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Below is this year’s Waec Syllabus for Biology. Note that this syllabus is for both Internal and external candidates… Waec Syllabus Page

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A. Concept of Living

1. Classification

(a) Living and non-living things

(b) Classification of living
things into Kingdoms:
Monera, Protoctista (Protista), Fungi, Plantae, Animalia.

(c) Differences between plants and animals.

2. Organization of life

(a) Levels of organization

(i) cell (single-celled organisms): Amoeba, Euglena, Paramecium

(ii) Tissue: Hydra

(iii) Organ (storage

organ) bulb, rhizome and heart.

(iv) System/Organ System: In mammals, flowering plants – reproductive system, excretory system etc.

(b) Complexity of organization
in higher organisms:
advantages and

3. Forms in which living cells exist:

(a) Single and free-living:
Amoeba, Paramecium,
Euglena, and

(b) Colony: Volvox

(c) Filament: Spirogyra

(d) Part of a living organism:
Cheek cells, onion root tip
cells and epidermis of fleshy

4. (a) Cell structure and functions of cell


(b) Similarities and differences between plant and animal cells.

5. The Cell and its environment: Physical and Biophysical processes.

(a) diffusion

(b) osmosis

(c) active transport

6. Properties and functions of the living cell

(a) Nutrition

(i) Autotrophic


(ii) Heterotrophic (holozoic)

(b) Cellular respiration

Definition and processes of:

(i) aerobic respiration

(ii) anaerobic respiration

(iii) energy release

(c) Excretion

(i) Excretion in single-celled aquatic

organisms. Diffusion by body surface

and by contractile vacuole.

(ii) Waste products of metabolism.

(d) Growth
(i) Basis of growth – cell division

(mitosis), enlargement and


(ii) Aspects of growth:

Increase in dry weight, irreversible

increase in size and length and increase

in number of cells.

(iii) Regions of fastest growth in


(iv) Influence of growth hormones and


(v) Growth curvatures (Tropisms)

(e) Development: Enlargement
and differentiation.

(f) Movement

(i) Organelles for movement: cilia and


(ii) Cyclosis.

(g) Reproduction:

Types of reproduction.

(i) Asexual: fission, budding and vegetative propagation.

(ii) Sexual: Conjugation, formation of male and female gametes (gametogenesis), fusion of gametes fertilization)

7. (a) Tissues and supporting systems: Skeleton and supporting systems in animals:

(i) Biological significance.

(ii) Skeletal materials, e.g. bone,

cartilage and chitin.

(iii) Types of skeleton:

exoskeleton, endoskeleton and hydrostatic skeleton.

(iv) Bones of the vertebral

column, girdles and long bones of the appendicular skeleton.

(v) Mechanism of support in animals.

(vi) Functions of skeleton in animals: Protection, support, locomotion and respiratory movement.

(b) Different types of supporting tissues in plants.

(i) Main features of supporting tissues in plants.

(ii) Functions of supporting tissues in plants: strength, rigidity (resistance against the forces of the wind and water), flexibility and resilience.

8. Transport System:

(a) Need for transport:

(i) surface area/volume ratio.

(ii) substances have to move greater


(b) Transport in animals.

(i) Structure of the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries.

(ii) Composition and function of
blood and lymph.

(iii) Materials for transport:
excretory products, gases,
digested food, and other

(c) Transport in plants

(i) Uptake and movement of water

and mineral salts in plants.

(ii) Translocation

(iii) Transpiration

(iv) Movement of water to

the apex of trees and


9. Respiratory System:

(a) Body surface: cutaneous, gills and lungs.

(b) Mechanisms of gaseous exchange in fish, toad, mammals and plants.

10. Excretory Systems and Mechanisms

Types of excretory systems: Kidney, stomata and lenticels

11. Regulation of Internal Environment (Homeostasis)

(a) Kidney: Structure and functions

(b) Liver:

Functions of the liver.

(c) The skin:
Structure and function.

