Jamb Syllabus for Geography

2016/2017 JAMB Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus for Geography aims to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:

1. handle and interpret topographical maps, photographs, statistical data and diagrams and basic
field survey;
2. demonstrate knowledge of man’s physical and human environment and how man lives and earns a living on earth surface with special reference to Nigeria and Africa;
3. show understanding of the interrelationship between man and his environment;
4. apply geographical concepts, skills and principles to solving problems.
5. understand field work techniques and the study of a local area in the field.


A. Maps

Candidates should be able to:

Ai define and identify different types and uses
of maps

B. Scale and measurement

distances, areas reduction and enlargement, directions, bearings and gradients with reference to topographical maps.
Candidates should be able to:

Bi apply the different types of scale to distances and area measurement;
ii apply the knowledge of scale to gradients,
map reduction and enlargement;

C. Map reading and interpretation;

drawing of cross profiles, recognition of intervisibility, recognition and description of physical and human features and relationship as depicted on topographical maps.
Candidates should be able to:

Ci illustrate the relief of an area through profile
ii interpret physical and human features from
topographical maps.

D. Interpretation of statistical data;

maps and diagrams
Candidates should be able to:

Di Compute quantitative information from statistical data, diagrams and maps,
ii. interpret statistical data, diagrams and maps.

E. Elementary Surveying;

chain and prismatic, open and close traverse, procedure, problems, advantages and disadvantages.
Candidates should be able to:

Ei. analyse the principle and procedure of each
ii. compare the advantages of the two

F. Geographic Information System (GIS):

components, techniques, data sources, applications
Candidates should be able to:

Fi. Understand GIS and its uses.
ii. Understand the computer system of data
capturing and analysis
iii. Express locations through the use of latitudes,
longitudes, zipcodes etc.
iv. Understand land surveying, remote sensing,
map digitizing, map scanning as sources of data.
v. Explain areas of use: Defense, Agriculture,
Rural Development etc.
vi. Identify problems with GIS in Nigeria.

A. The earth as a planet

i. The earth in the solar system, rotation and revolution;
ii. The shape and size of the earth
iii. Latitudes and distances, longitudes
and time;
Candidates should be able to:

Ai identify the relative positions of the planets
in the solar system;
ii relate the effects of the rotation to the revolution of the earth;
iii provide proof for the shape and size of the
iv differentiate between latitudes and
v relate lines of latitude to calculation of
vi relate lines of longitude to calculation of time;

B. The Earth Crust

i. The structure of the earth (internal
and external) Relationships among the four spheres.
ii. Rocks: Types, characteristics, modes of formation and uses
iii. Earth’s movement: Tectonic forces
iv. Major Landforms: Mountains, Plateaux,
Plains, Coastal landforms, karst
topography and desert landforms
Candidates should be able to:

Bi compare the internal and external
components of the earth.
ii. understand the existing relationship among
atmosphere, biosphere in terms of energy
balance and water cycle.
iii. differentiate between major types of rocks and their characteristics;
iv. analyse the processes of formation and the
resultant features;
v. indicate the uses of rocks.
vi. differentiate between tensional and
compressional forces and the resultant
vii. identify and describe the major landforms

C. Volcanism and Earthquakes

i. landforms associated with volcanic activities
ii. landforms of Igneous Rocks
iii. origin and types of Volcanoes
iv. some volcanic eruptions and earthquakes
Candidates should be able to:

Ci. explain the processes of volcanic eruptions and
ii. describe the different landforms associated with
both volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
iii. give examples of major volcanic eruptions and
earthquakes in the world.

D. Denudation processes in the tropics

i. weathering
ii. erosion
iii. mass movement
iv. deposition
Candidates should be able to:

Di. identify the agents of denudation
ii. associate landforms with each process and

E. Water Bodies

i. Oceans and seas (world distribution, salinity and uses)
ii Ocean currents – types, distribution, causes and effects;
iii Lakes – types, distribution and uses.
iv. Rivers: Action of running water.
Candidates should be able to:

Ei locate oceans and seas on the globe;
ii. examine the characteristics and uses of
oceans and seas;
iii. classify the types of ocean currents;
iv. account for the distribution of ocean
v. evaluate the causes and effects of ocean
vi. identify the types and location of lakes;
vii. indicate the characteristics and uses of lakes
viii. identify the landforms of the different stages
of a river course.

