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NABTEB Biology Syllabus

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About NABTEB Biology Syllabus

Dear NABTEB candidate writing Biology in their exams, you should see this. In this article, you’ll learn about every resource that’ll help me prepare and succeed in your upcoming NABTEB examination.

If you have been confused about what areas to focus on for your exams, then you are in the right place as this article shows you the full list of topics to read for your exams to help you prepare better.

No need to be scared of your exams anymore, go through this syllabus, read what is expected of you, and practice daily.



The aims of the syllabus are to: 

a. Ensure that candidates acquire meaningful and relevant knowledge in Biology; 

b. Develop reasonable and functional scientific attitudes in the candidates; 

c. Develop adequate laboratory and field skills such as observation, precision, classification, and interpretation of biological data; 

d. Prepare candidates for professional training in biological sciences; 

e. Create an awareness in the candidates of the application of science principles in everyday life on matters that affect personal, environmental, community health, and socio-economic spheres of life. 

Marking Guide

This exam will comprise of two papers; 

Paper 1 (Objective and Essay) and Paper 2 (Practical), both of which must be taken and will have a total of 200 marks.  

PAPER I (Objective and Essay): This paper consists of two sections: A and B. Section A will consist of fifty (50) multiple-choice objective questions, for 50 minutes. It carries 50 marks. 

Section B will contain six (6) essay questions drawn from the four sections of the syllabus. 

Candidates will be expected to answer four questions in 1 ½ hours and the total score is 50 marks.  

PAPER II (Test of Practical) 

This paper will have two sections A and B and will last for 2 hours.  

Section A: will contain 15 short structured questions based on Biological Principles and Practicals. Candidates are to spend 30 minutes and it carries 30 marks. 

Section B: This section will consist of 4 practical questions. Candidates are expected to spend 1 ½ hours and it carries 70 marks.  

Note: Test of the Practical paper will be conducted as an alternative paper to real practical for private candidates during the November/December series. It will consist of two sections: A and B and will last for 2 hours for a total of 100 marks. 

Biology Syllabus for NABTEB Exams

1CONCEPT OF BIOLOGYi. Explain Biology as a science
2THE SCOPE OF BIOLOGYi. Explain the scope of Biology

ii. Explain the inter- relationship of various branches of Biology.
3GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING & NON-LIVING THINGSi. Explain the general concept of living and non-living things
4PLANTS & ANIMALSi. Explain the differences between plants and animals.
5DIVERSITY AMONG LIVING THINGSi. Classify plants and animals
6MICROSCOPEi. Identify the parts of a microscope.

ii. State its functions and maintenance
7CELLS AS BASIC UNITS OF LIVING THINGSi. Outline the differences between plants and animals cells.
i. Explain levels of organization and complexity of organization in higher organisms.
I. Explain the physical and biophysical processes in cell.
10PROPERTIES & FUNCTIONS OF THE LIVING CELLi. Explain Nutrition in living cells.

ii. Explain cellular respiration

iii. Explain excretion in living cells.

iv. Explain growth in living cells.

v. Explain reproduction in living cells.
i. Explain the external and internal features of dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants.

ii. Explain reproduction in plants.

iii. Explain transpiration and mineral requirements in plants.

iv. Explain the importance of photosynthesis and respiration in plants

v. Explain tropism in plants
12SOIL SCIENCEi. Explain the constituents, structure and characteristics of soil.

ii. Explain the various methods of soil and water conservation and improvement
i. Explain the external features and characteristics of invertebrate animals
14VERTEBRATAi. Explain the external features and characteristics of vertebrate animals
15SUPPORTING SYSTEMS IN ANIMALSi. Explain the different types of skeletons and supporting systems in animals
16BONES OF THE SKELETONi. Explain the different types of bones that make up the mammalian skeleton
17TYPES OF JOINTS IN ANIMALSi. Describe the types of joints in mammals, their locations and functions
18ANIMAL NUTRITIONi. Identify the mode of feeding in animals and explain the digestive system in man.
19MAMMALIAN DENTITIONi. Explain the structure of mammalian teeth, types, functions and diseases.
20CIRCULATORY SYSTEMS IN MAMMALSi. Explain circulatory system in mammals.

ii. Describe the mechanism of blood clothing and first-aid treatment
21RESPIRATION IN MAMMALSi. Explain the process of respiration and the respiratory organs in mammals
22EXCRETION IN MAMMALSi. Explain the different excretory organs and excretory products of mammals
i. Explain the component of the central and peripheral nervous system in mammals
i. Explain the basic terms used in genetics, the Mendelian laws of inheritance and the applications of genetics
25BASIC ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMSi. Explain the ecosystem, ecological factors, and its measurement.

ii. Explain marine habitat.

iii. Explain food webs and trophic levels.

iv. Explain energy transformation in nature and ecological management

v. Explain the various diseases of man and the causative agents

vi. Relevance of Biology to Agriculture.

vii. Variation & variability

viii. Evolution

Recommended NABTEB Biology Textbooks

1. Ndu, F.O. C. Ndu, Abun A. and Aina J.O. (2001) Senior Secondary School Biology: Books 1 -3, Lagos: Longman.

2. Odunfa, S.A. (2001) Essential of Biology, Ibadan: Heinemann.

3. Ogunniyi M.B. Adebisi A.A. and Okojie J.A. (2000) Biology for Senior Secondary Schools: Books 1 – 3, Macmillan.

4. Ramalingam, S.T. (2005) Modern Biology, SS Science Series. New Edition, AFP

5. (Stan2004) Biology for Senior Secondary Schools. Revised Edition, Ibadan: Heinemann

6. Stone R.H. and Cozens, A.B.C. (1982) Biology for West African Schools. Longman

7. Usua, E.J. (1997) Handbook of practical Biology 2nd Edition, University Press, Limited


How many questions will I answer in the NABTEB Biology exam?

The NABTEB Biology exam is divided into 2 papers. Paper 1 is divided into 2 sections which will comprise 50 objective questions and 6 essay questions for you to answer 4.

In paper 2, you will be asked to answer 15 short structured questions and 4 practical questions.

Does NABTEB punish candidates for examination malpractice?

Yes, if any candidate is caught cheating in the exam he or she will be punished for examination malpractice and it could lead to the body canceling or withholding the result.

How does NABTEB set its questions?

Depending on the subject, the questions are usually divided into 2 or 3 parts: Objective, Theory, and/or Practical. Just like your school examination where you are expected to write objectives, theory, and practicals in some subjects.

What is the required grade to get admitted into any University?

You must have at least credits in your five (5) core subjects to gain admission into any university including Mathematics and English Language.

How can a candidate collect his/her certificate?

Candidates can get their certificates from the centres where they wrote their exams or NABTEB headquarters.

In cases where the centres are no longer functional, you can get your results from the zonal office close to that centre.

What should I do on the day of the exam to perform well?

Stay calm and pay attention to the instructions. Do not panic whenever you see a question you don’t know. When you get confused about a question, raise your hand and ask the invigilator for clarification.

Can I use my NABTEB results to study abroad?

Yes, some schools abroad accept NABTEB results in place of WAEC but it all depends on the school and program you are applying for.


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