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WAEC Mathematics Syllabus

The aim for math WAEC should be B-A1. It’ll make or mar your progress. Download our comprehensive math syllabus today and start your journey to success.

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Writing Mathematics in WAEC Exams

Mathematics is one of the four compulsory subjects in WAEC and without scoring a minimum of 50%  in it, you may not be able to gain admission into the university.

If you’re not good at calculations and you are worried about your performance then you should read this syllabus till the end to know what’s expected of you..

The WAEC Mathematics Syllabus will test your understanding of mathematical concepts and your ability to translate problems into mathematical language and solve them using appropriate methods. You should be familiar with topics like Indices, Logarithms, Arithmetic and Geometric Progressions, Graphs, Linear equations, and the rest of them.

With this syllabus, you are guaranteed success as long as you study and practice as often as possible.

Marking Guide

There will be two papers, Papers 1 and 2, both of which must be taken.

PAPER 1: will consist of fifty multiple-choice objective questions, drawn from the common areas of the syllabus, to be answered in 1½ hours for 50 marks.

PAPER 2: will consist of thirteen essay questions in two sections – Sections A and B, to be answered in 2½ hours for 100 marks. Candidates will be required to answer ten questions in all.

Section A – Will consist of five compulsory questions, elementary carrying a total of 40 marks. The questions will be drawn from the common areas of the syllabus.

Section B – will consist of eight questions of greater length and difficulty. The questions shall include a maximum of two which shall be drawn from parts of the syllabuses that may not be peculiar to candidates’ home countries. Candidates will be expected to answer five questions for 60 marks.

Mathematics Syllabus for WAEC Exams

1NUMBER BASES(i) conversion of numbers from one base to another

(ii) Basic operations on number bases
2MODULAR ARITHMETIC(i) Concept of Modulo Arithmetic.

(ii) Addition, subtraction, and multiplication operations in modulo arithmetic.

(iii) Application to daily life
3FRACTIONS, DECIMALS AND APPROXIMATIONS(i) Basic operations on fractions and decimals.

(ii) Approximations and significant figures.
4INDICES(i) Laws of indices

(ii) Numbers in standard form ( scientific notation)
5LOGARITHMS(i) Relationship between indices and logarithms e.g. y = 10k implies log10y = k.

(ii) Basic rules of logarithms e.g. log10(pq) = log10p + log10q log10(p/q) = log10p – log10q log10p n = nlog10p.

(iii) Use of tables of logarithms and anti logarithms.
6SEQUENCES AND SERIES(i) Patterns of sequences.

(ii) Arithmetic progression (A.P.) Geometric Progression (G.P.)
7SETS(i) Idea of sets, universal sets, finite and infinite sets, subsets, empty sets, and disjoint sets. Idea of and notation for union, intersection and complement of sets.

(ii) Solution of practical problems involving classification using Venn diagrams.
8LOGICAL REASONINGSimple statements. True and false statements. Negation of statements, implications.
9POSITIVE & NEGATIVE INTEGERS, RATIONAL NUMBERSThe four basic operations on rational numbers.
10SURDS(RADICALS)Simplification and rationalization of simple surds.
11MATRICES & DETERMINANTS(i) Identification of order, notation, and types of matrices.

(ii) Addition, subtraction, scalar multiplication, and multiplication of matrices.

(iii) Determinant of a matrix
12RATIO, PROPORTIONS & RATESRatio between two similar quantities. Proportion between two or more similar quantities.

Financial partnerships, rates of work, costs, taxes, foreign exchange, density (e.g. population), mass, distance, time, and speed.
13PERCENTAGESSimple interest, commission, discount, depreciation, profit and loss, compound interest, hire purchase, and percentage error.
14FINANCIAL ARITHMETIC(i) Depreciation/ Amortization

(ii) Annuities

(iii) Capital Market Instruments
15VARIATIONDirect, inverse, partial, and joint variations.
16ALGEBRAIC EXPRESSIONS(i) Formulating algebraic expressions from given situations

( ii ) Evaluation of algebraic expressions

(ii ) Factorization

(iii) Binary Operations
18SOLUTIONS OF LINEAR EQUATION(i) Linear equations in one variable

(ii) Simultaneous linear equations in two variables.
19CHANGE OF A SUBJECT OF FORMULA/RELATION(i) Change of subject of a formula/relation

(ii) Substitution
20QUADRATIC EQUATIONS(i) Solution of quadratic equations

(ii) Forming quadratic equation with given roots.

