Below is this year’s Waec Syllabus for Physics.

Note that this syllabus is for both Internal and external candidates.

WAEC Syllabus


This WAEC syllabus for Physics evolved from the Senior Secondary School teaching syllabus and is intended to indicate the scope of the course for the 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, and Electronics are considered. Each concept forms a part on which other sub-concepts are further based.
Download Waec Syllabus for Physics PDF here


The aims of the WAEC syllabus for Physics are to:
  • (1) acquire a proper understanding of the basic principles and applications of Physics;
  • (2) develop scientific skills and attitudes as pre-requisites for further scientific activities;
  • (3) recognize 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.


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.

(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.

Examination Type

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 to read 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 in this paper will have two Parts: A and B.

1. Part A

Part A will be an experiment for 21 marks. Candidates will be required to state the precautions taken during the experiments and the reasons for such precautions.

2. Part B

(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

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

Section B will last for 1½ hours and will comprise 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.


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 also their capability to handle 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.
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 actually observed readings systematically on the answer sheet. The experiments may require a repetition of readings and an exhibition of results graphically and their interpretation.


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.

1. Concepts of matter


  • The 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, and capillarity.
  • Crystalline and amorphous substances are to be compared (Arrangement of atoms in crystalline structure not required.)

2. Fundamental and derived quantities and units

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


  • 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.

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


  • The position of objects in space using the X, Y, and 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 the unit of distance.
  • Use of a compass and a protractor.
  • Graphical location and directions by axes to be stressed.

4. Mass and weight Distinction between mass and weight


  • Use of lever balance and chemical/beam balance to measure mass and spring balance to measure weight.
  • Kilogram (kg) as the unit of mass and newton (N) as the unit of weight

5. Time

(a) Concept of time as an interval between physical events
(b) Measurement of time


  • The use of heart-beat, sand-clock, ticker-timer, pendulum and stopwatch/clock.
  • Seconds (s) as units 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


  • Experimental determination for solids and liquids.
  • Concept and definition of pressure.
  • Pascal’s principle, application of the principle to the 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 hydrometers, balloons, boats, ships, submarines etc.

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.
  • Illustrations should be given for the various types of motion.
  • Numerical problems on co-linear motion may be set.
  • Force as the 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. A 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.

8. Speed and velocity

  • (a) Concept of speed as the change of distance with time
  • (b) Concept of velocity as the change of displacement with time
  • (c) Uniform/non-uniform speed/velocity
  • (d) Distance/displacement-time graph


  • Metre per second (ms-1) as the 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.

9. Rectilinear acceleration

  • (a) Concept of acceleration as the change of velocity with time.
  • (b) Uniform/non-uniform acceleration
  • (c) Velocity-time graph,
  • (d) Equations of motion with constant acceleration;
    • (i) Gravitational acceleration as a special case.
    • (ii) show the difference between angular speed and velocity.
    • (iii) show centripetal force. The banking of roads in reducing sideways friction should be qualitatively discussed.


  • Unit of acceleration as ms-2.
  • A 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.

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.


  • Mass, distance, speed and time as examples of scalars.
  • Weight, displacement, velocity, and acceleration as examples of vectors.

11. Equilibrium of forces

  • (a) Principle of moments
  • (b) Conditions for the equilibrium of rigid bodies under the action of parallel and non-parallel forces.
  • (c) Centre of gravity and stability


  • 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.

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


  • Use of a loaded test tube oscillating vertically in a liquid, simple pendulum, spiral spring and bifilar suspension to demonstrate simple harmonic motion.
  • Relate linear and angular speeds and linear and angular accelerations.
  • Experimental determination of ‘g’ with the simple pendulum and helical spring.
  • The theory of the principles should be treated, but a 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, bifilar suspension and loaded test tube is not required.

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


  • The 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.

14. ENERGY: Mechanical and Heat

  • (a) Forms of energy
  • (b) World energy resources
  • (c) Conservation of 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.

15. Work, Energy and Power

  • (a) Concept of work as a measure of energy transfer
  • (b) Concept of energy as the 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 the time rate of doing work.
  • (g) Application of mechanical energy – machines. Levers, pulleys, inclined plane, wedge, screw, wheel and axle, gears.


  1. Unit of work as the joule (J)
  2. Unit of energy as the joule (J), while the unit of electrical consumption is kWh.
  3. Work done in lifting a body and by falling bodies.
  4. The derivations of P.E. and K.E. are expected to be known.
  5. Identification of types of energy possessed by a body under given conditions.
  6. Verification of the principle
  7. 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.
  8. Effects of friction on machines. Reduction of friction in machines.