12. Hormonal Coordination

(a) Animal hormones:

Site of secretion, functions and effects of over and under-secretion.

(b) Plant hormones

13. Nervous Coordination

(a) The central nervous system

(i) Components of the

central nervous system

(ii) Parts of the brain and their functions; cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla oblongata, hypothalamus and their functions

(iii) Structure and function of the Spinal Cord.

(b) Peripheral Nervous System.

(i) Somatic Nervous System

(ii) Autonomic nervous system.

(iii) Structure and functions of the neurone.

(iv) Classification of neurones.

(c) Types of nervous actions

(i) The reflex arc

(ii) Reflex and voluntary actions

(iii) Differences between reflex and voluntary actions.

(iv) Conditioned reflex and its role on behaviour.

14. Sense Organs: Structure and function of the

(a) Eye.

(b) Ear.

15 (a) Reproductive system of mammals

(i) Structure and function of male and female reproductive systems.

(ii) Differences between male and female reproductive organs.

(iii) Structure of the gametes

(sperm and ovum)

(iv) Fertilization, development of the embryo and birth.

(v) Birth control

(b) Metamorphosis in insects, life histories of butterfly and cockroach.

(c) Comparison of reproduction
in fish, amphibian, reptile, bird
and mammal.

(d) Reproduction in flowering

(i) Arrangements of floral parts of a named insect-pollinated flower and a named wind-pollinated flower.

(ii) Structure and function of the male and female parts of a flower.

(e) Pollination in Plants

(i) Types of pollination

(ii) Features of cross-pollinated and self-pollinated flowers

(iii) Agents of Pollination

(iv) Kinds of placentation: axile, marginal

and parietal.

(f) Process of development of
zygote in flowering plants:

(g) (i) Types of fruits (classification).

(ii) Structure of fruits

(h) Dispersal of fruits and seeds: Agents of dispersal

B. Plant and Animal Nutrition

1. Plant Nutrition

(a) Photosynthesis:

(i) Process of photosynthesis and its chemical equation

(ii) Light and dark reactions

(iii) Materials and conditions

necessary for photosynthesis

(iv) Evidence of photosynthesis

(b) Mineral requirement of plants

(i) Mineral nutrition: Macro and micro-nutrients

(ii) Soil and atmosphere as sources of mineral elements.

2. Animal Nutrition

(a) Food substances; classes and sources

(b) Balanced diet and its importance

(c ) Food tests

(d) Digestive enzymes:

Classes, characteristics and functions

(e) Modes of Nutrition

(i) Autotrophic: Photosynthesis,

(ii) Heterotrophic: holozoic, parasitic,

symbiotic and saprophytic.

(f) Alimentary System:

Alimentary tract of different animals.

(g) Dental Formula

(h) Feeding in protozoa and mammals

C. Basic Ecological Concepts

1. Ecosystem:

Components of the ecosystem and sizes

(a) Ecological components:
environment, biosphere,
habitat, population, biotic
community and ecosystem.

(b) Components of the
Biotic and abiotic

2. Ecological factors:

Ecological factors in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems

3. Simple Measurement of Ecological Factors.

(a) Physical factors:
Climatic, topographic and

(b) Edaphic factors: Chemical
and physical composition,
moisture content and soil

4. Food webs and trophic levels (a) Autotrophs and Heterotrophs

(i) Producers: autotrophs

(ii) Consumers: heterotrophs

(iii) Decomposers

(b) Trophic levels energy

(i) Food chain

(ii) Food web

(c) Energy flow

(i) Food/Energy relationship in aquatic and terrestrial environment.

(ii) Pyramid of energy and Pyramid of numbers.

(d) Decomposition in nature

(i) Decomposers:

(micro and macro-decomposers)

(ii) Gaseous products

(iii) Role of decomposers

6. Ecological Management:

(a) Biological Associations

Type of associations: Parasitism, symbiosis, commensalism and saprophytism.

