The JAMB USE OF ENGLISH PAST QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS – Text for 2023 makes it easier for students to understand what they will encounter in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB/UTME Use of English Exam.

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Returning home after a decade and a half abroad, our Geography master remained incurably addicted to foreign ways and ideas for years after landing here.

He would forever stick to his theory of Africans suffering from a course inflicted on them by the Almighty God for some heinous sins committed centuries ago.

In support of this theory, he would ask listeners: “Why would our mosquito inflict deadly malaria on us, whereas the British mosquito does not bite?

Why aren’t there poisonous snakes in Britain, whereas most snakes are deadly here? Why should the deadly sickle cell disease be peculiar to the black race?”

Of course, he hardly waits for answers to these and similar questions before jumping to the same inevitable conclusion.

However, he met his match one day when a new student joined the class and heard the litany we were used to.

The new boy calmly said, “Sir, I know a few white men who suffer from sickle cell disease; some are Italians, and some are Spanish.

The mosquito is equally deadly in India, Southeast Asian Countries, and South America.

The United States and some other South American 5 Countries have deadly snakes. And, Sir, I know many white men, some of the British, who would prefer our brilliant sunshine to their cold winter.” And he sat down.

I had never, before that day, seen our master so consumed with anger. He directed a burning look at the poor boy, who had no answer to this new battle.

Without as much as saying a single word, the master stalked out of the classroom. Our anger was turned on the new boy, who had decided to rock the boat without taking the time to sound the water.

A delegation was sent to the master to apologize to him. He was appeased. But we all noticed something rather unusual after that. Never again did he dwell on the issue of Africans being the cursed People.

  1. What point of view is the Geography master fond of advancing?
  2. Africans are infested with all kinds of problem
  3. Only white men are free from deadly diseases
  4. The Almighty God is punishing Africans for

sins they committed long ago.

  1. God did not curse the white people.
  1. Which of the following arguments did he not use to support his views?
  2. In Africa, the mosquito causes deadly malaria, whereas in Britain, it doesn’t bite or cause malaria.
  3. There is malaria both in Britain and in

African Countries

  1. The snakes in Africa are deadly, but those in

Britain is harmless

  1. Sickle cell disease is peculiar to the black race.
  1. “…rock the boat” What figure of speech is this expression?
  2. Simile
  3. Metaphor
  4. Personification
  5. Hyperbole
  1. What extra argument (lid the new boy offer after countering each of vie master’s points?
  2. There are problems, especially in Africa
  3. There are deadly snakes in America and Africa
  4. There are harmless snakes in Britain
  5. Many white men prefer the African climate to their own.
  1. Why do you think the master fought back with his look rather than with further argument?
  2. He knew that the boy’s points were valid
  3. He had answers to the boy’s argument
  4. He went out to sort out the boy’s argument
  5. He already made up his mind on his points.
  1. “…who had no answer to this new battle”. What grammatical name is given to the above passage expression as it is used in the passage?
  2. (non-defining) relative clause
  3. Adverbial clause
  4. Subordinate clause
  5. Main clause.

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Passage B

The passage below has gaps immediately following each gap; four options are provided. Choose the most appropriate option for each gap.

Mankind has been ravaged by many viruses, and 7… [A. germ B. bacterial C. dirty D. mosquito] diseases such as measles, but tuberculosis, diarrhea and many others including … 8… [A.catarrh B. runny-nose C. headache D.influenza] also known as the … 9… cold [A. common B. sporadic C. universal D. regular].

Outbreaks of many of these diseases have been brought under control in the last fifty years. Some 10… [A. pains B. fevers C. infection D. traces] like measles and

‘…whooping cough still poses a great danger to younger children.

The …11 symptoms B. appearance C. feels D. signs] of measles are more easily … 12… [A. diagnosed B. treated C.dealt with a handled] than those of whooping cough.

