Waec Syllabus Physics | Physics Waec Syllabus

Below is this year’s Waec Syllabus for Physics. Note that this syllabus is for both Internal and external candidates..
See: Updated Waec Syllabus
View Physics Waec Syllabus as Text below…
WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

379

PREAMBLE

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.

AIMS

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.

ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVES

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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

380

(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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

381

SCHEME OF EXAMINATION

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 drawn from the
portions of the syllabus peculiar to the different countries such that
candidates from each member country will be able to answer five (5)
questions for 15 marks.

Part II will comprise five (5) essay-type questions drawn from the common
areas of the syllabus. Candidates will be required to answer three (3)
questions for 45 marks..

PAPER 3: will be an alternative test to Paper 1 for private candidates only. It will be a
Test-of-Practical work lasting 2¾ hours for 50 marks.

PRACTICAL PHYSICS

This will be tested by a practical examination based on the syllabus. The objective of the
practical examination is to test how well the candidates understand the nature of scientific
investigation and their capability in handling simple apparatus in an experiment to
determine an answer to a practical question. It is also to determine their competence in
demonstrating their understanding of some of the principles involved in a small-scale
laboratory experiment.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

382

The practical test will contain enough instructions to enable candidates to carry out the
experiment. Even when standard experiments, such as the determination of focal lengths
or specific heat capacities are set, candidates will be told what readings to take and how
to calculate the result. Therefore, it should not be necessary for candidates to learn by
heart how to perform any experiment.

In addition to experiments on the topics in the syllabus, candidates may be asked to carry
out with the aid of full instructions, variants of standard experiments.

Candidates should be trained to take as varied a set of readings as possible and to set out
the actual observed readings systematically on the answer sheet. The experiments may
require a repetition of readings and an exhibition of results graphically and their
interpretation.

DETAILED SYLLABUS

It is important that candidates are involved in practical activities in covering this syllabus.
Candidates will be expected to answer questions on the topics set out in the column
headed ‘TOPICS’. The ‘NOTES’ are intended to indicate the scope of the questions
which will be set but they are not to be considered as an exhaustive list of limitations and
illustrations.

N.B. Questions will be set in S.I. units. However, multiples or sub-multiples of the units
may be used.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

383

SECTION A
FOR CANDIDATES IN ALL MEMBER COUNTRIES

PART I
MATTER, POSITION, MOTION AND TIME

TOPICS

NOTES

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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

384

TOPICS

NOTES

4. Mass and weight

Distinction between mass and weight

5. Time

(a) Concept of time as interval
between 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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

385

TOPICS

NOTES

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
out to

(i) demonstrate motion in a
vertical/horizontal circle.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

386

TOPICS

NOTES

8. Speed and velocity

(a) Concept of speed as change of
distance with time

(b) Concept of velocity as change of
displacement with time

(c) Uniform/non-uniform
speed/velocity

(d) Distance/displacement-time graph

9. Rectilinear acceleration

(a) Concept of acceleration as change
of velocity with time.

(b) Uniform/non-uniform acceleration

(c) Velocity-time graph,

(d) Equations of motion with constant
acceleration;
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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

387

TOPICS

NOTES

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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

388

TOPICS

NOTES

(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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

389

PART II

ENERGY: Mechanical and Heat

TOPICS

NOTES

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 briefly.

Statement of the principle of conservation of
energy and its use in explaining energy
transformations.

Unit of work as the joule (J)

Unit of energy as the joule (J) while unit of
electrical consumption is kWh.

Work done in lifting a body and by falling
bodies.

Derivation of P.E. and K.E. are expected to be
known. Identification of types of energy
possessed by a body under given conditions.

Verification of the principle

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

390

TOPICS

NOTES

(f) Concept of power as time rate of
doing work.

(g) Application of mechanical energy
– machines.
Levers, pulleys, inclined plane,
wedge, screw, wheel and axle,
gears.

16. Heat Energy

(a) Temperature and its measurement

(b) Effects of heat on matter e.g.

(i) Rise in temperature
(ii) Change of state
(iii) Expansion
(iv) Change of resistance

(c) Thermal expansion – Linear, area
and volume expansivities

Unit of power as the watt (W).

The force ratio (F.R.), mechanical advantage
(M.A.), velocity ratio (V.R.) and efficiency of
each machine should be treated.
Identification of simple machines that make
up a given complicated machine e.g. bicycle.
Effects of friction on machines. Reduction of
friction in machines.

