JAMB Syllabus for Literature In English 2022/2023

This JAMB Syllabus for Literature In English aims to prepare the candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

In this post, I will give you free access to all the JAMB syllabus for Literature in English (Area of Concentration). You will also see the new literature texts from 2021 -2025 which you need to read.

Scroll down to download the full and latest syllable.

General Objectives | JAMB Syllabus for Literature in English

The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus in Literature in 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:
  • stimulate and sustain their interest in Literature in English;
  • create an awareness of the general principles of Literature and functions of language;
  • appreciate literary works of all genres and across all cultures;
  • apply the knowledge of Literature in English to the analysis of social, political and economic events in the society.

Topic 1: Drama

a. Types:

  1. Tragedy
  2. Comedy
  3. Tragicomedy
  4. Melodrama
  5. Farce
  6. Opera etc.

b. Dramatic Techniques:

  1. Characterisation
  2. Dialogue
  3. Flashback
  4. Mime
  5. Costume
  6. Music/Dance
  7. Decor/scenery
  8. Acts/Scenes
  9. Soliloquy/aside
  10. Lighting etc.

c. Interpretation of the Prescribed Texts:

  1. Theme
  2. Plot
  3. Socio-political context
  4. Setting

Objectives

Candidates should be able to:

  1. identify the various types of drama;
  2. analyse the contents of the various types of drama;
  3. compare and contrast the features of different dramatic types;
  4. demonstrate adequate knowledge of dramatic techniques used in each prescribed text;
  5. differentiate between styles of selected playwrights;
  6. determine the theme of any prescribed text;
  7. identify the plot of the play;
  8. apply the lessons of the play to everyday living
  9. identify the spatial and temporal setting of the play.

Topic 2: Prose

a. Types:

  1. Fiction
    – Novel
    – Novella/Novelette
    – Short story
  2. Non-fiction
    – Biography
    – Autobiography
    – Memoir
  3. Faction: combination of fact and fiction

b. Narrative Techniques/Devices:

  1. Point of view
    – Omniscent/Third Person
    – First Person
  2. Characterisation
    – Round, flat, foil, hero, antihero, etc
  3. Language

c. Textual Analysis:

  1. Theme
  2. Plot
  3. Setting (Temporal/Spatial)
  4. Socio-political context

Objectives

Candidates should be able to:

  1. differentiate between types of prose;
  2. identify the category that each prescribed text belongs to;
  3. analyse the components of each type of prose;
  4. identify the narrative techniques used in each of the prescribed texts;
  5. determine an author’s narrative style;
  6. distinguish between one type of character from another;
  7. determine the thematic pre-occupation of the author of the prescribed text;
  8. indicate the plot of the novel; identify the temporal and spatial setting of the novel.
  9. identify the temporal and spatial setting of the novel
  10. relate the prescribed text to real life situations.

Topic 3: Poetry

a. Types:

  1. Sonnet
  2. Ode
  3. Lyrics
  4. Elegy
  5. Ballad
  6. Panegyric
  7. Epic
  8. Blank Verse, etc.

b. Poetic Devices:

  1. Structure
  2. Imagery
  3. Sound(Rhyme/Rhythm, repetition, pun, onomatopoeia, etc.)
  4. Diction
  5. Persona

c. Appreciation:

  1. Thematic preoccupation
  2. Socio-political relevance
  3. Style.

Objectives

Candidates should be able to:

  1. identify different types of poetry;
  2. compare and contrast the features of different poetic types:
  3. determine the devices used by various poets;
  4. show how poetic devices are used for aesthetic effect in each poem;
  5. deduce the poet’s preoccupation from the poem;
  6. appraise poetry as an art with moral values;
  7. apply the lessons from the poem to real life situations.

Topic 4: General Literary Principles

a. Literary Terms:

Foreshadowing, suspense, theatre, monologue, dialogue, soliloquy, symbolism, protagonist, antagonist, figures of speech, satire, stream of consciousness, synecdoche, metonymy, etc.
In addition to those listed above under the different genres.

b. Literary Principles:

  1. Direct imitation in play;
  2. Versification in drama and poetry;
  3. Narration of people’s experiences;
  4. Achievement of aesthetic value, etc.

c. Relationship Between Literary Terms and Principles:

Objectives

Candidates should be able to:

  1. identify literary terms in drama, prose and poetry;
  2. identify the general principles of Literature;
  3. differentiate between literary terms and principles;
  4. use literary terms appropriately.