(iii) Application of solution of quadratic equation in practical problems.
21GRAPHS OF LINEAR & QUADRATIC FUNCTIONS(i) Interpretation of graphs, coordinate of points, table of values, drawing quadratic graphs and obtaining roots from graphs.

( ii ) Graphical solution of a pair of equations of the form: y = ax\(^{2}\) + bx + c and y = mx + k *

(iii) Drawing tangents to curves to determine the gradient at a given point.
22LINEAR INEQUALITIES(i) Solution of linear inequalities in one variable and representation on the number line.

∗(ii) Graphical solution of linear inequalities in two variables.

∗(iii) Graphical solution of simultaneous linear inequalities in two variables.
23ALGEBRAIC FUNCTIONSOperations on algebraic fractions with:

(i) Monomial denominators

( ii ) Binomial denominators
25LENGTHS & PERIMETERS(i) Use of Pythagoras theorem, sine and cosine rules to determine lengths and distances.

(ii) Lengths of arcs of circles, perimeters of sectors and segments.

(iii) Longitudes and Latitudes.
26AREAS(i) Triangles and special quadrilaterals – rectangles, parallelograms and trapeziums

(ii) Circles, sectors and segments of circles.

(iii) Surface areas of cubes, cuboids, cylinder, pyramids, righttriangular prisms, cones andspheres.
27VOLUMES(i) Volumes of cubes, cuboids, cylinders, cones, right pyramids and spheres.

(ii) Volumes of similar solids
28ANGLES(i) Angles at a point add up to 360°.

(ii) Adjacent angles on a straight line are supplementary.

(iii) Vertically opposite angles are equal.
28ANGLES & INTERCEPTS AT PARALLEL LINES(i) Alternate angles are equal.

(ii)Corresponding angles are equal.

(iii)Interior opposite angles are supplementary

(iv) Intercept theorem.
29TRIANGLES AND POLYGONS(i) The sum of the angles of a triangle is 2 right angles.

(ii) The exterior angle of a triangle equals the sum of the two interior opposite angles.

(iii) Congruent triangles.

( iv ) Properties of special triangles – Isosceles, equilateral, right-angled, etc

(v) Properties of special

quadrilaterals – parallelogram, rhombus, square, rectangle, trapezium.

( vi )Properties of similar triangles.

( vii ) The sum of the angles of a polygon

(viii) Property of exterior angles of a polygon.

(ix) Parallelograms on the same base and between the same parallels are equal in area.

30CIRCLES(i) Chords.

(ii) The angle which an arc of a circle subtends at the centre of the circle is twice that which it subtends at any point on the remaining part of the circumference.

(iii) Any angle subtended at the circumference by a diameter is a right angle. (iv) Angles in the same segment are equal.

(v) Angles in opposite segments are supplementary.

(vi)Perpendicularity of tangent and radius.

(vii)If a tangent is drawn to a circle and from the point of contact a chord is drawn, each angle which this chord makes with the tangent is equal to the angle in the alternate segment.
31CONSTRUCTION(i) Bisectors of angles and line segments

(ii) Line parallel or perpendicular to a given line.

(iii )Angles e.g. 90°, 60°, 45°, 30°, and an angle equal to a given angle.

(iv) Triangles and quadrilaterals from sufficient data.
32LOCIKnowledge of the loci listed below and their intersections in 2 dimensions.

(i) Points at a given distance from a given point.

(ii) Points equidistant from two given points.

(iii)Points equidistant from two given straight lines.

(iv)Points at a given distance from a given straight line
33CO-ORDINATE GEOMETRY OF STRAIGHT LINES(i) Concept of the x-y plane.

(ii) Coordinates of points on the x-y plane.
34SINE, COSINE AND TANGENT OF AN ANGLE(i) Sine, Cosine and Tangent of acute angles.

(ii) Use of tables of trigonometric ratios.

