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2023 English Waec Syllabus And Sample Questions

English Waec Syllabus 2023

How can i read and prepare for 2023 waec? Do i really need waec syllabus 2023 to prepare for my waec? where can i download waec syllabus PDF? I know this question is in your mind for a very long time because you want to come out with flying color. Well your at the right place today, i will break everything down for you and give you guides on how to make use of your english waec syllabus.

The reason why must of  waec candidate fail woefully in their exam is inadequate preparations’ that is not covering of syllabus before going into the exam hall.

How To Read And Prepare For 2023 English Waec Exam 

The truth is that using expo or runs to pass your waec always affects in the future, so try and prepare well by yourself and come  and come out with good grades. How can i prepare well?

  • Make use of waec syllabus 2023.
  • Use waec recommend textbooks.
  • Study with Waec past questions.
  • Attend private lesson.

With the above, making A’s is assured.

Why will i make use of waec syllabus 2023

I know some of you will ask this kind of question, well lemme tell you. The waec syllabus is a direct expo of what your to expect in the coming 2023 waec. So instead of searching for expo every time, why not prepare well by availing yourself with the necessary material to excel.  I have compiled for you the english waec syllabus for candidate preparing for May/June, Jan/Fab and Nov/Dec WASSCE.

The following is Waec Syllabus for English Language

PAPER 1: This paper will be divided into three sections (A, B and C).


Candidates will be required to spend 50 minutes on this section. There will be five
questions in all and candidates will be required to answer only one question.

The questions will test candidates‟ ability to communicate in writing. The topics will
demand the following kinds of writing:
(i) letter;
(ii) speech;
(iii) narrative;
(iv) description;
(v) debate/argumentative;
(vi) report;
(vii) article;
(viii) exposition;
(ix) creative writing.

Credit will be given for
(i) Content: relevance of ideas to the topic and its specified audience and
(ii) Organization: formal features (where applicable), good paragraphing,
appropriate emphasis and arrangement of ideas;
(iii) Expression: control of vocabulary and sentence structure;
(iv) Mechanical Accuracy: grammar, punctuation and spelling.

The minimum length expected will be 450 words.


Candidates will be required to spend 50 minutes on this section. The section will consist
of two passages each of about three hundred (300) words. Candidates will be required to
answer questions on the two passages.

The questions will test the candidate‟s ability to
(i) find appropriate equivalents for selected words and phrases;
(ii) understand the factual content;
(iii) make inferences from the content of the passages;
(iv) respond to uses of English expressions to reveal/reflect


(v) identify and label basic grammatical structures, words, phrases or clauses
and explain their functions as they appear in the context;
(vi) identify and explain basic literary terms and expressions;
(vii) recast phrases or sentences into grammatical alternatives.

The passages will be chosen from a wide variety of sources all of which will be suitable for
this level of examination in terms of theme and interest. The passages will be written in
modern English that will be within the experience of candidates. The comprehension test
will include a total of three questions based on (vi) above in any one paper.


Candidates will be required to spend 50 minutes on this section. The section will consist
of one prose passage of about five hundred (500) words and will test the candidate‟s ability
(i) extract relevant information;
(ii) summarize the points demanded in clear, concise English;
(iii) present a summary of specific aspects or portions of the passage;
(iv) avoid repetition, redundancy and extraneous material.

The passage will be selected from a wide variety of suitable sources, including excerpts
from narratives, dialogues and expositions of social, cultural, economic and political issues
in any part of the world.

PAPER 2: This is an objective/multiple choice paper comprising 100 questions: 40
lexical and 60 structural items. Each question/item will have four options
lettered A to D.


In addition to items testing knowledge of the vocabulary of everyday usage (i.e.
home, social relationships, common core school subjects) questions will be set to
test the candidate‟s ability in the use of the more general vocabulary associated
with the following fields of human activity:

I. (a) Building;
(b) Plumbing;
(c) Fishing;
(d) Finance – commerce, banking, stock exchange, insurance;
(e) Photography;
(f) Mineral exploitation;
(g) Common manufacturing industries;
(h) Printing, publishing, the press and libraries;
(i) Sea, road, rail and air transport;
(j) Government and politics;
(k) Sports and entertainment;



(l) Religion;
(m) Science and Technology;
(n) Power production – hydro, thermal, solar;
(o) Education;
(p) Transport and Communication;
(q) Military;
(r) Journalism and Advertising.