F. Weather and Climate

i Concept of weather and climate
ii Elements of weather and climate
iii Factors controlling weather and climate
(pressure, air mass, altitude, continentality and winds)
iv Classification of climate (Greek and Koppen).
v Major climate types (Koppen), their characteristics and distribution.
vi Measuring and recording weather parameters and instruments used.
vii The basic science of climate change.
Candidates should be able to:

Fi. differentiate between weather and climate;
ii differentiate between the elements of
weather and climate;
iii isolate the factors controlling weather and
iv compare Koppen’s and Greek’s classifications
v identify the major types of climate
according to Koppen;
vii relate the weather instruments to their
viii define climate change
ix understand the causes of climate change
x understand the effects and remedies of
climate change.

G. Vegetation

i Factors controlling growth of plants
ii The concept of vegetation e.g. plant communities and succession
iii Major types of vegetation, their
characteristics and distribution,
iv Impact of human activities on vegetation.
Candidates should be able to:

Gi trace the factors controlling the growth
of plants;
ii analyse the process of vegetation
iii identify the types, their characteristics
and distribution;
iv assess the impact of human activities
on vegetation;

H. Soils

i. Definition and properties
ii. Factors and processes of formation
iii. Soil profiles
iv. Major tropical types, their characteristics, distribution and uses;
v. Impact of human activities on soils.
Candidates should be able to:

Hi classify soils and their properties;
ii. isolate the factors of formation;
iii. differentiate between the different types
of soil horizons and their characteristics;
iv. compare the major tropical soil types and
uses of soils;
v. account for the distribution and uses of
vi. assess the impact of human activities
on soils.

I. Environmental Resources;

i Types of resources (atmospheric, land, soil, Vegetation and minerals)
ii The concept of renewable and non-
renewable resources;
Candidates should be able to:

Ii. interpret the concept of environmental
ii. relate environmental resources to their
iii. differentiate between the concepts of
renewable and non-renewable resources.

J. Environmental interaction:

i Land ecosystem
ii Environmental balance and human
Candidates should be able to:

Ji. identify the components of land
ii. establish the interrelationship within the
iii. interpret the concept of environmental
iv. analyse the effects of human activities on
land ecosystem.

K. Environmental hazards:

i. Natural hazards (droughts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding)
ii. Man-induced (soil erosion, deforestation, pollution, flooding and desertification)
iii. Effects, prevention and control of hazards.
Candidates should be able to:

Ki identify the natural hazards and their causes;
ii. relate the human-induced hazards to their causes;
iii. locate the major areas where they are
common and their effects;
iv. recommend possible methods of
prevention and control.

L. Environmental Conservation
Candidates should be able to:

Li. Explain with examples environmental
ii discuss the different methods of
environmental conservation.
iii Explain the need/importance of
environmental conservation

A. Population

i. World population with particular reference to the Amazon Basin, N.E. U.S.A., India, Japan and the West Coast of Southern Africa.
ii. Characteristics – birth and death rates, ages/sex structure.
iii. Factors and patterns of population distribution;
iv . Factors and problems of population growth.
Candidates should be able to:

Ai. Define different concepts of population;
ii. identify the characteristics of
population (growth rates and structure);
iii. determine the factors and the patterns of
population distribution;
iv. identify the factors and problems of population growth;
v. relate the types of migration to their causes and effects;
vi. account for the ways population constitute
a resource.

B. Settlement with particular reference to Western Europe, the USA, Middle East and West Africa:

i. Types and patterns: rural and urban, dispersed, nucleated and linear;
ii. Rural settlement: classification, factors of growth and functions;
iii. Urban settlement – classification, factors of growth and functions.
iv. Problems of urban centres
v. Interrelationship between rural and urban
Candidates should be able to:

Bi differentiate between types of
settlements; (rural and urban)
ii. classify the patterns and functions of rural settlements;
iii. classify the patterns and functions of urban settlements;
iv identify the problems of urban centres;
v. establish the interrelationship between rural
and urban settlements;

