2003 BECE English Questions – Comprehension


Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that 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 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 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 the fetish priest’s sacrifice would not be in vain.

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


Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Teacher Amu never lost the opportunity to give pep-talks to his children. “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 look up as he made his point: “God made them all and He said, ‘It is good”.

These words had lasting effect on the students. When 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 home work. 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

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