waec syllabus

WAEC Syllabus English Language (Subject Outlines)


The following is the WAEC Syllabus for English Language:


This examination sets out to test the different basic skills of communicating in English using the mediums of speech and writing. The examination will test the receptive and productive abilities of candidates. These abilities will be demonstrated in the following forms: reading, comprehension, summary, vocabulary, lexis and structure, listening comprehension and recognition of different aspects of spoken English.


The objective of WAEC syllabus is to measure the extent to which the aims of the teaching syllabuses of member countries have been realized in candidates’ secondary school career. The examination sets out to examine candidates’ ability to:

  • use correct English;
  • write about incidents in English that are appropriate to specified audiences and situations;
  • organize material in paragraphs that are chronologically, spatially and logically coherent;
  • control sentence structures accurately;
  • exhibit variety in the use of sentence patterns;
  • comply with the rules of grammar;
  • spell and punctuate correctly;
  • comprehend written and spoken English;
  • recognize implied meaning, tones and attitudes;
  • use an acceptable pronunciation that can be comprehended by others;
  • recognize the physical characteristics of English sounds and the letters that represent them.
  • pick out and summarize relevant information from set passages.
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There will be three papers – Papers 1, 2 and 3, all of which must be taken. Papers 1 and 2 will be a composite paper to be taken at one sitting.

PAPER 1: Will consist of eighty multiple choice questions, all of which should be answered within 1 hour for 40 marks.

PAPER 2: Will consist of five essay topics and a passage each to test candidates’ comprehension and summary skills. Candidates will be expected to write an essay on one of the topics and answer all the questions on the comprehension and summary passages. The paper will last 2 hours and carry 100 marks.

PAPER 3: Will consist of sixty multiple choice items on Test of Orals for candidates in Nigeria and Liberia, and Listening Comprehension Test for candidates in the Gambia and Sierra Leone. All the questions should be answered in 45 minutes for 30 marks.


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