Literature Texts for 2021 – 2025 WASSCE (or WAEC Examinations)

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has published the list of Literature texts for 2021 – 2025 academic sessions on its website. Recall that the current Literature texts used by the examination body will expire in the year 2020. Literature teachers are, therefore, advised to teach their SSS 1 and SSS 2 students with the literary texts listed below while their SSS 3 students are being taught with the Literature texts for 2016 – 2020 academic sessions.
Literature Texts for 2021 – 2025 WASSCE (or WAEC Examinations)

Literature Texts for 2021 – 2025 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE)

African Prose
1. Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta

2. Unexpected Joy at Dawn by Alex Agyei-Agyiri (2018 Edition)

Non African Prose
1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronté

2. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

African Drama
1. Let me Die Alone by John K. Kargbo

2. The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka

Non African Drama
1. Look Back in Anger by John Osborne 

2. Fences by August Wilson

African Poetry
1. "Black Woman" by Leopard Sedar Senghor

2. "The Leader and the Led" by Niyi Osundare

3. "The Grieved Lands" by Agostinho Neto

4. "The Song of the Woman of my Land" by Oumar Farouk Sesay

5. "Raider of the Treasure Trove" by Lade Wosomu

6. "A Government Driver on his Retirement" by Onu Chibuike

Non African Poetry
1. "The Good-Morrow" by John Donne

2. "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou

3. "The Journey of the Magi" by T.S Eliot

4. "Do not Go Gentle into the Good Night" by Dylan Thomas

5. "Binsey Poplars (Felled 1879)" by G.M. Hopkins

6. "Bat" by David H. Lawrence

Drama Text for Objective/Contextual Questions
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare


  1. Thank you for this information. However, I believe that the new texts will take effect by 2021/2022. As a result, the current SS1 students shouldn't be taught the new texts. Since they will be writing their WAEC by 2020/on 2021, they are the last set that will be tested on the current literature texts (ie. texts selected for 2016/2020).

    1. Thanks for the comment. However, in this case, we are looking at the year the students will be sitting for the examination. The current SSS 1 students have 2020/2021 as their academic session. This simply means that they will be sitting for the examination in 2021, making them the first set of students to make use of these literary texts. Every set of literature texts published by WAEC are used by 5 sets of students. The current SSS 2 students will make the 5th set of students to use the literary texts for 2016 – 2020. These books were first used by 2015/2016 set. This set of students actually wrote their literature exam in 2016. You can confirm this in WAEC's Literature past questions and answers. Please, get the one for 1988 – 2018.

      Therefore, the current SSS 1 students should be taught with the literature texts for 2021 – 2025 WAEC Examination.

    2. Please I still don't understand. The students in ss2 now who will write their exam in 2021,are they to use these new texts or the old ones. I'm confused, I don't know what to teach them anymore

    3. Teach your SSS 1 and SSS 2 students with these new texts (2021 – 2025). SSS 3 is the last set to use the old texts (2016 – 2020)

    4. Please, can I get neco syllabus for junior secondary school. Thank u for ur help so far.
      I have been finding it difficult to subscribe for notification. Any help in that regard?

  2. Thank u sir. Hope this is an authentic information

  3. I received another list with Macbeth as it drama text for objective.. .I'm a bit confused. Since when did students read separate texts for WAEC and NECO?

    1. Please ignore that for now. I will keep you updated should anything come up.

  4. Good morning...pls is there any text book compilation readily available at the moment? Plus, why is the scheme not broken down termly so that we can know which text to read first.

    1. No textbook compilation for these books yet. To know the text(s) to teach each term, click HERE 

  5. Thank's a valid information. Keep up with the good work.

  6. Can you please publish the poem '' A Government Driver On His Retirement" since we are not getting the anthology which contains the poem.

  7. How will we teach & the students learn when not all materials are readily available in the market.WAEC in conjunction with publishers will have to anticipate this in future.

  8. Do you know what poetry anthology one could find Onu Chibuike's poem, "A Government Driver on His Retirement" in?

  9. please, direct me to the literary texts for the junior secondary

    1. The ones I have are for schools in Rivers State.

  10. Please can we have objective questions for the poem A Government Driver on his Death?

  11. Please can we have objective questions for the poem A Government Driver on his Death?

  12. Good day , please can we get the list of literature texts for the junior neco exams. Thanks.

  13. How I wish there are materials with which the 2021-2025 set of texts and poems can be taught!

  14. I've frantically searched Google for materials for some of these poems, but I couldn't find anything, Oumar Farouk's "The Song of the Woman of My Land", Niyi Osundare's "The Leader and the Led" just to mention a few. I'll be glad if anyone can help with needed materials.