II. Idioms, i.e. idiomatic expressions and collocations (e.g. “hook, line and sinker”,
“every Tom, Dick and Harry” etc.) the total meaning of which cannot be arrived at
simply by consideration of the dictionary meanings of the words in the structures in
which they appear.

III. Structural elements of English e.g. sequence of tenses, matching of pronouns with
noun referents, use of correct prepositions.

IV. Figurative usage

By “more general” vocabulary is meant those words and usages of words normally
associated with the field of human activity in question which are generally known,
used and understood by most educated people who while not engaged in that field
of activity may have occasion to read, speak or write about it. Thus, for example,
in the vocabulary of transportation by sea, one would expect knowledge of terms
such as “bridge” and “deck”, which most educated people understand, but not
“halyard”, “dodge”, “davit” or “thrust block”, which are specialized.

All items will be phrased in such a way as to test the use and understanding of the
required lexis, rather than dictionary definitions and explanations. In practice, the
test of lexis will be so designed as to explore, not merely the extent of the
candidates‟ vocabulary but more importantly their ability to respond to sense
relations in the use of lexical items e.g. synonyms, antonyms and homonyms.

ALSO READ:  WAEC Syllabus for Yoruba & Textbooks 2023/2024

In the testing of figurative language, candidates will be expected to recognize when
an expression is used figuratively rather than literally.

Structure here is used to include:
(i) The patterns of changes in word-forms which indicate number, tense,
degree, etc.;
(ii) The patterns in which different categories of words regularly combine to
form groups and these groups in turn combine to form sentences;
(iii) The use of structural words e.g. conjunctions, articles, determiners,
prepositions, etc.



This paper will test candidates‟ knowledge of Oral English. There will be three
alternatives for this paper: Alternative A for School Candidates in The Gambia and Sierra
Leone, Alternative B for Private Candidates in The Gambia and Sierra Leone and
Alternative C for Nigeria Candidates only.


This paper will be a Listening Comprehension Test.
This will be made up of 100 multiple choice objective items:

Recognition of consonants, consonant clusters, vowels, diphthongs, stress and
Understanding of dialogues and narratives.

Section 1: Test of word final voiced-voiceless consonants in isolated words mainly,
but other features such as consonant clusters may also be tested.

Section 2: Test of vowel quality in isolated words.

Section 3: Test of vowel quality and consonant contrasts in isolated words.

Section 4: One of three alternatives below will be used in different years:

(i) test of vowel and/or consonant contrasts in sentence contexts;

(ii) test of vowel and consonant contrasts in isolated words – to be
selected from a list of at least four-word contrasts;

(iii) test of vowel and consonant contrasts through rhymes.

Section 5: Test of rhyming.


Section 6: Test of comprehension of emphatic stress.

Section 7: Test of understanding of intonation through short dialogues.

Section 8: Test of understanding of the content of longer dialogues and narratives.

NOTE: 1. Tape recorders will be used for the administration of this Listening
Comprehension Test.

  1. Features to be tested:




(a) Single Consonants – Candidates should be able to recognize and
produce all the significant sound contrasts in the consonantal system
of English. For the guidance of candidates, a few examples of such
contrasts are given below.

Initial Medial Final
they – day buzzes – buses boat – both
ship – chip parcel – partial breathe – breed
fan – van sopping – sobbing wash – watch
pit – fit written – ridden leaf – leave
pit – bit anger – anchor cup – cub
tuck – duck faces – phases cart – card
card – guard prices – prizes –
gear – jeer – –

(b) Consonant Clusters – Candidates should be able to produce and
recognize consonant clusters which may occur both initially and
finally in a syllable. They should also be able to recognize and
produce the consonant sounds in a consonant cluster in the right
order. For the guidance of candidates, a few examples are given

