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Home / English / BECE Past Questions & Answers – 2009 (English)

BECE Past Questions & Answers – 2009 (English)



45 minutes


Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions which follow


We were suddenly awakened at dawn by the screams of the tenants in our house. They were making a lot of commotion in the yard. Daddy quickly jumped from his bed and made for the door. Not long after, we heard him scream. We ran to the hall, switched on the lights 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 lights thus running straight and crashing his head into 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.

Mummy, a retired nursing sister, shouted instructions to me to get the first-aid box, some ice cubes and Daddy‟s towel. When the items were brought, she set to work first on the cut. She put some ice cubes in the towel and pressed the towel on the cut for about two minutes. She then wiped the blood gently.
Afterwards, she put a little iodine on a piece of gauze, placed it on the cut and bandaged it. Turning to the lump, she massaged it with some ice cubes, which reduced the swelling.

She then opened the front door and we beheld a pathetic scene. Lying in the middle of the house was the motionless body of one of the tenants. Trying to resist an attack from the armed robbers, he had been butchered mercilessly and his body left in the middle of the house.

1. What made the writer wake up?
A. The father crashing into the pillar
B. The noise made by the father
C. The attack by the armed robbers
D. The shouting of the tenants

2. The writer‟s father was holding his forehead because he
A. had fallen flat on his back
B. had hit his head against the pillar

C. wanted to stop the blood from flowing
D. was thinking of what to do

3. The purpose of the ice cubes was to
A. stop the bleeding
B. heal the cut
C. manage the cut
D. reduce the swelling

4. Pathetic in the passage means
A. naughty B. merciless C. sad
D. strange

5. What happened to the tenant?
A. He opened the door
B. He was killed by the robbers
C. He fell down heavily
D. He saw a pathetic scene


Where is the musical performance of songbirds held? It is not in any concert hall but rather on trees, fences and telephone wires. It is from these places that the little feathered creatures blend their voices in some of the most melodious songs sung in the world.

Songbirds do not just make noise. The male voices in the choir, for instance, have two different messages. Firstly, it is a warning to other males not to come near their partners. Secondly, it is an invitation from the bachelors to the female birds. The most interesting songs which are sung with a lot of vigour are produced during the breeding season by the males to impress the lady birds.

Songbirds are very remarkable. They sing three or four notes at a time. To the human ear it sounds like one beat but the birds can identify the different notes because of their keen sense of hearing. At times, what is heard may not be a song of our winged friends but simply an instruction to keep the flock together. It may also be a warning of an approaching danger.

Just how birds compose their songs is an interesting subject. Some birds have their songs fixed in their brains at birth. Whilst some imitate others, other birds try to compose songs which are unique. They will never copy what they hear others sing.

6. According to the passage, members of the choir can sing without difficulty because they
A. are born good singers

B. easily learn to sing
C. have good songs
D. have to sing

7. The male songbirds sing
A. to instruct others
B. four notes at a time
C. to attract the females
D. what others have composed

8. According to the passage, birds sing A. only in the breeding season B. some of the sweetest songs C. to invite the bachelors
D. only one note

9. Unique in the passage means
A. suitable B. similar C. exciting D. special

10. The writer suggests that
A. human beings sing better than birds
B. birds can interpret notes better
C. birds make louder noise than human beings
D. birds compose more interesting songs.

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