(iii) Trigonometric ratios of 30°, 45° and 60°.

(iv) Sine, cosine and tangent of angles from 0° to 360°.

(v)Graphs of sine and cosine.

(vi) Graphs of trigonometric ratios
35ANGLES IF ELEVATION & DEPRESSION(i) Calculating angles of elevation and depression.

(ii) Application to heights and distances.
36BEARINGS(i) Bearing of one point from another.

(ii) Calculation of distances and angles
40INTRODUCTORY CALCULUS(i) Differentiation of algebraic functions.

(i) Differentiation of algebraic functions.

(ii) Integration of simple Algebraic functions.
41STATISTICS(i) Frequency distribution

( ii ) Pie charts, bar charts, histograms and frequency polygons

(iii) Mean, median and mode for both discrete and grouped data.

(iv) Cumulative frequency curve (Ogive).

(v) Measures of Dispersion: range, semi inter-quartile/interquartile range, variance, mean deviation and standard deviation.
42PROBABILITY(i) Experimental and theoretical probability.

(ii) Addition of probabilities for mutually exclusive and independent events.

(iii) Multiplication of probabilities for independent events.
43VECTORS IN A PLANE(i) Vectors as a directed line segment.

(ii) Cartesian components of a vector

(iii) Magnitude of a vector, equal vectors, addition and subtraction of vectors, zero vector, parallel vectors, multiplication of a vector by scalar.
44TRANSFORMATION IN THE CARTESIAN PLANE(i) Reflection of points and shapes in the Cartesian Plane.

(ii) Rotation of points and shapes in the Cartesian Plane.

(iii) Translation of points and shapes in the Cartesian Plane.

Recommended WAEC Mathematics Textbooks

  1. Adelodun A. A (2000) Distinction in Mathematics: Comprehensive Revision Text, (3rd Edition) Ado –Ekiti: FNPL.
  2. Anyebe, J. A. B (1998) Basic Mathematics for Senior Secondary Schools and Remedial Students in Higher/ institutions, Lagos: Kenny Moore.
  3. Channon, J. B. Smith, A. M (2001) New General Mathematics for West Africa SSS 1 to 3, Lagos: Longman.
  4. David –Osuagwu, M. et al. (2000) New School Mathematics for Senior Secondary Schools, Onitsha: Africana – FIRST Publishers.
  5. Egbe. E et al. (2000) Further Mathematics, Onitsha: Africana – FIRST Publishers.
  6. Ibude, S. O. et al. (2003) Algebra and Calculus for Schools and Colleges: LINCEL Publishers.
  7. Tuttuh – Adegun M. R. et al. (1997), Further Mathematics Project Books 1 to 3, Ibadan: NPS Educational

Frequently Asked Questions About WAEC Mathematics Exam

How long is the WAEC Mathematics exam?

The duration of the WAEC Mathematics exam is usually four hours. You will have 1hr 30 minutes for paper 1 and 2 hrs 30 minutes for paper 2.

What type of questions can I expect in the exam?

The exam includes multiple-choice objective questions and theory questions that will test your understanding of the subject and your ability to apply them.

Are calculators allowed in the exam?

Yes, you will be given an official calculator by the West African Examination Council(WAEC). This is the only calculator you are expected to use during the exam.

How should I manage my time during the exam?

Time management is a very important skill for every exam. To manage time well, ensure you do not spend so much time on a particular question. Once you’re not sure of a question, leave it and answer others then come back to review and cross-check your work

What is the minimum score required to pass the WAEC Math exam?

The minimum score which will give you a C6 grade is 50%. Anything less than 50% and you have a D, E or F which could affect your chances of getting admission to the university.

How can a candidate collect his/her certificate?

School candidates are to collect their certificate from the school where they write the exam.

Private candidates are to obtain their certificates from WAEC directly.

Are there any specific topics that are heavily tested in the exam?

All the topics in the syllabus above are important and you will be tested on them.


A full list of the recommended textbooks can be above. Some of them include: 

New General Mathematics for West Africa SSS 1 to 3, Basic Mathematics for Senior Secondary Schools and Remedial Students in Higher/ institutions, Distinction in Mathematics.


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