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NABTEB Literature-in-English Syllabus

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Writing Literature-in-English in NABTEB Exams

If you are seeing this, it means you are one of the NABTEB Literature-in-English candidates. You are welcome.

This article is here to provide you with information on the upcoming NABTEB Literature-in-English exams. Information like the list of topics you should read for the first exams, the recommended textbooks and answers to some questions you may have about the exam so make sure you read to the end, study this syllabus daily and answer past questions.

With this valuable material, you will be one step ahead of your tutors and your peers and score high so you don’t have to be scared of failure or re-write your exams.

Goodluck in your exams.

 

Marking Guide

There are 3 papers in the NABTEB Literature-in-English examination.

PAPER I – 

will comprise fifty objective questions based on:  

i. General literary principles 

ii. Literary Appreciation and Techniques 

iii. Contextual questions on African and non-Africa drama set books. 

iv. Unseen Prose and Poetry Passages. 

PAPER 2: DRAMA AND POETRY 

Will have four sections: A, B, C, and D

SECTION A: AFRICAN DRAMA 

Questions will be asked in one of the following texts: 

i. Wole Soyinka: The Trials of Brother Jero 

ii. Athol Fugard: Sizwe Bambi is Dead   

SECTION B: NON-AFRICAN DRAMA: 

Questions will be asked on one of the following texts:

i. Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice 

ii. George B. Shaw: The Taming of the Shrew. 

SECTION C: AFRICAN POETRY 

Questions will be asked on one of the following texts:

i. Traditional: “My Song Bursts” 

ii. Traditional: Salute to the Elephant 

iii. Oswald Mitshali: “Nightfall in Soweto” 

iv. Henry Barlow: “Building the Nation.” 

v. David Rubadiri: “ An African Thunderstorm” 

vi. Niyi Osundare: “Ours to Plough not to Plunder”   

SECTION D: NON-AFRICAN POETRY 

Questions will be asked from one of the following texts:

i. John Kent: “Ode to Nightingale” 

ii. Robert Burns: “Red Red Rose”

iii. John Donne: “ Death be not Proud” 

iv. T.S. Eliot: “Journey of the Magi” 

v. William Blake: “A Poison Tree” 

vi. Alfred Tennyson: “Ulysses”. 

PAPER 3 – PROSE 

SECTION A: AFRICAN PROSE 

Questions will be asked from one of the following texts:

i. Buchi Emecheta: Slave Wife 

ii. Ngugiwa Thiong: Weep Not Child   

SECTION B: NON-AFRICAN PROSE 

Questions will be asked from one of the following texts:

i. Charles Dickens:

A Christmas Carol 

ii. Sir Rider Haggard: King Solomon’s Mines 

Literature-in-English Syllabus for NABTEB Exams

  
  
 NABTEB LITERATURE-IN-ENGLISH SYLLABUS
SNTOPICSOBJECTIVES
1COMPREHENSIONi. Identify new words and expressions from any given test

ii. Read and answer questions on a given literary material.
2LITERARY APPRECIATION
i. Appreciate figurative expressions, imagery and style in literary texts.

ii. Identify qualities of a good text.
3LITERATURE
i. To identify different types of literary genres.

ii. To identify elements of prose literature.

iii. To identify elements of drama

iv. Identify figures of speech and literary styles in any given literary piece
4APPRECIATIONi. Write own simple literary pieces
   

Recommended NABTEB Textbooks for Literature-in-English

1. A Section of African Poetry introduced and annotated by K.E. Sehanu and T. Vincent (Longman)).  

2. The Penguin Book of English Verse, edited by John Hayward (Penguin).  

3. Any poetry Anthology containing the recommended poems.  

4. Eustace Palmer: An Introduction to the African Novel (HEB).   

5. E.N. Obiechina – Culture, Tradition, and Society in the West African Novel (Cambridge).  

6. Boris Ford – The Pelican Guide to English Literature: (7 volumes).  

7. Niyi Osundare: The Eye of the Earth (Poems) Heinemann Frontline Series Heinemann Educational Books Nigeria Limited. Ibadan 1986.  

8. Ben Omonode: Introduction to Literature; University of Benin Press, Benin City. 

Frequently Asked Questions About NABTEB Literature-in-English Exam

What is the format of the Literature-in-English exam, and how many sections are there?

The NABTEB Literature-in-English exam typically consists of three sections: the objective section, the drama/poetry section, and the prose section. The objective section contains multiple-choice questions, while the drama, poetry, and prose sections require longer, written responses.

Are there any specific literary terms or figures of speech that I should be familiar with for the exam?

You should be familiar with literary terms like imagery, symbolism, metaphor, simile, irony, theme, plot, characterization, setting, and point of view. Understanding these terms will help you analyze and interpret literary texts effectively.

What strategies can I use to effectively answer questions on themes and characterization in novels, plays, or poems?

Start with a clear point. Next, support it with evidence from the text, and finally provide explanations and analysis to support your argument. 

What should I do if I encounter unfamiliar literary works or references in the exam?

You can’t meet any unfamiliar literary work as long as you have gone through your syllabus.

Can you provide tips for revising and reviewing literature texts and concepts before the exam day?

Create a study schedule to revise literature texts, study your syllabus daily, and practice past exam questions and essay writing.

What happens if I don't understand a question?

If you’re unsure about a question, skip it and move on to other questions you understand and can answer. Then come back to those you don’t understand.. Don’t spend a lot of time on a question you don’t understand. It’s better to focus on questions that you are confident about.

Can I use a dictionary or other aids during the NABTEB Literature-in-English exam?

No. Candidates are not allowed to use dictionaries or other aids during the English NABTEB exam.

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