Sample WASSCE English Summary Answers #2 (PDF)

Reading Time: 12 minutes

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



There were certain underlying conditions that enabled department stores grow up when they did. From the start, they all catered for middle-class customers and set out to convey to them an air of luxury and solid comfort. Of necessity, they all arose in central positions where large numbers of people could reach them easily by means of public transport. Physically, they grew up in an era of big technical developments in building so that they could afford multi-storey palaces and could have enormous plate-glass windows for display, lighting and novelties like lifts.

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Above all, the department stores rose with the rise of Victorian white-collar workers, the small-scale businessmen and professionals whose womenfolk had money to spare for a few luxuries and were gradually switching the emphasis of their housekeeping expenditure from food to other items.

Most of these stores drew enough customers to fill their huge shops by offering two new things. One was the new manufactures, particularly clothing, goods and accessories, household furnishings and equipment of all kinds that were coming out of the factories in increasing quantity. The specialist shops stocked these too, of course, but the department stores always made it a point to be the first in the field if they could with novelty of any kind. And the other special thing they offered the middle-class shoppers, many of whom were newly rich and a little experienced in luxury shopping, was a lavish display and wide choice of these goods.

The department stores, however, introduced into a respectable class trade the vulgar practice of openly marking or ticketing goods with their prices – a practice that had not even yet penetrated shops that could claim that they were really exclusive. But the department stores as a rule made a virtue not only of displaying their wares as openly as they could but also of boldly pricing them for all to see. Their large-scale purchases enabled them to sell cheaply and they were not ashamed in the early days to make price one of their selling points. ‘Store price’ was a by-word for cheapness.

The lines they concentrated on were fashion goods, things that shoppers were prepared to travel long distances for and to take some time and trouble in choosing. The department stores were at least partly responsible for the way the middle classes gradually became fashion conscious, and helped to mould their tastes. They were the first preachers of the modern creed that goods ought to be replaced when they are outdated rather than when they are outworn.

WASSCE Summary Questions

a) In four sentences, one for each, summarize why people were attracted to the department stores.

b) In two sentences, one for each, state the effects department stores had on their customers.

Recommended WASSCE Summary Answers

a) i) They were the first to sell the latest goods.

    ii) They offered different kinds of goods.

    iii) They openly displayed their prices.

    iv) Their prices were low.

b) i) They turned their customers into lovers of fashion.

    ii) They shaped their customers’ tastes.

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Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions on it.

Despite the fact that our planet is habitable only because most of it is composed of water, it is the oceans that are the most immediately threatened part of the earth.

It was in the oceans that life first began to stir, shielded by the waters from the sun’s irresistible radiation. It was from the oceans that planets and animals emerged to colonize the land surface of the planet.  It is the oceans today that provide the water vapour which, drawn up by the sun, fall upon the earth in harvest-bringing, life- sustaining rain. The ocean is a major provider of the oxygen released by its plankton for the benefit of all the species of land, air and sea – breathing with lungs and gills.

Without special qualities for holding heat, much of the earth would be uninhabitable.

The oceans are the coolants of the tropics, the bringers of warm currents to cold regions, the universal moderators of temperature throughout the globe.

The oceans are also indispensable to man because they  first created the world-wide currents of sea-borne trade which have steadily drawn our planet into a single economic system. They still produce protein. In 1996, sixty-three million metric tons of fish came from the sea, estimated to be approximately one-fifth of the ocean’s production.

Fish, if turned directly  to human use, could make up a large part of the protein diet required for the words children, especially those in developing countries, at a vary low cost. But, in one of the world economy’s most unacceptable diversions of  resources, fifty percent of the harvest from the oceans is converted to fish meal which today ends up feeding pigs and chickens in developed countries. It is very sad that ‘developed’ animal pets have the chance of a better diet than very many ‘developing’ babies.

  • In five sentences, one for each, state the reasons why, according to the author, man needs the oceans.
  • In one sentence, summarize how man misuses the ocean’s resources.  


  • i. The oceans produce rainfall for food production.

ii. They are a source of oxygen without which life is impossible.

iii. The oceans regulate world temperature so that living organisms get just what they need to live.

iv. They serve as a means of transport hence facilitating international trade.

v. Fish from the oceans are being exploited to feed animals instead of conserving then for human consumption.