  15. Please i like to know if the current SS2 students will use the new texts or the 2016-2020 ones. I'm a little bit confused. thanks

  16. Please i will like to know if the current SS@ will be taught with the new texts or the 2016-2020 ones. I'm a little bit confused. thanks.

  17. Section1


    Onu Kingsley Chibuike is a rising Nigerian Poet. He was educated at Abia State University, Uturu, where he obtained his B.Sc. Degree in Industrial Chemistry. At present, he is the Registrar, Department of Surgery, National Hospital, Abuja.


    This is a story one might call ‘Twist of fate/Irony of life or Situational irony’ whereby a day that ought to be celebrated for freedom from daily stress associated with forced waking up early every day for work; and having spent thirty-five years of meritorious service to his fatherland, and now appreciated with the gift of a brand new car to ease his movement in retirement but somehow ends him up in self-destructive actions caused by his unbridled joy from excessive intake of alcohol. The poem which begins on a celebratory tone suddenly ends up in anti-climactic tone as a result of destined self-destruction.

    Lines 1 – 4
    Hear the persona speaks in the first person: having served his country all his life by taking up driving as a career (many years on wheels) and having travelled all over the country in the employ of the government (civil service); and today, he decides to hold a party (send- off) to celebrate his retirement from the civil service.

    Lines 5 - 8
    He truly admits being a compulsive drinker; but never allowed his excesses impinge on his work ethics and rules because he *(pummelled his boozy throat¬). So today, as a free man as well as a retiree, he is completely free from those rules of engagement. *(pummelled or bashed) -in this context means, held back his drunkenness then).

    Lines 9 – 16
    Then, he invites friends, well-wishers even the free-loaders for a drinking spree, and so will drink (booze) himself to stupor if possible, and then ‘zoom’ himself home afterwards all in celebration of his freedom from starting work early every day, and marking his thirty-five years of fulfilled services; so he will drink and drink to stupor and sleep off his past ‘sufferings’ as today is that long-awaited retirement day.

    Lines 17 – 20
    The celebration didn’t end there, imagine his unbridled joy as a retiree, and then more joy from the gift of a brand new car just for his thirty-five years of untainted (undented) services to his fatherland.

    Lines 21 – 24
    So friends, come and let us celebrate and have fun -even more joy till none is spared for tomorrow (joy till no more joy to joy), as today frees him from civil servitude, thus feeling like a king who has been duly rewarded for his faithful services.

    Lines 25 - 33
    And so he drinks and drinks with unrestrained joy (unlike when he was on the job holding back his drinking habit) –(celebrating the celebration of his retirement) in this drinking spree till he becomes so drunk; and yet, heads home driving his gift car while ‘battling with his bottle booze’ in stupor and poor vision, and then crashes his car and dies on the spot. Thus, the twist of fate is he zoomed to his heavenly home (for his final resting place) instead of his earthly home for true rest to enjoy the benefits of retirement.

    ISBN: 978-978-981-954-6
    An extract from
    A Literary Handbook on Poems
    for 2021-2025 WASSCE/NECO


  18. Section2
    This is a poem where its persona started in a celebratory tone having completed his mandatory thirty-five years of services in the employ of the government as a driver or (its variant in other sectors), and now duly rewarded. The twist of fate is his decision to celebrate his freedom from civil servitude, enjoy the goodness of the gift car, and have a total rest at home in retirement but all these aspirations fell flat as everything turned his tragic end. Here, the irony of life is this retiree-driver who out of his unbridled joy in celebrating his retirement ends up killing himself at the time when he should have had every cause to celebrate, relax, enjoy his pension and his gift car but then, these supposed sources of joy worked against him by ‘zooming’ him to his untimely death viz.:
    i. Instead of retirement, he retired his life;
    iii. Instead of celebrating, we mourn him;
    iv. Instead of ease of movement with the gift car, the car sends him to death;
    v. Instead of resting his worries, he got laid to rest;
    vi. Instead of home-coming, he returns to heaven.
    In this sense, the heavy dose of incongruities (contradictions) of what was expected and that which actually happened makes the poem a good example of a Situational irony that he was able to manage his duties but couldn’t manage one free day of his retirement to his benefit.

    This poem has a universal appeal as it applies everywhere in the world. It equally has a lot of themes and sub-themes that are noteworthy but just a few are analyzed below.

    1. Danger of drink and drive culture:
    It’s a common knowledge that most drivers world over drink and drive. So this poem supports the dictum: ‘when you drink, don’t drive, or drink responsibly’. But in this poem, the persona already known for ‘battling his boozy throat’ still threw caution to the winds and got himself killed while celebrating his life.

