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NECO Physics Syllabus

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

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About NECO Physics Studies Syllabus

This NECO physics exam syllabus will be your guide towards the success of your examination. We’ve crafted this syllabus with a focus on concepts and applications, designed to give you a solid foundation in your upcoming examination.

This syllabus is fully stocked to aid your preparations for your NECO Physics exam. I can bet that if you religiously study and practice the outlines in the syllabus together with past questions and some online resources you will pass your exam in flying colors. 

Now, let’s talk about assessment objectives. The examiners are all about testing what you know and how you can apply it. From acquiring knowledge and understanding to handling information and problem-solving. They’ve got a variety of activities lined up to put your physics skills to the test.

Marking Guide & Sections


Paper 1 is where you kick off the exam, it consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that will  earn you 1 mark for each question and the total mark for the 50 questions will earn you 50 marks.


Paper 2 consists of two sections, Sections A and B lasting for 1 ½ hours and it’s worth 60 marks.

Section A

In section A, you’ll face seven short-structured questions, and you will need to answer any five of them. It’s all about showing off your knowledge and skills in bite-sized chunks, with a total of 15 marks up for grabs.

Section B

Then, in section B, you will face five essay questions, but here’s the catch, you only need to answer three of them. That gives you a bit of flexibility to showcase your writing prowess and earn yourself a whopping 45 marks. So get ready to put pen to paper and let those ideas flow!


Paper 3 is the practical section of the NECO Physics exam, for school candidates, it’s all about putting your practical skills to the test. Private candidates, don’t worry, the examiners have something for you too, as an alternative to practical work paper. You will have three questions to choose from, and you will need to answer any two of them in 2 ¼ hours. It’s your chance to roll up your sleeves and have some fun, all while earning yourself a cool 50 marks.

The NECO Physics Syllabus

1Concepts of matter 
2Fundamental and derived quantities and units2.1 Fundamental quantities and units
2.2 Derived quantities and units
3Position, distance and displacement3.1 Concept of position as a location of point-rectangular coordinates
3.2 Measurement of distance
3.3 Concept of direction as a way of locating a point –bearing
3.4 Distinction between distance and displacement
4Mass and weight4.1 Distinction between mass and weight
5Time5.1 Concept of time as interval between physical events
5.2 Measurement of time
6Fluid at rest6.1 Volume, density and relative density
6.2 Pressure in fluids
6.3 Equilibrium of bodies
7Motion7.1 Types of motion: Random, rectilinear, translational, Rotational,
circular, orbital, spin, Oscillatory
7.2 Relative motion
7.3 Cause of motion
7.4 Types of force
7.5 Solid friction
7.6 Viscosity (friction in fluids)
7.7 Simple ideas of circular motion
8Speed and velocity8.1 Concept of speed as change of distance with time
8.2 Concept of velocity as change of displacement with time
8.3 Uniform/non-uniform speed/velocity
8.4 Distance/displacement-time graph
9Rectilinear acceleration9.1 Concept of Acceleration/deceleration as increase/decrease in velocity
with time
9.2 Uniform/non-uniform acceleration
9.3 Velocity-time graph
9.4 Equations of motion with constant acceleration
9.5 Motion under gravity as a special case
10Scalars and vectors10.1 Concept of scalars as physical quantities with magnitude and no
10.2 Concept of vectors as physical quantities with both magnitude and
10.3 Vector representation
10.4 Addition of vectors
10.5 Resolution of vectors
10.6 Resultant velocity using vector representation
11Equilibrium of forces11.1 Principle of moments
11.2 Conditions for equilibrium of rigid bodies under the action of parallel
and non-parallel forces
11.3 Centre of gravity and stability
12Simple harmonic motion12.1 Illustration, explanation and definition of simple harmonic motion
12.2 Speed and acceleration of S.H.M
12.3 Energy of S.H.M
12.5 Forced vibration and resonance
13Newton’s laws of motion13.1 First Law: Inertia of rest and inertia of motion
13.2 Second Law: Force, acceleration, momentum and impulse
13.3 Third Law: Action and reaction
14Energy14.1 Forms of energy
14.2 World energy resources
14.3 Conservation of energy
15Work, Energy and Power15.1 Concept of work as a measure of energy transfer
15.2 Concept of energy as capability to do work
15.3 Work done in a gravitational field
15.4 Types of mechanical energy
15.5 Conservation of mechanical energy
15.6 Concept of power as time rate of doing work
15.7 Application of mechanical energy machines
16Heat Energy16.1 Temperature and its measurement
16.2 Effects of heat on matter
16.3 Thermal expansion – Linear, area and volume expansivity
16.4 Heat transfer – Condition, convection and radiation
16.5 The gas laws-Boyle’s law Charles’ law, pressure law and general
gas law
16.6 Measurement of heat energy
16.7 Latent heat
16.8 Evaporation and boiling
16.9 Vapour and vapour pressure
16.10 Humidity, relative humidity and dew point
16.11 Humidity and the weather
17Production and propagation of waves17.1 Production and propagation of mechanical waves
17.2 Pulsating system: Energy transmitted with definite speed, frequency
and wavelength
17.3 Waveform
17.4 Mathematical relationship connecting frequency (f), wavelength(),
period (T) and velocity (v)
18Types of waves18.1 Transverse and longitudinal
18.2 Mathematical representation of wave motion
19Properties of wavesReflection, refraction, diffraction,Interference, superposition of progressive
waves producing standing stationary waves
20Light waves20.1 Sources of light
20.2 Rectilinear propagation of light
20.3 Reflection of light at plane surface: plane mirror
20.4 Reflection of light at curved surfaces: concave and convex mirrors
20.5 Refraction of light at plane surfaces: rectangular glass prism (block)
and triangular prism
20.6 Refraction of light at curved surfaces: Converging and diverging lenses
20.7 Application of lenses in optical instruments
20.8 Dispersion of white light by a triangular glass prism
21Electromagnetic waves: Types of radiation in electromagnetic Spectrum 
22Sound Wave22.1 Sources of sound
22.2 Transmission of sound waves
22.3 Speed of sound in solid, liquid and air
22.4 Echoes and reverberation
22.5 Noise and music
22.6 Characteristics of sound
22.7 Vibration in strings
22.8 Forced vibration
22.9 Vibration of air in pipe – open and closed pipes
23Description property of fields23.1 Concept of fields: Gravitational, electric and Magnetic
23.2 Properties of a force field
24Gravitational field24.1 Acceleration due to gravity, (g)
24.2 Gravitational force between two masses
24.3 Gravitational potential and escape velocity
25Electric Field25.1 Electrostatics
25.2 Current electricity
26Magnetic field26.1 Properties of magnets and magnetic materials
26.2 Magnetization and demagnetization
26.3 Concept of magnetic field
26.4 Magnetic force
26.5 Use of electromagnets
26.6 The earth’s magnetic field
26.7 Magnetic force on a moving charged particle
27Electromagnetic field27.1 Concept of electromagnetic field
27.2 Electromagnetic induction
27.3 Inductance
27.4 Eddy currents
27.5 Power transmission and distribution
28Simple a.c. circuits28.1 Graphical representation of e.m.f and current in an a.c. circuit
28.2 Peak and rms values
28.3 Series circuit containing resistor, inductor and capacitor
28.4 Reactance and impedance
28.5 Vector diagrams
28.6 Resonance in an a.c, circuit
28.7 Power in an a.c. circuit
29Structure of the atom29.1 Models of the atom
29.2 Energy quantization
29.3 Photoelectric effect
29.4 Thermionic emission
29.5 X-rays
30Structure of the nucleus30.1 Composition of the nucleus
31Wave-particle paradox31.1 Electron diffraction
31.2 Duality of matter