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

It has been the custom of historians to divide the factors for wars into immediate and underlying causes. Among these underlying causes, the economic factor is generally placed at the head of the list. Indeed , the most important of these was the industrial and commercial rivalry between Germany and Great Britain.

Germany, after its unification in 1871, went through a period of economic miracle. By 1914, she was producing more iron and steel than Britain and France combined. In chemicals, in dye, and in the manufacture of scientific equipment she led the world. The products of her industries were crowding British manufactures in nearly every market for continental Europe, in the Far East and in Britain itself.

There is evidence that certain interests in Great Britain were becoming seriously alarmed over the menace of Germany competition.

There seemed to be a strong conviction that Germany was waging deliberate and deadly economic warfare upon Britain to capture her market by unfair methods. Thus, for Britain to allow Germany to be victorious in this struggle would mean the destruction of her prosperity and a grave threat to her national existence.

There are indications that the French also were alarmed by the German industrial expansion. In 1870, France had lost possession of the expensive iron and coal deposit of Lorraine, which had gone to swell the industrial growth of Germany. To be sure, the French had plenty of iron left in the Briery Fields, but they were afraid that their enemy might eventually reach out and grab these too. Besides, France was under necessity of importing coal and this galled her pride almost as much as the loss of the iron.

In addition, the Russian ambition to gain control of Constantinople and other portions of Turkish territory conflicted with German plans for reserving the Turkish Empire as their happy hunting ground of commercial privilege. Then Russia and Austria a close ally of Germany were rivals for a monopoly of trade with the Balkan kingdoms of Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.

  • In two sentences, one for each, state two reasons why Britain considered Germany a threat.
  • In two sentences, one for each, state two reasons why the French felt threatened by the Germans.
  • In two sentences, one for each, state two factors responsible for Russian antagonism with Germany.


a) i. Germany’s production level started rising higher than Britain’s

ii. Britain was finding it difficult to cope with German commercial competition.

b) i. Germany had taken over much of France’s iron and coal resources.

ii. There was the danger that Germany might take over the rest of France’s ail and coal   resources.

c)  i. There was a scramble for the control of the Turkish  Empire by the two countries.

ii. Germany’s ally, Austria, was engaged in a bitter struggle with Russia over who gained control over trade in the Balkans.  


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

Mining ranks among the world’s most destructive industries. Yet mineral extraction and processing are absent in most discussions of global environmental threats. Governmental and private analyses have focused only on increasing mineral supplies.

Each year, mining strips some 28 billon tons of material from the earth. This is more than what is removed by the natural erosion of all the earth’s rivers. Worldwide, mining and smelting generate an estimated 2.7 billon tons of processing waste each year, much of it hazardous dwarfing the more familiar municipal waste. Smelter pollution has created biological waste lands as large as 10, 000 hectares and pumped some eight percent of the total worldwide emissions of sulphur dioxide, a major contributor to acid rain, into the atmosphere.

Mining could also cause more damaging deforestation than bad farming practices in certain parts of the world. For example, smelters at a single iron mine in Brazil will require enough fuelwood to deforest 50,000 hectares of tropical forest each year.

Mining has been poorly regulated even in wealthy industrialized nations. While many governments subsidize mineral production, few enact or enforce strict environmental regulations for mining operations. As a result, not only are many mining activities more environmentally destructive than need be, but prices of minerals do not include their full environmental cost. Today’s low mineral prices reflect only the immediate economics of extraction and destruction. They fail to consider the full costs of eroded land, dammed or polluted rivers and displacement of people unlucky enough to live atop mineral deposits. In the light of this, governments should remove subsidies provided for mining virgin mineral.

The devastating effects of the industry are particularly severe in the developing countries which have been producing a substantial portion of the world’s mineral supplies, although they use relatively little. This is because environmental controls tend to be weak or non-existent in these countries. What makes their situation more pathetic is that many of them are among the world’s poorest nations.

Contrary to popular belief, the people of most mineral – exporting countries gain little from mining. Expensive investment in equipment and infrastructure combined with falling world mineral prices, especially during the eighties, has made these countries some of the world’s most heavily indebted.

