You need to study the English Language syllabus if you want to do well on the test. It will help you figure out what you want to read about. There are also notes on important ideas that you should learn.
Getting ready for an exam without the English Language curriculum is like going to the farm without your farming tools. You won’t be able to get anything done.
Make sure you start studying for the test using the syllabus.
This post has the West African Examination Council’s English Language course outline and suggested books (WAEC).
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. I hope to hear from you soon.
- 1 English Language WAEC
- 2 Section A Section A: Writing an Essay (50 marks)
- 3 Section B: Overview SECTION B: OVERVIEW (20 marks)
- 4 Section C: SUMMARIZATION (30 marks)
- 5 Textbooks for the English Language WAEC
The goal of this test is to see how well you can talk and write in English and how well you understand what other people say.
The test will look at how well candidates can take in and give out information.
These skills will be shown through reading, understanding, summarizing, vocabulary, lexis, and structure, listening comprehension, and recognizing different ways English is spoken.
The goals and aims
The goal of the syllabus is to see how well the goals of the teaching curricula of member countries have been met in the secondary school careers of candidates.
The purpose of the test is to see if candidates can
use correct English and write about events in English that are appropriate for certain situations and audiences;
organize information into paragraphs that make sense in terms of time, space, and logic;
control how sentences are put together;
use a variety of sentence structures; follow the rules of grammar;
correct spelling and punctuation;
understanding both written and spoken English, recognizing implied meaning, tones, and attitudes, speaking in a way that others can understand, and knowing how English sounds and the letters that represent them look.
pick out important information from set passages and write a summary of it.
Plan for the tests
Three papers will be due.
The papers 1, 2, and 3 must all be taken. Papers 1 and 2 will be combined into one test that will be taken all at once.
Paper 1 will have 80 multiple-choice questions that must all be answered in one hour. Each question is worth 40 marks.
Paper 2 will have five essay topics and a passage for each one to test how well the candidate can understand and summarize.
Candidates will have to write an essay on one of the topics and answer all of the questions about the comprehension and summary passages.
The test will be two hours long and worth 100 points.
It will have sixty multiple-choice questions on the Test of Orals for candidates in Nigeria and Liberia and on the Listening Comprehension Test for candidates in the Gambia and Sierra Leone.
For 30 points, you need to answer all of the questions in 45 minutes.
Paper 1 of the WAEC English Language Syllabus: (For candidates in The Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia only)
This is an objective/multiple-choice test with 80 questions: 40 lexical questions and 40 structure questions. There will be four choices for each question, labeled A through D.
Questions will be set to test the candidates’ ability to use the general vocabulary associated with the following areas of human activity:
Putting up and Putting up Construction; \sAgriculture
Culture, Organizations, and Rituals
Law and Order
Traveling and Motor Vehicles
Government and running things
Science and engineering
Animal care Advertisements
Human body’s internal system and how it works
Idioms are idiomatic expressions and collocations, like “hook, line, and sinker” and “every Tom, Dick, and Harry,” whose full meaning can’t be figured out by looking up the dictionary definitions of the words in their contexts.
Structures of the English language, such as the order of tenses, how to match pronouns with their subjects, and how to use prepositions correctly, etc.
The term “general vocabulary” refers to words and ways of using words that are usually associated with the fields of human activity listed in A1. These words and ways of using words are usually known, used, and understood by most educated people who, even if they don’t work in that field, may have to read, talk, or write about it.
So, for example, when talking about road travel, you would expect to know words like “pedestrian bridge” and “traffic signs,” which most educated people know, but not words like “berm” or “camber,” which are more specific.
All of the questions will be written so that they test how well you use and understand the required lexis, not how well you know what it means or how to explain it.
In practice, the lexis test will be set up to see not only how big the candidates’ vocabularies are, but also how well they can respond to sense relationships when using words like synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms.
On the figurative language test, candidates will be asked to tell the difference between when an expression is used literally and when it is used in a figurative way.
Here, the structure is:
Changes in word forms show things like number, tense, degree, etc.
The regular ways that different kinds of words come together to make groups, which then come together to make sentences;
The use of words like conjunctions, determiners, prepositions, and so on.Paper 2 PAPER 2: (For all candidates)
There will be three parts to the paper: Sections A, B, and C. The candidates will have 2 hours to finish this paper.
Section A Section A: Writing an Essay (50 marks)
The candidates will have 50 minutes to finish this part.
There will be a total of five questions, and each candidate will only have to answer one.
The questions will test how well the candidates can write and communicate. These subjects will require the following types of writing:
Letter, speech, story, description, argument or debate, article, report, exposition, and creative writing.