Initial Final

play – pray rains – range
sting – string felt – felled
scheme – scream sent – send
crime – climb nest – next
flee – free ask – axe
three – tree lift – lived
true – drew missed – mixed
blight – bright seats – seeds
tread – thread hens – hence
drift – thrift lisp – lips
glade – grade coast – coats
marks – masks


(a) Pure Vowels
(b) Diphthongs
(c) Triphthongs



Candidates should be able to recognize and produce all the significant sound
contrasts in the vowel system of English. For the guidance of candidates, a few
examples of such contrasts are given below.

seat – sit
sit – set
peck – pack
pack – park
cart – cat
load – lord
pair – purr
park – pork
hard – heard
word – ward
let – late
cheer – chair
pet – pat – part – pate
hat – heart – height – hate – hut
part – port – pot – pat
caught – cot – cut – curt
pool – pull – pole –
bird – bed – bared
but – bat


(a) Word Stress – Candidates should be able to contrast stressed and
unstressed syllables in words which are not otherwise distinguished. In
addition, they should be aware of the possibility of shifting stress from one
syllable to another in different derivations of the same word with
consequent change in vowel quality. For the guidance of candidates, a few
examples of changing word stress are given below.

„increase (noun) in‟crease (verb)
„import “ im‟port “
„rebel “ re‟bel “
„convict “ con‟vict “
„extract “ ex‟tract “
„record “ re‟cord “
„subject “ sub‟ject “

(b) Sentence Stress – Candidates should be aware that stress in sentences in
English tends to occur at regular intervals in time. English is therefore
called a stress-timed language. They should also be aware that in most
sentences, unless some sort of emphasis is introduced, only nouns, main
verbs (not auxiliaries), adjectives and adverbs are stressed. Final pronouns



should not be stressed, unless some kind of contrast is intended; relative
pronouns should not be stressed, nor should possessive pronouns. Thus, for
example, the following sentences should be stressed as indicated:

He „went to the „town and „bought some „oranges.

I „told him to „go to the „station to „ask when the „train would „leave.

Did you „ask him?

I „read it but I „didn‟t understand it.

They ar‟rived „yesterday.

The „man who „came.

I „fetched his „book.

NOTE: There are a few words in English that are pronounced differently depending
on whether or not they are stressed in the sentence. These are usually called
strong and weak forms.

(c) Emphatic Stress – Candidates should be aware of the use of emphatic
stress, most commonly to indicate a contrast, which is realized partly as a
change in pitch within the intonation pattern. The falling pitch illustrated
below is one of the common ways of indicating this:


Candidates should be made aware of the different forms English intonation takes in
relation to the grammar of the language and the attitudes conveyed by the speaker.
There are two basic intonation patterns or tunes: the falling and rising patterns.
They should also realize that whereas the normal place for the changing pitch in an
intonation pattern is on the last stressed syllable of the utterance (as indicated
below), placing the changing pitch elsewhere implies a contrast to the item on
which this changing pitch falls. For example:

He borrowed “my newspaper
He “borrowed „my newspaper
He borrowed my “newspaper
“He borrowed my „newspaper

(i.e, not hers)
(i.e, he did not steal it).
(i.e, not my book).
(i.e, not someone else).



(a) Falling Pattern

(b) Rising Pattern

Note that (i) the two patterns indicated above may be combined in longer sentences,

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(ii) candidates should note, in addition, that any unstressed syllable
following the last stressed syllable of the sentence is said on a low level
pitch when the pattern is falling, but continues the rise if the pattern is
rising. The same rule applies to tags following quoted speech.

They ar‟rived to‟day
„Where did he „go?
„Come „here!

WH — question

Did he „see the „principal?
When the „train arrived
They arrived to‟day?

Yes/No question

e.g: When the „train ar‟rived, the passengers were on the platform.




Alternative B is a multiple-choice paper of 50 items testing the content of the syllabus as
outlined for Alternative A.

The 50 items will cover the recognition of the following:

(1) pure vowels (5) word stress
(2) diphthongs (6) sentence stress
(3) consonants (7) emphatic/contrastive stress
(4) consonant clusters (8) vowel and consonant contrasts through rhymes.