While the world appears in little danger of running out of most non-fuel minerals, it is obvious that the planet cannot afford the human and ecological price of its growing appetite for minerals. It will therefore be wise to satisfy human needs with smaller amounts of virgin minerals. It will also work for our good if we increase recycling of materials, and made metal-based products more durable and easier to repair.

  • In three sentences, one for each, state three reasons given by the writer to support his view that mining is a destructive industry.
  • In one sentence, state one effect of the poor regulation of mining operations.
  • In two sentences, one for each, state two suggestions made by the writer towards reducing the destructive effects of mining activities.

Recommended Answers

  • i. It causes erosion.

ii. It leads to environmental pollution.

iii. It encourages desertification.

  • i. Poor regulation of mining activities causes unnecessary damage to the  environment.
  •                   i. Lesser amounts of mineral products should be consumed.

           ii. Recycling of used products should be stepped up.


No. one can seriously pretend to remain unaffected by advertisement. It is impossible to turn a blind eye to the solicitors to by this or that  article that fill our streets, newspapers and magazines. Even in the sanctuary of our living rooms, advertisers are waiting to pounce on their helpless victims as they tune to their favourite radio or television programmes. In time, no matter how hard we resist, clever little tunes and catch phrases seep into our subconscious minds and stay there. Though they seem so varied, all these advertisements have one thing in common: they make strong appeals to our emotions.

Fear is the biggest weapon of all. The consumer is literally scared into spending his money when he is reminded that he may die tomorrow and leave his family unprovided for; his house may be burnt down while he is away on holiday; that mysterious pain he has in his stomach (which he innocently took to be indigestion) is really the first symptom of a serious nervous disorder. The bait dangled before his nose is security, and he is gripped with fear when he compares his miserable lot with that of the smiling, healthy looking man in the advertisement, who was provident enough to do all the right things at the right times.

But we are not always dealt with so roughly. Sometimes, it is not our fears that are invoked, but our sense of comfort. Human ingenuity devised countless machines that take the drudgery out of our house work. All you need to do is press a button.

The softest spot of all is our vanity. No man wants the bald before he is thirty; no woman wants to lose her school-girl complexion.

We are flattered and coaxed until we almost believe that we have the makings of potential film stars, provided of course, that we use X or Y.

Sometimes the methods employed are even more subtle. They persuade us that we are superior to other people and it is time we realized it. The funny man in the poster established immediate contact with us by making us feel that we belong to the select few who have a sense of humor. Austere black type and profoundly serious statements confirm what we knew all along that we are highly intelligent.

No amount of logical argument can convince so much as this assault on our emotions. When a crunchy, honey-filled chocolate bar stares up at you from a page, what else can you do but rush and buy one?

  • In one sentence state the main characteristic of advertisement.
  • In the first paragraph, the writer says something unpleasant about advertising. Summarize this one sentence.
  • In one sentence, state which senses advertising takes advantage of.
  • In two sentences, one for each, state the materials and techniques used in advertising.

Recommended Answers

  •     Advertisements attract everybody’s attention by working on their feelings.
  • Advertising invades the individual’s privacy without warning
  • It takes advantage of the senses of fear, comfort, vanity, humour and taste.
  • Materials such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television are used in advertising.

(iii) Attractive pictures, catchy phrases and music are techniques used to appeal to a person’s emotions.


Read the passage below carefully and then answer, in your own words as far as passable, the questions on it

The world’s universities are bursting at their seams: every faculty has recently had to close its doors to hundreds of heartbroken applicants. Archaeology is no exception; and that is as it should be, for without this discipline, the world would have been deprived of every useful bit of knowledge. One shudders at how badly off the world would have been for the lack of such useful knowledge.

For instance, last Friday, 13th of August, every news bulletin carried the item of a most exhilarating archaeological find, nine-thousand-year old fossils dug up from 15 miles below the earth’s surface has revealed that in pre-historic times teenagers chewed gum. The experts knew that the teeth of fossil definitely belonged to a teenager because, although they were not as developed as a fully grown adult’s they were much stronger then a child’s would have been. The gum has been solidified from sap from a birch tree and must have been sweetened with honey with mint leaf added for flavor.

