English Language – Curriculum and Syllabus; Assessment Tests for SSCE (NECO and WASSCE)

This examination consists of three (3) papers. The mark for the three papers will be 180. The distribution of time/duration and marks for the papers is as follow:
Paper 1: – Continuous Writing, Comprehension and Summary – 1 hour 45 minutes – 100 marks
Paper 2: – Multiple Choice Questions (Vocabulary Development and Structure) – 1 hour – 50 Marks.
Paper 3: – Test of Orals – 45 minutes – 30 marks.

Paper 1
There will be sections A, B and C in this paper. Candidates are required to answer only ONE question from each section i.e. THREE questions in all.

Candidates are advised to spend about 45 minutes on this section.  Four questions will be given out of which candidates are required to answer only ONE: The minimum length of composition is about 450 words. The kinds of composition demanded are:
(a) narrative;
(b) description;.
(c) argumentation/debate;
(d) exposition;
(e) letter — formal, semi formal and informal;
(0 article;
(g) speech — for different occasions and
(h) purposes. technical and scientific writing; and
(i) creative writing;
Candidates will be assessed based on the following parameters:
(a) Content: (10 marks) – relevance of ideas to the topic and specified audience and topic;
(b) Organisation: (10 marks) – appropriate paragraphing, emphasis. arrangement of ideas and use of formal features (where applicable);
(c) Expression: (20 marks)-use of appropriate diction and sentence types; and
(d) Mechanical Accuracy: (10 marks) – use of appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Candidates are advised to spend about 30 minutes on this section. Only ONE passage of about three hundred (300) words in length will be given. The passage will be selected from a wide range of sources and will be written in modem English that is within the experience of candidates. Candidates are required to answer ALL questions set on the passage.

The questions will test candidates’ ability to:
(a) extract essential points and facts from the passage;
(b) name basic grammatical structures and explain their grammatical functions in contexts in which they appear;
(c) make required deductions from the passage;
(d) identify and explain literary terms and expressions used in the passage;
(e) distinguish between dictionary and contextual meanings; and
(I) find appropriate synonyms for selected words and phrases.

Candidates are advised to spend about thirty (30) minutes on this section. Only ONE prose passage of about five hundred (500) words in length will be given The questions set on it are compulsory and test candidates’ ability to:
(a) answer specific questions in given numbers of correct and complete sentences;
(b) extract facts, points and ideas from given passages; and
(c) recognize and avoid illustrations, trivialities, irrelevances and other extraneous materials.

PAPER 2 Objective
One hundred (100) multiple-choice items will be given in this paper and candidates are required to attempt all. Seventy (70) of the items will test candidates on their level of vocabulary development while the remaining thirty (30) will assess them on their competences in English grammar. Each item will have five (5) options lettered A—E from which candidates are required to choose the most appropriate one.

The first forty (40) items in this paper will be set on the following areas/aspects
(i) Antonym;
(ii) Collocation;
(iii) Idioms and idiomatic expressions;
(iv) Synonymy; and
(v) Foreign words in common English usage.

The last thirty (30) items in the paper are in cloze test form. The items test candidates’ ability in the use of general vocabulary associated with the following areas:
Home and family;
Fishing and Animal Husbandry;
Stock Exchange;
Human Internal Body System and Function;
Building and Building Construction
Cultures1 Institutions and Ceremonies;
Motor Vehicle and Travelling;
Government and Administrations;
Law and order; and
Science and Technology.

The thirty (30) items that will be set on this pail will test candidates’ mastery of structural patterns which include among others
(i) change of words to indicate number, tense, degree etc.
(ii) how related words combine to form groups and how these groups also
combine to form sentences,
(iii) use of structural elements like Nouns and Noun Phrases, Nominalization of adjectives and verbs, Pronouns, Prepositions, Determiners, Teases, Adjuncts, Conjunctions, Models, Adjectives, Verb Phrase, Question Tag, Reported Speech, Spelling, Modifiers and Affixes.

There will be sixty (60) compulsory multiple-choice items testing different aspects of Spoken English as contained in the Senior Secondary School Curriculum
The distribution of the items shall be as specified below:

Section 1 – Vowels/Diphthongs – 15 test items
Section 2 – Consonant – 15 test items
Section 3 – Rhyme – 5 test items
Section 4 – Word Stress – 5 test items
Section 5 – Contractive Test – 5 test items
Section 6 – Sentence Stress – 5 test items
Section 7 – Phonetic Symbols – 10 test items

Total – 60 test items


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