ALTERNATIVE C: TEST OF ORALS (For School and Private Candidates in

A Test of Orals format is a multiple-choice paper of 60 items testing a wide range of areas
or aspects of Orals as contained in the syllabus.

The Test of Orals will cover the following areas:

(1) Vowels – pure vowels and diphthongs;
(2) Consonants (including clusters);
(3) Rhymes;
(4) Word Stress/Syllable Structure;
(5) Emphatic Stress/Intonation Patterns;
(6) Phonetic Symbols.

The items to be tested in the specified areas are in accordance with the following blueprint:


Test of Vowels
Test of Consonants
Test of Rhymes
Test of Stress (4 – Syllable word)
Test of Stress (2/3 – Syllable word)
Test of Emphatic Stress/Intonation
Patterns in Sentences
Test of Phonetic Symbols

15 (10 pure vowels, 5 diphthongs)

10 (5 vocalic and 5 consonantal)

English Waec Sample Question


In each of the following sentences, there is one underlined word and one gap.   From the list of words lettered A to D, choose the one that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the underlined word and that will, at the same time, correctly fill the gap in the sentence.

1.   Most African countries face poverty while few enjoy ……………………….

A.  influence

B.  money

C.  affluence

D.  power

2.   Last year our farmers cultivated more crops than they……………………….

A.  destroyed

B.  uprooted

C.  harvested

D.  yielded


From the words lettered A to D, choose the word that best completes each of the following sentences.

3.   There would have been a riot in our school but for the timely……………..of our staff.

A.  intervention

B.  interruption

C.  interference

D.  invasion

4.    The armed robbers ……………every room in the bank to look for money.

A.   explored

B.  ransacked

C.  raked

D.  swept


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

5.   Ade is too clever by half. This means that Ade is

A.  far cleverer than others.

B.  actually very stupid in his behaviour.

C.  annoyingly clever.

D.  behaving to be clever but is not.

6.   Ameh is really being economical with the truth. This means that Ameh

A.  is being praised for being honest.

B.  does not know enough.

C.  knows more than he is prepared to say.

D.  is not telling the truth.


From the words lettered A to D below each of the following sentences, chose the word or group of words that is nearest in meaning to the underlined word as it is used in the sentence.

7.   By failing to attend the interview, Idoko has lost a golden opportunity.

A.  blessed

B.  bright

C.  good

D.  delightful

8.   I hope the principal would be gracious enough to forgive us.

A.  cordial

B.  polite

C.  merciful

D.  gentle


From the words or group of words lettered A to D, choose the word or group of words that bestcompletes each of the following sentences.

9.   A good citizen abides …………..  the rules of the land.

A.  with

B.  in

C.  at

D.  by

10. Since his swearing in, the governor ………………..  his hometown.

A.  had not been visiting

B.  has not visited

C.  did not visit

D.  had not visited



Answer one question only from this section. All questions carry equal marks. Your answer should not be less than 450 words.

You are advised to spend about 50 minutes on this section.

  1. Your friend in another school has requested information about your school to enable him to decide on moving over to your school. Write a letter to him discussing at least three areas in which your school excels.
  2. Write an article for publication in your school magazine, discussing the reasons why children in your area drop out of school and suggesting ways of minimizing it.
  3. As the president of your youth club, write a letter to the chairman of your Local Government Association complaining about the increasing rate of child labour and suggesting ways of curbing it.
  4. You are the chief speaker in a debate on the topic: Women should not be in paid employment while still bearing children. Write your contribution for or against the topic.
  5. 5.      Write a story that ends with the words: That experience will linger on my mind for a long time.



(20 marks)

Dele groaned and got out of bed. There was no clock on the mantel piece and the room was still dark, but he knew that he was already late for work, probably by an hour. He was a commercial bus driver and had to get started as early as 5.00a.m. and go almost non-stop till about 9.00 p.m. to be able to make the daily returns that the bus owner demanded.

