October 30, 2020

3 Sample Summary Questions and Answers – PDF

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I’m giving you sample summary questions and answers to assist you learn how to answer summary questions better.

I trust that this set of sample summary questions and answers will enable you to know exactly what to do when the time comes for you to sit for your English Language Paper.

Please do well to read the introductory tutorial on the WASSCE SUMMARY TEST.

This is important as it will help you to further understand how to construct acceptable summary sentences.

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission. READ FULL DISCLOSURE.

Here now comes your sample summary questions and answers

Passage One

Read the following passage carefully and answer in your own words, as far as possible, the questions that follow.

Until the early 1900s, few guidelines for the training of children had been supplied by scientific studies. Parents and teachers, therefore, had to rely upon traditional beliefs or used their own best judgment.

Under such conditions, old wives’ tales were found very important and useful. They served as guidelines for behaviour and gave parents and teachers confidence that they were playing their roles satisfactorily. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ was – and in some families still is – a guideline for family discipline. It made corporal punishment a parental responsibility. However unpleasant the parent’s duty might be to him, he at least, felt saved from social criticism if his child misbehaved, and he had no doubt that only a slap or a beating for misbehaviour would teach the child what was right and what he must do.

Many of the old wives’ tales rooted in folklore, were supported by scientists and accepted by social custom. Thus parents and teachers can hardly be blamed for sticking to old child training methods, nor can they be accused of being rigid if they are reluctant to experiment with the latest educational theory.

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Unfortunately, some old traditional beliefs are damaging to the children trained according to the guidelines. The traditional belief that childhood is a time of helplessness has encouraged parents and sometimes teachers to overprotect their children. While this may make childhood easier for the child, he later pays a heavy price for not having learned to be independent, self-confident and responsible. Even when he is till young, he is likely to dislike being overprotected, and this resentment may spread to all persons who have authority over him.

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Equally damaging is the belief that if a child is happy in childhood he is likely to be happy and behave properly in later life. A child who is protected from unhappy experiences and permitted to do whatever he wishes is likely to grow up with unrealistic ideas about life, expecting everything to turn out just as he wants it. Not having learned to tolerate disappointment and defeat, he will find it difficult not to become angry and resentful. He will be unprepared to face difficulties and disappointments by himself and eventually come to resent those who build a protective wall around him.

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Another belief that is damaging to children is that they can be happy only if they have no worries. Adults who use this as a guideline for training children deny them the necessary learning experience. Being responsible and working out problems independently can be satisfying to children. A carefree life may develop in children long-lasting feelings of being incapable of looking after themselves in society.

a) In two sentences one for each, summarize the two functions of the traditional method of training a child.

b) In three sentences, one for each, state the damage children suffer when trained according to traditional beliefs.

Sample Answers to the Summary Questions

a) i) The traditional method provided standards for good behavior.

    ii) It gave adults the assurance that they were performing their duty.

 b) i) Children may lack the spirit of self-reliance.

     ii) They may not be able to cope with hardship in later life.

      iii) They may grow into adults filled with negative emotions.

Passage Three

Read the following passage carefully and answer in your own words, as far as possible, the questions that follow.

Poverty, like malaria, is pandemic in many developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Why are most of these countries so economically backward and so slow to develop even many years after they have freed themselves from colonial rule?

Many theories have been put forward to explain this peculiar plight of developing countries in Africa. One common theory is that dark-skinned people living in Africa and elsewhere have been eternally cursed to be poor. This theory is sometimes referred to as the curse myth – a theory that has no shred of scientific evidence to support it. Perhaps it has been concocted by the fair-skinned race to enhance their feeling of superiority and to justify their treatment of black-skinned people.

Apartheid South Africa, for instance, used to defend the treatment the Dutch settlers gave to the indigenous African people on the crude assumption that black people had been, by the design of nature, condemned forever to be the hewers of wood and drawers of water.

The curse myth apart, there is another theory, dubbed the torrid-zone dwellers’ theory, which claims that people who live in the tropics are always being adversely affected by the heat of the sun. The propounders claim that the tropical climate is so enervating that the brains of the dwellers in the heat zone are enfeebled and are, in consequence, rendered incapable of deep sustained thinking. They further claim that the chronic poverty in the developing countries derives from the people’s inertia, lack of effort and inventiveness.

