Jamb Syllabus and Hot Topics for Use of English | Jamb 2020

The purpose of the 2020 JAMB Syllabus for Use of English is to prepare the candidates for the forthcoming Jamb examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, below is the English Language syllabus for jamb.


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  1. Comprehension/Summary

Objectives: Candidates should be able to:
i. identify main points/topic sentences in passages;
ii. determine implied meaning;
iii. identify the grammatical functions of words, phrases, clauses and figurative/idiomatic expressions;
iv. deduce or infer the writer’s intentions including mood, attitude to the subject matter and opinion.

Topics: the topics to study include

(a) description
(b) narration
(c) exposition
(d) argumentation/persuasion
(i) Each of the three passages to be set (one will be a close test) should reflect various disciplines and be about 200 words long.
(ii) Questions on the passages will test the following:
(a) Comprehension of the whole or part of each passage.
(b) Comprehension of words, phrases, clauses, sentences, figures of speech and idioms as used in the passages.
(c) Coherence and logical reasoning (deductions, inferences, etc).
(d) Novels to be Read:
(i.) UTME Candidates: “Sweet Sixteen” by Bolaji Abdullahi
(ii.) DE Candidates: The Last Days at Forcados High School, A. H. Mohammed.
(e) Synthesis of ideas from the passages.


  1. Lexis and Structure


Candidates should be able to:
i. identify words and expressions in their ordinary, figurative and idiomatic contexts;
ii. determine similar and opposite meaning of words;
iii. differentiate between correct and incorrect punctuation and spelling;
iv. identify various grammatical patterns in use;
v. interpret information conveyed in sentences.

Topics: the topics to study include

(a) synonyms
(b) antonyms
(c) homonyms
(d) clause and sentence patterns
(e) word classes and their functions
(f) mood, tense, aspect, number, agreement/concord, degree (positive, comparative and superlative) and question tags
(g) punctuation and spelling
(h) ordinary usage, figurative usage and idiomatic usage are to be tested.

  1. Phonetics


Candidates should be able to:

  1. make distinctions between vowel types;
  2. differentiate between consonant types;

iii. identify correct accentuation in individual words and connected speech.



(a) Vowels (monophthongs and diphthongs)
(b) Consonants (including clusters)
(c) Rhymes (including homophones)
(d) Word stress (monosyllabic and polysyllabic)
(e) Intonation (words emphatic stress)

In conclusion, work with these hot topics and be rest assured of a good score in your Jamb Use of English.


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