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This syllabus is evolved from the Senior Secondary School teaching syllabus and is intended to indicate the scope of the course for Physics examination.
It is structured with the conceptual approach. The broad concepts of Matter, Position, Motion and Time; Energy; Waves; Fields; Atomic and Nuclear Physics, Electronics are considered and each concept forms a part on which other sub-concepts are further based.
The aims of the syllabus are to:
(1) acquire proper understanding of the basic principles and applications of Physics;
(2) develop scientific skills and attitudes as pre-requisites for further scientific activities;
(3) recognise the usefulness, and limitations of scientific method to appreciate its applicability in other disciplines and in everyday life;
(4) develop abilities, attitudes and skills that encourage efficient and safe practice;
(5) develop attitudes relevant to science such as concern for accuracy and precision, objectivity, integrity, initiative and inventiveness.
The following skills appropriate to Physics will be tested:
(1) Knowledge and understanding:
Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

(a) scientific phenomena, facts, laws, definitions, concepts and theories;
(b) scientific vocabulary, terminology and conventions (including symbols, quantities and units);
(c) the use of scientific apparatus, including techniques of operation and aspects of safety;
(d) scientific quantities and their determinations;
(e) scientific and technological applications with their social, economic and environmental implications.

(2) Information Handling and Problem-solving
Candidates should be able, using visual, oral, aural and written (including symbolic, diagrammatic, graphical and numerical) information to:

(a) locate, select, organise and present information from a variety of sources, including everyday experience;
(b) translate information from one form to another;
(c) analyse and evaluate information and other data;
(d) use information to identify patterns, report trends and draw inferences;
(e) present reasonable explanations for natural occurrences, patterns and relationships;
(f) make predictions from data.

(3) Experimental and Problem-Solving Techniques
Candidates should be able to:
(a) follow instructions;
(b) carry out experimental procedures using apparatus;
(c) make and record observations, measurements and estimates with due regard to precision, accuracy and units;
(d) interprete, evaluate and report on observations and experimental data;
(e) identify problems, plan and carry out investigations, including the selection of techniques, apparatus, measuring devices and materials;
(f) evaluate methods and suggest possible improvements;
(g) state and explain the necessary precautions taken in experiments to obtain accurate results.
There will be two papers both of which must be taken for a total mark of 160. Candidates will be allowed an extra 15 minutes for reading Paper 1 during which they are not expected to write anything.
PAPER 1: will be a practical test lasting 2¾ hours comprising three questions out of which candidates will answer any two to score a total mark of 50. The paper will be taken by school candidates only. Each question of this paper will have two Parts: A and B.
(1) Part A will be an experiment for 21 marks. Candidates will be required to state the precautions taken during the experiments and reasons for such precautions.
(2) Part B will consist of two short-answer questions that are related to the experiment for 4 marks.
PAPER 2: will consist of two sections: A and B which will last for 2¾ hours.
Section A will comprise 50 multiple-choice objective questions drawn from the common areas of the syllabus. It will last for 1¼ hours for 50 marks.
Section B will last for 1½ hours and will comprise of two parts: I and II.
Part I will comprise ten (10) short-structured questions dr

N.B. Questions will be set in S.I. units. However, multiples or sub-multiples of the units may be used.
1. Concepts of matter
2. Fundamental and derived quantities and units

(a) Fundamental quantities and units
(b) Derived quantities and unit

3. Position, distance and displacement.
(a) Concept of position as a location of point – rectangular coordinates.
(b) Measurement of distance
(c) Concept of direction as a way of locating a point – bearing
(d) Distinction between distance and displacement
Simple structure of matter should be discussed. The three states of matter, namely solid, liquid and gas. Evidence of the particle nature of matter e.g. Brownian motion experiment, Kinetic theory of matter. Use of the theory to explain: states of matter (solid, liquid and gas), pressure in a gas, evaporation and boiling; cohesion, adhesion, capillarity. Crystalline and amorphous substances to be compared (Arrangement of atoms in crystalline structure not required.)
Length, mass, and time as examples of fundamental quantities and m, kg and s as their respective units. Volume, density and speed as derived quantities and m3, kgm-3 and ms-1 as their respective units. Position of objects in space using the X,Y,Z axes can be mentioned.
Use of string, metre rule, vernier callipers and micrometer screw gauge. Degree of accuracy should be noted. Metre (m) as unit of distance. Use of compass and a protractor. Graphical location and directions by axes to be stressed.
4. Mass and weight Distinction between mass and weight
5. Time
(a) Concept of time as intervalbetween physical events
(b) Measurement of time
6. Fluids at rest
(a) Volume, density and relative density
(b) Pressure in fluids
(c) Equilibrium of bodies

