Complete WAEC Syllabus for Literature in English 2023, Text Books, and Topics

You must study the WAEC syllabus for Literature in English in order to take the test. It includes the goals and benchmarks, notes, and exam structure for the English literature exam.

For exam preparation, studying English literature is a requirement. You can use it as a guide to help you decide which topics to read about. Additionally, there are notes on ideas that you ought to learn carefully.

Exam preparation without reference to English literature is akin to going to the farm without your farm implements. You won’t be effective in the end.

Make sure to use the syllabus when you start your exam preparations.

The West African Examination Council’s recommended textbooks and English-language literature are included in this article (WAEC).

WAEC Literature in English

Category Textbooks
African Prose Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta
Unexpected Joy by Alex Agyei-Agyiri (2018 Edition)
Non-African Prose Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Shakespearean Text A Midsummer Night’s Dream
African Drama Let me Die ALone by John K. Kargo
The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka
Non-African Drama Fences by August Wilson
Look Back in Anger by John Osborne
African Poetry “Raider of the Treasure Trove” by Lade Qosrnu
“Black Woman” by Leopold Sedar Senghor
“The Grieved Lands” by Agostinho Neto
“The Song of the Women of my Land” by Oumar Farouk Sesay
“A Government Driver on his Retirement” by Onu Chibuike
Non-African Poetry “The Good Morrow” by John Donne
“Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou
“The Journey of the Magi” by T.S. Eliot
“Do not Go Gentle into the Good Night” by Dylan Thomas
“Binsey Poplars (Felled 1879)” by G.M. Hopkins
“Bat” by David H. Lawrence

Scheme of Examination

Three papers—Papers 1, 2, and 3—will be given. Papers 1 and 2 will be taken together as a composite paper in a single sitting.

A multiple-choice, objective test will be used for Paper 1. There will be 50 questions total, allocated as follows:

Twenty questions on general literary knowledge; five on an unread section of prose; five on an unread poem; and twenty context questions on the assigned Shakespearean work.
Candidates will have one hour to complete all of the questions for 50 points.

Paper 2 will consist of an essay test divided into Sections A and B. African and non-African prose will be covered in Sections A and B, respectively.

For each of the novels that are recommended for study, there will be two essay questions. For 50 marks, candidates must respond to just one question from each section in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The third paper will focus on the syllabus’s sections on drama and poetry. It will be divided into Sections A, B, C, and D, respectively:

Section A: Drama from Africa
The Non-African Dramatic Section
Section C: Poetry from Africa
Non-African Poetry Section D
For Sections A and B, there will be two questions on each of the required drama texts. Additionally, there will be two questions for Sections C and D of the poetry exam.

There will be a total of four questions that candidates must respond to, one from each component. It will take two hours and thirty minutes to finish the paper, which is worth 100 points.


I For Paper 1, the Unseen Prose excerpt should be between 120 and 150 words length.

(ii) The Shakespearean text should only be used for context questions. The context questions will examine elements from the Shakespearean text such theme, characters, style, and setting.

(iii) Shakespearean texts will not be the subject of any essay questions.

SET TEXTS FOR 2016 – 2022

African Prose

  • Amma Darko – Faceless
  • BayoAdebowale – Lonely Days

Non-African Prose

  • Richard Wright – Native Son
  • Patience Swift – The Last Goodman

*William ShakespeareOTHELLO

Non-African Drama

  • Oliver Goldsmith – She Stoops to conquer
  • Lorraine Hansberry – A Raisin in the Sun

African Drama

  • Frank Ogodo Ogbeche   – Harvest of Corruption
  • Dele Charley – The Blood of a Stranger

African Poetry

  • Birago Drop – Vanity
  • GbemisolaAdeoti – Ambush
  • Gabriel Okara            – Piano and Drums
  • Gbanabam Hallowell            – The Dinning Table
  • Lenrie Peter – The Panic of Growing Older
  • Kofi Awoonor – The Anvil and the Hammer

Non-African Poetry

  • Alfred Tennyson – Crossing the Bar
  • George Herbert – The pulley
  • William Blake – The School Boy
  • William Morris – The Proud King
  • Robert Frost Birches – Birches
  • William Shakespeare – Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day?



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