Topic 5: Literary Appreciation

Unseen passages/extracts from Drama, Prose and Poetry.

Objectives

Candidates should be able to:

  1. determine literary devices used in a given passage/extract;
  2. provide a meaningful interpretation of the given passage/extract;
  3. relate the extract to true life experiences.

UTME Harmonized Prescribed Text Books (Literature in English) 2021 – 2025

African Prose

(1) Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta

(2) Unexpected Joy at Dawn by Alex Agyei-Agyiri (2018 edition)

Non-African Prose

(1) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

*WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

African Drama

(1) Let me Die Alone by John K. Kargbo

(2) The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka

Non-African Drama

(2) Fences by August Wilson

African Poetry

(1) “Black Woman” by Leopold Sedar Senghor

(2) “The Leader and the Led” by Niyi Osundare

(3) “The Grieved Lands” by Agostinho Neto

(4) “The Song of the Women of my Land” by Oumar Farouk Sesay

(5) “Raider of the Treasure Trove” by Lade Wosornu

(6) “A Government Driver on his Retirement” by Onu Chibuike

Non-African Poetry

(1) “The Good-Morrow” by John Donne

(2)  “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou

(3)  “The Journey of the Magi” by T. S. Eliot

(4)  “Do not Go Gentle into the Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

(5)  “Binsey Poplars (Felled 1879)” by G.M. Hopkins

(6)  “Bat” by David H. Lawrence

Check Out The Full Literature in English

Topics By Popularity

Given below is an average percentage of the number of questions set on different topics. This computer analysis was done from 17 years of past questions to come up with these rare statistics. This information should guide you on some of the topics you should give more attention to:

 Rank Topic % Number of Questions
1 PROSE AND POETRY. 42.12
2 DRAMA 19.78
3 GENERAL LITERARY PRINCIPLES: LITERARY TERMS 14.53
4 LITERARY APPRECIATION: UNSEEN PASSAGES/EXTRACTS FROM DRAMA 13.97
5 POETRY: POETIC DEVICES 2.57
6 DRAMA: DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES 2.57
7 GENERAL LITERARY PRINCIPLES: LITERARY PRINCIPLES 2.01
8 DRAMA: TYPES 1.23
9 GENERAL LITERARY PRINCIPLES: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LITERARY TERMS AND PRINCIPLES 0.56
10 POETRY: TYPES 0.45
11 NON AFRICAN: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE : OTHELLO 0.22

JAMB Recommended Textbooks for Literature 2022

1. Anthologies

  • Gbemisola, A. (2005)Naked Soles, Ibadan: Kraft
  • Hayward, J. (ed.) (1968) The Penguin Book of English Verse, London: Penguin
  • Johnson, R. et al (eds.) (1996) New Poetry from Africa, Ibadan: UP Plc
  • Kermode, F. et al (1964) Oxford Anthology of English Literature, Vol. II, London: OUP
  • Nwoga D. (ed.) (1967) West African Verse, London: Longman
  • Senanu, K. E. and Vincent, T. (eds.) (1993) A Selection of African Poetry, Lagos: Longman
  • Soyinka, W. (ed.) (1987) Poems of Black Africa, Ibadan: Heinemann

2. Critical Texts

  • Abrams, M. H. (1981) A Glossary of Literary Terms, (4th Edition) New York, Holt Rinehalt and Winston
  • Emeaba, O. E. (1982) A Dictionary of Literature, Aba: Inteks Press
  • Murphy, M. J. (1972) Understanding Unseen, An Introduction to English Poetry and English Novel for Overseas Students, George Allen and Unwin Ltd.

Download JAMB Syllabus for Literature in English

Tap on the link below to download the update Jamb Literature in English Syllabus. It is free.

Download JAMB literature syllable

How to use JAMB Syllabus

JAMB syllable contains all the topics your need to read for each subject. It contains only the topics approved by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board.

The best way to use it is to follow and read all the topics outlined there. If you cannot cover all, make sure you cover 60% of all the topics.

Follow this guideline and use your syllable effectively:

  • From the first part of the syllable, read at least five (5) topics
  • Read at least 5 topics from the middle part of the syllable
  • Also read the last 5 topics.
  • Finally, begin to read other topics you feel are easy for you.

Adopting the above trick simply means touching every part of your syllable and it will enhance your chances of scoring very high in your UTME examination.

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