JAMB Syllabus for Arabic

This JAMB Syllabus for Arabic aims to prepare the candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

JAMB Syllabus for Arabic

JAMB Syllabus for Arabic

General Objectives | JAMB Syllabus for Arabic

The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus in Arabic is to prepare candidates for admission into tertiary institutions through the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:
1. answer comprehension questions correctly in standard Arabic;
2. translate simple texts from English to Arabic and vice versa;
3. apply the rules of Arabic grammar functionally;
4. appreciate Arabic literary texts within the contexts of their environment and eras;
5. use Arabic as a living world language in communication where necessary.

SECTION A: Comprehension

It consists of two passages of seventy (70) words each. Five multiple-choice questions are to be set on each passage. The contents should be within the experience of the candidates e.g. current affairs, sports, education, politics, economy, health, culture and ethic. The themes of the two passages should vary.


Candidates should be able to:
i. use appropriate words or phrases for specific thought;
ii. deduce the lesson in the passage;
iii. determine the main theme of the passage;
iv. give an appropriate title of a passage;
v. interpret the meanings of particular words.

SECTION B: Translation

This section consists of ten (10) questions. Five of them are on translation from English into Arabic while the other five are on translation from Arabic into English.
Translation into English includes key words and phrases in a sentence.
Translated questions are to be based on standard Arabic and English usages.


Candidates should be able to:
i. use an appropriate Arabic word or phrase to convey the meaning of an English word or phrase;
ii. determine an appropriate English word or phrase for an Arabic statement;
iii. interpret idiomatic expressions in both Arabic and English;
iv. transfer ideas expressed in Arabic to English and vice versa;
v. communicate effectively in Arabic and English.

SECTION C: Grammar

Major grammatical features in Arabic to be examined include:
1. Demonstrative and relative pronouns.  
2. Gender (Masculine and Feminine). 
3. Characteristics of noun.
4. Dual.
5. Plurals
a. sound masculine plural
b. sound feminine plural
c. broken plural
6. Construct phrases.
7. Separable and inseparable pronouns.
8. Appendants:
a. adjective.
b. conjunction.
c. the permutative.
d. emphasis.
9. Prepositions.
10. Transitive & Intransitive verbs.
11. The perfect verb.
12. The imperfect verb:
a. the indicative.
b. the subjunctive.
c. the jussive.
13. The imperative verb.
14. The modifiers:
a. Kana and its associates ‫
b. Inna and its associates ‫
c. Zanna and its associates  
15. Trilateral and derived verbs.
16. Derivatives: 
a. the comparative/superlative. 
b. nouns of instrument.
c. nouns of time and place.
d. relative adjectives.
17. Conditional sentences.
18. Numerals (1 – 3000).
19. Active and passive voice.
20. Nouns in the accusative
a. direct object.
b. adverbs of place and time.
c. adverb of circumstance.
d. the exempted with illa.
e. Specification.
f. the vocative.


Candidates should be able to:
i. identify the various forms of demonstrative and relative pronouns;
ii. compare gender markers in Arabic;
iii. identify the three basic characteristics of Arabic nouns;
iv. differentiate between singular and dual forms of nouns;
v. construct plural forms of singular nouns;
vi. identify construct phrases and their usages;
vii. differentiate between separable and inseparable pronouns;
viii. detect correct usage of adjectives, conjunctions and the permutative in Arabic sentences;
ix. apply correct preposition in a given sentence;
x. differentiate between transitive and intransitive verbs and use them in sentences;
xi. detect the perfect verbs and their forms;
xii. detect the imperfect verbs and their grammatical words in sentences;
xiii. detect the imperative verbs and their forms;
xiv. identify the kinds of modifiers and apply them in Arabic usage;
xv. differentiate verbs; between trilateral
xvi. identify the types of derivatives;
xvii. apply the rules governing conditional sentences, detect them in sentences, construct them and differentiate them in normal sentences;
xviii. recognise and count Arabic numerals from 1 to 3000 and identify the intricacies involved in their usage;
xix. distinguish between active and passive voice and apply them in sentences;
xx. identify different types of adverbial clause, the exempted, specification and the vocative as well as detect and use them in standard Arabic;

SECTION D: Composition

This section consists of five (5) questions on subjects relating to the lives and environment of the candidates, e.g. education, culture, health, politics, economy, sports and current affairs.


Candidates should be able to:
i. use appropriate words for specific thoughts;
ii. use correct idiomatic expressions in Arabic;
iii. communicate effectively in Arabic;
iv. express ideas clearly in Arabic;
v. demonstrate the use of common Arabic idioms and proverbs.

SECTION E: Arabic Literature

This section consists of ten (10) questions on notable literary figures and their works cutting across the various periods which include the following:
a) The Pre-Islamic Period (500 – 610 C.E.).
b) The Islamic Period (610 – 1798 C.E.).
c) The Modern Period (1978 to date).
d) West African Literature in Arabic.


Candidates should be able to:
i. identify pre-Islamic poetic traditions and conventions;
ii. identify and analyze the style of figurative expressions contained in a given Islamic literature;
iii. describe the aesthetic features in literary texts and assess their modern cultural values;
iv. evaluate areas of successful use of Arabic as a medium of West African novel and drama, analyse their contents and describe their major characteristics and plots.

Recommended Texts

Get the recommended texts from the PDF version below:

JAMB Syllabus for Arabic | PDF Document


For the more interactive JAMB syllabus, see JAMB IBASS Syllabus.

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