WAEC Syllabus for Mathematics 2023, Know the Tips to Crack this Exam
by Aishwarya R R  Updated May 26, 2023
WAEC Mathematics Exam 2023
The WAEC Mathematics exam is an important examination conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for students in West African countries. It is designed to assess the mathematical knowledge and skills of secondary school students at the senior secondary level. The WAEC Mathematics exam covers various topics in mathematics, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, and probability. The questions are structured to test the students' understanding of concepts, ability to solve problems, and apply mathematical principles in reallife situations.
The exam is usually divided into multiple sections, each focusing on specific areas of mathematics. The questions range from multiplechoice questions to structured and essaytype questions. Students are required to provide clear and concise answers, show their workings, and demonstrate a solid understanding of the mathematical concepts being tested. To prepare for the WAEC Mathematics exam, students are advised to thoroughly study their textbooks, practice solving different types of mathematical problems, and familiarize themselves with the exam format. It is crucial to understand the underlying concepts and formulas and practice applying them to solve problems effectively.
During the exam, time management is key. Students should allocate sufficient time to each section, carefully read and analyze each question, and plan their answers accordingly. It is important to show all necessary steps and calculations to earn maximum marks, as partial credit is often awarded for correct approaches.
The WAEC Mathematics exam requires critical thinking, logical reasoning, and problemsolving skills. It challenges students to think analytically and apply mathematical principles to solve complex problems. It also helps develop their ability to interpret and analyze data, make accurate calculations, and draw meaningful conclusions.
Scoring well in the WAEC Mathematics exam can have a significant impact on a student's overall academic performance and future educational opportunities. A strong performance in mathematics opens doors to various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and is often a prerequisite for admission into higher education institutions.
In conclusion, the WAEC Mathematics exam is a comprehensive assessment of students' mathematical knowledge and skills. It requires diligent preparation, understanding of key concepts, and practice in solving a variety of mathematical problems. By dedicating time and effort to studying and mastering the subject, students can enhance their chances of achieving excellent results in this important examination.
WAEC Syllabus for Mathematics 2023
Aim of the Syllabus
The syllabus aims to test candidates:
 Mathematical competency and computational skills;
 understanding of mathematical concepts and their relationship to the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills for everyday living in the global world;
 ability to translate problems into mathematical language and solve them using appropriate methods;
 ability to be accurate to a degree relevant to the problem at hand;
 logical, abstract and precise thinking.
This syllabus is not intended to be used as a teaching syllabus. Teachers are advised to use their National teaching syllabuses or curricula.
Examination Scheme
There will be two papers, Papers 1 and 2, which must be taken.
Paper 1
It will consist of fifty multiplechoice objective questions drawn from the common areas of the syllabus, to be answered in 1½ hours for 50 marks.
Paper 2
It will consist of thirteen essay questions in 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
It will consist of five compulsory questions, elementary, with 40 marks.
The questions will be drawn from the common areas of the syllabus.
Section B
It will consist of eight questions of greater length and difficulty.
The questions shall include a maximum of two 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.
WAEC Mathematics Syllabus
The aims of the syllabus are to test candidates’:
 mathematical competency and computational skills;
 understanding of mathematical concepts and their relationship to the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills for everyday living in the global world;
 ability to translate problems into mathematical language and solve them using appropriate methods;
 ability to be accurate to a degree relevant to the problem at hand;
 logical, abstract and precise thinking.
This syllabus is not intended to be used as a teaching syllabus. Teachers are advised to use their own National teaching syllabuses or curricular for that purpose.
EXAMINATION SCHEME
There will be two papers, Papers 1 and 2, both of which must be taken.
PAPER 1:
Will consist of fifty multiplechoice 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 in nature 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 which may not be peculiar to candidates’ home countries. Candidates will be expected to answer five questions for 60marks.
