Current WAEC Syllabus For History (+PDF)

Would you like to know the topics in the syllabus where all your WAEC History questions will come from?

In this library…

You will see and download your current WAEC syllabus for History theory and objective examination in SSCE and GCE this year.

ALSO SEE: WAEC Syllabus For All Other Subjects In SSCE and GCE

Take note.

There will be two History papers – Paper 1 and Paper 2, both of which must be taken. The papers will be composite and will be taken at one sitting. 

PAPER 1: This will be a multiple-choice objective test of fifty items. Candidates will be required to answer all the questions in 1 hour for 40 marks. 

PAPER 2: This will be a 2 hour essay type test containing sets of questions on the histories of member counties. Each set shall be made up of three sections, Sections A, B and C. 

Now to the syllabus…

WAEC History syllabus

The PDF version of this WAEC syllabus for History is available for your free download at the bottom of this library.


1. Historiography and Historical Skills 

  • What is History and why do we study History? 
  • Sources of History; 
  • Historical skills (ancient and modern approaches); 
  • Prospect of ICT in historical studies. 

2. Trans – Saharan Trade 

  • Origin, organization and the effects on the development of West African states. 

3. Islam in West Africa 

  • Introduction, spread and effects. 

4. European Contact with West Africa 

  • Reasons for their coming, 
  • immediate effects and 
  • West African reaction 

5. Trans-Atlantic slave trade 

  • Origin, organization, effects and suppression. 

6. Christian Missionary Activities in West Africa 

  • The suppression of slave trade. 
  • Christian Missionary activities and their impact on West Africa.

7. The Scramble for and Partition of West Africa 

  • The Industrial Revolution, 
  • Scramble for colonies, 
  • Colonial subjugation, 
  • Occupation and West African reaction. 

8. Colonial Rule in West Africa

  • Patterns of colonial rule, 
  • consolidation of European culture in Africa, 
  • colonial economy and the underdevelopment of Africa: 
  • colonial Africa and the two World Wars. 

9. Problems of independent West African States 

  • Nature of politics: neo-colonialism and economic underdevelopment, 
  • unequal development within states and instability, 
  • the Military in West African politics, 
  • boundary disputes and threat to West African Unity. 

10. West Africa and international organizations 

  • (i) United Nations Organization (U.N.O.) / United Nations (U.N); 
  • (ii) Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) / African Union (A.U.); 
  • (iii) Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Etc. 
    • Membership, aims and objectives, achievements and failures.


1. Historiography and historical skills 

  • What is History and why we study History; 
  • sources of History; 
  • Historical skills (ancient and modern approaches); 
  • Prospect of ICT in Historical Studies.

2. Land and peoples of Nigeria

  • Main geographical zones in Nigeria: 
  • impact of the environment on human activities e.g. hunting, fishing, farming, etc. 

3. Centers of ancient civilization

  • Nok, 
  • Ife, 
  • Igbo Ukwu, 
  • Benin. 

4. (a) Centralized and non-centralized states

  • (i) Kanem and Borno; 
  • (ii) Hausa; 
  • (iii) Nupe; 
  • (iv) Oyo; 
  • (v) Benin; 
  • (vi) Igbo; 
  • (vii) Efik; 
  • (viii) Tiv. 

(b) Inter-group relations: economic activities, intermarriages, bilingualism, etc. 

(c) Impact of migrations; wars and politics on inter- group relations. 

5. Indigenous crafts and industries

  • Pottery, 
  • salt making, 
  • iron working, 
  • gold mining, 
  • soap making, 
  • leather works, 
  • weaving, 
  • carving, 
  • bronze casting, 
  • tie and dyeing, 
  • bead making, 
  • boat building
  • technology; social and economic importance. 

6. External Influences 

  • (a) Contact with North Africa: trans-Saharan trade, Islam(Borno and Hausaland) and impact 
  • (b) Early European contact with coastal states; trade, Christianity and impact 

7. Nigeria and the trans-Atlantic slave trade

  • Origin, organization and effects


8. The Sokoto Caliphate: 

  • Establishment, administration, relations with its neighbours and impact of the Sokoto jihad on Nigeria.

9. Borno under the Shehus

  • The emergence of El-Kanemi, 
  • developments under El-Kanemi and Shehu Umar, 
  • development under the later Shehus, 
  • the fall of Borno. 

10. Christian Missionary Activities

  • activities, impact.

11. Yorubaland in the 19th century Era of Ibadan dominance

  • increased British pressure on Yorubaland; 

12. Benin in the 19th century

13. The first phase of the British conquest of Nigeria: 1851-1900 


14. The second phase of the British conquest in Nigeria 1900- 1960 

  • a. The early phase 1900-1914: the amalgamation of 1914 and its significance 
  • b. Later phase 1914-1960 
    • (i) central administration; 
    • (ii) indirect rule; 
    • (iii) the colonial economy; 
    • (iv) social developments. 

15. The decolonization process in Nigeria, 1922-1960 

  • Origin of nationalism, 
  • nationalist movements after the Second World War, 
  • the road to and the attainment of independence. 

16. Nigeria since independence 

  • a. the First Republic, 1960-1966; 
  • b. the coups d’etat, military rule, civil war and reconstruction, 1966-1975; 
  • c. the military administration – Murtala / Obasanjo regime of 1975-1979; 
  • d. the Second Republic, 1979-1983; 
  • e. the return of military rule – Buhari / Idiagbon regime, 1983-1984 
  • f. The Ibrahim Babangida regime, 1985-1993 
  • g. Interim national government and Abacha regime, 1993-1998; 
  • h. Transition to fourth republic and Olusegun Obasanjo administration; 
  • i. Emerging issues up to 2000: poverty, corruption, youth unemployment, religious crisis, terrorism, etc.

17. Nigeria and the 

  • a. United Nations Organization (U.N.O.) / United Nations (U.N); 
  • b. Commonwealth of Nations; 
  • c. Organization of Unity (O.A.U) / African Union (A.U.); 
  • d. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); 
  • e. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). 

18. Global issues 

  • West Africa in Diaspora; 
    • Racism, Debt relief and International aids; 
  • Peacekeeping and socio-political interest of developed societies; 
  • World peace (armament, nuclear science); 
  • Millennium Development Goals (MDGS).

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