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JAMB English Syllabus For 2019/2020


It is surprising that at this point, many JAMB candidate still don’t know the importance of JAMB syllabus. Using your JAMB syllabus properly will go a long way to help you prepare and pass JAMB examination excellently. I have already started this last week; in my article on “how to prepare and pass JAMB examination with 350+“. Well today, I am not going to lay too much emphasis on that again. I am only going to show you JAMB English syllabus for 2019/2020. Yes! you heard me right. JAMB 2019 English syllabus for everyone. This is to help you prepare assiduously for the impending JAMB 2019 examination

JAMB English syllabus, JAMB 2019 English Syllabus

How to use this syllabus

One common problem among JAMB candidates, is that they don’t know how to use JAMB syllabus. If you think that this syllabus alone can help you pass JAMB examination, then you are wrong. This JAMB English syllabus is only a guide to help you prepare for JAMB English exam. In other words, I am saying that you should not depend on the JAMB 2019 English syllabus presented below, if you want to pass JAMB English Examination. Hope you now understand the core use of this syllabus? Now, let’s get going.


Aim: The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus in Use of English is to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:

(1) communicate effectively in both written and spoken English;

(2) have a sound linguistic basis for learning at the tertiary level.

Format Of This Syllabus

The syllabus consists of two sections:

  • Comprehension/Summary
  • Lexis, Structure and Oral Forms

TOPIC 1: Comprehension/Summary

(a) description
(b) narration
(c) exposition
(d) argumentation/persuasion
(i) Each of the four passages to be set (one will be a close test) should reflect various
Ldisciplines and be about 400 words long.
(ii) Questions on passages will test the;

The Potter’s Wheel by Chukwuemeka Ike and The Successors by Jerry Agada will test the following:
(a) Comprehension of the whole or part of each passage.

(b) Comprehension of words, phrases, clauses, sentences, figures of speech and idioms as used in the passages.

(c) Coherence and logical reasoning

(deductions, inferences, etc)

(d) Synthesis of ideas from the passages.


Candidates should be able to:

i. identify main points in passages;

ii. determine implied meaning;

iii. identify the grammatical functions of words, phrases and clauses and figurative /idiomatic expression;

iv. deduce or infer the writer’s opinion, mood, attitude to the subject matter, etc.

Topic 2: Lexis, Structural and Oral Forms

2.1 Lexis and Structure
(a) synonyms
(b) antonyms
(c) homonyms
(d) clause and sentence patterns
(e) word classes and their functions

(f) mood, tense, aspect, number, agreement/concord, degree (positive, comparative and superlative) and question tags
(g) punctuation and spelling
(h) ordinary usage (words in their denotative or dictionary sense), figurative usage (expressions used in ways other than literal) and idiomatic usage (expressions whose meanings cannot be determined
through a mere combination of individual words) are to be tested.

NOTE: Idioms to be tested will be those expressed in standard British English (i.e those with universal acceptability)

2.2 Oral Forms

(a) Vowels (monophthongs and diphthongs
(b) Consonants (including clusters)
(c) Rhymes (homophones)

(d) Stress (word, sentence and emphatic)

(e) Intonation

Sentence stress should not be mistaken for emphatic or contrastive stress. It involves the placement of normal stress on content words

(nouns, main verbs, adjectives and adverbs) in an utterance. Here, no emphasis or contrast is intended. For example, the words ‘see’ and ‘soon’ would normally be stressed in the sentence, I’ll see you soon’.


Candidates should be able to:
i. use words and expressions in their ordinary, figurative and idiomatic contexts;
ii. determine similar and opposite meanings;
iii. differentiate between correct and incorrect punctuation and spelling;
iv. identify various grammatical pattern in use;
v. interpret information conveyed in sentences.

Candidates should be able to:
i. distinguish correct from incorrect vowels;
ii. differentiate correct from incorrect consonants;
iii. identify silent letters, vowel length; consonant clusters, etc.

iv. determine appropriate uses of stress in words (monosyllabic, disyllabic and polysyllabie) and in sentences (emphatic/contrastive);

v. detect partial and complete rhymes.


SECTION A: Comprehension/Summary

(a) 3 comprehension passages (15 questions in all, 3 marks each) = 45 marks (b) I cloze passage (10 questions in all, 2 marks each) = 20 marks

SECTION B: Lexis, Structure and Oral Forms

(a) Sentence interpretation (10 questions in all, 2 marks each) = 20 marks

(b) Antonyms (opposite in meaning – 15 questions in all, 1 mark each) = 15 marks

(c) Synonyms (same in meaning – 15 questions in all, 1 mark each) = 15 marks

(d) Sentence completion (filling in the gaps – 20 questions in all, 1 mark each) = 20 marks

(e) Oral forms (15 questions in all, 1 mark each) = 15 marks
Total: 100 questions = 150 marks


To download the PDF version of JAMB English syllabus click below.

JAMB English syllabus, JAMB 2019 English Syllabus


Below are some of the officially recommended English Textbooks by JAMB:

Bamgbose, A. (2002). English Lexis and Structure for Senior Secondary Schools and colleges (Revised Edition), Ibadan: Heinemann

Banjo, A. name(s)? (2004). New Oxford Secondary English Course Book Six for Senior Secondary Schools, Ibadan: UP Plc.

Banjo, A. Ayodele, S. and Ndahi, K. S. (1997). Exam Focus: English for WASSCE and SSCE, Ibadan UP Plc

Caesar, O. J. (2003). Essential Oral English for Schools and Colleges, Lagos: Tonad Publishers Limited

Egbe, D. I (1996). Mastering English Usage and Communication Skills, Lagos: Tisons

Elugbe, B. (2000). Oral English for Schools and Colleges, Ibadan: Heinemann

Grant, N. J. H, Nnamonu, S. Jowitt, D. (1998). Senior English Project 3, (New Edition) Harlow: Longman

Idowu, O. O, Sogbeson, T. S, Adofo, A. K. Burgess, D. F and Burgess, L. J. (1998). Round-up English: A Complete Guide, Lagos: Longman

Idris, U. (2001). Oral English at Your Fingertips for Schools and Colleges, Lagos, M. Youngbrain Publishers

Also Read:

Yeah. There you have JAMB 2019 English syllabus. Like I said before, this JAMB English syllabus is not meant to be depended upon. You can only you it as a guide or help when studying your books for JAMB English examination. Hope you enjoyed this post? Do let me know what you think about it.


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