JAMB biology syllabus for the 2021/2022 academic session is out and available for download in pdf here.
The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus in Biology is to
prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:
- demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the concepts of the interdependence and unity of life;
- account for the continuity of life through reorganization, inheritance, and evolution;
- apply biological principles and concepts to everyday life, especially to matters affecting the individual, society, the environment, community health, and the economy.
- 1 Jamb Biology Syllabus: Topic On Variety Of Organisms, Part A
- 2 2. Evolution among the following:
- 3 Jamb Biology Syllabus: Topic On Form & Functions Part B
- 4 Jamb Biology Syllabus: Topic On Ecology, Part C.
- 5 Jamb Biology Syllabus: Topic On Evolution.
Jamb Biology Syllabus: Topic On Variety Of Organisms, Part A
1. Living organisms:
b. Cell structure and functions of cell Components
c. Level of organization
i. Cell e.g. Amoeba, cheek cell
ii. Tissue, e.g. epithelial tissues
iii. Organ, e.g. leaf and heart
iv. Systems, e.g. reproductive
v. Organisms e.g. Chlamydomonas
2. Evolution among the following:
a. Monera (prokaryotes), e.g. bacteria and blue green algae.
b. Protista (protozoans and protophyta), e.g. Amoeba, Euglena and Paramecium
c. Fungi, e.g. mushroom and Rhizopus.
d. Plantae (plants)
i. Thallophyta (e.g. Spirogyra)
ii. Bryophyta (mosses and liveworts) e.g. Bryachymenium and Merchantia.
iii. Pteridophyta (ferns) e.g. Dryopteris.
iv. Spermatophyta (Gymnospermae and Angiospermae)
– Gymnosperms e.g. Cycads and conifers.
– Angiosperms (monocots, e.g. maize; dicots, e.g. water leaf)
e. Animalia (animals)
– coelenterate (e.g. Hydra)
– Platyhelminthes (flatworms) e.g. Taenia
– Nematoda (roundworms)
– Annelida (e.g. earthworm)
– Arthropoda (insects) e.g. Millipedes, ticks, mosquito, cockroach, housefly, bee, butterfly
– Mollusca (e.g. snails)
ii. Multicellular animals (vertebrates)
– pisces (cartilaginous and bony fish)
– Amphibia (e.g. toads and frogs)
– Reptilia (e.g. lizards, snakes and turtles)
– Aves (birds)
– Mammalia (mammals)
3. Structural/behavioural adaptations of vertebrates (bony fish, toad, lizard, bird, small mammal) to the environment.
Jamb Biology Syllabus: Topic On Form & Functions Part B
1. Internal structure of a flowering plant
b. Internal structure of a mammal
a. Modes of nutrition:
Types of Nutrition
b. Plant nutrition:
ii. Mineral requirements
(macro and micro-nutrients)
c. Animal Nutrition:
i. Classes of food substances; carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils, vitamins, mineral salts and water
ii. Food tests (e.g. starch, reducing sugar, protein, oil, fat etc.
iii. The mammalian tooth (structures, types and functions)
iv. Mammalian alimentary canal
v. Nutrition process (ingestion, digestion, absorption, and assimilation of digested
a. Need for transportation
b. Materials for transportation. Excretory products, gases, manufactured food,
digested food, nutrient, water and hormones)
c. Channels for transportation
i. Mammalian circulatory system (heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries)
ii Plant vascular system (phloem and xylem)
d. Media and processes of mechanism for transportation.
a. Respiratory organs and surfaces
b. The mechanism of gaseous exchange in:
c. Aerobic respiration
d. Anaerobic respiration
a. Types of excretory structures: contractile vacuole, flamecell, nephridium, Malpighian tubule, kidney, stoma and lenticel.
b. Excretory mechanisms:
c. Excretory products of plants
6. Support and movement
a. Tropic, tactic, nastic and sleep movements in plants
b. supporting tissues in animals
c. Types and functions of the skeleton
iii. Functions of the skeleton in animals
a. A sexual reproduction
i. Fission as in Paramecium
ii. Budding as in yeast
iii. Natural vegetative propagation
iv. Artificial vegetative propagation.
b. sexual reproduction in flowering plants
i. Floral parts and their functions
ii. Pollination and fertilization
iii. products of sexual reproduction
c. Reproduction in mammals
i. structures and functions of the male and female reproductive organs
ii. Fertilization and development. (Fusion of gamates)
a. meaning fo grwoth
b. Germination of seeds and condition necessary for germination of seeds.