C. Selected economic activities

i. Types of economic activities: primary, secondary, tertiary and quartnary;
ii. Agriculture: types, system, factors and problems
iii. Manufacturing industries, types, locational factors, distribution and socio- economic importance and problems of industrialization in tropical Africa.
iv. Transportation and Communication types,
roles in economic development and communication in tropical Africa.
v. World trade-factors and pattern of
world trade, major commodities (origin, routes and destinations).
vi. Tourism: definition, importance, location, problems and solutions.
Candidates should be able to:

Ci. identify the types of economic activities;
ii. differentiate between the types of
economic activities;
iii. assess Agriculture as an economic activity;
iv. compare the types of manufacturing industries;
v. identify the factors of industrial location;
vi. examine the socio-economic importance
of manufacturing industries;
vii. give reasons for the problems of industrialization in tropical Africa;
viii. differentiate between the types and means of transportation and communication;
ix. assess the economic importance of transport;
x. give reasons for the problems of transportation in tropical Africa;
xi. relate the factors to the pattern of world trade.
xii. classify the major commodities of trade
in terms of their origins, routes and destination.
xiii. Analyse tourism as an economic activity.

A. Broad outline of Nigeria

i. Location, position, size, political division
(states) and peoples;
ii Physical settling: geology, relief, landform, climate and drainage, vegetation and soils;
iii Population: size, distribution, migration,
(types, problems and effects);
iv Natural Resources: types (minerals, soils,
Water, vegetation etc) distribution, uses
and conservation.
Candidates should be able to:

Ai describe the location, size and political
divisions of Nigeria;
ii. identify the ethnic groups and their distributions;
iii. relate the components of physical settings to
their effects on human activities;
iv. account for the pattern of population distribution;
v. examine the types of migration, their problems and effects;
vi. identify the types of natural resources and their distribution;
vii. indicate their uses and conservation;

B. Economic and Human Geography:

i. Agricultural Systems: the major crops
produced, problems of agricultural development in Nigeria.
ii. Manufacturing Industries: factors of
location, types of products, marketing and problems associated with manufacturing;
iii. Transportation and Communication:modes of transportation and communication and their relative advantages and disadvantages;
iv. Trade: Regional and International Trade, advantages and disadvantages;
v. Tourism: types, importance, problems
and solutions.
Candidates should be able to:

Bi. compare the farming systems practiced in
ii. identify the crops produced and the problems
iii. identify the types and location of the major
manufacturing industries;
iv. determine the factors of industrial location and the problems associated with the industries;
v. establish the relationship between transport and communication;
vi. relate the modes of transportation and communication to their relative advantages and disadvantages;
vii. classify the major commodities of
regional and international trade;
viii. identify reasons for tourism and tourist centres;
ix. account for the problems and solutions


i. Meaning and objectives
ii. Member states
iii. Advantages and benefits
iv. Disadvantages, problems and solutions
Candidates should be able to:

Ci. State the meaning, purpose and objectives;
ii. identify and locate the member countries;
iii. evaluate the prospects and problems of the

Adeleke, B.O. Areola .O. 2002 and Leong, G.C. Certificate Physical and Human Geography for Senior Secondary School (West African Edition), Ibadan: Oxford.

Bradshaw, M. et al (2004) Contemporary World Regional Geography, New York: McGraw Hill

Bunet, R.B and Okunrotifa, P.O.(1999) General Geography in Diagrams for West Africa, China: Longman.

Collins New Secondary Atlas, Macmillan

Fellman, D. et al (2005) Introduction to Geography (Seventh Edition) New York: McGraw Hill

Getis, A. et al (2004) Introduction to Geography (Ninth Edition) New York: McGraw Hill

Iloeje, N. P(1999) A New Geography of West Africa, Hong Kong: Longman

Iloeje, N.P(1982) A New Geography of Nigeria (New Education), Hong Kong: London

Nimako, D.A. (2000) Map Reading of West Africa, Essex: Longman.

Okunrotifa, P.O. and Michael S. (2000) A Regional Geography of Africa (New Edition), Essex: London.

Udo, R.K(1970) Geographical Regions of Nigeria, London: Longman.

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Adegoke M.A (2013), A Comprehensive Text on Physical, Human and Regional Geography.


  1. IOS~BRAND IOS~BRAND October 14, 2016
    • Editoro Dennis Editoro Dennis October 17, 2016

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