Study Time: WASSCE Oral English Answering Techniques

The oral English for WASSCE has 60 items (questions). Candidates taking the WASSCE are to answer them all. The 60 items are divided into categories numbered test 1 to test 8. Test 1, 2, 3, 4,& 5 has to do with the three basic sounds. (initial, medial & final sounds)

Is the first sound produced when pronouncing a word. Eg, sheep, the first sound is sh, in cheat, the first sound is ch and in beat, the first sound is b.


Is the sound produced in the middle of the word. Eg, in sheep, the medial sound is ee, in cheat, the medial sound is ea, and in beat, the medial sound is ea.


This is the sound produced at the end of a word. Eg, in seed, d is the final sound, and in beat, t is the final sound.


Test 1 has 15 items (1-15), lettered A to C, test 2 has 15 items (15-30), test 3 has 10 items (31-40). No sooner the play button is pressed to play, your attention should be on every word in the test.

One of the speakers will start giving instructions followed by two examples.

After the examples, one of the speakers will say:

“listen carefully. In this test there are three words to a line”.

You will begin to shade on your answer sheet when you hear one of the speakers saying:

“now get ready to answer the rest of test one on your answer sheet start at number 1”.

Examples: a. Teach b. Cheat c. Eat.
There are differences among the words in terms of initial, medial, and final.

Test 1, 2, & 3 has the same explanation and techniques.


In test four, there are three sentential options. You should also listen to any instructions or examples given by one of the speakers.

Among the three optional sentences, the speaker will read one of them and you should be smart enough to detect the actual word pronounced by the speaker.

These are words with almost the same sound but different in spelling and meaning.

1.a. “The war was caused by his (tribe)”.
b. “The war was caused by his (bribe)”.
C. “The war was caused by his (pride)”.

Eg: 2. a. “He’s just (found) his father”.
b. “He’s just (fanned) his father”.
C. “He’s just (phoned) his father”.


This test is about rhyming scheme. The medial and the final are combined to pronounce the word.

Eg, The speaker may pronounce the word ‘sing’ while in the options you will see:

a. Singe
b. Wing
C. Sink
d. Snick

In the above options, b is the correct one because it has the same medial and final sound with the speaker’s word.

It is hard to see in the options the very word pronounced by the speaker.


This test is focusing on questions and answers.

The responses that will be made by one of the speakers on the numbered items referred to as the answers.

To make it simple the following rules must be considered:


The responses/answers that will be provided by one of the speakers is what is referred to as stressed word.

The stressed word is pronounced with some amount of breath forced to differentiate it from the other words.

The unstressed word in the options carries the correct answer. Example, one of the speakers will say: ‘ He borrowed my phone’.

a. “Who borrowed your phone?”

b. “Did he steal your phone?”

C. “Did Patrick Moiwai borrowed you phone?”

In this case, b is the correct option because it does not contain the stressed word ‘borrowed’.


At times the stressed word is not present in the three options.

The candidate should consider one of the following; what, whose,which, where, who, when, that corresponds with the statement of the speaker.

Example: Patrick Maada Moiwai has gone to the park (said one of the speakers).

a. Where has Patrick Maada Moiwai gone?

b. Is Patrick Maada Moiwai gone to school?

C. What has Patrick Maada Moiwai done?

The correct option is a. It has the appropriate word where that corresponds with the speaker’s statement.


It States that the auxiliary verb that is found in the sentence should be taken to the beginning of the correct option that will corresponds with the speaker’s statement.

In forming the appropriate question, the stressed word of the speaker must not be found in the question (the correct option).

Example: Maada is driving a car.

a. Is Maada driving a car?

b. Which car is Masada driving?

c. Is Maada driving a truck?

The correct answer is c because the auxiliary verb ‘is’ is at the beginning of the sentence, and c doesn’t has the stressed word car.


This rule states that the ‘tense’ used in the statement of the speaker must reflect in the correct option, but without the stressed word.

Example: Patrick drove a car yesterday.

a. What did Patrick do yesterday?

b. Did Patrick drive a car today?

c. Who drove a car yesterday?

The correct option is ‘b’ because it reflects the tense in the speaker’s statement, and doesn’t has the stressed word.


In this test you will hear short conversation between a man and a woman.

The candidate must be able to detect which of the speakers in the conversation is rude or polite, sure of what is being said or not, angry or not, admiring or not admiring, surprise or not, agrees or disagrees.

The candidate must be able to determine the attitudes of the speakers. Observe the following rules:


When one of the speakers or both use the words “not sure” or “said” shows that he/she is not sure/certain. Among the options it may state which of them is sure or not, agrees or not, and the like.



It explains intonation. This simply means the rise and fall of someone’s voice in making a speech.

When the voice of anyone of the speakers fall, shows that he or she is sure of what is being said, but when the voice rises suddenly as if one is asking a question, clearly shows that the speaker is not sure. Of course, when a speaker asks question shows he/she is not sure.


When one or both of the speakers voices are rough, it clearly shows that he/she or both of them are angry/rude/impolite.


When the speaker/speakers use any confirmation words like is true or obvious and the voice falls, shows that he/she is certain.


This is the final test. It contains conversation and narrative. In this test, the speaker will narrate a story, and questions will be asked from this story.

As such, the candidate is required to listen attentively to the speaker as it will enable the candidate to answer the correct option.

Examples: it was in march when Mr. Moiwai got an appointment from one of the local NGOs to work in Freetown.

He decided to settle in Freetown with his family.

He was very curious to let his two children go to school and to pay his younger sister’s university fees.

1. What kind of family Mr. Moiwai lives in? (extended family) ans.

2. At what season Mr. Moiwai leaves for Freetown? (dry season) ans.

Here the logical faculty of the candidate is tested, as how best he/she can be able to answer question which its answer is not apparent in the passage read.

apply the above explanations for your wassce oral English solutions.

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Ellis Ferdinand
Ellis Ferdinand is a Journalist, Blogger and Founder of Ellis Multimedia, a parent company of, an Online Education News Blog, and Ellis Ferdinand is a Graduate of Accra College of Education and the University of Cape Coast, where he obtained a Diploma In Basic Education and a Bachelor of Education in Accounting. He is currently Reading his Master of Philosophy in Curriculum and Pedagogic Studies at the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana. Ellis Ferdinand won Blogger of the Year at the 2018 National Students’ Awards and was also adjudged 14th Best Ghanain Blogger in 2018 among the Top 50 Ghanaian Bloggers of 2018. He introduced the Concept of Education Blogging in Ghana in 2014 with his famous blog now His Blog won Best Media Promoting Education in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, an Award organized by Neogenics Education Consult. In 2019, He adjudged the Most Promising West African Blogger of the Year in Nigeria. He won Writer of the Year at the 2021 EDUCOM AWARDS

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