Unlike many others, the measles virus more easily remains…13… [A. unchanged B. constant C. undiscovered D. erratic] for hundreds of years. However, once you have had an …14…[A, epidemic B. encounter C. attack D. indisposition] of this dreadful disease, you develop an … 15… [ A. impurity B. armor C. immunity D. ability] almost complete and long-lasting.

Modern science has made available … 16 …[A. injections B. medicine C. tablets D. vaccines to prevent many childhood diseases and this is the only guarantee of … 17… [A. freedom B. discharge C. cure 0. protection] from these scourges.

More effective treatment of Complications arising from these childhood diseases using penicillin and other …18… [A. relievers B. treatments C. antibiotics D. Pills] has also helped to reduce the … 19… [A. high B. mortality C. killing D dangerous] rate among children.

It is universally accepted that good…20… [A. health B. body C. sense D. development] is the right of every human being and child. You do not have to die from these diseases which wiped out the whole …21 …[A. countries B. areas C. communities D. states] in the Middle Ages.

We have today …22… [A. bitter B. lovely C. potent D. marvelous] drugs which give protection against most childhood diseases.

After each of the following sentences, a list of possible interpretations of the sentence is given. Choose the interpretation that you consider appropriate for each sentence.

  1. When asked to state her side of the story, Bunmi started by beating about the bush. This means that Bunmi
  2. went straight to the point
  3. was lost in great thought
  4. followed a bush path
  5. approached the subject without coming to the point.
  1. The amount he donated was small. He said it was his widow’s mite. This means that
  2. he was a widow
  3. he was misery.
  4. it was all he could honestly afford
  5. he could have given more.
  1. The friendship between Segun and Shehu has turned sour. This means that Segun and Shehu are
  2. no longer friends
  3. stilt friends
  4. better friends now
  5. getting to understand each other.
  1. The driver smelled a rat when the policemen asked him to stop. ] It means that the driver was
    A. reckless
  2. auspicious
  3. careful
  4. offensive.
  1. The students were as Wised to face their studies and let sleeping dogs lie. This means that the students shout
  2. obey the authorities
  3. organize them properly
  4. leave matters as they are now
  5. be as watchful as sleeping dogs.
  1. From the way Ngozi behaves, it is obvious she is a greenhorn. “This means that Ngozi is
  2. arrogant
  3. cautious
  4. inexperienced
  5. uncivilized.
  1. The economic situation is so bad that many wage earners can hardly make ends meet. This means that
  2. people’s income exceeds their expenditure
  3. most people are extravagant with their income
  4. people’s earnings are not sufficient for their essential needs
  5. most people engage in activities that bring them extra pay.
  1. Since I learned about his hypocritical nature, I have kept him at arm’s length. This mean: that I ___
  2. avoid being similar to him
  3. ignore his advice
  4. report him to the authority

D). Stop visiting him.

  1. I knew Okoronkwo’s father very well, and I must say that his son is a chip off the old block. Thy means that Okoronkwo.
  2. has Chosen the game career as its father
  3. is very much like his father
  4. is an extremely different sort of person from his father.
  5. Has taken up a different profession from his father’s.
  1. The debating team was warned to make convincing points and not to play to the gallery. This means that the team should not
  2. be selfish
  3. underrate opponents
  4. be over-confident
  5. attempt to win cheap popularity.
  1. Anyone who thinks he can succeed without working hard lives in a fool’s paradise. This means that such a person
  2. is having an illusion
  3. thinks other people are fools
  4. thinks that working is merely a joke.
  5. Is on the verge of insanity.

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From these questions, choose the options opposite in meaning to the words or phrases in italics.

