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JAMB Syllabus for Literature in English | 2021 Official Version

JAMB Syllabus for Literature-in-English: The JAMB Syllabus for Literature in English for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

jamb syllabus for literature-in-English

AllSchool is pleased to present the 2021 Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Literature-in-English Syllabus for UTME candidates. This JAMB syllabus for Literature-in-English will assist concerned candidates prepare adequately for the upcoming examination.

JAMB Syllabus is a place where JAMB lists out all the topics, sub-topics and textbooks candidates needs for the preparation of a particular subject. In this page, we will sharing with you the Literature in English Syllabus. We will also share with you the recommended prose, poets, drama and anthologies.

We can assure that if you are able to read, understand and digest the topics below, then you will score at least 90/100 in Literature in English. This is achievable but you must prepare. Not just read anything, read the topics that matters. Preparing with the the adequate materials/books. Yes prepare with the JAMB syllabus for Literature-in-English 

Aside scoring above 90/100 in JAMB when you prepare with the JAMB syllabus, most universities, polytechnics and College of Education uses this syllabus in setting their post utme questions. This implies that since you will score above 90 in JAMB, then you will definitely score above 90% in your post utme, hence, you will get admission.

PLEASE NOTE: After listing out recommended text-books below, you will see an option to view syllabus for other subjects.

Recommended Links:


Always make reference to the pdf version of the syllabus. You can CLICK HERE to download the JAMB Syllabus for Literature-in-English 2021 PDF or continue reading it on this website below.

Summary of the JAMB Syllabus for Literature in English

AllSchool is pleased to inform all students preparing to write Literature and English in UTME that though you only have five topics/subtopics, there are much to read.  They are;


This is the first topic/sub-topic. The JAMB approved drama books for literature in English below;

JAMB approved drama books for literature in English

  1. Harvest of Corruption by Frank Ogodo Ogbeche (An African Drama)
  2. Othello by William Shakespeare (A Non-African Drama) 

After reading the topic, make sure you are able to;

  1. Identify the various types of drama.
  2. Analyse the contents of the various types of drama.
  3. Compare and contrast the features of different dramatic types.
  4. Demonstrate adequate knowledge of dramatic techniques used in each prescribed text.
  5. Differentiate between styles of selected playwrights.
  6. Determine the theme of any prescribed text.
  7. Identify the plot of the play.
  8. Apply the lessons of the play to everyday living.
  9. Identify the spatial and temporal setting of the play.


This is the second topic/sub-topic. After reading this topic, make sure you are able to;

  1. identify literary terms in drama, prose and poetry.
  2. identify the general principles of Literature.
  3. differentiate between literary terms and principles.
  4. Use literary terms appropriately.


This is the third topic/subtopic in the JAMB syllabus for Literature in English. The content of this topic will be gotten from Unseen passages/extracts from Drama, Prose and Poetry. This implies you must have read the recommended books for the poetry, drama and prose. After-which, make sure you are able to;

  1. determine literary devices used in a given passage/extract.
  2. provide a meaningful inter-pretation of the given passage/extract.
  3. Relate the extract to true life experiences.


This is the 4th topic/sub-topic. Here you have to read the recommend poets books see them below;

Approved JAMB Poets for literature in English

The JAMB approved Poetry books for literature in English are listed below. The first six poets books are African while the remaining four are Non-Africans;

  1. Vanity by Birago Diop
  2. Ambush by Gbemisola Adeoti
  3. Piano and Drums by Gabriel Okara
  4. The Dining Table by Gbanabam Hallowell
  5. The Panic of Growing Older by Lenrie Peter
  6. The Anvil and the Hammer by Kofi Awoonor
  7. Crossing the Bar by Alfred Tennyson
  8. The Pulley by  George Herbert
  9. The School Boy by William Blake
  10. The Proud King by  William Morris

After reading the topic and the poets, make sure you are able to;

  1. identify different types of poetry.
  2. compare and contrast the features of different poetic types.
  3. determine the devices used by various poets.
  4. show how poetic devices are used for aesthetic effect in each poem.
  5. deduce the poet’s preoccupation from the poem.
  6. appraise poetry as an art with moral values.
  7. Apply the lessons from the poem to real life situations.


This is the last topic you will read. While reading the topic, make sure you read the types, narrative devices and textual devices of prose. You also have to read some prose books which are approved by JAMB.

Prose Books for literature in English Approved by JAMB

The prose boos are;

  1. Faceless by Amma Darko (An African Prose)
  2. Native Son by Richard Wright (A Non-African Prose)

After reading prose as a topics and the recommended prose books, make sure you are able to;

  1. differentiate between types of prose.
  2. identify the category that each prescribed text belongs to.
  3. analyse the components of each type of prose.
  4.  identify the narrative techniques used in each of the prescribed texts.
  5. determine an author’s narrative style.
  6. distinguish between one type of character from another.
  7. determine the thematic pre-occupation of the author of the prescribed text.
  8. indicate the plot of the novel; identify the temporal and spatial setting of the novel.
  9. identify the temporal and spatial setting of the novel.
  10. relate the prescribed text to real life situations.

JAMB Approved Recommended Anthologies for UTME

An Anthology is a collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts [source]. Below are the anthologies candidates writing Lit-in-Eng should read in preparation of the UTME. They are;

  1. Naked Soles, by Gbemisola, A
  2. The Penguin Book of English Verse by Hayward, J
  3. New Poetry from Africa, Ibadan by Johnson, R
  4. Oxford Anthology of English Literature,Vol. II, by Kermode, F
  5. West African Verse, by Nwoga D
  6. A Selection of African Poetry, by Senanu, K. E. and Vincent, T
  7. Poems of Black Africa, by Soyinka, W

Approved Critical texts for Literature in English

The critical texts for literature in English are just three. They include

  1. A Glossary of Literary Terms, (4th Edition) by Abrams, M. H
  2. A Dictionary of Literature, by Emeaba, O. E
  3. Understanding Unseen, An Introduction to English Poetry and English Novel for Overseas Students, by Murphy, M. J.

You read this Literature-in-English JAMB syllabus on your favourite educational website: ALLSCHOOL. AllSchool wishes you the very best of luck and prays you get admission this year…Amen!

Select a subject below to view its JAMB Syllabus

Allschool wishes you best of luck.


Thank you so much for reading this article, we really do appreciate. We hope you loved it, if you did, please share this page with your friends via the share buttons below. Sharing is caring.

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Thanks for d syllabus


Welldone @allschool.
I want to confirm from you perhaps you know if those that wrote Literature in English in jamb from Saturday met questions from the 2016-2020 syllabus Or from the 2021-2025 syllabus. Please we are in 2021 , that is why I am confused. Thank You.

Besh Marley>

Am sorry, what of the recommended text for 2021/2022

Big Show

Good day sir please what are the jamb recommended literature books for 2021/22? What I’m seeing here is old one!.


Please the literature texts was changed for the next 5 years…
Does it affect the ones used in jamb also??
Am getting different views and answers

Ruth Omotayo

Fantastic… I love this platform. Thank you for making impact


I’m sorry, what of the ones for 2020/2021?

Olubodun Barakat Abisola

This is awesome…


Okay,that was fine by me

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