Concept of temperature as degree of hotness
or coldness of a body. Construction and
graduation of a simple thermometer.
Properties of thermometric liquids. The
following thermometers should be treated:
Constant – 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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

391

TOPICS

NOTES

(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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

392

TOPICS

NOTES

(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.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

393

PART III
WAVES

TOPICS

NOTES

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 period.
Sound and light as wave phenomena.

v = f and T = 1. Simple problems may be set.
f

Examples to be given.

Equation y = A sin (wt+ 2  x) to be explained

Questions on phase difference will not be set.

Ripple tank should be extensively used to
demonstrate these properties with plane and
circular waves. Explanation of the properties.

Natural and artificial. Luminous and non-
luminous bodies.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

394

TOPICS

NOTES

(b) Rectilinear propagation of light

(c) Reflection of light at plane
surface: plane mirror

(d) Reflection of light at curved
surfaces: concave and convex
mirrors

(e) Refraction of light at plane
surfaces: rectangular glass prism
(block) and triangular prism.

(f) Refraction of light at curved
surfaces:
Converging and diverging lenses

Formation of shadows and eclipse. Pinhole
camera. Simple numerical problems may be set.

Regular and irregular reflection. Verification of
laws of reflection. Formation of images.
Inclined plane mirrors. Rotation of mirrors.
Applications in periscope, sextant and
kaleidoscope.

Laws of reflection. Formation of images.
Characteristics of images. Use of mirror
formulae:
1 + 1 = 1 and magnification m = v to solve
u v f u
numerical problems
(Derivation of formulae is not required)

Experimental determination of the focal length
of concave mirror.
Applications in searchlight, parabolic and
driving mirrors, car headlamps, etc.

Laws of refraction. Formation of images, Real
and Apparent depth. Critical angle and total
internal reflection. Lateral displacement and
angle of deviation. Use of minimum deviation
equation:
sin (A + D m)
 = 2
sin A/2

(Derivation of the formula is not required)

Applications: periscope, prism binoculars,
optical fibres. The mirage.

Formation of images. Use of lens formulae
1 + 1 = 1 and magnification v to solve
u v f u
numerical problems.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

395

TOPICS

NOTES

(g) Application of lenses in optical
instruments.

(h) Dispersion of white light by a
triangular glass prism.

21. Electromagnetic waves:
Types of radiation in electromagnetic
spectrum

22. Sound Waves

(a) Sources of sound

(b) Transmission of sound waves

(c) Speed of sound in solid, liquid and
air

(d) Echoes and reverberation

(e) Noise and music

(f) Characteristics of sound

(Derivation of the formulae not required).
Experimental determination of the focal length
of converging lens. Power of lens in dioptres D.

Simple camera, the human eye, film projector,
simple and compound microscopes, terrestrial
and astronomical telescopes. Angular
magnification. Prism binoculars. The structure
and function of the camera and the human eye
should be compared. Defects of the human eye
and their corrections.

Production of pure spectrum of a white light.
Recombination of the components of the
spectrum. Colour of objects. Mixing coloured
lights.

Elementary description and uses of various types
of radiation: Radio, infrared, visible light, ultra-
violet, X-rays, gamma rays.

Experiment to show that a material medium is
required.

To be compared. Dependence of velocity of
sound on temperature and pressure to be
considered.

Use of echoes in mineral exploration, and
determination of ocean depth. Thunder and
multiple reflections in a large room as examples
of reverberation.

Pitch, loudness and quality

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

396

TOPICS

NOTES

(g) Vibration in strings

(h) Forced vibration

(i) Resonance
(ii) Harmonics and overtones

(i) Vibration of air in pipe – open and
closed pipes

The use of sonometer to demonstrate the
dependence of frequency (f) on length (l),
tension (T) and linear density (m) of string
should be treated. Use of the formula:

fo = 1 T
2l m

in solving simple numerical problems.
Applications in stringed instruments e.g. guitar,
piano, harp, violin etc.

Use of resonance boxes and sonometer to
illustrate forced vibration.

Use of overtones to explain the quality of a
musical note. Applications in percussion
instruments e.g. drum, bell, cymbals, xylophone,
etc.

Measurement of velocity of sound in air or
frequency of tuning fork using the resonance
tube. Use of the relationship v = f in solving
numerical problems. End correction is expected.
Applications in wind instruments e.g. organ,
flute, trumpet, horn, clarinet, saxophone, etc.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

397

PART IV
FIELDS

TOPICS

NOTES

23. Description and property of fields.

(a) Concept of fields:
Gravitational, electric and
magnetic

(b) Properties of a force field

24. Gravitational field

(a) Acceleration due to gravity, (g)

(b) Gravitational force between two
masses:

Newton’s law of gravitation

(c) Gravitational potential and escape
velocity.

