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NECO Biology Syllabus

Are you writing Biology in your NECO O’level exams? Download the recommended Biology syllabus to excel in your exams.

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About NECO Biology Syllabus

Hey there! Let me tell you about the NECO Biology syllabus. It is one resource material you need to pass your NECO Biology exams with flying colours.

If you are planning to take the NECO Biology exam, this syllabus should be your guide. It’s especially important if you’re interested in any science-related careers.

“Why is this important?”; you may ask. Well, with this syllabus, you have the full list of topics where your exams are likely to come from. You also see the recommended textbooks that will help you understand these topics better.

With this syllabus, you’ll be ready for both your theoretical and practical Biology exams. 

This syllabus is designed to assess your:
i. Understanding of the structure and functions of living organisms as well as appreciation of nature; 

ii. Knowledge of adequate laboratory and field skills needed to carry out and evaluate experiments and projects in Biology; 

iii. Knowledge of basic scientific skills for example observing, classifying and interpreting biological data;

iv. Knowledge of the basic relevant knowledge in Biology needed for future advanced studies in biological sciences; 

v. Knowledge of scientific attitudes for problem-solving; 

vi. Ability to apply biological principles in everyday life in matters that affect personal, social, environmental, community health and economic problems; 

vii. Awareness of the existence of interrelationships between biology and other scientific disciplines.

Marking Guide & Sections

There will be three papers: Papers 1, 2 and 3, all of which must be taken. Papers 1 and 2 will be taken in one sitting. 

PAPER 1: 

This will consist of fifty multiple-choice objective questions drawn from Section A of the syllabus (the section of the syllabus which is common to all countries). It will carry 50 marks and last for 50 minutes.

PAPER 2: 

Will consist of six essay questions drawn from the entire syllabus. The paper will be put into three sections, Sections A, B and C.   

Section A: This will consist of four questions drawn from Section A of the syllabus. 

Section B: This will be for candidates in Ghana only and will be drawn from Section B of the syllabus (i.e. the section of the syllabus peculiar to Ghana). It will consist of short-structured questions.

Section C: Will be for candidates in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Liberia and will be drawn from Section C of the syllabus (i.e. the section of the syllabus containing material for those countries only). It will also consist of short-structured questions. 

Candidates will be expected to answer two questions from Section A and all the short-structured questions from either Section B or Section C. Each question in Section A will carry 20 marks while the compulsory short-structured questions in Sections B and C will carry 30 marks. 

The total score will be 70 marks. The paper shall take 1 hour 40 minutes.

PAPER 3: 

This will be a practical test (for school candidates) or a test of practical work (for private candidates) lasting 2 hours and consisting of three sections: Sections A, B and C. 

Section A: This will consist of two compulsory questions drawn from Section A of the syllabus, each carrying 25 marks. 

Section B: This will be for candidates in Ghana only. It will consist of one question drawn from Section B of the syllabus and will carry 30 marks.

Section C: This will be for candidates in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Liberia. It will consist of one question drawn from Section C of the syllabus and will carry 30 marks.

Candidates will be expected to answer all the questions in Section A and one question in either Section B or C. The paper will carry a total score of 80 marks. 

Download NECO Biology Syllabus

neco -biology-syllabus

Best candidates excel because they study smart and hard. Know what’s expected of you.

Download the NECO recommended Biology syllabus.

