Student Corner: WAEC Literature 2019/2020

Success depends very much on the ability to study effectively and pass exams.

There are numerous techniques for mastering difficult subjects. Students who understand effective study techniques have a competitive advantage.

First is to assess the best way a student learns. Parents can guide the child through a series of questions to determine the best study tools.

Reading through content, once thoroughly and a second time, while writing brief notes will help reinforce new learning. Consistently reading daily for one to two hours will consolidate knowledge.

Some people enjoy drawing diagrams with colored pencils on a notepad; this is called mind mapping and reinforces new learning.

Audio is another popular technique of learning. With a recorder, a student can record audio notes to listen to later.

YouTube videos of educational channels can provide another good reinforcement of new learning material.

Study groups allow discussion and insight as students exchange knowledge.

Online tools like Grammarly can improve a student’s writing capacity. As the recommended corrections are made utilizing the lessons learned for future writings.

To study and pass the literature class, find out from the teacher what books are required reading. Study the books, one at a time, devoting at least one to two hours per day to studies. This can be done in sessions of thirty minutes then a ten-minute break, then repeat.

Literature can be a very interesting subject. To pass the WASSCE literature exam; understand the requirement of the exam as follows and study the set texts thoroughly.


There will be three papers – Papers 1, 2 and 3. Papers 1 and 2 will a composite paper and will be taken at one sitting.
Paper 1 will be a multiple-choice objective test. It will contain fifty questions distributed as follows:
(a) Twenty questions on General Knowledge of Literature;
(b) Five questions on an unseen prose passage;
(c) Five questions on an unseen poem;
(d) Twenty context questions on the prescribed Shakespearean text.
Candidates will be required to answer all the questions within 1 hour for 50 marks.

Paper 2 will be an essay test with two sections, Sections A and B. Section A will be on African Prose and Section B on Non-African Prose.
Two essay questions will be set on each of the novels prescribed for study. Candidates shall be required to answer one question only from each section within 1 hour 15 minutes for 50 marks.

Paper 3 will be on the Drama and Poetry components of the syllabus. It will be put into four sections, Sections A, B. C and D as follows:

Section A: African Drama
Section B: Non-African Drama
Section C: African Poetry
Section D: Non-African Poetry

There shall be two questions on each of the prescribed drama texts for Sections A and B. There shall also be two questions for each of the poetry sections ie Sections C and D.
Candidates shall be required to answer one question from each of the sections, making a total of four questions. The paper will take 2 hours 30 minutes to complete and will carry 100 marks.


(i) The Unseen Prose passage for Paper 1 shall be about 120 – 150 words long.
(ii) Only context questions shall be set on the Shakespearean text. The context questions will test such items as theme, characterization, style and setting in the Shakespearean text.

(iii) No essay question shall be set on the Shakespearean text.

Here is a list of SET TEXTS FOR 2019 – 2020. These are for the current SSS 3 class towards the WASSCE.

African Prose

(1) Amma Darko – Faceless
(2) Bayo Adebowale – Lonely Days

Non-African Prose

(1) Richard Wright – Native Son
(2) Horace Walpole – The Castle of Otranto

*William Shakespeare: OTHELLO (free book download)

Non-African Drama

(1) Oliver Goldsmith – She Stoops to conquer (free book download)
(2) Lorraine Hansberry – A Raisin in the Sun

African Drama

(1) Frank Ogodo Ogbeche – Harvest of Corruption
(2) Dele Charley – The Blood of a Stranger

For your convenience, I have linked discussion of the poetry as found online:

African Poetry

(1) Birago Drop – Vanity
(2) Gbemisola Adeoti – Ambush
(3) Gabriel Okara – Piano and Drums
(4) Gbanabam Hallowell – The Dinning Table
(5) Lenrie Peter – The Panic of Growing Older
(6) Kofi Awoonor – The Anvil and the Hammer

Non-African Poetry

(1) Alfred Tennyson – Crossing the Bar
(2) George Herbert – The pulley
(3) William Blake – The School Boy
(4) William Morris The Proud King
(5) Robert Frost Birches – Birches
(6) William Shakespeare – Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day?

Here is the link for WASSCE literature book sets for 2021 to 2025 for current SSS 1 and SSS 2 class as of 2019.


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2 thoughts on “Student Corner: WAEC Literature 2019/2020

  • August 26, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Please update your information. One of your non-African prose is odd.

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