WAEC Syllabus for Geography and Recommended Textbooks

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See this year’s Waec Syllabus for Geography and recommended textbooks. Note that this syllabus is for both Internal and external candidates.
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WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY248PREAMBLE

This examination syllabus is based on the assumption that not less than four teaching periods
or 2 hours 40 minutes per week will be allocated to the subject during the Senior Secondary
School Course.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The examination will test the candidates’ ability to

(i) understand the concepts of differential character and the spatial relationships of
the surface features of the earth;

(ii) understand the concept of man-environment relations (i.e. to examine the life of
man within his physical and cultural environments and to explain their interactions);

(iii) acquire a basic knowledge of the nature and functioning of physical and human
environments, particularly an understanding of their inter-relationships and the
resulting issues;

(iv) organize and formulate principles according to acquired geographical concepts and to
apply these principles to interpret and analyse spatial problems in the immediate and
wider environments;

(v) develop skills and techniques for accurate, orderly and objective geographical
investigations to be carried out both in the classroom and in the immediate
environment.

RUBRICS AND EXAMINATION SCHEME

There will be two papers; Paper 1 and Paper 2, both of which must be taken.

PAPER 1: GENERAL GEOGRAPHY, ELEMENTS OF PRACTICAL AND PHYSICAL
GEOGRAPHY. This will be a 2-hour and 40 minutes paper, consisting of two
sections; A and B.

SECTION A: General Geography

This will be a fifty (50) minutes multiple-choice (objective) test consisting of
fifty (50) questions drawn to cover the entire Geography syllabus (except
elementary surveying). Candidates will be required to attempt all the
questions.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

249

SECTION B: Elements of Practical and Physical Geography
This will be a 1 hour and 50 minutes paper, consisting of eight (8) questions,
of which candidates are expected to answer four. Question 1 will be a
compulsory structured question on map reading and interpretation. Candidates
are advised not to spend more than 30 minutes on this question.

Candidates will be expected to bring graduated rulers (both metric and
imperial), a complete mathematical set, a piece of string and a simple non-
programmable calculator.

PAPER 2: HUMAN AND REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY

This will be a 2-hour essay-type paper, consisting of three sections A, B, and
C. Candidates will be required to attempt four questions out of nine, choosing
at least one from each section.

SECTION A: Human Geography

This will consist of three essay-type questions. Candidates will be required to
attempt at least one of them.

SECTION B: Regional Geography of Candidates’ Home Country

This will consist of three essay-type questions. Candidates will be required to
attempt at least one of them.

SECTION C: Geography of Africa

This will consist of three essay-type questions. Candidates will be required to
attempt at least one of them.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

DETAILED SYLLABUS

CONTENTS NOTES

ELEMENTS OF PRACTICAL AND
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

Map Work

Elementary Surveying

Statistical Maps and Diagrams

Elements of Physical Geography

(i) Rocks

(ii) Major landforms

(iii) Oceans

(iv) Weather and climate

Map reading and interpretation based on a contoured
survey map of part of West Africa: scale, measurement
of distances, direction and bearing, map reduction and
enlargement, identification of physical features such as
spurs, valleys, etc. and cultural features such as city
walls, settlements, communication routes etc.;
measurement of gradients, drawing of cross profiles,
inter-visibility, description and explanation of drainage,
pattern of communication, settlement and land use.

Chain and Prismatic compass, open and closed traverse,
avoiding obstacles in the field.

Graphical representation of statistical data: bar graphs,
line graphs, flow charts, pie charts, dot maps,
proportional circles, density maps, isopleth maps.

The earth as a planet in relation to the sun. Latitude,
longitude and time. Structure of the earth (internal and
external).

Types, characteristics, formation and uses.

Mountains, plateau, plains, karst and coastal landforms.

Agencies modify landforms such as weathering, running
water, underground water, wind and waves.

Fieldwork covering local landforms such as coastal
features, drainage features, gullies, etc.

Ocean basins, salinity, ocean currents (causes, types and
effects on the climates of coastlands), water as an
environmental resource.

Simple weather study based on local observation,
description of the Stevenson’s screen and uses of basic
weather instruments e.g. rain gauge, thermometer,
barometer, and wind vane, etc.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

251

CONTENTS NOTES

(v) Elements of climate

(vi) Soils

(vii) Vegetation

(viii) Aspects of Environmental
Interaction

(ix) Environmental hazards

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

(i) World Population

(ii) Settlement

(iii) Transportation

Temperature, pressure, wind and precipitation and the
factors affecting them e.g. altitude, latitude, ocean
currents, land-and-sea breezes, continentality and aspect.
Interpretation of climatic charts and data. Classification
of climate (Greek and Koppen’s). Major types of climate
(Hot climate – equatorial, tropical and desert, temperate
climate – warm and cool). The atmosphere as an
environmental resource.

Definition, local types and characteristics. Factors and
processes of soil formation and soil profile. Tropical soil
types. Importance to man and the effects of human
activities on soil.