(b) Adaptation of organisms to

(c) Pollution of the atmosphere

(i) Nature, names, sources and effects of air pollutants.

(ii) Effect of noise

(d) Water and Soil Pollution

Type and effects of pollutants.

7. Ecology of population

(a) Ecological succession

(i) Structural changes in species composition, variety or diversity and increase in numbers.

(ii) General characteristics and outcomes of succession

(b) Primary succession.

Succession in terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

(c) Secondary succession, climax
of the succession: characteristic
of a stable ecosystem.

(d) Factors that affect population
size: natality, mortality,
emigration, immigration, food
shortage, predation,competition and

(e) Preservation and storage of foods

(f) The life of selected insects;

(i) Weevils and cotton strainers.

(ii) Control of pests

8. Microorganisms: Man and health

(a) Carriers of microorganisms

(b) Microorganisms in action

(i) Beneficial effects in nature, medicine and industries.

(ii) Harmful effects of micro­organisms, diseases caused by microorganisms: cholera, measles, malaria and ring worm.

(c) Towards better Health

(i) Methods of .controlling harmful microorganisms: high temperature, antibiotics, antiseptics, high salinity and dehydration.

(ii) Ways of controlling the vectors.

(d) Public Health:

The importance of the following towards the maintenance of good health practices:

(i) Refuse and sewage disposal.

(ii) Immunization, vaccination

and inoculation (control of diseases).

D. Conservation of Natural Resources:

1. Resources to be conserved: soil, water, wildlife, forest and minerals.

2. Ways of ensuring conservation

E. Variation in Population

1. Morphological variations in the physical appearance of individuals

(a) size, height and weight

(b) colour (skin, eye, hair coat of

(c) finger prints

2. Physiological Variations

(a) Ability to roll tongue

(b) Ability to taste
phenylthiocarbamide (PTC)

(c) Blood groups (ABO)

F. Biology of Heredity (Genetics)

1. Genetic terminologies

2. Transmission and expression of characteristics in organisms.

(a) Hereditary variation

(b) Mendel’s work in genetics

(i) Mendel’s experiments

(ii) Mendelian traits

(iii) Mendelian laws

3. Chromosomes: The basis of heredity

(a) Structure

(b) Process of transmission of hereditary characters from parents to offspring.

4. Probability in genetics (Hybrid formation).

5. Linkage, sex determination and sex linked


6. Application of the principles of heredity in:

(a) Agriculture
(b) Medicine

G. Adaptation for survival and Evolution.

1. Behavioural Adaptations in Social Animals.

(a) Termites

(b) Bees

2. Evolution.

(a) Evidence of evolution.

(b) Theories of evolution
SECTION B(For candidates in Ghana only)

A. Introducing Biology

1. Biology as a science of life

2. Procedure for biological work

3. Importance of Biology

4. Body symmetry, sectioning and


5. The microscope

6. Biological drawings

B. Cell Biology

1. Movement of substances into and out of cells: Endocytosis and Exocytosis

2. Nucleic acids

3. DNA structure and replication,

RNA transcription.

4. Protein synthesis

5. Cell cycle

C. Life Processes in Living Things

1. Amoeba, Paramecium, and


2. Spirogyra and Rhizopus

3. Mosses and ferns

D. Diversity of Living Things

1. Characteristics of some of the

orders of Class Insecta

2. Identification of organisms using

biological keys

E. Interactions in Nature


F. Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology

1. Dissection of a small mammal

2. Transport:

Structure of the mammalian heart.

3. Cellular respiration

4. Movement:

(a) Muscles

(b) Skeletal tissues

5. Reproduction

(a) Secondary sexual characteristics

(b) Prenatal/Antenatal care

G. Plant Structure and Physiology

1. Morphology of monocotyledonous

and dicotyledonous plants.

2. Transport:


3. Reproduction:

Floral formula

H. Humans and their Environment

1. Integrated water resources

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Categories: WAEC Wassce 2019 Syllabus Questions & Answers

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