2004 BECE English Questions – Comprehension

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

Once, in the world of animals, there was a great famine and the animals were dying. For about three months, Tortoise and his family had eaten very little. Tortoise’s body rattled in his empty shell as he walked. One day as he thought of a way to get food, his throat began to itch.

He would go to the next village where he had heard there was still some food. He would steal some for himself and his family. He took the bush path and arrived at the village after sunset. The people were preparing their meals and the smell made his mouth water.

How would he get this food? Not far away from him was the village playground where there was a big hollow log leaning against a tree. This log was the drum used to summon the villagers for very important announcements. When he reached the tree, he decided to climb it so that he could see the village better. Unfortunately, as he was climbing, he fell because he was very weak and hungry. His shell hit the drum, sending out a loud ‘kpom! kpom!’ noise.

When they heard this noise, the villagers ran to the playground, believing they had been called, thereby leaving the food cooking in their homes.

Very quickly, Tortoise disappeared into nearby bush and ran to the village. He filled his empty shell with as much food as he could carry and returned home.

1. There was famine means that……….

A. all the animals died
B. food was scarce
B. there were no farmers
C. food was not sold

2. Which of the following statements is true?

A. Tortoise had not eaten for three months.
B. The villagers gave food to tortoise
C. Tortoise got food from his own farm
D. Tortoise stole the villagers’ food

3. Tortoise arrived at the nearby village……….

A. at sunset
B. in the night
C. at dawn
D. in the afternoon

4. The villagers went to playground because……….

A. they wanted to find out who made the noise.
B. they wanted to hear an announcement
C. Tortoise had fallen
D. the drum had fallen

5. The villagers did not see Tortoise at the playground because he……….

A. ate fast
B. hid in the drum
C. stole their food
D. hid in the bush


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

In the centre of the town, the clock chimed two o’ clock. In an abandoned house on the outskirts of the town, an owl hooted as if to signal to Sergeant Abora and Abaidoo to wake up from slumber.

They had patrolled the town for hours and were heavy with sleep. The night was very dark and so cold that in spite of his overcoat, the Sergeant’s teeth were chattering. He was about to speak when he heard a faint sound down the road that road led the town.

Abaidoo also picked the sound. Both listened attentively and realized that a late traveler was coming up the road. They took cover behind two opposing trees. As he reached where Abaidoo was hiding, the traveler stumbled over what looked like the root of a tree.

Then constable Abaidoo quickly flashed his torchlight and bawled out, ‘Stop or I shoot!’ Abora’s gun was also held in readiness. The traveler who carried a heavy load on his left shoulder panicked, dropping his cutlass in the process.

‘Who are you? Where are you from?
What’s in your bag? Speak out or I shoot!
We’ve got you at last!’ Abora exclaimed.

Trembling with fear and stammering for words the traveler gave his name as Nsiah. He was returning from Fosa with a bag of plantain and cassava. But his cutlass and bag, both dripping with blood, gave him away. After a search, the police found a human head and triumphantly marched him to the police station.

6. Abora’s teeth chattered because……….

A. he had a toothache
B. the night was cold
C. he wore a clock
D. the owl hooted

7. From the beginning the police knew where the traveler was when……….

A. he made a noise
B. the blood dripped
C. he stammered
D. the torchlight flashed

8. Sergeant Abora and Corporal Abaidoo hid themselves in order to……….

A. keep warm
B. avoid being seen
C. load their guns
D. have some sleep

9. The police arrested the late traveler……….

A. behind the trees
B. near the police station
C. in the centre of the town
D. near the town

10. ‘…gave him away’ in the passage means……….

A. frightened him
B. warned him
C. exposed him
D. disgraced him


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