Major types (tropical rain-forest, cool temperate
woodland, tropical grassland and temperate grassland);
characteristics, distribution, factors affecting their
distribution, plant communities. Vegetation as an
environmental resource.

Land ecosystem, environmental balance and intervention
within the natural environment.

Soil erosion, drought, desert encroachment, deforestation
and pollution, causes, effects and prevention of each.

Factors and patterns of growth, distribution and
movement; growth rate problems (e.g. Amazon Basin,
N.E. of U.S.A., India, Japan, West Coast of South
Africa).

Types (rural and urban); patterns and factors affecting
location; growth and size; functions of rural and urban
settlements (e.g. Western Europe, the Middle East and
West Africa).

Types (roads, railways, water, air). Transportation and
economic development (movement of people and
commodities, national and international trade, diffusion
of ideas and technology, national integration); problems
of transportation.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

252

CONTENTS NOTES

(iv) Manufacturing Industry

(v) World Trade

REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY OF NIGERIA

REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY OF GHANA

Types (heavy and light industry); Factors of industrial
location; contributions to Gross National Product
(G.N.P.) and problems.

Factors, major commodities (agricultural, manufactured
goods and mineral products); world trade routes, with
special emphasis on trade between the candidate’s home
country and the outside world.

Nigeria on broad outlines (location, position, size,
political divisions, physical setting, population,
distribution of mineral and power resources, agriculture,
industry and commerce, transportation).

Geographical Regions of Nigeria (Eastern Highlands,
Eastern Scarplands, North-central Highlands, Western
Highlands, Sokoto Plains, Chad Basin, Niger-Benue
Trough, Cross River Basin and Southern Coastlands).

Each of these geographical regions should be treated
under the following sub-headings:-
(i) physical setting;
(ii) peoples and population;
(iii) resources and economic activities;
(iv) transportation;
(v) problems of development.

(a) Size and location (within West Africa),
administrative structure.
(b) Physical environment (geology, relief, drainage,
climate, vegetation and soils).
(c) Population: Size, growth, distribution and density;
age/sex structure; fertility, morbidity and mortality,
migration.
(d) Settlements: Origin, types (rural – urban),
characteristics, hierarchy, landuse, urbanisation
processes problems and attempts at solving some
of the problems).
(e) Agriculture: Subsistence (intensive and extensive),
commercial (vegetable, livestock, dairying,
commercial grain); plantation, problems and
prospects.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

253

CONTENTS

NOTES

REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY OF SIERRA
LEONE

(f) Fishing: Inland and ocean (in-shore/off-shore),
methods, types of fish, storage and marketing,
problems and prospects.
(g) Lumbering: Sources of timber, methods of
exploitation, types of species (for internal use and
for export), problems and prospects, conservation.
(h) Mining: Types, distribution, methods of
extraction, problems and prospects.
(i) Manufacturing: Types, distribution, factors
influencing location of industries, problems of
industrialization.
(j) Trade and Commerce: Services, transport
and communication, recreation and tourism,
administration.
(k) Energy and Power: Water (Akosombo and
Kpong Hydro-electric Power projects – benefits
and effects), fuelwood and charcoal, Petroleum
and Natural gas (Saltpond), Solar, Wave, Wind
energies (Donkokrom and Kokrobite), Biogas e.g.
cow dung.
(l) Issues of Development and Environmental
Conservation: Rural and regional development,
resource management and conservation,
environmental pollution e.g. air, water, soil,
noise, waste disposal.

Sierra Leone on Broad Outlines
Size and location, physical environment, population and
settlements.

Primary Economic Activities
Agriculture, fishing, lumbering, mining and quarrying,
relative importance of each activity, problems, prospects
and conservation.

Manufacturing
Location of industry, types of industry, problems of
manufacturing industry, Energy and Power, water,
fuelwood and charcoal, biogas (e.g. cow-dung), hydro-
electric power projects e.g. Dodo, Guma, Bumbuna
(under construction).

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

254

CONTENTS NOTES

REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY OF
SENEGAMBIA

FIELDWORK

Transport and Communication
Roads, water, air, the role of transport and
communication in economic development (i.e. movement
of people and commodities) internal and external trade,
diffusion of ideas and technology): problems of transport
and communication.

Trade and Tourism
Major commodities of trade (agricultural, manufactured
goods, minerals, etc.): pattern of trade (internal and
external): problems of trade; development of tourism,
problems of tourism, socio-economic effects of tourism.

(a) Size and location, physical environment – relief,
drainage, climate and vegetation.

(b) Economic activities – Farming (subsistence and
cash crops), fishing, livestock rearing, mining,
problems and prospects.

(c) Population – Size, growth, distribution and
migration.

(d) Manufacturing – Types, location, factors
influencing location, problems of industrialization.

(e) Transport and Communication – road, water, rail
and air transport – their roles in economic
development.

(f) Tourism – Main tourism areas, factors responsible
for its development, problems and economic
importance.