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 expansiveness, Unit of power as the watt (W).
  • (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.
  • (h) Evaporation and boiling
  • (i) Vapour and vapour pressure
  • (j) Humidity, relative humidity and dew point
  • (k) Humidity and the weather


1. Under Temperature and Heat
  • Concept of temperature as a 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: 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.
2. Under Thermal Expansion and Heat Transfer
  • Use of the Kinetic theory to explain the effects of heat
  • Qualitative and quantitative treatment.
  • Consequences and applications of expansions.
  • Expansion in buildings and bridges, bimetallic strips, thermostats, and over-head cables causing sagging and in railway lines causing buckling.
  • Real and apparent expansion of liquids. Anomalous expansion of water.
  • Use of the kinetic theory to explain the modes of heat transfer.
  • Simple experimental illustrations.
  • Treatment should include an explanation of land and sea breezes, ventilation and applications in cooling devices.
  • The vacuum flask.
  • The laws should be verified using simple apparatus.
3. Under Gas Laws
  • Use of the kinetic theory to explain the laws. Simple problems may be set.
4. Under Heat Capacity and Latent Heat
  1. Use of the method of mixtures and the electrical method to determine the specific heat capacities of solids and liquids.
  2. Land and sea breezes related to the specific heat capacity of water and land. Jkg-1 K-1 as unit of specific heat capacity.
  3. Explanation and types of latent heat.
  4. 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.
  5. Application in pressure cooker.
  6. 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.
  7. Jkg-1 as the unit of specific latent heat.
5. Under Vapour Pressure , Humidity, Dew Point
  1. Effect of temperature, humidity, surface area and draught on evaporation to be discussed.
  2. Explanation of vapour and vapour pressure.
  3. Demonstration of vapour pressure using simple experiments.
  4. Saturated vapour pressure and its relation to boiling.
  5. Measurement of dew point and relative humidity. Estimation of humidity of the atmosphere using a wet and dry-bulb hygrometer.
  6. Formation of dew, fog and rain.

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)


  • 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 the unit of frequency.
  • Description and graphical representation.
  • Amplitude, wavelength, frequency and period.
  • Sound and light as wave phenomena.
  • Simple problems may be set.

18. Types of waves

  • (a) Transverse, longitudinal and stationary waves
  • (b) Mathematical representation of wave motion.


  • Examples to be given.
  • Equation y = A sin (wt+ 2  x) to be explained
  • Questions on phase difference will not be set.

19. Properties of waves:

  • Reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, superposition of progressive waves producing standing/stationary waves.


  • 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.

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.


  • 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 and magnification m to solve u v f u
  • Numerical problems (Derivation of formulae is not required)
  • Experimental determination of the focal length of a concave mirror.
  • Applications in searchlights, 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
  • Applications: periscope, prism binoculars, optical fibres.
  • The Mirage.
  • Formation of images. Use of lens formulae and magnification v to solve u v f u numerical problems.

21. Electromagnetic waves:

  • Types of radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum


  • 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 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, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.

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


  • Experiment to show that a material medium is required.
  • Dependence of the velocity of sound on temperature and pressure.
  • 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
  • The use of a 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 in solving simple numerical problems.
  • Applications in stringed instruments, e.g., guitar, piano, harp, violin etc.
  • Use of resonance boxes and a 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.
  • Applications in wind instruments, e.g., organ, flute, trumpet, horn, clarinet, saxophone, etc.

23. Description and property of fields.

  • (a) Concept of fields: Gravitational, electric and magnetic
  • (b) Properties of a force field


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

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.


  • Relationship between ‘G’ and ‘g.’
  • Calculation of the escape velocity of a rocket from the earth’s gravitational field.
  • g as gravitational field intensity should be mentioned, g = F/m.
  • Masses include protons, electrons and planets.
  • Universal gravitational constant (G).

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
  •  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.

(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.


  • Permitivity 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 a 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-cadmium cell.
  • E.m.f. of a cell, the volt (V) as a 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.

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.
  • (b) Electromagnetic induction Faraday’s law, Lenz’s law and motor-generator effect
  • (c) Inductance
  • (d) Eddy current
  • (e) Power transmission and distribution


  • Use in conversion of a galvanometer into an ammeter or a voltmeter.
  • Factors affecting the electrical resistance of a material.
  • 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).

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.
  • (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


  • The principles underlying the production of direct and alternating currents.
  • Equation E = Eo sinw.
  • Explanation of inductance. Henry as the unit of inductance.
  • Energy stored in an inductor (E = 21 LI2)
  • Application in radio, T.V., transformer.
  • A method of reducing eddy current losses should be treated. Applications in induction furnaces, speedometers, 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.
  • Simple calculations involving a.c. circuit.
  • XL and Xc should be treated. Simple numerical problems may be set. Applications in tuning of radio and T.V. should be discussed.

29. Atomic and Nuclear Physics

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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nuclides and their notation.
  • Isotopes.

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.
  • Radioactive decay, half-life and decay constant.
  • Transformation of elements.
  • Applications of radioactivity in agriculture, medicine, industry, archaeology, etc.

That is the Waec Syllabus for Physics.

Check out for more details.


See the following related subjects…


Further Mathematics

Radio, Television and Electronics Works



Computer Science





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