WASSCE 2013 Comprehension Passage and Answers

In this post, we will turn our attention to the WAEC/WASSCE 2013 Comprehension passage, questions and answers. Actually, you will find two different WAEC comprehension passages for the year 2013 in this tutorial. The first set of May/June 2013 WAEC comprehension past questions and answers here is about the passage that begins with the words ‘The World Day Against Child Labour’. The second passage, on the other hand, opens with ‘It was Mr Ogun that wooed me for school’.

Are you ready to view the suggested answers to all the questions on each WASSCE 2013 comprehension passage? Then you can relax and read through them all. Remember, however, that it will be most helpful if you take your time to, first, provide your own answers and thereafter compare them to the recommended ones. Then you can take a close look at both and find out how well you are progressing with your preparations for that English reading comprehension test ahead of you.

This series of WAEC past questions on comprehension and their sample answers should enable both teachers and students of senior high school English to increase their performance. Because the thorny question about how to answer correctly comprehension questions on grammatical names, literary devices and idiomatic expressions are well taken care of.

Let’s do this together.

WASSCE 2013 Comprehension Passage 1

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

  1.                  The World Day against Child Labour was observed on June 12 in several parts of Ghana. A national durbar was held at the Agbogbloshie market in Accra, a venue that was strategically selected for its relevance in the lives of female porters.

           It was quite an effort for the organizers to convince the girls and women to sit and listen to the message. The reasons for this included the fact that sitting would waste precious time during which they could be out making some money. Those who sat did so only because they were tired and wanted to rest for a few minutes. They were rewarded with delicious cups of chilled fruit juice and snacks. They were also treated to good traditional music, dance and drama. These girls and women had travelled to Accra to make a living. They said they could not return home ‘empty–handed’. They needed to buy saucepans and pieces of cloth to prepare for marriage when they returned home.

           One girl narrated how a woman had brought her to Accra, with the blessing of her parents, to attend school and serve as a housekeeper. She had been promised a sewing machine, a school uniform and a lot of money. Unfortunately, that woman disappeared on arrival. Stranded, she found a few female porters at the lorry park who spoke her dialect. They took her in and introduced her to their porterage business.

          It is sad that so many youngsters have had their dreams shattered. Parents, rather than support their children at home, allow them to travel to distant places to work for strangers. The children’s aspirations having been altered, their main aim now is to make money and get married. Many parents consider themselves too poor to cater for their children, yet they continue to produce more, expecting the government to support their children.

         While some youth desire to continue their education or to learn a trade, there are very few avenues open to them. Several Non – Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have joined hands with the government to assist such youth. Centres have been provided particularly for girls to learn a trade. Some girls who got sewing machines and working tools have sold these off and resumed their porterage business. There is the need to adopt specific measures to solve this lingering problem.

In the Kumasi Central Market, for example, an innovation was introduced a few years ago. After many porters had been interviewed, those who were younger than 15 were immediately registered and enrolled in school. Then customers were also educated to allow only porters older than 15 years to operate. It was a herculean task. Unfortunately, this effort was discontinued when some girls started lying about their ages. Even those enrolled in school began to withdraw and return to the markets and lorry parks to make money. The lure of money was too strong to resist.


a)       Why did some porters choose to sit and listen to the message?

b)       What is the ultimate aim of the girls who travel to Accra?

c)       Give two reasons why efforts to help the porters were unsuccessful.

d)       How did the abandoned girl get out of her situation?

e)       What is the writer’s attitude to the parents of the children in the passage?

f)        … when they returned home.

     (i)  What is the grammatical name of the expression above?

     (ii) What is its function in the sentence?

g)       …a herculean task.

What is the meaning of the expression above?

h)       For each of the following words or group of words, find another word or phrase which means the same as the word or group of words and can replace it in the passage:

i.        strategically

ii.       rewarded with

iii.      shattered

iv.      cater for

v.       Specific

vi.      lure of

2011 WAEC Comprehension Questions and Answers

2012 WAEC Summary Passage and Answers

How to Improve Your English Vocabulary

The Simple Difference Between a Phrase and a Clause

The Grammatical Functions of a Noun Phrase

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Recommended Answers for WAEC 2013 Comprehension Questions

You may now take a look at the first set of recommended answers to the questions under the WASSCE 2013 comprehension passage one. For example, find the answer to the question about the grammatical name and function of when they returned home.

a. They did so because they were tired and wanted to seize the opportunity to rest a little.

b. to make money to enable them to get married

c. i. The porters lied about their ages. ii. Some sold the sewing machines that were given to them.

POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL POINTS FOR C. iii. The girls ran back to the streets to make money iv. The porters were unwilling to cooperate with those who tried to help them. iv. The girls valued making quick money more than learning a trade.

d. She found some female porters who helped her to start her own porterage business.

e. The writer is highly critical of them.

f. i. Adverbial Clause ii. It is modifying the verb, ‘prepare’.

g. an extremely difficult thing to do

h. i. strategically – carefully

ii. rewarded with – given

iii. shattered – destroyed

iv. cater for – take care of

v. specific – concrete

vi. lure of – attraction of

WASSCE 2013 Comprehension Passage 2

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

 It was Mr Ogun that wooed me for school. That was decades ago, I had resisted vehemently: I even ran away to hibernate with my maternal grandmother. I had told Granny that I wanted to spend a few days with her. By nightfall, my father, who suspected that I was hiding there, came to take me away. The following morning, he dragged me all the way to school where Mr Ogun received all the fresh students.

I swore secretly that I would abscond at the first opportunity. but throughout the day, Mr Ogun kept a watchful eye on fresh pupils. He had a smiling face and looked very friendly. As soon as he had registered our names, he led us to the field to play. Of all the children, I was probably the only one who looked forward to an opportunity to abscond. Mr Ogun seemed to have read my mind, he used my name in the songs he composed as we marched around the field. He once held me by the hand and marched along with me. As we went on. he announced, “What a smart fellow! Clap for him.”

In the classroom, Mr Ogun told me to sit in front as he stated, “My Smartic will keep the pieces of chalk and the duster.” Gradually, I was mellowing in my plan to abscond. I began to think that I could give school a try. At the end of that day, my father was around to take me home. Perhaps he decided not to take chances.

During the first week, my father took me to school every day. Somehow, my resistance was softening to his surprise. Every morning, as I produced the pieces of chalk from the cupboard. Mr Ogun smiled broadly, nodding approvingly. Before we left the classroom for recess, for games or for home, I dutifully kept the materials safe, and as soon as we returned, I produced them. It took some time before I realized that my role was crucial since the pilfering of such materials was common in all the other classes.

My father soon stopped bothering about me as I would get up from bed, take my bath, and get into my uniform without any prodding. My love for school was deepening. especially when I discovered that I was among the few that always did well in most tests. And Mr Ogun would praise me to the skies.

Towards the end of the school year, we learnt that Mr Ogun was going on transfer to another school. How devastated I felt! Now, at last, was the time to abscond from school. But then. I simply could not take the crucial step because my bond with school had become very firm.


(a) What evidence is there in the passage that the writer’s experience took place long ago?
(b) Mention two things that Mr Ogun did that wooed the writer for school.
(c) What was the benefit of the duty performed by the writer to his class?
(d) What do you think the writer implies when he states that he dressed up for school without any prodding?
(e) Why could he not carry out his plan to abscond when his mentor had left?
(f) …that my role was crucial.. (i) What is the grammatical name given to this expression as it is used in the passage? (ii) What is its function?
(g) “…my bond with school had become very firm” What figure of speech is used in this expression?
(h) For each of the following words. find another word or phrase which means the same and which can replace it as it is used in the passage:

(i) vehemently

(ii) abscond

(iii) probably

(iv) gradually

(v) prodding

(vi) devastated

Recommended Answers for Passage 2

Here now come the answers to questions based on the other WASSCE 2013 comprehension passage featured in this post. Note the grammatical name and function of ‘that my role was crucial’ as well as the literary device used in the expression ‘my bond with school had become very firm’. You will also find the writer’s implied meaning when he says he ‘dressed up for school without any prodding’.

a. The narrator uses the expression, ‘That was decades ago.’.

b. i. Mr Ogun treated the writer in a friendly manner. ii. He also gave the writer the responsibility for keeping the chalk and duster for the class.

c. It made the writer begin to feel useful and responsible.

d. He was beginning to enjoy attending school. (Now he didn’t need to be persuaded in order to go to school.)

e. He had developed a strong liking for school at this point.

f. i. Noun Clause ii. It is the object of the verb, ‘realized’.

g. Metaphor

h. i. vehemently – strongly

ii. abscond – run away

iii. probably – likely

iv. gradually – slowly

v. prodding – prompting

vi. devastated – heartbroken/sad (Please, give only one answer in the exam)

Final Thoughts

It is always helpful to attempt answers to as many English reading comprehension questions as possible. I encourage you to do so with these comprehension exercises. You will find these summary writing practice tests equally useful.

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