Current WAEC Syllabus For Physics (+PDF)

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

In this library…

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

ALSO SEE: Full List Of WAEC Syllabus For All Subjects (with PDF)

Take note.

There will be three papers, Papers 1, 2 and 3, all of which must be taken. Papers 1 and 2 will be a composite paper to be taken at one sitting. 

  • PAPER 1: Will consist of fifty multiple choice questions lasting 1¼ hours and carrying 50 marks. 
  • PAPER 2: Will consist of two sections, Sections A and B lasting1½ hours and carrying 60 marks. 
    • Section A – Will comprise seven short-structured questions. Candidates will be required to answer any five questions for a total of 15 marks. 
    • Section B – Will comprise five essay questions out of which candidates will be required to answer any three for 45 marks.
  • PAPER 3: Will be a practical test for school candidates or an alternative to practical work paper for private candidates. Each version of the paper will comprise three questions out of which candidates will be required to answer any two in 2¾ hours for 50 marks.

Now to the syllabus…

WAEC Physics syllabus


1. Concepts of matter 

2. Fundamental and derived quantities and units 

  • (a) Fundamental quantities and units 
  •  (b) Derived quantities and units 

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.

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. Fluid at rest 

  • (a) Volume, density and relative density 
  • (b) Pressure in fluids 
  • (c) Equilibrium of bodies 
    • (i) Archimedes’ principle 
    • (ii) Law of flotation

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) Non-contact force (field force)
  • (e) Solid friction 
  • (f) Viscosity (friction in fluids) 
  • (g) Simple ideas of circular motion

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 / deceleration as increase / decrease in velocity with time. 
  • (b) Uniform / non-uniform acceleration 
  • (c) Velocity-time graph 
  • (d) Equations of motion with constant acceleration; Motion under gravity as a special case.

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)
  • (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

PART II – ENERGY: Mechanical and Heat

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.
  • (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 phase state 
    • (iii) Expansion 
    • (iv) Change of resistance 
  • (c) Thermal expansion – Linear, area and volume expansivities
  • (d) Heat transfer – Condition, convention 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
  • (h) Evaporation and boiling 
  • (i) Vapour and vapour pressure 
  • (j) Humidity, relative humidity and dew point 
  • (k) Humidity and the weather


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 and longitudinal 
  • (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
  • (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
  • (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
  • (g) Vibration in strings 
  • (h) Forced vibration 
    • (i) Resonance 
    • (ii) Harmonies and overtones 
  • (i) Vibration of air in pipe – open and closed pipes


23. Description 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
    • (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
    • (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 and magnetic materials. 
  • (b) Magnetization and demagnetization. 
  • (c) Concept of magnetic field 
  • (d) Magnetic force on: 
    • (i) a current-carrying conductor placed in a magnetic field; 
    • (ii) between two parallel current-carrying conductors 
  • (e) Use of electromagnets 
  • (f) The earth’s magnetic field 
  • (g) Magnetic force on a moving charged particle 

27. Electromagnetic field 

  • (a) Concept of electromagnetic field
  • (b) Electromagnetic induction 
    • Faraday’s law ,Lenz’s law and motor-generator effect 
  • (c) Inductance 
  • (d) Eddy currents 
  • (e) Power transmission and distribution 

28. Simple a.c. circuits 

  • (a) Graphical representation of e.m.f and current in an a.c. circult. 
  • (b) Peak and r..m.s. values
  • (c) Series circuit containing resistor, inductor and capacitor 
  • (d) Reactance and impedance 
  • (e) Vector diagrams 
  • (f) Resonance in an a.c, circuit 
  • (g) Power in an a.c. circuit.


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
  • (a) Radioactivity – Natural and artificial 
  • (b) Nuclear reactions – Fusion and Fission

31. Wave-particle paradox 

  • (a) Electron diffraction 
  • (b) Duality of matter

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