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Home / English / BECE Past Questions & Answers – 1998 (English)

BECE Past Questions & Answers – 1998 (English)



45 minutes


Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow

After the wine had been drunk Okwonkwo laid his difficulties before Nwakibie. I have come to you for help, he said. „Perhaps you can already guess what it is. I have cleared a farm but have no yams to sow. I know what it is to ask a man to trust another with his yams, especially these days when young men are afraid of hard work. I am not afraid of work.

The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did. I began to fend for myself at an age when most people will suck at their mothers‟ breast. If you give me some yam seeds I shall not fail you.

Nwakibie cleared his throat. „It pleases me to see a determined young man like you these days when our youth have gone so soft. Many young men have come to me to ask for yams but I have refused because I knew they would just dump them in the earth and leave them to be choked by weeds. When I say no to them they think I am hard-hearted. But it is not so. Eneke the bird says that since men have learnt to shoot without missing, he has learnt to fly without perching. I have learnt to be stingy with my yams. But I can trust you. I know it as I look at you. As our fathers said, you can tell a ripe corn by its look. I shall give you four hundred yams. Go ahead and prepare your farm.‟

1. The full form of if no one else did will be, „if no one ……‟
A. jumped
B. looked
C. was afraid
D. praised him

2. I began to fend for myself means the speaker …….
A. defended himself
B. protected his family

C. looked after himself
D. looked for yams

3. Being hard-hearted is to ………
A. be solid
B. have no kind feeling
C. be wild
D. refuse to smile

4. Nwakibie refused to give yams to some young men because they were …….
A. lazy
B. stingy
C. unable to shoot well
D. unable to trust him

5. According to the passage one can say that Okwonkwo is ……..
A. always praising himself
B. a determined hardworking young farmer
C. always sucking his mother‟s breast
D. very stingy with yams

We were suddenly awakened at dawn by the screams of the tenants in the house. Daddy quickly jumped from his bed and made for the door. Not long after we heard him screaming. We ran to the hall, switched on the light and saw him lying flat on his back, holding his forehead.

In his haste to get to the hall door, he must have forgotten to switch on the light thus running straight and crashing his head against the pillar in the middle of the hall. When we examined his forehead, we saw a big lump and blood oozing from a deep cut near his eyebrow. Mother, a retired nursing sister, shouted instructions at me to get the first aid box, some ice cubes and Daddy‟s towel.

When the items were brought she then sat to work first on the cut. She put some ice-cubes in the towel
and pressed them on the cut for about two minutes. She then wiped the blood gently. Afterwards, she put a little iodine on gauze, placed it on the cut and bandaged it. Then turning to the lump, she massaged it with some ice- cubes, which reduced the swelling. She then opened the door and we were confronted with a pathetic scene. Lying in the middle of the house was the body of one of the tenants. Trying to resist an attack by armed robbers, he had been butchered mercilessly and his body left in the middle of the house.

6. What made the writer wake up?
A. The noise made by his father
B. The shouting of people in the house
C. His father‟s jumping out of bed

D. His father crashing into the pillar.

7. The father was holding his forehead because he
A. ran
B. lay on his back
C. did not put on the light
D. hit his head against the pillar

8. Which of the following statements, according to the passage, is not true?
A. Mother retired as a nursing sister
B. Mother used Daddy‟s towel
C. Mother used iodine and ice-cubes
D. Mother applied warm water

9. How did the tenant die?
A. He was a pathetic scene
B. He was killed by armed robbers
C. He was merciless
D. He had resisted armed robbers

10. „Pathetic‟ in the passage means
A. sad
B. strange
C. mighty
D. merciless

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