9 Ways to Ace the Waec Literature in English Test

Attempting to answer WAEC Literature-in-English questions necessitates a thorough understanding of the marking scheme as well as the texts involved.

In this article, I will show you how to answer literature questions in WAEC in order to improve your chances of getting an A1 or B2.


To excel in WAEC Literature-in-English questions, keep the following points in mind.


  • You must have read all of the recommended texts and poems as a candidate.
  • Before you can answer the questions, you must first understand their requirements as a candidate.
  • To do well in literature, you must have a strong command of the English language.


Below are tips that can help you to pass your waec literature in English test with ease:


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Tip #1: Become acquainted with the fundamentals of the subject.

As a prospective candidate for Literature in English, you must become acquainted with the fundamentals of the subject. By basics, I mean the definition of literature; genres, their forms and elements; and figures of speech and sound.

Learning these would be extremely beneficial in understanding the subject, as well as interpreting the recommended texts, as well as in answering questions on any exam. Your understanding of figures of speech and sound will help you answer objective questions in WAEC, NECO, and NABTEB.

Elements of prose, drama, and poetry are used to evaluate texts in any of these genres. They are what you look for in a text and would help you understand it better. Furthermore, they bring you one step closer to correctly answering exam questions.

When I was in secondary school, my English Literature teacher taught us about the elements of prose. I remember coming up with the mnemonic “Senior prefect character point of view. Look at me. “Symbolic diction”. Senior, prefect, see, and thou are the altered words there. subject matter, plot, setting, and theme, in that order. I also devised another mnemonic for the types of poetry I was taught in class at the time: Linda Nelson hold pastor son et labor leader (lyrical poem, narrative poem, ode, pastoral poem, sonnet, epic, limerick, and lullaby).

In essence, mastering the fundamentals of Literature-in-English will aid you in the long run with inadequate comprehension of the recommended literature texts. You, like me, can use mnemonics to help you master the material.


Tip #2: Learn about the recommended literature texts.

The list of recommended literature texts for the SSCE is updated every five years. Every time a new list is introduced, it includes two African prose texts, two non-African prose texts, and two African poetry texts. There are two African drama texts, two non-African drama texts, six African poems, six non-African poems, and a Shakespearean drama text.

It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with these texts well in advance of the exam. This is due to the fact that your Literature in English exam will be based on these texts. You should go through them.

They are used to assess your level of competency in the subject in SSCE. Make sure you read all of the texts.

Aside from the general class reading, you can read them on your own to gain a thorough understanding of the issues and ideas embodied in each work, as well as interact with the texts on a personal level.

Don’t wait until it’s time to read a specific text in class before you read it.

You could also ask your teacher for advice to stage scenes from the recommended plays. This is simple to incorporate into the program of your school’s Literary and Debating Society. So far, this has proven to be the most effective method of comprehending any drama text. It aids in the retention of images, ideas, and the flow of dialogue in a play. The enacted scenes will always come to mind whenever you read the play again.

Ambie, a Literature PADI reader, concurs in her review of John Kolosa Kargbo’s Let Me Die Alone. This is one of my favorite literary texts, she wrote. It’s educational, entertaining, simple to understand, and intriguing. I had a lot of fun acting it out with my classmates at school.

Where is it? If it is not possible to perform the plays, you can watch stage presentations of the plays on YouTube, if they are available. At the very least, there are stage performances of Shakespearean drama texts available on YouTube.

In terms of the poems, try to memorize them. You can memorize as much as you want. One thing that worked for me and that I believe will work for you is memorizing the recommended poems. In 2016, my set welcomed new literary texts. I memorized five of the six African poems and four of the six non-African poems that were recommended to me. Memorizing the poems aided me in the examination. I could freely quote lines and relevant phrases to back up my points. When answering questions, take a stance.

My students were surprised when I finally left secondary school and had to teach final-year students in another secondary school, and I was reciting the poems in front of them without a prompt or the aid of a textbook. They exclaimed, “Wow! “Look at this genius.” I knew it wasn’t a great accomplishment at the time. It’s something you can teach your children.

I’m not asking you to memorize all of the poems, just as much as you can. This would be useful in providing textual evidence during your examination.


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Tip #3: Understand the scope of your Literature-in-English exam.

It is critical that you familiarize yourself with the structure of your Literature-in-English papers ahead of time. In terms of the goal, your general knowledge of literary appreciation will be tested in this section.