Strangely enough, this theory is sometimes expressed in a more palatable version – that nature is so generous to tropical-zone dwellers that, by virtue of the kind climate, there is hardly any need for the people to worry about how to get food, provide themselves with decent clothing and seek permanent and comfortable shelter. As nature provides the people with these three basic necessities of life, the theorists claim that the people need not make any effort. Furthermore, tropical vegetation is so luxuriant that natural food such as pawpaw and banana grow without human prompting in and around people’s dwelling places. In fact, they also claim that there is no need for planning and foresight for people living in the ever warm and generous climate.

These specious theories, unfortunately, do not help solve the problems of Africa’s chronic poverty. What, then, are the real remedies? What would be done to remove the real obstacles in the way of development in Africa?

The real obstacles are, in fact within Africans themselves; these are embedded in their nature, attitudes and mindset. Some of the internal obstacles are technological ignorance, slavish attachment to retrogressive ideas, beliefs and practices.

These obstacles to development and wealth in Africa apart, there are some other hindrances – the dearth of selfless and committed leaders with clear vision and the courage to pursue and achieve them.

Until these obstacles to development and wealth are clearly identified and dealt with, chronic poverty and underdevelopment may persist in this great but dormant continent.

Summary Questions

1) In three sentences, one for each, summarize the theories some people use to explain the prevalence of poverty in Africa.

2) In two sentences, one for each, state two suggestions indicated by the writer for solving the problems of poverty in developing countries in Africa.

Sample Answers to the Summary Questions

a) i) Africans are destined to be poor.

    ii) Africans are unable to think due to their exposure to the sun’s heat.

     iii) Africa’s favourable climate has made the people lazy.

 b) i) Africans must embrace modern ideas.

     ii) Africans must choose selfless and visionary leaders.

Passage Three

Read the following passage carefully and answer in your own words, as far as possible, the questions on it.

In the western world, the family is considered generally as comprising the husband, wife and children. In Africa, the idea goes beyond this nuclear family to include relations from both the maternal and paternal lineages. The extended family system is such that it includes everybody related to both of one’s parents. The relationship is binding on every member of the family insofar as their origins can be traced to the same ancestors whose blood is believed to run through the members in varying proportions. This, in fact; accounts for the development of such complex groups as clans and kinship relations.

The extended family exists as an essential trait of the social structures of most, if not all, African and some Melanesian societies. And wherever it is practiced, its benefits are seen to be greater than its disadvantages.

In Ghana, at the small community level, the extended family serves to foster unity among the people who relate to one another as one and the same people who always share everything among themselves – be it wealth or problems. The system also allows for fostering closer relationships within and between lineages. Thus people who, it might seem, are separated by social factors such as marriage outside the community still have close relationships.

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It also enables the family, apart from being a fundamental social unit based on biological factor of procreation-man, wife, children and maybe grandchildren-to develop into a complex group as the joint family. This is often a wider group comprising the husband and the wife (or wives) and the spouses of the children of these and other relatives.

The extended family system contributes significantly to the reduction of conflict between ethnic groups. Through marriage, the family network spreads from one group into another. In the process, groups who might have been antagonistic towards each other in the past develop relationships. This imposes some social restraints on hostile elements in the society.

In spite of these, the extended family system has shortcomings. It often makes people look up to others for assistance when they could work independently to achieve the object for which they seek assistance. Obviously, it encourages laziness in some people as they know they have someone to whom they can look up to for every bit of help. In the long run, the only well-to-do person within the family becomes overburdened with the problems of more people than he can really cope with.

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WASSCE Summary Questions

a) In one sentence summarize the difference between the nuclear family system and the extended family system.

b) In three sentences, one for each, state three benefits of the extended family system

c) In two sentences, one for each, state two disadvantages of the extended family system

Sample Answers to the Summary Questions

a) While the nuclear family comprises only a couple and their children the extended family includes distant relations as well.

b) i) It engenders social cohesion.

     ii) It develops the family into a bigger social organization.

     iii) It promotes inter-tribal harmony.

c) i) It turns some members into lazy parasites.

    ii) It can create hardship for hardworking members.

Source of Passages & Questions: The West African Examinations Council

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Ralph Nyadzi

Ralph has a passion for the teaching and learning of Language and Literature mainly because these two help him to understand and appreciate why people act the way they do. Over the past two decades, he has coached over 5000 students and adult learners to achieve their educational goals. Ralph is the founder and CEO of Cegast Academy.

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