  1. I am happy to inform you that your boys are conscientious
  1. industrious
  2. carefree
  3. careful
  4. corrupt
  5. My father is a very prosperous businessman.
  1. ungrateful
  2. unscrupulous
  3. unskilled
  4. unsuccessful

36 My hostess greeted her guest in a very relaxed manner

  1. energetic
  2. athletic
  3. stiff
  4. perplexed
  5. Ayo takes his studies relatively lightly.
  1. humorously
  2. tediously
  3. carefully
  4. seriously
  5. The doctor was very gentle with his patients in the examining room
  1. harsh
  2. rude
  3. rough
  4. unkind
  5. The President took exception to the young man’s lowly role.
  1. honorable
  2. embarrassing

C dishonorable

  1. extraordinary
  1. The man who had been seriously ill was convalescing at a seaside resort —
  2. regaining health
  3. deteriorating in health
  4. recuperating
  5. relaxing
  1. For millions of years, world resources have remained boundless 
  2. unlimited
  3. scarce
  4. indomitable
  5. limited
  6. The difference between the experimental procedures was invisible to me.
  1. negligible
  2. significant
  3. obvious
  4. obscure
  5. Hisanti-apathy to religious ideas makes him unpopular
  1. remedy
  2. Consciousness
  3. hostility
  4. receptiveness

For the questions, choose the options that best complete the gap(s).

44, He was [A. assisted B. duped C. enjoined

  1. encouraged} by the trickster.
  2. When the soldiers saw that resistance was [A. inadequate B. inefficient C. futile D. successful], they stopped fighting
  3. You should read all the … [A. brochures B. prospectus C. tickets D. handouts] carefully before you decide where to go on holiday.
  4. The Emir and Conqueror of the enemy territories. —[A. arrives B. are to arrive C. arrives D. are arriving } next week.

48 We ought to have visited the Governor,

…[A. isn’t it B, oughtn’t we C. shouldn’t we D. haven’t}?

  1. He didn’t sense Obi’s presence in the room, did he?… [A. yes, he did B. No, he did C. Yes, he didn’t D. No, he didn’t]
  2. You can stay here A. as long B. so long C. in a much D. for as long] as you are quiet.

In each question, choose the option nearest in meaning to the word(s) or phrase in italics.

  1. The witness averred that she had seen Dosun at the scene of the crime A. argued B. confirmed C. denied D. affirmed
  2. The high cost of living calls for a lot of Frugality A. extravagance B. economy C. recklessness D. prudence.
  3. Tunde’s reaction underscores the points I was making. A. justifies B. summarizes C. emphasizes D. clarifies
  4. Everyone admired the manager’s adroit handling of the crisis in the company A. emphasized B. skillful C. tactless D. clumsy
  5. The principal took exception to the ignoble role the teacher played in the matter A. embarrassing B. honorable C. extraordinary D. dishonorable

In each of these questions, choose the option that has the same vow 11 sound as the one represented by the letter(s) underlined.

  1. key A. sit B. bet C seat D. tread
  2. taught A. law B. aunt count D. plateau

In each of these questions, choose the appropriate stress Item from the options. The syllables are written in capital letters.

  1. comfortable A. COMfortable B. comFORtable C. comfortaBLE D. comforTABLE
  2. incapacitate A. inCApacitate B. incaPAcitate C. INcapacitate D. incapaciTATE.
  3. encouragement A. Encouragement B. enCOUragement C. encouRAgement D. encouragement


1. C

2. B

3. B

4. D

5. A

6. A

7. B

8. A

9. B

10. C

11. A

12. A

13. C

14. C

15. C

16. D

17. D

18. C

19. B

20. A

21. C




25. A


27. C

28. C

29. C

30. A

31. B

32. D

33. A

34. B

35. D

36. C

37. D

38. A

39. A

40. B

41. B

42. B

43. D

44. B

45. C

46. A

47. A

48. B

49. D

50. A

51. C

52. A

53. D

54. B

55. B

56. A

57. A

58. A

59. B

60. A

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How many questions are in JAMB’s use of English?

JAMB assigns 60 questions for the use of English and 40 questions for the other courses.

Does JAMB repeat English past questions?

Many students have attested that Jamb does repeat a couple of English questions, but that doesn’t mean it happens more often.


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