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

African ProseSecond Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta
Unexpected Joy by Alex Agyei-Agyiri (2018 Edition)
Non-African ProseInvisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Shakespearean TextA Midsummer Night’s Dream
African DramaLet me Die ALone by John K. Kargo
The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka
Non-African DramaFences 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

There will be three papers – Papers 1, 2 and 3. Papers 1 and 2 will be a composite paper and 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 and 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 – 2022

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

    • Hello Joyce,

      The literature for the session is listed below.

      -Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta
      -Unexpected Joy at Dawn by Alex Agyei-Agyiri (2018 Edition)

      -Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
      -Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

      -A Midsummer Night’s Dream

      -Let me Die Alone by John K. Kargbo
      -The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka

      -Look Back in Anger by John Osborne
      -Fences by August Wilson

      -Black Woman by Leopold Sedar Senghor
      -The Leader and the Led by Niyi Osundare
      -The Grieved Lands of Africa by Agostinho Neto
      -The Song of the Women of my Land by Oumar Farouk Sesay
      -Raider of the Treasure Trove by Lade Wosornu
      -A Government Driver on his Retirement by Onu Chibuike

      -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

  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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