The NECO Biology Syllabus

  
 BIOLOGY
SNTOPICSOBJECTIVES
1Concept of Living1.1 Classification
– Living and non-living things
-Classification of living things into kingdoms: Monera, Protoctista( Protista), FungiPlantae, Animalia.
– Differences between plans and animal.
1.2 Organization of life
– Levels of organization
i. Cells(single-celled organisation):Amoeba, Euglena, Paramecium
ii. Tissue: Hydra
iii. Organ (storage organ) bulb, rhizome and heart.
iv.System/Organ System: In mammals, flowering plants – reproductive system, excretory system
etc.
-Complexity of organization in higher organisms: advantages and disadvantages.
1.3 Forms in which living cells exist
-Single and free-living: Amoeba, Paramecium, Euglena, andChlamydomonas
– Colony: Volvox
– Filament: Spirogyra
– Part of a living organism: Cheek cells, onion root tip cells and epidermis of fleshy leaves.
1.4 Cell structure and functions of cell components
-Similarities and differences between plant and animal cells.
1.5 The Cell and its environment: Physical and Biophysical processes
-diffusion
– osmosis
– active transport
-Excretion
i. Excretion in single-celled aquatic organisms. Diffusion by body surface and by contractile vacuole.
ii. Waste products of metabolism.
– Growth
i. Basis of growth – cell division (mitosis), enlargement and differentiation.
ii. Aspects of growth: Increase in dry weight, irreversible increase in size and length and increase
in number of cells.
iii.Regions of fastest growth in plants.
iv. Influence of growth hormones and auxins.
-Growth curvatures (Tropisms)
-Development: Enlargement and differentiation.
-Movement
i. Organelles for movement: cilia and flagella,
ii. Cyclosis.
– Reproduction: Types of reproduction.
i. Asexual: fission, budding and vegetative propagation.
ii. Sexual: Conjugation, formation of male and female gametes (gametogenesis), fusion of gametes
fertilization)
1.6 Properties and functions of the living cell
– Nutrition
i. Autotrophic (photosynthesis)
ii. Heterotrophic (holozoic)
-Cellular respiration
Definition and processes of:
i. aerobic respiration
ii. anaerobic respiration
iii. energy release
– Excretion
i. Excretion in single-celled aquatic organisms. Diffusion by body surface and by contractile vacuole.
ii. Waste products of metabolism.
-Growth
i.Basis of growth – cell division (mitosis), enlargement and differentiation.
ii. Aspects of growth: Increase in dry weight, irreversible increase in size and length and increase
in number of cells.
iii. Regions of fastest growth in plants.
iv. Influence of growth hormones and auxins.
v. Growth curvatures (Tropisms)
– Development: Enlargement and differentiation.
– Movement
i. Organelles for movement: cilia and flagella,
ii. Cyclosis.
-Reproduction:
Types of reproduction.
i. Asexual: fission, budding and vegetative propagation.
ii. Sexual: Conjugation, formation of male and female gametes (gametogenesis), fusion of gametes
fertilization)
1.7 Tissues and supporting systems: Skeleton and supporting systems in animals
i. Biological significance.
ii. Skeletal materials, e.g. bone, cartilage and chitin.
iii. Types of skeleton: exoskeleton, endoskeleton and hydrostatic skeleton.
iv. Bones of the vertebral column, girdles and long bones of the appendicular skeleton.
v. Mechanism of support in animals.
vi. Functions of skeleton in animals: Protection, support, locomotion and respiratory movement.
– Different types of supporting tissues in plants.
i.Main features of supporting tissues in plants.
ii. Functions of supporting tissues in plants: strength, rigidity (resistance against the forces of the wind and
water), flexibility and resilience.
1.8 Transport System
-Need for transport:
i. surface area/volume ratio.
ii. substances have to move greater distances.
-Transport in animals.
i. Structure of the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries.
ii. Composition and function of blood and lymph.
iii. Materials for transport: excretory products, gases, digested food, and other nutrients.
-Transport in plants
i. Uptake and movement of water and mineral salts in plants.
ii. Translocation
iii. Transpiration
iv. Movement of water to the apex of trees and herbs.
1.9 Respiratory System
-Body surface: cutaneous, gills and lungs.
-Mechanisms of gaseous exchange in fish, toad, mammals and plants.
1.10 Excretory Systems and Mechanisms
-Types of excretory systems: Kidney, stomata
and lenticels
1.11 Regulation of Internal Environment (Homeostasis)
-Kidney: Structure and functions
– Liver:Functions of the liver.
-The skin: Structure and function
1.12 Hormonal Coordination
-Animal hormones: Site of secretion, functions and effects of over and undersecretion.
– Plant hormones
1.13 Nervous Coordination
– The central nervous system
i. Components of the central nervous system
ii. Parts of the brain and their functions; cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla oblongata, hypothalamus
and their functions
iii. Structure and function of the Spinal Cord.
– Peripheral Nervous System.
i. Somatic Nervous System
ii. Autonomic nervous system.
iii. Structure and functions of the neuron.
iv.Classification of neurons.
– Types of nervous actions
i. The reflex arc
ii. Reflex and voluntary actions
iii. Differences between reflex and voluntary actions.
iv. Conditioned reflex and its role on behaviour.
1.14 Sense Organs: Structure and function of the eye and ear
-Eye.
-Ear.
1.15 Reproductive system of mammals.
– Reproductive system of mammals
i. Structure and function of male and female reproductive systems.