Detailed WAEC Syllabus for general Mathematics
The topics, contents and notes are intended to indicate the scope of the questions which will be set. The notes are not to be considered as an exhaustive list of illustrations/limitations.
A. NUMBER AND NUMERATION
( a ) Number bases
 conversion of numbers from one base to another.
 Basic operations on number bases.
(b) Modular Arithmetic
 Concept of Modulo Arithmetic.
 Addition, subtraction and multiplication operations in modulo arithmetic.
 Application to daily life.
( c ) Fractions, Decimals and Approximations
 Basic operations on fractions and decimals.
 Approximations and significant figures.
( d ) Indices
 Laws of indices
 Numbers in standard form (scientific notation)
(e) Logarithms
 Relationship between indices and logarithms e.g. y = 10k implies log10y = k.
 Basic rules of logarithms e.g.
log10(pq) = log10p + log10q
log10(p/q) = log10p – log10q
log10pn = nlog10p.  Use of tables of logarithms and antilogarithms.
Calculations involving multiplication, division, powers and roots.
(f) Sequence and Series
 Patterns of sequences.
 Arithmetic progression (A.P.)
 Geometric Progression (G.P.)
Determine any term of a given sequence. The notation Un = the nth termof a sequence may be used.
Simple cases only, including word problems. (Include sum for A.P. and exclude sum for G.P).
( g ) Sets
 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.  Solutionof practical problems involving classification using Venn diagrams.
Notations: { }, P’( the compliment of P).
(h) Logical Reasoning
Simple statements. True and false statements. Negation of statements, implications.
Use of symbols: use of Venn diagrams.
(i) Positive and negative integers, rational numbers
 The four basic operations on rational numbers.
 Match rational numbers with points on the number line.
 Notation: Natural numbers (N), Integers ( Z ), Rational numbers ( Q ).
(j) Surds (Radicals)
 Simplification and rationalization of simple surds.
 Surds of the form , a and a where a is a rational number and b is a positive integer.
 Basic operations on surds (exclude surd of the form ).
* (k) Matrices and Determinants
 Identification of order, notation and types of matrices.
 Addition, subtraction, scalar multiplication and multiplication of matrices.
 Determinant of a matrix
(l) Ratio, Proportions and Rates
 Ratio 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.
( m ) Percentages
Simple interest, commission, discount, depreciation, profit and loss, compound interest, hire purchase and percentage error.
*(n) Financial Arithmetic
 Depreciation/ Amortization.
 Annuities
 Capital Market Instruments
(o) Variation
Direct, inverse, partial and joint variations.
Application to simple practical problems.
B. ALGEBRAIC PROCESSES
(a) Algebraic expressions
 Formulating algebraic expressions from given situations
 Evaluation of algebraic expressions
( b ) Simple operations on algebraic expressions
 Expansion
 Factorization
(c) Solution of Linear Equations
 Linear equations in one variable
 Simultaneous linear equations in two variables.
 Drawing tangents to curves to determine the gradient at a given point.
(d) Change of Subject of a Formula/Relation
 Change of subject of a formula/relation.
 Substitution.
(e) Quadratic Equations
 Solution of quadratic equations
 Forming quadratic equation with given roots.
 Application of solution of quadratic equation in practical problems.
(f) Graphs of Linear and Quadratic functions.
 Interpretation of graphs, coordinate of points, table of values, drawing quadratic graphs and obtaining roots from graphs.
 Graphical solution of a pair of equations of the form: y = ax2 + bx + c and y = mx + k.
(g) Linear Inequalities
 Solution of linear inequalities in one variable and representation on the number line.
 *Graphical solution of linear inequalities in two variables.
 *Graphical solution of simultaneous linear inequalities in two variables.
(h) Algebraic Fractions
Operations on algebraic fractions with:
 Monomial denominators
 Binomial denominators
Simple cases only e.g. + = ( x0, y 0).
(i) Functions and Relations
Types of Functions
Onetoone, onetomany, manytoone, manytomany.
Functions as a mapping, determination of the rule of a given mapping/function.
C. MENSURATION
(a) Lengths and Perimeters
 Use of Pythagoras theorem, *§ªsine and cosine rules to determine lengths and distances.
 Lengths of arcs of circles, perimeters of sectors and segments.
 Longitudes and Latitudes.
(b) Areas
 Triangles and special quadrilaterals – rectangles, parallelograms and trapeziums.
 Circles, sectors and segments of circles.
 Surfaceareas of cubes, cuboids, cylinder, pyramids, right triangular prisms, cones and spheres.
Areas of similar figures. Include area of triangle = ½ base x height and ½absinC.
Areas of compound shapes.
Relationship between the sector of a circle and the surface area of a cone.
(c) Volumes
 Volumes of cubes, cuboids, cylinders, cones, right pyramids and spheres.