On the previous day, he had attended an all-night party – a late uncle’s burial ceremony – where he had drunk himself almost senseless before crawling home in the early hours of the morning. Now, he got up shakily, splashed water on his face and hurried off to work, but not before carefully fastening on his upper left arm the amulet he had always worn for protection against accidents. A similar amulet hung concealed under the steering column of his bus. On his way, still feeling groggy, he caught his left toe against a stump and had some misgiving. It was a bad sign, and he was supposed to go back home and then set out again. But there was no time for that now, so he hurried on.

At the bus station, Dele quickly loaded his bus and sped off without any of the necessary checks on the vehicle. He had to make up for lost time. It was the rush hour, so the bus was overloaded as it often was, with many passengers hanging on to the doors. The tyres were threadbare, the brakes were faulty and the road was wet, but, still feeling a little sleepy, Dele sped on. Many passengers protested about his reckless driving, but he would not listen. After all, didn’t he have protection against accident?

As the vehicle took the last turn before its destination, Dele saw a broken-down truck blocking his side of the road. Under normal circumstances, he could have brought the bus safely to a halt, bur the circumstances were far from normal. The careering bus hit the parked vehicle, swerved wildly across the road and plunged into a ditch.

ALSO READ:  WAEC Syllabus For All Subjects

Dele’s surprise before he sank into oblivion was the failure of his supposedly protective amulets.

(a)    Why did Dele wake up late?

(b)   …he caught his left toe against a stump and had some misgivings. What does this tell us about Dele?

(c)    Give two reasons why Dele drove recklessly.

(d)   Why was Dele unable to stop his faulty vehicle?

(e)    What was Dele’s condition after the accident?

(f)    After all, didn’t he have protection against accident? What literary device is used in this expression?

(g)   …wildly across the road…

(i)         What grammatical name is given to the expression as it is used in the passage?

(ii)        What is its function?

(h) For each of the following words, find another word or phrase which means the same and
can replace it in the passage:
i.           probably;

ii.       returns;

iii.      groggy;

iv.      misgiving

v.       threadbare

vi.      reckless.



You are advised to spend about 50 minutes on this section.

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

You cannot expect to go through life without meeting problems. Difficulties, perplexities and frustrations are an inevitable part of human experience. Accepting this idea of the inevitability of problems will help you to approach them in a robust frame of mind rather than thinking that you are a victim specially singled out by malignant fate. When confronted with a problem, the first thing to do is gather all relevant data to get acquainted with the facts of the case. Then write down exactly what the problem is, stating it simply in black and white. This gives you something definite with which to come to terms. The problem is assessed and you will now have something concrete to deal with.

Next, give serious thought to the problem, making sure that such thought does not degenerate into worry as worry accomplishes nothing. Aim at clear, dispassionate thought, viewing the problem as if it were a friend’s and not your own. Look at it from all angles and from the point of view of all concerned. You court disaster if you are entirely selfish in your outlook. The single important purpose of all this is to discover all possible solutions to the problem.

Having examined the problem broadly and impartially, carefully examine all the possible solutions or courses of action. The knowledge that you have done this will keep you from useless regrets later, when you can remind yourself that all courses of action were examined and you chose what appeared to be the best. Next, eliminate all proposed solutions which are seen on further thought to be impracticable.

You will now find that your list has been whittled down to two or three possibilities. At this stage it is often a good plan to get out into the open air. Go for a walk or a ride, preferably somewhere with wide horizons. There, out in the open, review the problem afresh. You will find it appears less formidable. Ask yourself how the difficulty will appear in ten years’ time or even one! This fresh review will enable you to make a final choice as you turn to the remaining solutions and, before you return home, decide which one you are going to adopt. As you go to sleep that night, let your last thoughts be upon your decision. If, in the morning, you still feel it is the best one to take, go ahead.

If you have a friend who is capable of giving sound advice, consult him. Do this before your final decision, so that you will have the benefit of his views before you decide. Talking things over with another is always a great help. It enables you to isolate the problem and to decide which on which factors are important. Even if the friend offers no advice, a sympathetic ear will help you. Furthermore, as you describe to your friend the courses open to you, you will see them in clearer light. Some will appear impossible even as you speak. Alternatively, one will appear most attractive.