ii. Differences between male and female reproductive organs.
iii.Structure of the gametes (sperm and ovum)
iv. Fertilization, development of the embryo and birth.
v. Birth control
-Metamorphosis in insects, life histories of butterfly and cockroach.
– Comparison of reproduction in fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal.
– Reproduction in flowering plants
i.Arrangements of floral parts of a named insect-pollinated flower and a named wind-pollinated flower.
ii. Structure and function of the male and female parts of a flower.
– Pollination in Plants
i. Types of pollination
ii. Features of cross-pollinated and selfpollinated flowers
iii. Agents of Pollination
iv. Kinds of placentation: axile, marginal and parietal.
-Process of development of zygote in flowering plants: Fertilization.
-(i) Types of fruits (classification).
ii. Structure of fruits
– Dispersal of fruits and seeds: Agents of dispersal
2Plant and Animal Nutrition2.1 Plant Nutrition
-Photosynthesis:
i.Process of photosynthesis and its chemical equation
ii. Light and dark reactions
iii.Materials and conditions necessary for photosynthesis
iv.Evidence of photosynthesis
– Mineral requirement of plants
i. Mineral nutrition: Macro and micro-nutrients
ii. Soil and atmosphere as sources of mineral elements.
2.2 Animal Nutrition
– Food substances; classes and sources
-Balanced diet and its importance
-Food tests
-Digestive enzymes: Classes, characteristics and functions
– Modes of Nutrition
in.Autotrophic: Photosynthesis,
ii.Heterotrophic: holozoic, parasitic, symbiotic and saprophytic.
-Alimentary System: Alimentary tract of different animals.
– Dental Formula
-Feeding in protozoa and mammals
3Basic Ecological Concepts3.1 Ecosystem:Components of the ecosystem and sizes
-Ecological components: environment, biosphere, habitat, population, biotic
community and ecosystem.
-Components of the ecosystem: Biotic and abiotic
3.2 Ecological factors: Ecological factors in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
3.3 Simple Measurement of Ecological Factors
-Physical factors: Climatic, topographic and gaseous.
-Edaphic factors: Chemical and physical composition, moisture content and soil
texture.
3.4 Food webs and trophic levels
– Autotrophs and Heterotrophs
i.Producers: autotrophs
ii. Consumers: heterotrophs
iii.Decomposers
– Trophic levels energy relationships
i.Food chain
ii.Food web
-Energy flow
i.Food/Energy relationship in aquatic and terrestrial environment.
ii. Pyramid of energy and Pyramid of numbers.
-Decomposition in nature
i.Decomposers: (micro and macro-decomposers)
ii.Gaseous products
iii.Role of decomposers
3.5 Ecological Management
i.Food/Energy relationship in aquatic and terrestrial environment.
ii. Pyramid of energy and Pyramid of numbers.
3.6 Ecology of population
-Biological Associations Type of associations: Parasitism, symbiosis, commensalism and
saprophytism.
-Adaptation of organisms to habitats.
-Pollution of the atmosphere
i.Nature, names, sources and effects of air pollutants.
ii. Effect of noise
-Water and Soil Pollution
Type and effects of pollutants.
3.7 Microorganisms: Man and health
– Ecological succession
i.Structural changes in species composition, variety or diversity and increase in numbers.
ii.General characteristics and outcomes of
succession
– Primary succession. Succession in terrestrial and aquatic habitats.
-Secondary succession, climax of the succession: characteristic
of a stable ecosystem.
– Factors that affect population size: natality, mortality, emigration, immigration, food
shortage, predation,competition and diseases.
– Preservation and storage of foods
– The life of selected insects;
i.Weevils and cotton strainers.
ii.Control of pests
3.8. Microorganisms: Man and health
– Carriers of microorganisms
– Microorganisms in action
i.Beneficial effects in nature, medicine and industries.
ii. Harmful effects of microorganisms, diseases caused by microorganisms:
cholera, measles, malaria and ringworm.
-Towards better Health
i. Methods of .controlling harmful microorganisms: high temperature,antibiotics,
antiseptics, high salinity and dehydration.
ii. Ways of controlling the vectors.
-Public Health: The importance of the following towards the maintenance of good health practices:
i. Refuse and sewage disposal.
ii. Immunization, vaccination and inoculation (control of diseases).
4Conservation of Natural Resources4.1 Resources to be conserved: soil, water, wildlife, forest and minerals
4.2 Ways of ensuring conservation
5Variation in Population5.1 Morphological variations in the physical appearance of individuals
-size, height and weight
-colour (skin, eye, hair coat of animals)
– finger prints
5.2 Physiological Variations
– Ability to roll tongue
– Ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC)
-Blood groups (ABO) classification)
6Biology of Heredity (Genetics)6.1 Genetic terminologies
6.2 Transmission and expression of characteristics in organisms
-Hereditary variation
-Mendel’s work in genetics
i.Mendel’s experiments
ii.Mendelian traits
iii.Mendelian laws
6.3 Chromosomes: The basis of heredity
-Structure
-Process of transmission of hereditary characters from parents to offspring.
6.4 Probability in genetics (Hybrid formation)
6.5 Linkage, sex determination and sex linked characters
6.6 Application of the principles of heredity in agriculture and medicine
– Agriculture
-Medicine
7Adaptation for survival and Evolution7.1 Behavioural Adaptations in Social Animals
-Termites
– Bees
7.2 Evolution
-Evidence of evolution.
-Theories of evolution