 Volumes of similar solids
Include volumes of compound shapes.
D. PLANE GEOMETRY
(a) Angles
 Angles at a point add up to 360 degree.
 Adjacent angles on a straight line are supplementary.
 Vertically opposite angles are equal.
(b) Angles and intercepts on parallel lines.
 Alternate angles are equal.
 Corresponding angles are equal.
 Interior opposite angles are supplementary
**ª  Intercept theorem.
(c) Triangles and Polygons.
 The sum of the angles of a triangle is 2 right angles.
 The exterior angle of a triangle equals the sum of the two interior opposite angles.
 Congruenttriangles.
 Propertiesof special triangles – Isosceles, equilateral, rightangled, etc
 Properties of special quadrilaterals – parallelogram, rhombus, square, rectangle, trapezium.
 Propertiesof similar triangles.
 Thesum of the angles of a polygon
 Property of exterior angles of a polygon.
 Parallelograms on the same base and between the same parallels are equal in area.
( d ) Circles
 Chords.
 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.
 Anyangle subtended at the circumference by a diameter is a right angle.
 Angles in the same segment are equal.
 Angles in opposite segments are supplementary.
 Perpendicularity of tangent and radius.
 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.
 Angles subtended by chords in a circle and at the centre. Perpendicular bisectors of chords.
( e) Construction
 Bisectors of angles and line segments
 Line parallel or perpendicular to a given line.
 Angles e.g. 90o, 60o, 45o, 30o, and an angle equal to a given angle.
 Triangles and quadrilaterals from sufficient data.
(f) Loci
Knowledge of the loci listed below and their intersections in 2 dimensions.
 Points at a given distance from a given point.
 Points equidistant from two given points.
 Points equidistant from two given straight lines.
 Points at a given distance from a given straight line.
E. COORDINATE GEOMETRY OF STRAIGHT LINES
 Concept of the xy plane.
 Coordinates of points on the xy plane.
F. TRIGONOMETRY
(a) Sine, Cosine and Tangent of an angle.
 Sine, Cosine and Tangent of acute angles.
 Use of tables of trigonometric ratios.
 Trigonometric ratios of 30o, 45o and 60o.
 Sine, cosine and tangent of angles from 0o to 360o.
 Graphs of sine and cosine.
 Graphsof trigonometric ratios.
(b) Angles of elevation and depression
 Calculating angles of elevation and depression.
 Application to heights and distances.
(c) Bearings
 Bearing of one point from another.
 Calculation of distances and angles
G. INTRODUCTORY CALCULUS
 Differentiation of algebraic functions.
 Integration of simple Algebraic functions.
Concept/meaning of differentiation/derived function, , relationship between gradient of a curve at a point and the differential coefficient of the equation of the curve at that point. Standard derivatives of some basic function e.g. if y = x2, = 2x. If s = 2t3 + 4, = v = 6t2, where s = distance, t = time and v = velocity. Application to real life situation such as maximum and minimum values, rates of change etc.
Meaning/ concept of integration, evaluation of simple definite algebraic equations.
H. STATISTICS AND PROBABILITY
(a) Statistics
 Frequency distribution
 Pie charts, bar charts, histograms and frequency polygons
 Mean, median and mode for both discrete and grouped data.
 Cumulative frequency curve (Ogive).
 Measures of Dispersion: range, semi interquartile/interquartile range, variance, mean deviation and standard deviation.
(b) Probability
 Experimental and theoretical probability.
 Addition of probabilities for mutually exclusive and independent events.
 Multiplication of probabilities for independent events.
I. VECTORS AND TRANSFORMATION
Vectors in a Plane
 Vectors as a directed line segment.
 Cartesian components of a vector
 Magnitude of a vector, equal vectors, addition and subtraction of vectors, zero vector, parallel vectors, multiplication of a vector by scalar.
Transformation in the Cartesian Plane
 Reflection of points and shapes in the Cartesian Plane.
 Rotation of points and shapes in the Cartesian Plane.
 Translation of points and shapes in the Cartesian Plane.
 Enlargement
UNITS
Candidates should be familiar with the following units and their symbols.
(A) Length
1000 millimetres (mm) = 100 centimetres (cm) = 1 metre(m).
1000 metres = 1 kilometre (km)
(B) Area
10,000 square metres (m2) = 1 hectare (ha)
(C) Capacity
1000 cubic centimeters (cm3) = 1 litre (l)
(D) Mass
milligrammes (mg) = 1 gramme (g)
1000 grammes (g) = 1 kilogramme( kg )
ogrammes (kg) = 1 tonne.
(E) Currencies
The Gambia – 100 bututs (b) = 1 Dalasi (D)
Ghana – 100 Ghana pesewas (Gp) = 1 Ghana Cedi ( GH¢)
Liberia – 100 cents (c) = 1 Liberian Dollar (LD)
Nigeria – 100 kobo (k) = 1 Naira (N)
Sierra Leone – 100 cents (c) = 1 Leone (Le)
UK – 100 pence (p) = 1 pound (£)
USA – 100 cents (c) = 1 dollar ($)
French Speaking territories: 100 centimes (c) = 1 Franc (fr)
Any other units used will be defined.
Tips for WAEC Mathematics Exam 2023
Here are some tips to help you prepare for the WAEC Mathematics Exam 2023:

Familiarize yourself with the WAEC Mathematics syllabus. It provides a detailed outline of the topics and subtopics that will be covered in the exam. Make sure to focus your study efforts on these areas.

Start by reviewing the fundamental concepts of mathematics. Ensure you have a strong foundation in topics such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. Understanding the basics will make it easier to tackle more complex problems.

Mathematics requires practice. Solve a wide range of problems from past WAEC Mathematics exams and other reliable sources. This will help you become familiar with different question formats and improve your problemsolving skills.

Develop effective time management skills to ensure you can complete the exam within the allocated time. Practice solving problems under timed conditions to improve your speed and accuracy.

Be familiar with various problemsolving techniques and strategies. This includes identifying key information, breaking down complex problems into simpler steps, and applying appropriate formulas and theorems.

In the exam, show all your workings and steps clearly. This allows the examiner to follow your thought process and award partial marks even if your final answer is incorrect. Practice presenting your solutions neatly and concisely.

Enhance your mental math skills by practicing calculations in your head. This will help you save time during the exam and increase your confidence in solving problems without relying heavily on a calculator.

Memorize important formulas, theorems, and identities relevant to the exam. Understanding when and how to apply them correctly will greatly assist you in solving problems efficiently.

If you come across any challenging concepts or topics, don't hesitate to seek clarification from your teachers or classmates. Understanding the material thoroughly is essential for success in the exam.

On the day of the exam, stay calm and maintain a positive mindset. Read each question carefully and approach them with confidence. Manage your time effectively and doublecheck your answers before submitting the paper.
Remember, consistent and focused preparation is key to performing well in the WAEC Mathematics Exam. By following these tips and dedicating sufficient time to study and practice, you can boost your confidence and increase your chances of achieving excellent results.
WAEC Syllabus for Mathematics 2023  FAQs
The WAEC Exam refers to the West African Examinations Council examination. It is a standardized test conducted across West African countries to assess the academic performance and knowledge of secondary school students at the senior secondary level.
The WAEC Exam is typically taken by students who have completed their senior secondary education and are seeking certification for further education or employment opportunities. Students from participating West African countries, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia, among others, are eligible to take the exam.
The WAEC Exam covers a wide range of subjects, including English Language, Mathematics, Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology), Social Sciences (History, Geography, Economics), Arts (Literature in English, Fine Arts), and many more. The subjects offered may vary depending on the country and educational system.
The WAEC Exam is typically divided into two categories: the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for private candidates. The exam consists of both written and practical components, depending on the subject. The written exam includes multiplechoice questions, structured questions, and essaytype questions.
To prepare for the WAEC Exam, it is recommended to study the relevant textbooks and syllabus provided by the West African Examinations Council. Students should review the key concepts, practice solving past exam questions, and engage in regular revision. Seeking guidance from teachers, attending review classes, and forming study groups can also be beneficial in exam preparation.
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