There will be points for:
Content: how well the ideas fit with the topic;
Organization: formal elements (when they are needed), good paragraphing, and putting ideas in the right order;
Expression: good knowledge of words and how sentences work;
Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other mechanics.
At least 450 words must be used.
Section B: Overview SECTION B: OVERVIEW (20 marks)
The candidates will have 30 minutes to finish this part. The section will have one passage with at least 350 words.
All of the questions on the passage will need to be answered.
The questions will see if the candidates can
find the right English equivalents for certain words or phrases; understand the facts; draw conclusions from the facts; understand how to use English expressions that show feelings, emotions, or attitudes;
identify and label basic grammatical structures, words, phrases, or clauses and explain their functions as they appear in the context; identify and explain basic literary terms and expressions; rewrite phrases or sentences into grammatical alternatives.
The passage will come from a wide range of sources, all of which should be appropriate in terms of theme and interest for this level of test.
The passage will be written in modern English, which candidates should be able to understand.
There will be at least four questions on the comprehension test that are based on (ii) above.
Section C: SUMMARIZATION (30 marks)
The candidates will have 40 minutes to finish this part.
The section will have one prose passage of about 500 words, and it will test how well candidates can:
extract relevant information; summarize the points asked for in clear, concise English, avoiding repetition and redundancy; give a summary of certain parts or aspects of the passage.
The passage will come from a wide range of sources, such as parts of stories, conversations, and explanations of social, cultural, economic, and political issues from any part of the world.
Part 3 PAPER 3: ORAL ENGLISH (30 marks)
This test will see how well candidates know how to speak English. This paper will have two options. Those in Ghana, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone will be tested on their ability to understand what they hear. Those in Nigeria and Liberia will take an oral test paper.
Listening Comprehension Test: (For candidates in Ghana, The Gambia and Sierra Leone)
This will have sixty objective multiple-choice questions on:
Consonants, groups of consonants, vowels, diphthongs, patterns of stress and intonation, dialogues, and stories.
Section 1: Mostly tests word-final voiced/voiceless consonants in single words, but may also test other things like consonant clusters.
Section 2 is a test of the quality of vowels in single words.
Section 3 is a test of how different vowels and consonants sound in single words.
Section 4: In different years, one of the three options below will be used:
Vowel and/or consonant contrasts in sentences; vowel and consonant contrasts in single words chosen from a list of at least four-word contrasts; vowel and consonant contrasts in rhymes.
Part 5: Check for rhymes
Section 6: Check to see if you understand emphatic stress
Section 7 is a test of how well you understand the content of longer conversations and stories.
NOTE: This Listening Comprehension Test will be given with the help of CD players.
Things to be tried out
CONSONANTS Single Consonants: Candidates should be able to hear and say all the important differences in sound between English consonants.
Clusters of Consonants: Candidates should be able to make and recognize clusters of consonants that can come at the beginning or end of a syllable. They should also be able to hear and say consonant sounds in the right order when they are grouped together.
Vowels Pure Vowels Diphthongs
Candidates should be able to hear and say all the important differences in sound in the English vowel system. Here are a few examples of these kinds of differences to help candidates understand how they work.
seat – sit – set peck – pack – park cart – cat load – lord pair – purr park – port hard – heard word – ward let – late cheer – chair pet – pat – part – pate hat – heart – height – cot – cut – curt – pool – pull – pole – bird – bed – bared but – bat – but
Word Stress Word Stress Word The candidate should be able to tell the difference between stressed and unstressed syllables in words that don’t have any other way to tell them apart.
Also, they should be aware that the stress can move from one syllable to another in different ways of saying the same word, which can change the sound of the vowels.
Here are a few examples of how word stress can be changed to help candidates.
“increase” is the noun form of the verb “increase” (verb)
‘import ” import ” rebel ” convict ” extract ” ex’tract ” record ” re’cord ” subject ” subject ”
Sentence Stress \sSentence Stress – Candidates should know that in English, the stress in a sentence tends to happen at regular times. English is called a stress-timed language because of this.
They should also know that only nouns, main verbs (not auxiliary verbs), adjectives, and adverbs are stressed in most sentences, unless something else is added to make it clear.
Final pronouns should not be stressed unless they are being used to make a point of contrast. Relative pronouns and possessive pronouns should not be stressed.
So, for example, these sentences should be emphasized as shown:
He went into town to buy some oranges.
I told him to go to the station and find out when the train was leaving.
Did you ‘ask him?
I read it, but I didn’t know what it meant.
Yesterday, they got there.
I went and got his book.