Fieldwork on any one of the following topics should be
based on local geography of candidate’s home country
(This aspect of the syllabus should be examined by
schools as part of the continuous assessment and should
account for 25% of the total mark allotted to continuous
assessment):
(i) Land use (rural or urban):
rural – crop farming (e.g. rice, cocoa, etc).,
mining (e.g. coal, tin, petroleum,
etc.) fishing.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

255

CONTENTS

NOTES

GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA

SELECTED TOPICS

urban – commercial activities, ports,
factories, recreational, etc.

(ii) Market survey – rural or urban.

(iii) Traffic flow – rural or urban.

(iv) Patterns of journey to work – rural or urban.

(v) Rate of erosion in the locality, etc.

Africa on broad outlines – location, size, position,
political divisions and associated islands, physical setting
(relief, drainage, climate and vegetation); distribution of
major minerals.

(a) Lumbering in equatorial Africa (with particular
reference to Cote d’Ivoire and Zaire).

(b) Irrigation agriculture in the Nile Basin and the Niger
Basin.

(c) Plantation agriculture in West and East Africa.

(d) Fruit farming in the Mediterranean Regions of
Africa.

(e) Gold mining in South Africa.

(f) Copper mining in Zaire and Zambia.

(g) Oil production in Nigeria, Algeria and Libya.

(h) Population distribution in West Africa.

(i) International Economic Co-operation in West Africa
(e.g. ECOWAS).

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

T.E. HILTON

D.A. NIMAKO

A. OGUNSEYE & A. FANIRAN

MONKHOUSE, F.J. & H.R. WILKINSON

BYGOTT JOHN & D.C. MONEY

PRITCHARD, J.M.

GOSS, W.E.

DOTSE, J. M.

J. WILLMER & OKOYE

R.B. BUNNETT & P.O. OKUNROTIFA

B. O. ADELEKE & G.C. LEONG

A. FANIRAN & O. OJO

STRAHLER, A.N.

MONKHOUSE, F. J.

GATES

SMALL, R. J.

Practical Geography in Africa

Map Reading for West Africa

Map Reading and Interpretation
for West Africa

Maps and Diagrams

An Introduction to Mapwork &
Practical Geography

Practical Geography for Africa

Surveying

Practical Geography (Mapwork)

Map Reading and Interpretation

General Geography in Diagrams
for West Africa

Certificate Physical and Human
Geography (West African
Edition)

Man’s Physical Environment

Introduction to Physical
Geography

Principles of Physical
Geography

Climatology and Meteorology

The Study of Landforms

Longman

Longman

Methuen & Co. Ltd.

University Tutorial
Press

Longman

Macmillan

Univ. of Cape Coast

African University
Press

Longman

Oxford

Heinemann

Wiley International
Ed.

University of London

Cambridge Univ.
Press

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

257

S/N

AUTHOR

TITLE

PUBLISHER

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

29.

30.

31.

32.

PATTON CLYDE et AL

ALISTAIR F. PITTY

DICKSON, J.P. et AL

ADEJUMO, J. C.

GILMOR, D. A.

UDO, REUBEN K.

UDO, REUBEN K.

UDO, REUBEN K.

N. P. ILOEJE

M. A. ABEGUNDE et AL

P. O. OKUNROTIFA & MICHAEL
SENIOR

BARBOUR K. M., OGUNTOYINBO J.S.,
ONYEMELUKWEI, J., & NWAFOR, J.C.

DICKSON K.B. & BENNEH G.

ENGMANN, E.V.T.

DICKSON & ACHEAMPONG

OBOLI, H.O.N.

Physical Geography

Introduction of Geomorphology

A Geography of the Third World

An Introduction to the
Geography of the Tropics

Socio-Economic Geography

The Human Geography of
Tropical Africa

Comprehensive Geography of
Tropical Africa

Geographical Regions of Nigeria

A New Geography of Nigeria
(New Edition)

Senior Secondary Geography
Series (1 – 3)

A Regional Geography of Africa
(New Edition)

Nigeria in Maps

New Geography of Ghana

A population Geography of
Ghana 1850 – 1960

Geography for Senior Secondary
Schools in Ghana

An Outline Geography of West
Africa

Wadworth Publishing
Co.

Methuen and Co. Ltd

Longman

Nelson & Sons Ltd.

Gil and Macmillan
Ltd.

Educational Books,
Nigeria

Longman

Longman

Longman

Longman

Longman

Hodder & Stoughton

Ghana Univ. Press

Ghana Univ. Press

Ghana Education
Service

Harrap & Company

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
GEOGRAPHY

258

S/N

AUTHOR

TITLE

PUBLISHER

33.

34.

35.

36.

37.

38.

39.

40.

41.

J. I. CLARKE

GWYN-JONES

PRITCHARD, J. M.

M. DUZE & AFOLABI OJO

COLLINS

PHILIPS

CLARY AUDREY N.

MOORE, W. E.

HAYWARD, & OGUNTOYINBO J.S.

Sierra Leone in Maps

A New Geography of Sierra
Leone

Africa

Macmillan Senior School Atlas

New Secondary Atlas

World Atlas

Longman Dictionary of
Geography (Human and
Physical)

A Penguin Dictionary of
Geography

Climatology of West Africa

Hodder & Stoughton


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