(i) Archmedes’ principle
(ii) Law of flotation

Use of lever balance and chemical/beam balance to measure mass and spring balance to measure weight. Kilogram (kg) as unit of mass and newton (N) as unit of weight.
The use of heart-beat, sand-clock, ticker-timer, pendulum and stopwatch/clock. Seconds (s) as units of time. Experimental determination for solids and liquids.
Concept and definition of pressure. Pascal’s principle, application of principle to hydraulic press and car brakes. Dependence of pressure on the depth of a point below a liquid surface. Atmospheric pressure. Simple barometer, manometer, siphon, syringes and pumps, determination of the relative density of liquids with U-tube and Hare’s apparatus.
Identification of the forces acting on a body partially or completely immersed in a fluid.
Use of the principle to determine the relative densities of solids and liquids.
Establishing the conditions for a body to float in a fluid. Applications in hydrometer, balloons, boats, ships, submarines etc.
7. Motion
(a) Types of motion: Random, rectilinear, translational, rotational, circular, orbital, spin, oscillatory
(b) Relative motion
(c) Cause of motion
(d) Types of force:

(i) Contact force
(ii) Force Field

(e) Solid friction
(f) Friction in fluids (Viscosity)
(g) Simple ideas of circular motion
Only qualitative treatment is required. Illustration should be given for the various types of motion.
Numerical problems on co-linear motion may be set. Force as cause of motion. Push and pull.
Electric and magnetic attractions and repulsion; gravitational pull.
Frictional force between two stationary bodies (static) and between two bodies in relative motion (dynamic). Coefficients of limiting friction and their determination. Advantages of friction e.g. in locomotion, friction belt, grindstone. Disadvantages of friction e.g. reduction of efficiency, wear and tear of machines. Methods of reducing friction. Use of ball bearings, rollers and lubrication.
Definition and effects. Simple explanation as extension of friction in fluids. Fluid friction and its application in lubrication should be treated qualitatively. Terminal velocity and its determination.
Experiments with a string tied to a stone at one end and whirled around should be carried

(i) Gravitational acceleration as a special case.
(ii) show the difference between angular speed and velocity.
(iii) show centripetal force. Banking of roads in reducing sideways friction should be qualitatively discussed.

Metre per second (ms-1) as unit of speed/velocity. Ticker-timer or similar devices should be used to determine speed/velocity. Definition of velocity as ds/dt. Determination of instantaneous speed/velocity from distance/displacement-time graph and by calculation.
Unit of acceleration as ms-2. Ticker timer or similar devices should be used to determine acceleration. Definition of acceleration as dv/dt. Determination of acceleration and displacement from velocity-time graph Use of equations to solve numerical problems.
10. Scalars and vectors
(a) concept of scalars as physical quantities with magnitude and no direction
(b) concept of vectors as physical quantities with both magnitude and direction.
(c) Vector representation
(d) Addition of vectors
(e) Resolution of vectors
(f) Resultant velocity using vector representation.
11. Equilibrium of forces
(a) Principle of moments
(b) Conditions for equilibrium of rigid bodies under the action of parallel and non-parallel forces.
(c) Centre of gravity and stability
12. Simple harmonic motion
(a) Illustration, explanation and definition of simple harmonic motion (S.H.M.) Mass, distance, speed and time as examples of scalars. Weight, displacement, velocity, and acceleration as examples of vectors. Use of force board to determine the resultant of two forces. Obtain the resultant of two velocities analytically and graphically.Moment of force/Torque. Simple treatment of a couple, e.g. turning of water tap, corkscrew, etc. Use of force board to determine resultant and equilibrant forces. Treatment should include resolution of forces into two perpendicular directions and composition of forces. Parallelogram of forces. Triangle of forces should be treated experimentally. Treatment should include stable, unstable and neutral equilibria. Use of a loaded test-tube oscillating vertically in a liquid, simple pendulum, spiral spring and bifilar suspension to demonstrate simple harmonic motion.
(b) Speed and acceleration of S.H.M.
(c) Period, frequency and amplitude of a body executing S.H.M.
(d) Energy of S.H.M.
(e) Forced vibration and resonance
13. Newton’s laws of motion:
(a) First Law: Inertia of rest and inertia of motion
(b) Second Law: Force, acceleration, momentum and impulse
(c) Third Law: Action and reaction
Relate linear and angular speeds, linear and angular accelerations. Experimental determination of ‘g’ with the simple pendulum and helical spring. The theory of the principles should be treated but
derivation of the formula for ‘g’ is not required. Simple problems may be set on simple harmonic motion. Mathematical proof of simple harmonic motion in respect of spiral spring, bililar suspension and loaded test-tube is not required.
Distinction between inertial mass and weight. Use of timing devices e.g. ticker-timer to determine the acceleration of a falling body and the relationship when the accelerating force is constant.
Linear momentum and its conservation. Collision of elastic bodies in a straight line.
Applications: recoil of a gun, jet and rocket propulsions.
ENERGY: Mechanical and Heat
14. Energy:
(a) Forms of energy
(b) World energy resources
(c) Conservation of energy
15. Work, Energy and Power
(a) Concept of work as a measure of energy transfer
(b) Concept of energy as capability to do work
(c) Work done in a gravitational field.
(d) Types of mechanical energy