25. Electric Field

(1) Electrostatics

(a) Production of electric charges

(b) Types of distribution of
charges

(c) Storage of charges

(d) Electric lines of force

Use of compass needle and iron filings to show
magnetic field lines.

g as gravitational field intensity should be
mentioned, g = F/m.

Masses include protons, electrons and planets

Universal gravitational constant (G).
Relationship between ‘G’ and ‘g’

Calculation of the escape velocity of a rocket
from the earth’s gravitational field.

Production by friction, induction and contact.

A simple electroscope should be used to detect
and compare charges on differently-shaped
bodies.

Application in light conductors.

Determination, properties and field patterns of
charges.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

398

TOPICS

NOTES

(e) Electric force between point
charges: Coulomb’s law

(f) Concepts of electric field,
electric field intensity
(potential gradient) and electric
potential.

(g) Capacitance –
Definition, arrangement and
application

(2) Current electricity

(a) Production of electric current
from primary and secondary
cells

(b) Potential difference and
electric current

(c) Electric circuit

(d) Electric conduction through
materials

(e) Electric energy and power

Permittivity of a medium.

Calculation of electric field intensity and electric
potential of simple systems.

Factors affecting the capacitance of a parallel –
plate capacitor. The farad (F) as unit of
capacitance. Capacitors in series and in parallel.
Energy stored in a charged capacitor. Uses of
capacitors e.g. in radio, T.V. etc.
(Derivation of formulae for capacitance is not
required)

Simple cell and its defects. Daniell cell,
Leclanché cell (wet and dry).
Lead-acid accumulator, Alkaline-cadium cell.
E.m.f. of a cell, the volt (V) as unit of e.m.f.

Ohm’s law and resistance. Verification of
Ohm’s law. The volt (V), ampere (A) and ohm
() as units of p.d., current and resistance
respectively.

Series and parallel arrangements of cells and
resistors. Lost volt and internal resistance of
batteries.

Ohmic and non ohmic conductors. Examples
should be given.

Quantitative definition of electrical energy and
power. Heating effect of electrical energy and
its application. Conversion of electrical energy
to mechanical energy e.g. electric motors.
Conversion of solar energy to electrical and heat
energies e.g. solar cells, solar heaters, etc.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

399

TOPICS

NOTES

(f) Shunt and multiplier

(g) Resistivity and Conductivity

(h) Measurement of electric current,
potential difference, resistance,
e.m.f. and internal resistance of
a cell.

26. Magnetic field

(a) Properties of magnets;
Magnetic materials.

(b) Magnetization and de-
magnetization

(c) Concept of magnetic field

(d) Force on a current-carrying
conductor placed in a magnetic
field and between two parallel
current-carrying conductors

(e) Use of electromagnets

(f) Earth’s magnetic field

(g) Magnetic force on a moving
charged particle

27. Electromagnetic field

(a) Concept of electromagnetic field

Use in conversion of a galvanometer into an
ammeter or a voltmeter.

Factors affecting the electrical resistance of a
material should be treated. Simple problems may
be set.

Principle of operation and use of ammeter,
voltmeter, potentiomete1, metre bridge, and
wheatstone bridge.

Practical examples such as soft iron, steel and
alloys.

Temporary and permanent magnets. Comparison
of iron and steel as magnetic materials.

Magnetic flux and magnetic flux density.
Magnetic field around a permanent magnet, a
current-carrying conductor and a solenoid.
Plotting of lines of force to locate neutral points.
Units of magnetic flux and magnetic flux density
as weber (Wb) and tesla (T) respectively

Qualitative treatment only. Applications: electric
motor and moving-coil galvanometer.

Examples in electric, bell telephone earpiece etc.

Mariner’s compass. Angles of dip and declination.

Solving simple problems involving the motion of a
charged particle in a magnetic field

Identifying the directions of current, magnetic field
and force in an electromagnetic field (Fleming’s
left-hand rule).

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

400

TOPICS

NOTES

(b) Electromagnetic induction

Faraday’s law, Lenz’s law and
motor-generator effect

(c) Inductance

(d) Eddy current

(e) Power transmission and
distribution

28. Simple a.c. circuits

(a) Graphical representation of
e.m.f. and current in an a.c.
circuit.

(b) Peak and r.m.s. values

Applications: Generator (d.c. and a.c.), induction
coil and transformer. The principles underlying
the production of direct and alternating currents
should be treated. Equation E = Eo sinwt should
be explained.

Explanation of inductance. Henry as unit of
inductance. Energy stored in an inductor
(E = 2

1

LI2)

Application in radio, T.V., transformer.
(Derivation of formula is not required).