In dealing with problems, remember the time factor. Although some problems solve themselves in time, and delaying tactics is therefore the best form of action for them, most other problems generally get more complicated the longer they are left. You should therefore get to grips with the problems immediately they occur.

All told, reasonable foresight and imagination can prevent many problems ever arising. Tact, thoughtfulness and responsible conduct can also keep life largely problem-free.

In six sentences, one for each, summarize the steps to be taken when faced with a problem and state why each step is necessary.


For candidates in Nigeria and Liberia only


From the words lettered A to D, choose the word that has the same vowel sound as the one represented by the letters underlined.

1.   wit

A.  fright

B.  wheat

C.  tree

D.  market

2.   look

A.  glue

B.  you

C.  cup

D.  curious


From the words lettered A to D, choose the word that has the same consonant sound(s) as the one represented by the letter(s) underlined.

3.   dance

A.  handsome

B.  sandwich

C.  adjective

D.  pounding

4.   plucked

A.  smiled

B.  slammed

C.  luck

D.  table


From the words lettered A to D, choose the word that rhymes with the given word.

5.         carrier

A.        area

B.        barrier

C.        serious

D.        ravine

6.        drought

A.        crowd

B.        nought

C.        shout

D.        taught


In each of the following questions, the main/primary stress is indicated by writing the syllable on which it occurs in capital letters. From the words lettered A to D, choose the one that has the correct stress.

7.         acrimony

A.        A-cri-mo-ny

B.        a-CRI-mo-ny

C.        a-cri-MO-ny

D.        a-cri-mo-NY


In the following options lettered A to D, all the words except one have the same stress pattern. Identify the one with the different stress pattern.


A.        sanctify

B.        promising

C.        notify

D.        organic


In each of the following sentences, the word that receives the emphatic stress is written in capital letters.   From the questions lettered A to D, choose the one to which the given sentence is the appropriate answer.

9.         The DOCTOR examined the patient with a stethoscope.

A.        Did the teacher examine the patient with a stethoscope?

B.        Did the doctor cure the patient with a stethoscope?

C.        Did the doctor examine the nurse with a stethoscope?

D.        Did the doctor examine the patient with a telescope?


From the words lettered A to D, choose the word that contains the sound represented by the given phonetic symbol.

10.       / ǝ /

A.        accurate

B.        nephew

C.        ageless

D.        waddle

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solar boy
4 years ago

we shall succeed during the examination

Onwumere Kingsley
Onwumere Kingsley
4 years ago


Ilerikumoh frank
Ilerikumoh frank
4 years ago

Good syllabus

Deacon precious
Deacon precious
4 years ago

success 4 me inj esus name

4 years ago

Its 2019 waec syllabus out!

4 years ago


Onyemaechi Doris
Onyemaechi Doris
4 years ago

Gud one sir. Keep it up.

4 years ago

Thanks this would really help .

fakolade funmilayo
Reply to  Michelle
3 years ago

Thanks a lot

Mmor Michael
Mmor Michael
4 years ago


3 years ago

That’s nice

3 years ago

so good

3 years ago

Thanks it really help’s

3 years ago

Tnk u sir

3 years ago


Salris Samura
Salris Samura
3 years ago

Good syllabus
thank very much

3 years ago

Nice syllabus

3 years ago

This is wonderful

Akmad Conteh
Akmad Conteh
3 years ago

Wow!! The syllabus is on point. Great

3 years ago


Wabare isaiah
Wabare isaiah
2 years ago

May GOD help us in Jesus name? Amen.

Peace Joseph
Peace Joseph
2 years ago

Thanks alot, i appreciate

Steven E.B.Koroma
Steven E.B.Koroma
2 years ago

This is fantastic. I was just wondering how I could lay hands on the new literature syllabus

2 years ago

Is this 2021 waec syllabus or 2020

1 year ago

I will gain scholarship in Jesus name

1 year ago


Onoduagu Victor
1 year ago

Thanks alot sir…

1 year ago

Very good thank sir

1 year ago

The lord shall allow each and every one of us pass our exam
Nice and preparing syllabus 👍👏✍

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