    2. The inevitability of death/meaninglessness of life:
    In ‘Things fall-apart’ by Achebe, the Agbara says, ‘He’s a god that kills a man when life is sweetest for him’. And going by this, we see a celebration of freedom from civil servitude turned into a shocking mourning. This suggests that life is transient as death always lurks around even more when life is sweetest; so it’s a retirement from work as well from life. It succinctly suggests the absurdity of life.
    3. Reward for loyalty: though a compulsive drinker, yet the retiree-driver never allowed his drunkenness interfere with his work. The moral lesson here is ‘caution’ in the sense that one can still rein in his frailties or excesses as we observed in this story in order to give one’s best which at the end could be very rewarding.

    4. Joy of Fulfillment: Thirty-five years of stressful day by day work has been accomplished and not just that, it has also been rewarded. Generally speaking, every civil servant in government job always looks forward to seeing this day which requires celebrating but then with restraints to live out life in retirement.

    ISBN: 978-978-981-954-6
    An extract from
    A Literary Handbook on Poems
    for 2021-2025 WASSCE/NECO

  19. Section3

    The setting is in a post-colonial Africa or elsewhere where people take up government jobs. The persona is a driver in the government service. He sets the narrative in celebratory tone as he has fulfilled his life’s ambition, thus invites his friends and well-wishers to come and celebrate with him but thereafter, he never lived out his life in retirement as was anticipated. The poem is structured into thirty-three (33) lines with seven (7) stanzas of irregular lengths without rhymes. It’s narrative in nature as it’s a story told by three personas viz. the *first persona, the *second persona and the *driver himself.

    The Diction is simple and spiced up with slangs and clinches.
    Viz, ‘...booze and zoom myself”
    ‘ till no more joy to joy’...booze boozed his vision, ...battle with his bottle booze; undented (for untainted).


    The poet employed many figures of speech that make the poem so easy to follow even to a hater of poetry.

    Words like ‘joy’, ‘come friends’, ‘new car’, ‘booze’, ‘thirty-five’, ‘home’ – are all repeated for emphasis and musicality.

    The retiree-driver’s death is mildly stated. Instead of ‘he crashed his car and died on the spot’, the poet states ‘he boomed his brand new car and it sent him home/Home to rest in peace’.

    Play on word as *‘joy till no more joy to joy’; * booze boozed his vision; *battling with his booze; *celebrating the celebration… etc.

    Here ‘wheels’ tells us he’s a driver who drives government vehicles.

    ‘undented is misused word for ‘untainted’ – even though they sound similar.


    Here a verb is applied to two nouns ...*booze his vision and clear judgment.

    ‘.... as he pummeled his boozy throat.’

    Others are invasion, alliteration, assonance, enjambment etc.



    1. Question: Explain in details the situational irony in this poem, and how the persona greatly contributed to it?

    Situational irony as an unexpected turn of events tends to explain the circumstances man is confronted with in his existence in a world of shifty values. It tends to evoke the vanity and meaninglessness of life after all struggles/sufferings yet life and potentiality turn cruel in some sense.
    Irony of situation is that discrepancy between expectation/aspiration and fulfillment, or that difference between appearance and reality of an issue, thus in this poem, it’s so shocking how this huge exciting celebration of retirement abruptly ends in horror by self-destruction. It’s a good example of how all struggles, aspirations and expectations returned to nullity which then tends to question if life is truly worth struggling for. Though irony enables us (readers) to imagine what has not come to us; and for authors, it suggests meanings/ideas implied without stating them. In this poem, the poet begins his narrative with the celebration of a retiree after his thirty-five (35) years of service in government. Actually, it’s a thing of joy not only to the persona but to his family and friends, so the celebration does worth it with regard to stress, commitment and restraints employed in the service that he’s rewarded in the end. And for this reason, he feels today gives him the opportunity to express his total freedom and enjoy himself even where it costs him his life. And this he carries on to the letter by not only drinking himself to stupor but to his death as well, thus he loses it all. An irony that he managed his job but can’t manage his freedom just for a day of his own.

    ISBN: 978-978-981-954-6
    An extract from
    A Literary Handbook on Poems
    for 2021-2025 WASSCE/NECO

  20. Hello
    Please I don't understand
    SSS2 students have read 2016/2020 texts
    Text like The blood of a stranger, Harvest of corruption. Will it be part of 2021 exams

  21. Hello. This is my first time on this site and I must say that I'm satisfied with the info therein. I 'll like to know how the literature texts for 2021 -- 2025 would be selected for study so that I can help my son with his preparation. Should he select only one textbook from each group or should he read all the eight textbooks. Eg: Should he read one textbook from African Prose, one from non-African prose, one from African drama, etc. Please help us. Thank you.

  22. This is really beneficial. I think the year the set of students are writing their examination helps in determining which of texts to teach if you are confused as to what texts to use. For instance, the present S S 3 with the mass promotion due to Covid 19 will be writing theirs in 2021 so,they are the first set to study and write examination on the 2021- 2025 new texts.

  23. Please can I get scheme of work for first term ss1_3