WAEC Syllabus for Literature in English 2023/2024

The WAEC syllabus for Literature in English is the topic you must study to sit for the examination. It contains the aims and objectives, notes and format for the Literature in English exam.

Studying Literature in English subject is necessary for your exam preparation. It will serve as a guide for you to know the topics to read. There are also notes on concepts you should pay attention to learning.

Exam preparations without using the Literature in English are like going to the farm without your agricultural tools. You will end up not being productive.

Ensure you begin your exam preparations using the syllabus.

This post contains the Literature in English and recommended textbooks of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

WAEC Literature in English

Scheme of Examination

There will be three papers – Papers 1, 2 and 3. Papers 1 and 2 will a composite paper and will be taken at one sitting.

Paper 1 will be a multiple choice objective test. It will contain fifty questions distributed as follows:

  • Twenty questions on General Knowledge of Literature;
  • Five questions on an unseen prose passage;
  • Five questions on an unseen poem;
  • Twenty context questions on the prescribed Shakespearean text.

Candidates will be required to answer all the questions within 1 hour for 50 marks.

Paper 2 will be an essay test with two sections, Sections A and B. Section A will be on African Prose and Section B on Non-African Prose.

Two essay questions will be set on each of the novels prescribed for study. Candidates shall be required to answer one question only from each section within 1 hour 15 minutes for 50 marks.

Paper 3 will be on the Drama and Poetry components of the syllabus. It will be put into  four sections, Sections A, B. C and D as follows:

  • Section A:  African Drama
  • Section B:  Non-African Drama
  • Section C:  African Poetry
  • Section D:  Non-African Poetry

There shall be two questions on each of the prescribed drama texts for Sections A and B. There shall also be two questions for each of the poetry sections ie Sections C and D.

Candidates shall be required to answer one question from each of the sections, making a total of four questions. The paper will take 2 hours 30 minutes to complete and will carry 100 marks.


(i)  The Unseen Prose passage for Paper 1 shall be about 120 – 150 words long.

(ii) Only context questions shall be set on the Shakespearean text. The context questions will test such items as theme, characterization, style and setting in the Shakespearean text.

(iii) No essay question shall be set on the Shakespearean text.

SET TEXTS FOR 2016 – 2020

African Prose

  • Amma Darko – Faceless
  • BayoAdebowale – Lonely Days

Non-African Prose

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

*William Shakespeare: OTHELLO

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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2 thoughts on “WAEC Syllabus for Literature in English 2023/2024”

  1. Thanks you.
    I love the way you were precise about the Shakespearen text .
    But i was hoping to see the area of concentration as regards the poetry aspect


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