(i) Potential energy (P.E.)
(ii) Kinetic energy (K.E.)

(e) Conservation of mechanical energy.
Examples of various forms of energy should be mentioned e.g. mechanical (potential and kinetic), heat, chemical, electrical, light, sound, nuclear etc. Renewable (e.g. solar, wind, tides, hydro,
ocean waves) and non-renewable (e.g. petroleum, coal, nuclear, Biomass). Sources of energy should be discussed br

volume gas thermometer, resistance thermometer, thermocouple, liquid-in-glass thermometer including maximum and minimum thermometer and clinical thermometer.

Pyrometer should be mentioned.
Celsius and Absolute scales of temperature.
Kelvin and degree Celsius as units of temperature. Use of the Kinetic theory to explain effects of heat.
Qualitative and quantitative treatment.
Consequences and applications of expansions.
Expansion in buildings and bridges, bimetallic strips, thermostat, over-head cables causing sagging and in railway lines causing buckling.
Real and apparent expansion of liquids. Anomalous expansion of water.

(d) Heat transfer –

Conduction, convection and radiation
(e) The gas laws-Boyle’s law, Charles’ law, pressure law and general gas law
(f) Measurement of heat energy:

(i) Concept of heat capacity
(ii) Specific heat capacity

(g) Latent heat
(i) Concept of latent heat
(ii) Melting point and boiling point
(iii) Specific latent heat of fusion and of vaporization Per kelvin (K-1) as the unit of expansivity.
Use of the kinetic theory to explain the modes of heat transfer. Simple experimental illustrations. Treatment should include the explanation of land and sea breezes, ventilation and applications in cooling devices. The vacuum flask. The laws should be verified using simple apparatus. Use of the kinetic theory to explain the laws. Simple problems may be set.

Use of the method of mixtures and the electrical method to determine the specific heat capacities of solids and liquids. Land and sea breezes related to the specific heat capacity of water and land, Jkg-1 K-1 as unit of specific heat capacity.
Explanation and types of latent heat.
Determination of the melting point of a solid and the boiling point of a liquid. Effects of impurities and pressure on melting and boiling points. Application in pressure cooker.
Use of the method of mixtures and the electrical method to determine the specific latent heat of fusion of ice and of vaporization of steam. Applications in refrigerators and air conditioners.
Jkg-1 as unit of specific latent heat.

(h) Evaporation and boiling
(i) Vapour and vapour pressure
(j) Humidity, relative humidity and dew point
(k) Humidity and the weather
Effect of temperature, humidity, surface area and draught on evaporation to be discussed.
Explanation of vapour and vapour pressure. Demonstration of vapour pressure using
simple experiments. Saturated vapour pressure and its relation to boiling.
Measurement of dew point and relative humidity. Estimation of humidity of the atmosphere using wet and dry-bulb hygrometer. Formation of dew, fog and rain.
17. Production and propagation of waves
(a) Production and propagation of mechanical waves
(b) Pulsating system: Energy transmitted with definite speed, frequency and wavelength
(c) Waveform
(d) Mathematical relationship connecting frequency (f), wavelength (), period (T) and velocity (v)
18. Types of waves
(a) Transverse, longitudinal and stationary waves
(b) Mathematical representation of wave motion.
19. Properties of waves:
Reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, superposition of progressive waves producing standing/stationary waves.
20. Light waves
(a) Sources of light
Use of ropes and springs (slinky) to generate mechanical waves.
Use of ripple tank to show water waves and to demonstrate energy propagation by waves.
Hertz (Hz) as unit of frequency.
Description and graphical representation.
Amplitude, wavelength, frequency and perio

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Posted by on July 27, 2018.

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Categories: WAEC Wassce 2019 Syllabus Questions & Answers

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