Recommended NECO Physics Textbooks

1. Ike, E. E (2014) Essential Principles of Physics, Jos ENIC Publishers.

2. Ike, E. E (2014) Numerical Problems and Solutions in Physics, Jos, ENIC Publishers.

3. Nelson, M (1977) Fundamentals of Physics, Great Britain: Hart Davis Education.

4. Nelson, M and Parker … (1989) Advanced Level Physics (Sixth Edition), Heinemann.

5. Okeke, P. N and Anyakoha, M. W (2000) Senior Secondary School Physics, Lagos, Pacific Printers.

6. Olumuyionwa A. and Ogunkoya O. O (1992) Comprehensive Certificate Physics, Ibadan: University Press Plc.

Frequently Asked Questions About the NECO Physics Exams

What is the best approach for answering the NECO Physics exam questions in Paper 2?

The essay questions in Paper 2 are a chance to express your knowledge and writing skills. When approaching these questions, take a moment to read through all the options and choose the ones you feel most confident about. Then, plan your answers carefully, making sure to structure them clearly and provide plenty of examples to back up your points. Remember to keep an eye on the clock and leave yourself enough time to review your answers before submitting.

Can you provide tips for handling the practical test in Paper 3 in the NECO Physics exam?

When preparing for the practical test, make sure you’re familiar with the equipment and procedures you’ll be using. Pay attention to detail and follow instructions carefully, making accurate observations and measurements along the way. And don’t forget to practice your problem-solving skills, you never know what challenges might come your way during the test.

What should I do if I don't understand a question during the exam?

 Don’t panic, you’ve got options! If you come across a question that’s giving you trouble, take a deep breath and read it over carefully. Sometimes, just taking a moment to digest the question can make all the difference. If you’re still stuck, don’t hesitate to raise your hand and ask the invigilator for clarification. They’re there to help you, so don’t be shy about speaking up. Remember, it’s better to ask for help than to struggle in silence.

What topics should I focus on the most when studying for the NECO Physics exam

When studying for the NECO Physics exam, it’s important to focus on all the key topics outlined in the syllabus. This includes concepts like matter, motion, energy, waves, fields, Atomic and Nuclear Physics, and electronics. Make sure to allocate your study time wisely and give each topic the attention it deserves. And don’t forget to review any areas where you feel less confident,every bit of preparation counts.

Can I use a calculator during the exam?

Yes, you can! Calculators are generally permitted for use during the NECO Physics exam. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check the exam guidelines or ask your teacher for confirmation just to be sure. Remember to familiarize yourself with your calculator and its functions beforehand so you can use it effectively during the exam.

How can I improve my problem-solving skills for the exam?

 Improving your problem-solving skills is all about practice, practice, practice! Start by solving a variety of physics problems from past papers, textbooks, and online resources. Pay attention to the steps involved in solving each problem and try to understand the underlying concepts behind them. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with more difficult problems as you become more confident.

How are marks awarded for the practical test in Paper 3?

 Marks for the practical test in Paper 3 are typically awarded based on the accuracy and completeness of your observations, measurements, and conclusions. Make sure to follow instructions carefully, record your data accurately, and present your findings clearly and logically. Pay attention to details like precision, accuracy, and units, and don’t forget to include any necessary calculations or graphs to support your conclusions. With careful preparation and attention to detail, you’ll be sure to earn those marks.

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