the meeting. This means that fifteen members ………….the meeting

A. attended
B. avoided
C. postponed
D. disturbed

18. Tony held his tongue for an hour before speaking. This means that Tony

A. was angry
B. was happy
C. smiled for a while
D. kept quiet

19. Jones will let the cat out of the bag if he is invited. This means he will

A. cause trouble
B. confuse everybody
C. reveal the secret
D. release the cat

20. The PTA Chairman cleared the air about the increase in dues. This means that he

A. explained why there was an increase
B. announced the increase
C. published the increase in the papers
D. was sorry about the increase.

21. Charles Taylor’s shot missed its target by a hair’s breadth. This means that

A. he shot wide
B. the goal was disallowed
C. he nearly scored a goal
D. the keeper caught the ball

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. Applying cocoa butter to the skin makes it smooth.

A. soft
B. rough
C. warm
D. dark

23. Do not despise poor people because you are rich.

A. cheat
B. avoid
C. admire
D. annoy

24. Hearing is an involuntary action.

A. difficulty
B. slow
C. quick
D. intentional

25. Iddrisu swore that he would rather be a spendthrift than a ………

A. miser
B. pauper
C. weakling
D. thief

26. Our friends gave us a cordial welcome.

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

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

27. The youth are advised to abstain ………..sex.

A. in
B. on
C. from
D. through

28. Daddy writes beautifully, ………..he?

A. would
B. wouldn’t
C. doesn’t
D. didn’t

29. Bulky goods are transported …………..sea.

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

30. Life skills ………my favourite subject when I was in school.

A. has been
B. were
C. was
D. have been

31. “Will you mind if I borrowed your book?”

A. “Yes, I do”
B. “Yes, I mind”
C. “No, I don’t”
D. “No, I won’t”

32. “Has Sister Edith ……………her glass of water this evening?”

A. drunk
B. drink
C. drinks
D. drank

33. If my uncle had come I …………have had some money

A. may
B. will
C. shall
D. would

34. Newspapers are …………magazines.

A. cheap as
B. cheaper than
C. cheapest of
D. cheap than

35. I have discovered a new ……….rhyme.

A. children
B. childrens’
C. children’s
D. childrens

36. I told mum I ………..take my breakfast later.

A. will
B. can
C. would
D. shall

37. The final match was played ………… three and five o’clock in the afternoon.

A. by
B. toward
C. from
D. between

38. The girl told her mother that she ………….from church.

A. comes
B. had come
C. has come
D. has been coming

39. ………….. I joined the class late I could pass the examination.

A. Since
B. As
C. Despite
D. Although

40. The book was ………difficult to read.

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