A method of reducing eddy current losses should
be treated. Applications in induction furnace,
speedometer, etc.

Reduction of power losses in high-tension
transmission lines. Household wiring system
should be discussed.

Graphs of equation I =Io sin wt and
E = Eo sinwt should be treated.

Phase relationship between voltage and current
in the circuit elements; resistor, inductor and
capacitor.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

401

TOPICS

NOTES

(c) Series circuit containing
resistance, inductance and
capacitance

(d) Reactance and impedance

(e) Vector diagrams

(f) Resonance in an a.c. circuit

(g) Power in an a.c. circuit

Simple calculations involving a.c. circuit.
(Derivation of formulae is not required.)

XL and Xc should be treated. Simple numerical
problems may be set.

Applications in tuning of radio and T.V. should
be discussed.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

402

PART V

ATOMIC AND NUCELAR PHYSICS

TOPICS

NOTES

29. Structure of the atom

(a) Models of the atom

(b) Energy quantization

(c) Photoelectric effect

(d) Thermionic emission

(e) X-rays

30. Structure of the nucleus

(a) Composition of the nucleus

Thomson, Rutherford, Bohr and electron-cloud
(wave-mechanical) models should be discussed
qualitatively. Limitations of each model.
Quantization of angular momentum (Bohr)

Energy levels in the atom. Colour and light
frequency. Treatment should include the
following: Frank-Hertz experiment, Line spectra
from hot bodies, absorption spectra and spectra of
discharge lamps.

Explanation of photoelectric effect. Dual nature of
light. Work function and threshold frequency.
Einstein’s photoelectric equation and its
explanation. Applications in T.V., camera, etc.
Simple problems may be set.

Explanation and applications.

Production of X-rays and structure of X-ray tube.
Types, characteristics, properties, uses and hazards
of X-rays. Safety precautions.

Protons and neutrons. Nucleon number (A),
proton number (Z), neutron number (N) and the
equation: A=Z + N to be treated. Nuclides and
their notation. Isotopes.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

403

TOPICS

NOTES

(b) Radioactivity –
Natural and artificial

(c) Nuclear reactions –
Fusion and Fission

31. Wave-particle paradox

(a) Electron diffraction

(b) Duality of matter

Radioactive elements, radioactive emissions
(, , ) and their properties and uses. Detection
of radiations by G – M counter, photographic
plates, etc. should be mentioned. Radioactive
decay, half-life and decay constant.
Transformation of elements. Applications of
radioactivity in agriculture, medicine, industry,
archaeology, etc.

Distinction between fusion and fission. Binding
energy, mass defect and energy equation:

E = mc2

Nuclear reactors. Atomic bomb. Radiation
hazards and safety precautions. Peaceful uses of
nuclear reactions.

Simple illustration of the dual nature of light.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

404

SECTION B
(FOR CANDIDATES IN NIGERIA)

TOPICS

NOTES

1. Projectiles

Concept of projectiles as an
object thrown/released into space

2. Properties of waves:

Polarization

3. Electrical conduction through
liquids

4. Electrical conduction through
gases

5. Elastic properties of solids:

(a) Hooke’s law
(b) Young’s modulus
(c) Work done in springs and
elastic strings

6. Structure of matter

7. Surface tension

8. Wave-particle paradox

The uncertainty principle

Applications of projectiles in warfare, sports etc.
Simple problems involving range, maximum height
and time of flight may be set.

The mechanical analogue of polarization should be
demonstrated. Application of polarization in
polaroid.

Electrolytes and non-electrolytes: conduction of
charge carriers through electrolytes; voltameter,
electroplating, Faraday’s law of electrolysis –
Calibration of the ammeter.

Discharge through gases; hot cathode emission.
Application e.g. in neon signs, fluorescent tubes etc.

Qualitative treatment of Young’s modulus only.

Use of the kinetic theory of matter to explain
diffusion.

Definition and effects (capillarity, cohesion and
adhesion). Applications e.g. in umbrellas, canvas,
and in the use of grease and detergents

Explain the uncertainty principle in very general
terms with specific examples.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

405

SECTION C
(FOR CANDIDATES IN GHANA)

TOPICS

NOTES

1. Dimensions, measurements
and units

2. Engines

3. Heat capacity

4. Gases

5. Beats

6. Doppler effect

7. Electrical networks

8. Gravitational force

9. Magnetic fields

Dimensional analysis: Use in determining formulae and
units.

Internal combusion engines, jet engines and rockets.
Principles of operation of engines.