9. Co-ordination and control
a. Nervous coordination:
i. the components, structure and functions of the central nervous system;
ii. The components and functions of the peripheral nervous systems;
iii. Mechanism of transmission of impulses;
iv. Reflex action
b. The sense organs
i. skin (tactile)
ii. nose (olfactory)
iii. tongue (taste)
iv. eye (sight)
v. ear (auditory)
c. Hormonal control
i. animal hormonal system
– adrenal gland
ii. Plant hormones
i. Body temperature regulation
ii. Salt and water regulation
Jamb Biology Syllabus: Topic On Ecology, Part C.
1. Factors affecting the distribution of Organisms
2. Symbiotic interactions of plants and animals
(a) Food chains, food webs and trophic levels
(b) Energy flow in the ecosystem.
(c) Nutrient cycling in nature
i. carbon cycle
ii. water cycle
iii. Nitrogen cycle
3. Natural Habitats
(a) Aquatic (e.g. ponds, streams, lakes seashores and mangrove swamps)
(b) Terrestrial/arboreal (e.g. tree-tops of oil palm, abandoned farmland or a dry grassy (savanna) field, and burrow or hole.
4. Local (Nigerian) Biomes)
a. Tropical rainforest
b. Guinea savanna (southern and northern)
c. Sudan Savanna
e. Highlands of montane forests and grasslands of the Obudu, Jos, Mambilla Plateau.
5. The Ecology of Populations:
(a) Population density and overcrowding.
(b) Factors affecting population sizes:
i. Biotic (e.g. food, pest, disease, predation, competition, reproductive ability).
ii. Abiotic (e.g. temperature, space, light, rainfall, topography, pressure, pH,
c. Ecological succession
i. primary succession
ii. secondary succession
a) (i) characteristics of different types of soil (sandy, loamy, clayey)
i. soil structure
ii. porosity, capillarity and humus content
iii. Components of the soil
iii. soil organisms
b) Soil fertility:
i. loss of soil fertility
ii. Renewal and maintenance of soil fertility
7. Humans and Environment
i Common and endemic diseases.
ii. Easily transmissible diseases and disease
syndrome such as:
– sexually transmitted disease/syndrome (gonorrhea, syphilis, AIDS, etc.
b. Pollution and its control
(i) sources, types, effects and methods of control.
(ii) Sanitation and sewage
(c) Conservation of Natural Resources
(I) Variation In Population
a. Morphological variations in the physical appearance of individuals.
(i) size (height, weight)
(ii) Colour (skin, eye, hair, coat of animals, scales and feathers.
b. Physiological variation
(i) Ability to roll tongue
(ii) Ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC)
(iii) Blood groups
c. Application of discontinuous variation in crime detection, blood transfusion and determination of paternity.
a) Inheritance of characters in organisms;
i) Heritable and non-heritable characters.
b) Chromosomes – the basis of heredity;
(ii) Process of transmission of hereditary characters from parents to offspring.
c) Probability in genetics and sex determination.
a) Application of the principles of heredity in:
b. Sex – linked characters e.g. baldness, haemophilia, colour blindness, etc.
Jamb Biology Syllabus: Topic On Evolution.
1.) Adaptation for survival:
a) Factors that bring about competition.
b) Intra and inter-specific competition
c) Relationship between competition and succession.
2) Structural adaptations in organisms
3) Adaptive colouration and its functions
4) Behavioural adaptations in social animals
5) Theories of evolution
i) Lamarck’s theory
ii) Darwin’s theory
6) Evidence of evolution
Jamb Biology Syllabus Recommended Textbook
- Ambuna, A. Egunyomi, A. and Osakwe, J. (1990). Comprehensive Certificate Biology for Senior Secondary Schools: University Press Limited
- Egunyomi A. Bob – Manuel, Abdullahi B.A. and Oyetola O.A. (1988). Exam Focus: Biology For WASSCE and JME 2nd Edition, University Press Limited
- MacQueen J. and Murray J. (1978). Success in Biology, Benin: John Murray
- Ndu, F.O. C. Ndu, Abun A. and Aina J.O. (2001). Senior Secondary School Biology:
Books 1 -3, Lagos: Longman
- Odunfa, S.A. (2001). Essential of Biology, Ibadan: Heinemann
- Oguniyi, M.B. Adebisi A.A. and Okojie J.A. (2000). Biology for Senior Secondary Schools: Books 1 – 3, Macmillan
- Ramalingam, S.T. (2005). Modern Biology, SS Science Series. New Edition, AFP
Roberts, A.B.U. (1993). Functional Approach in Biology
- Sorojini, T.L. Sheila, P and Charles, T.P. (2000). Modern Biology for Secondary Schools. Revised Edition, FEP
- STAN. (2004). Biology for Senior Secondary Schools. Revised Edition, Ibadan: Heinemann
- Stone, R.H. and Cozens, A.B.C. (1982). Biology for West African Schools. Longman
- Usua, E.J. (1997). Handbook of practical Biology 2nd Edition, University Press, Limited
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