NOTE: Some words in English are pronounced differently depending on whether they are stressed or not. Most of the time, these are called “strong” and “weak” forms.
Emphatic stress: Candidates should know that emphatic stress is usually used to show a contrast. This is done in part by changing the pitch of the intonation pattern.
This falling pitch, shown in the picture below, is a common way to show this:
He took my newspaper with him (i.e. not hers)
He took my newspaper for a while. He took my newspaper, but not my book, which means he didn’t steal it. He took my newspaper for a while. (i.e. not someone else’s)
Intonation: Candidates should learn about the different ways that English intonation can be used to show how the speaker feels and how the language is put together.
There are two basic patterns of tone, or tunes, and they are called falling and rising.
They should also know that the pitch change usually happens on the last stressed syllable of the sentence (as shown below), but if it happens somewhere else, it’s a contrast to the word or phrase on which it falls. For instance:
They got here today. – Statement ‘Where did he ‘go? – WH question ‘Come ‘here! – The Rising Command Pattern
Did he see the teacher in charge? – Yes/No question
When the “train” got there. – Incomplete
They got there today? – Question
Note that I the two patterns above can be put together to make longer sentences, such as
When the train came, everyone was waiting on the platform ( )
(ii) Candidates should also remember that any unstressed syllable after the last stressed syllable of the sentence is said at a low level pitch when the pattern is falling and continues to rise when the pattern is rising. Tags that come after a quote follow the same rule.
Oral Test Of English Of Orals (For candidates in Nigeria and Liberia)
The test will also be a multiple-choice objective test with sixty questions about a wide range of areas or aspects of Orals, as described in the syllabus.
This is what will be on the test:
Vowels: pure vowels and diphthongs; Consonants and clusters; Rhymes; Word Stress/Syllable Structure; Emphasis Stress/Intonation Patterns; Phonetic Symbols.
Textbooks for the English Language WAEC
Here is the list of English Language books that WAEC thinks are good;
Attah, M. O. (2013). Spoken English Practice for Intermediate and Advanced Learners, The University of Maiduguri Press is in Maiduguri.
Bamgbose, A. (2002). English Lexis and Structure for Senior Secondary Schools and Colleges (Revised Edition), Ibadan: Heinemann Banjo et al (2004). Ibadan, Nigeria: UP Plc., New Oxford Secondary English Course Book Six for Senior Secondary Schools.
Caesar, O. J. (2003). Important Oral English for Schools and Colleges, Tonad Publishers Limited in Lagos
Daniel Jones (2011). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary
Egbe, D. I (1996). Learning how to use English and communicate, Lagos: Tisons
Elugbe, B. (2000). Heinemann Grant, N. J. H., S. Nnamonu, and D. Jowitt. Oral English for Schools and Colleges. Ibadan: Heinemann Grant (1998). Third Year English Project (New Edition) Longman to Harlow:
Idowu, O. O, Sogbesan, T. S, Adofo, A. K. Burgess, D. F and Burgess, L. J. (1998). English: A Comprehensive Guide, Lagos: Longman
Idris, U. (2001). Oral English at Your Fingertips for School and College, Lagos, Publishers M. Youngbrain
Igiligi, E. C. and Ogenyi, S. O. (2010) Grammar and Writing in the Age of G.S.M., Joe Hills Production Services is based in Enugu.
Jauro, L. B. (2013). A Teaching and Learning Approach to Oral English for Schools and Colleges, Yola: Publishers of the Paraclete.
S. Nnamonu and D. Jowitt (1989). A Guide to Common English Mistakes, Lagos: Longman
Obinna, M. F. (2001). Use of English for Admission to University (Fourth Edition) Sunray Books Limited is in Port Harcourt.
Ogunsanwo, O. Duruaku, A. B.C, Ezechukwu, J and Nwachukwu, U. I (2005). Ibadan: Evans
S. Olatoye (2006). Segun and Sons Enterprises put out The Silent Teacher in Ado-Ekiti.
Oluikpe, B. O. A, Nnaemeka, B. A, Obah, T. Y, Otagburuagu, E. J. Onuigbo, S. and Ogbonna, E. A. (1998). Africana – FIRST Publisher put out Intensive English for Senior Secondary School 3 in Onitsha.
Tomori, S. H. O (2000). Objective Tests for School Certificate English: Practice in Lexis, Structure, and Idiom (Reprinted Edition), Heinemann, Ibadan.
Ukwuegbu, C, Okoro, O., Idris, A. U., Okebukola, F. O. and Owokade, C. O. (2002). Ibadan, Nigeria: Heinemann. Catch-up English for SSCE/UME.