jamb Use of English syllabus 2023

jamb Use of English syllabus 2023

The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus in Use of English is
to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of
the course objectives are to:
(1) communicate effectively in both written and spoken English;
(2) have a sound linguistic basis for learning at the tertiary level.
The syllabus consists of two sections:

1. Comprehension/Summary
(a) description
(b) narration
(c) exposition
(d) argumentation/persuasion
(i) Each of the four passages to be set (one
will be a cloze test) should reflect variously
disciplines and be about 400 words long.
(ii) Questions on passages will test them;
The Potter’s Wheel by Chukwuemeka Ike
and The Successors by Jerry Agada will
test the following:
(a) Comprehension of the whole or part
of each passage.
(b) Comprehension of words, phrases,
clauses, sentences, figures of speech

and idioms as used in the passages.
(c) Coherence and logical reasoning
(deductions, inferences, etc)
(d) Synthesis of ideas from the passages.
Candidates should be able to:
i. identify main points in passages;
ii. determine implied meaning;
iii. identify the grammatical functions of words,
phrases and clauses, and figurative /idiomatic
iv. deduce or infer the writer’s opinion, mood,
attitude to the subject matter, etc.

Synthesis of ideas is meant the art of
combining distinct or separate pieces of
information to form a complex whole, that is,
the ability to make generalizations from
specific ideas mentioned in the passages. Such
generalizations involve identifying the mood
or tone of the writer, his attitude to the subject

matter, his point of view, etc. In this regard,
synthesis is a higher-level skill than summary.
2. Lexis, Structural, and Oral Forms
2.1 Lexis and Structure
(a) synonyms
(b) antonyms
(c) homonyms
(d) clause and sentence patterns
(e) word classes and their functions
(f) mood, tense, aspect, number,
agreement/concord, degree (positive,
comparative and superlative) and
question tags

(g) punctuation and spelling
(h) ordinary usage (words in their denotative
or dictionary sense), figurative usage
(expressions used in ways other than
literal) and idiomatic usage (expressions
whose meanings cannot be determined
through a mere combination of
individual words) are to be tested.
Idioms to be tested will be those expressed in
standard British English (i.e those with
universal acceptability)
2.2 Oral Forms
(a) Vowels (monophthongs and diphthongs
(b) Consonants (including clusters)
(c) Rhymes (homophones)
(d) Stress (word, sentence, and emphatic)
(e) Intonation

Sentence stress should not be mistaken for
emphatic or contrastive stress. It involves the
placement of normal stress on content words
(nouns, main verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) in
an utterance. Here, no emphasis or contrast is
intended. For example, the words ‘see’ and
‘soon’ would normally be stressed in the
sentence, I’ll see you soon.
Candidates should be able to:
i. use words and expressions in their ordinary,
figurative, and idiomatic contexts;
ii. determine similar and opposite meanings;
iii. differentiate between correct and incorrect
punctuation and spelling;
iv. identify various grammatical patterns in use;
v. interpret information conveyed in sentences.
Candidates should be able to:

i. distinguish correct from incorrect vowels;
ii. differentiate correct from incorrect
iii. identify silent letters, and vowel length;
consonant clusters, etc.
iv. determine appropriate uses of stress in words
(monosyllabic, disyllabic, and polysyllabic)
and in sentences (emphatic/contrastive);
v. detect partial and complete rhymes.

SECTION A: Comprehension/Summary
(a) 3 comprehension passages (15 questions in all, 3 marks each) = 45 marks
(b) I cloze passage (10 questions in all, 2 marks each) = 20 marks
SECTION B: Lexis, Structure, and Oral Forms
(a) Sentence interpretation (10 questions in all, 2 marks each) = 20 marks
(b) Antonyms (opposite in meaning – 15 questions in all, 1 mark each) = 15 marks
(c) Synonyms (same in meaning – 15 questions in all, 1 mark each) = 15 marks
(d) Sentence completion (filling in the gaps – 20 questions in all, 1 mark each) = 20 marks
(e) Oral forms (15 questions in all, 1 mark each) = 15 marks
Total: 100 questions = 150 marks

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