Use of cooling curve to determine the specific heat
capacity of a liquid and also to determine the melting
point of naphthalene.

Van der Waals’ equation for one mole of real gas.

Explanation of the phenomena of beats, beat frequency
uses of beats.

Explanation of Doppler effect of sound. Only qualitative
treatment required.

Kirchhoff’s laws. Application in electrical networks.
Potential divider.

Satellites – artificial and natural. Orbits of satellites
particularly geo-stationary orbits. Derivation of the
expression of the period of satellites.

Applications of magnetic force on a moving charged
particle e.g. in deflection of charged particles in a T.V.
and mass spectrometer.

Lorentz force in crossed electric and magnetic fields.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

406

TOPICS

NOTES

10. Electronics

(a) Solid state materials

(b) Semi-conductor devices

Distinction between conductors, semi-conductors and
insulators in terms of conductivity and modes of
conduction. Intrinsic conduction. Valence, conduction
and forbidden energy bands, and how they affect the
conductivity of materials.
Doping of semi-conductors, p – and n – type semi-
conductors. Majority and minority carriers.

I – V characteristic of p – n junction diode.
Rectification: half and full wave rectification.
Smoothing of rectified wave forms using capacitors.
Mode of operation of p-n-p and n-p-n transistors. Simple
single stage amplifier. Integrated circuits should be
mentioned.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

407

SECTION D
(FOR CANDIDATES IN SIERRA LEONE)

TOPICS

NOTES

1. Projectiles

Concept of projectiles as
an object thrown/
released into space.

2. Engines

3. Properties of wave:

Polarization

4. Beats

5. Electrical conduction
through liquids

6. Electrical conduction
through gases

7. Satellite –
Artificial and natural

8. Magnetic fields

Applications of projectiles in warfare, sports etc.
Simple problems involving range, maximum height
and time of flight may be set.

Internal combustion engines, jet engines and rockets.
Principle of operation of engines.

The mechanical analogue of polarization should be
demonstrated. Application of polarization in polaroid.

Explanation of phenomenon of beats, beat frequency.
Uses of beats.

Electrolytes and non-electrolytes: conduction of
charge carriers through electrolytes; voltammeter,
electroplating, Faraday’s law of electrolysis.
Calibration of the ammeter.

Discharge through gases; hot cathode emission.
Application e.g. in neon signs, fluorescent tubes etc.

Orbits of satellites particularly geo-stationery orbits.
Derivation of the expression for the period of orbit of
satellites required.

Applications of magnetic force on a moving charged
particle e.g. in deflection of charged particles in
cathode-ray rubes.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

408

TOPICS

NOTES

9. Elastic properties of solids:

(a) Hooke’s law

(b) Young’s modulus

(c) Work done in springs and
elastic strings

10. Structure of matter

11. Surface tension

12. Electronics

Qualitative treatment of Young’s modulus only.

Use of the kinetic theory of matter to explain
diffusion.

Definition and effects (capillarity, cohesion and adhesion).
Applications e.g. in umbrellas, canvas, and in the use of
grease and detergents.

Distinction between conductors, semi-conductors and
insulators in terms of conductivity and modes of
conduction. Semi-conductor diode: Brief and qualitative
treatment of the theory of p-type and n-type. The p-n
junction diode and its current/voltage characteristic. The
use of a diode as a rectifier.

WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SCHOOL CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION
PHYSICS

409

SECTION E
(F0R CANDIDATES IN THE GAMBIA)

TOPICS

NOTES

1. Projectiles

Concept of projectiles as an
object thrown/released into
space

2. Properties of waves:

Polarization

3. Electrical conduction through
liquids

4. Electrical conduction through
gases

5. Elastic properties of solids

6. Structure of matter

7. Surface tension

Applications of projectiles in warfare, sports etc. Simple
problems involving range, maximum height and time of
flight may be set.

The mechanical analogue of polarization should be
demonstrated. Application of polarization in polaroid.

Electrolytes and non-electrolytes: conduction of charge
carriers through electrolytes; voltameter, electroplating,
Faraday’s law of electrolysis – Calibration of the ammeter.

Discharge through gases; hot cathode emission.
Application e.g. in neon signs, fluorescent tubes etc.

Hooke’s law

Use of the kinetic theory of matter to explain diffusion.

Definition and effects. Application.

Download the Waec Syllabus Physics PDF

Other Waec Syllabus Here

 


2016 Waec Syllabus for Other Subjects Below

Hope you had fun going through the syllabus above. Here is the Waec syllabus for all other subjects


One Response

  1. Rapture January 16, 2016

Leave a Reply