Further research was promised to determine whether chewing gum was medicinal. The suspicion was that if it was otherwise why would a teenager in the bloom of youthful exuberance lie dead with his gum securely wedged between his molars? Research would also establish whether the pre-historic teenager chewed his gum until all its sweetness ran out and whether he did so with relish.

The excavation and its attendant analyses has so far cost 18 billion American dollars, the newscaster said, a further 10 billion has been allocated to the Archaeological consortium to resolve the questions that puzzled scientists, historians and sociologists – indeed the whole of the academic world.

Anum chewed his lower lip as he gazed at the pre-set radio that was excitedly blasting the details. Being a typical Third world county bumpkin with no breeding in aesthetics, he mused upon how very grateful his debt ridden motherland would be if these billions were to be given her to pay some of her foreign debts. But that is to be expected, because Anum is too philistine to pay compliments where compliments are due.

The mothers of the women’s union were more cultured in their views. They would be grateful if a little more money is added to the allocation to enable the archaeologists to tell them whether the mothers of the Stone Age era approved of their teenager children cheerily chewing their pre-historic chewing gum.

  • In a single sentence, use three adjectives that describe pre-historic chewing gum.
  • In one sentence, state the general usefulness of archaeology.
  • In three sentences, one for each, list the points that further research should clarify about pre-historic chewing gum.
  • In one sentence, contrast Anum’s attitude with that of the archaeologists.

Recommended Answers

    (a) It was hard, sugary and tasty

  (b) It creates an avenue for learning about and understanding the past

               (c)  (i) It was to establish if chewing gum had some healing properties

                     (ii) It was to find out if the chewing gum was chewed until it lost its sweetness

                     (ii) Further research should clarify whether the teenagers enjoyed chewing it.

  • Whilst Anum considers archaeological research as a waste of scare resources, the archaeologists appear to attach great importance to their work.


Let us take a sober look at one of the many ancient virtues that Sunday school teachers used to make us believe will take us to heaven. Sister Victoria preached temperance. Sister said that everything was good for our souls provided it was done with temperance, many of my classmates loved the word temperance, because as Sophia used to say, “The word came tripping off our tongues and made us sound learned”.

Modern scientists have gone through tons of research material and have come full circle to conclude that, if we want to live safe and sound, we should do everything with moderation. Science says that sleep is a tonic for our bodies; provided the habit is not over-indulged in. Six hours of sleep each night will make us grow old before our time.

Heart surgeons tell us that gentle daily exercise protects us from heart attacks; that irregular outburst of vigorous exercise will kill us in no time.

Beauticians warn us that occasional smiling relaxes the muscles of the face, but that persistent grinning from ear to ear disturbs the smoothness of the face and makes us wrinkle up and look old before our time.

The conclusions of both religion and science merge into a single lesson that for anything to give us its full advantages it should be done with lukewarm indifference. Tony is not all sure that he likes temperance for the welfare of his soul, nor for the good of his body. His main consolation is that his two colleagues, Boat and Akua also dislike indifference.

Tony’s elder sister Emerald, has warned him that it is immature to divide the world into only blacks and whites, Emerald endorses the Biblical and scientific view that most of our world is really created in some indistinct insipid grey all the same.

Tony has promised that he may accept uninteresting moderation when he has one foot in the grave. Right now, however, he means to discover the joys of living dangerously.

  • In not more than eight words, find a suitable title for this passage. Do not use the words temperance and moderation. Your answer does not have to be a sentence.
  • In one sentence, state the main advantage of the virtues.
  • In three short sentences, summarize the specific recommendations of science.
  • In one sentence, state the difference between temperance and moderation.

Recommended Answers


                 (b)  One can enjoy a happier and longer life.

                  (c)  (i) Sleep should be restricted to very few hours.

                         (ii) A little exercise a day is all that the body needs.

                         (ii) Only short spells of smiling are good for the face.

                 (d) Whilst temperance enriches one spiritually, moderation ensures one’s physical health

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Question Source: The West African Examinations Council

About Ralph Nyadzi

Ralph is a professional blogger, founder and CEO of RN Digital Media Ent. He spends his day working as an online entrepreneur, e-learning strategist and a test prep coach. If you can't locate him anywhere on the web, just doing what he knows how to do best, check him out on his farm or in the kitchen. He lives with four cats in the Central Region of his native country, Ghana.

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