In addition, you would be required to answer at least ten questions about the recommended Shakespearean drama text. In this case, you would be given text excerpts with accompanying questions such as “who the speaker is”, “who the addressed or addressee is”, “the issue being discussed”, “the intent of the speakers and their personalities”, and “where they are conversing”.

This means that you must read the recommended Shakespearean drama text, paying close attention to how each character speaks, what each character says, the setting of each scene, and other minor details.

The theory section is divided into four sections: African Prose, Non-African Prose, African Drama, and Non-African Drama. Non-African Poetry and African Poetry.

There are four questions in total under African Prose, two from each text. You must respond to one of the four questions. Non-African Prose, African Drama, and Non-African Drama are all included. You must respond to one question from each category. That brings the total to four questions out of sixteen.

There are two questions in total under the African Poetry section — two questions from two randomly selected African poems on the list. You must respond to one of the two questions. The same is true for non-African poetry.

You must answer six of the twenty theory questions in total.


Tip #4: Purchase a collection of previous Literature-in-English exam questions.

As a potential SSCE candidate, If you want to pass Literature in English, you must obtain a compilation of previous questions. This is necessary because it will familiarize you with the format of the SSCE Literature-in-English exams.

The objective questions would put your knowledge of literary devices and literary appreciation skills to the test.

Even if the theory questions are no longer relevant, they will provide you with an opportunity to understand how Literature-in-English essay questions are supposed to be answered.


Tip #5: Read carefully if you can’t read everything.

While it is recommended that all recommended texts be read, I understand that this may be difficult for some candidates. Not every student has the luxury of having a Literature-in-English teacher. And some students began studying only a few weeks ago. The examination may take days or weeks.

If you are a student and are reading this post, you are not required to read all of the suggested texts. Instead of the required two texts in each category, you only need to read one African prose text, one non-African prose text, one African drama text, and one non-African drama text.

You must, however, comprehend these texts to an acceptable level. To supplement your reading, you should read summaries and analyses provided by textbooks and blogs.

The Shakespearean drama text and the two categories of poetry, on the other hand, have no alternative or shortcut. You must read everything because the questions and poems are chosen at random.


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Tip #6: Carefully read the instructions.

Part of the instruction is for the exam. Don’t let exam anxiety overwhelm you. Before you begin anything, read the instructions thoroughly. Make certain that you completely adhere to it. Anxiety and ignorance can cause you to answer two or four questions from African Prose when you should only answer one. Relax and adhere to the instructions.


Tip #7: Pay equal attention to non-African texts as you do to African texts.

Over time, I’ve noticed that students (and even teachers) pay more attention to African works and less attention to non-African texts, both in class and during individual study. In some cases, much time is spent on African texts with little or no regard for non-African texts.

To pass SSCE Literature in English, You must pay equal attention to these two. There must be some sort of balance between time spent on African texts and time spent on non-African texts.


Tip #8: Practice your expressions and language usage.

Language and literature are inextricably linked. They complement one another. The medium through which literature is expressed is language. Reading literature texts, on the other hand, helps to broaden one’s language use.

Good expression and language use are essential when answering exam questions. Writing bad, incoherent sentences only serves to defeat the subject’s purpose. As a result, you must improve your sentence structure and make your sentences as clear as possible.

And don’t go overboard. As much as possible, avoid ambiguity. and don’t confuse your examiner in order to impress them. No examiner wants to be bothered by marking a candidate’s script.


Tip #9: Stay away from stories. Get down to business.

You must avoid sidebars and get right to the point. You’ve got to hit the nail on the head. When asked to tell a story (“give an account of,” etc.), be precise in your response. Remove any extraneous details and tailor whatever story or references you tell or make to the question.

Provide a relevant reference. The only disadvantage of doing so is that you will not bore your examiner with a lengthy irrelevant response.

More importantly, whatever story or reference you use, make sure it is related to the question you are answering responding to.



I’ve provided some pointers that I hope will be useful in your Literature-in-English exams. If you came here looking for a shortcut, this is probably not the post for you.

Every true success story is built on the principles of hard work, dedication, patience, and perseverance. The fact that you made it to the end of this article speaks volumes about the great things you are capable of achieving if you set your mind to it. I wish you the best of luck in your upcoming exam.

If you are looking for literature in English tutors for yourself or your child, worry no more. Call/WhatsApp +233(0)501457284, email: [email protected] or visit us www.excellenthomeclasses.com.

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