Recommended NECO Biology Textbooks

  1. Johnson U. A. A Comprehensive Biology Textbook for Senior Secondary School, New Edition.
  2. Chris U. Ugenyi & IEC Team Master Practical Biology for Senior Secondary Schools and Colleges, Second Edition.
  3. A. Egunyemi et al Examination Focus for WASSCE and SSCE.
  4. Eluwa M. Cetal Count Down WASSCE/SSCE/NECO/UTME Biology.
  5. Ramilinga S.T Modern Biology for Senior Secondary Schools.

Frequently Asked Questions About the NECO Biology Exams

What topics are covered in the NECO Biology syllabus?

The syllabus covers various topics including cells, genetics, evolution, ecosystems, human biology, etc

How can I effectively prepare for the NECO Biology exam?

Study the syllabus, practice past questions a lot so you can be familiar with the structure of the exam, and most importantly, practice time management skills.

Will there be any practical section in the NECO Biology exam?

 Yes, there will be a practical section.

 

What is the format of the NECO Biology exam?

 The exam will consist of multiple-choice questions, essay questions, and a practical exam.

 

How much time is allocated for the NECO Biology exam?

The exam is usually divided into three parts: Paper 1 (Objective) will last for 50 minutes, Paper 2 (Theory) will last for 1 hour and 40 minutes, and Paper 3 (Practical) will last for 2 hours.

 

What resources can I use to study for the NECO Biology exam?

 There is a list of recommended textbooks above which you can use to study. You can also use past question booklets.

 

Are diagrams and illustrations important in the NECO Biology exam?

Yes, diagrams and illustrations are important, especially in the practical and theory sections. You will be asked to draw and label. 

 

Download NECO Biology Syllabus

neco -biology-syllabus

Best candidates excel because they study smart and hard. Know what’s expected of you.

Download the NECO recommended Biology syllabus.

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