1.      5 g of oven dried soil was heated in a furnace for 24 hours. After cooling, it weighed 4.8 g. What is the amount of humus in the soil?
A. 40.0g per 100 g dry soil
B. 4.4g per 100g dry soil
C. 4.0 g per 100g dry soil
D. 0.4g per 100g dry soil

2.      Most irrigated lands often become unproductive in later years because of
A. loss of fertility          
B. increase in salinity       
C. soil erosion  
D. loss of water

3.       Farmers practice crop rotation because it
A. helps to prevent soil erosion
B. allows two crops to be planted at the same time 
C. helps to conserve soil fertility
D. is an alternate to shifting cultivation

4.      Fertilizers are lost from the soil through
A. sheet erosion and evaporation
B. leaching, underground seepages and run-off
C. sheet erosion, gully erosion and wind erosion
D. wind erosion and heavy rainfall

5.      Soil with the finest particles is called
A. silt                 
B. clay        
C. sand   
D. gravel

6.      Soil fertility can be conserved and renewed by
A. yearly monocropping
B. crop rotation and cover crops
C. bush burning to remove unwanted debris
D. avoiding artificial manures

7.      In a soil sample, the relative amounts of the different soil particles can best be determined by the process of
A. filtration                   
B. centrifugation    
C. precipitation      
D. sedimentation

8.      Soil micro-organisms are beneficial because of their involvement in
A. photosynthesis
B. translocation
C. cycling of nutrients
D. respiration using soil air

9.    In an experiment to estimate the volume of air in a soil sample using a measuring cylinder, it was found that:
initial volume of water .... = p cm3
volume of soil before mixing with water = q cm3
initial volume of water .... = p cm3
volume of soil before mixing with water = q cm3
initial volume of water .... = p cm3
volume of soil before mixing with water = q cm3
Final volume of water after adding soil = r cm3. From the data above, which of the following deductions is correct?
A. r = p + q               
B. r > p + q          
C. q = r - p     
D. r< p + q

10.    The addition of lime to clayey soil serves to
A. aid water retention
B. close up the texture
C. prevent water logging
D. improve capillary action

11.    Soil fertility can best be conserved by the activities of
A. Earthworm           
B. Man               
C. Rodent         
D. Microbes

12.    Which of the following farm practices can cause loss of soil fertility?
A. Mulching           
B. intensive cropping     
C. Use of fertilizers   
D. Terracing

13.    The soil type that will be most difficult to plough in a wet season is one that is
A. loamy            
B. clayey             
C. sandy    
D. silty

14.    A farm practice that results in the loss of soil fertility is.
A. mixed farming
B. bush fallowing
C. shifting cultivation
D. continuous cropping

15.    The importance of practicing crop rotation in agriculture is to
A. maintain soil fertility
B. improve the nutritional value of crops
C. control soil erosion
D. ensure the growth of crops

16.    The soil type that contains nutrients which are not readily available for plants is
A. alluvial                
B. clayey            
C. sandy      
D. loamy

17.    The increasing order of the particle size in following soil type is
A. clay → sand → silt →gravel
B. silt → sand → clay → gravel
C. clay → silt → sand → gravel 
D. silt → clay → sand → gravel

18.    A crucible of 5 g m weighed 10 gm after filling with fresh soil. it is then heated in an oven at 100°c for 1 hour. After cooling in a desiccator, the weight was 8 gm. The percentage of water in the soil is
A. 80%     
B. 60%     
C. 20%      
D. 40%

19.    In an experiment to determine the percentage of air in a soil sample, the following readings were recorded: 
volume of water in measuring cylinder = 500 cm3 
volume of water in measuring cylinder = 500 cm3 
volume of water in measuring cylinder = 500 cm3 
volume of soil added to water = 350 cm3
volume of water & soil after stirring = 800 cm3
percentage of air in the soil sample is
A. 6.25%                
B. 10.36%               
C. 14.28%       
D. 43.28%

20.        The figure above represents an experiment with three types of soil. The experiment demonstrates
A. soil attraction of water
B. soil porosity
C. soil capillarity
D. draining capacity of soils


1. C

6. B

11. D

16. B

2. A

7. D

12. B

17. B

3. C

8. C

13. B

18. D

4. B

9. A

14. D

19. A

5. B

10. D

15. A

20. C


1.      Discuss

(a) five ways in which soil may lose its fertility

(b) five ways in which soil fertility may be maintained or renewed.


Refer to the blog content

2.      (SSCE, 1997) (a) What is meant by soil?

(b) Explain why loam is a fertile soil

(c) What are the effects of

(i) adding animal manure to the soil?

(ii) adding lime to the soil?


(a)  Refer to the blog content

(b) Fertile soil provides adequate conditions for plant growth. Loam is fertile because it comprised of a mixture of clay, sand and silt with a suitable proportion of humus. The mixture of these particles of different of sizes, ensures adequate nutrients are available to plants.  The proportions of these particles also allow the soil to combine the necessary water-holding properties without reducing aeration, and also prevent water logging. The humus or remains of dead organism acts as a base of a decay chain.

(c) (i) The manure provides nitrogenous materials which is converted to ammonium compounds and are acted upon by nitrifying bacteria. The manure improves the water holding capacity of the soil.

(ii) Lime is added to the soil to reduce alter its pH. It also aids the clay particles to clump together into large crumbs, which have larger air spaces between them and provides better drainage and aeration.

3.      (WASSCE 2007 Q6) (a) List four soil constituents.

(b) State four characteristics of fertile soil.

(c) Describe four ways in which soil fertility can be maintained.


(a)   Organic matter (humus), living organism, minerals salt, air, water, soil particles

(b)   & (c) Refer to the blog content

4.      (WASSCE 2014 Q3)  (d)  State six methods of conserving soil.    


Refer to the blog content

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