The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus was used to design this course. The course content is also relevant for other exams, such as the National Examination Council (NECO) exams, the West African Examination Council (WEAC) exams, and the General Certificate of Education (GCE) exams.


Free Lesson 

Sample Physics CBT

Free Lesson 

Sample Physics CBT


The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus was used to design this course. The course content is also relevant for other exams, such as the National Examination Council (NECO) exams, the West African Examination Council (WEAC) exams, and the General Certificate of Education (GCE) exams.

Oyibo Abdulrahaman

Oyibo Abdulrahaman

Course Instructor

Studies indicate that Secondary School Physics helps significantly to reduce the failure rate in university-level physics. Students themselves typically indicate that Secondary School Physics is a significant factor in their ability to handle university-level physics topics. Physics hones thinking skills. It is one of the few Secondary School level subjects that exercise both mathematical and verbal skills. Candidates are advised to pay close attention to this course, as it will take them beyond just passing their exams.

Oladipupo Simeon Oladele

Oladipupo Simeon Oladele

Assistant Course Instructor

Learning Outcomes

 At the end of this course, candidates should be able to:

1. Sustain their interest in physics;

2. Develop attitude relevant to physics that encourage accuracy, precision, and objectivity;

3. Interpret physical phenomena, laws, definitions, concepts, and other theories;

4. Demonstrate the ability to solve correctly physics problems using relevant theories and concepts.

Course Syllabus

Measurements and Units

(a) Length, area and volume: Metre rule,
Venier calipers Micrometer
Screw-guage, measuring cylinder
(b) Mass
(i) unit of mass
(ii) use of simple beam balance
(iii) concept of beam balance
(c) Time
(i) unit of time
(ii) time-measuring devices
(d) Fundamental physical quantities

(e) Derived physical quantities and their
(i) Combinations of fundamental quantities
and determination of their units
(f) Dimensions
(i) definition of dimensions
(ii) simple examples
(g) Limitations of experimental measurements
(i) accuracy of measuring
(ii) simple estimation of errors.
(iii) significant figures.
(iv) standard form

(h) Measurement, position, distance and
(i) concept of displacement
(ii) distinction between distance and
(iii) concept of position and coordinates
(iv) frame of reference


Scalars and Vectors

(i) definition of scalar and vector quantities
(ii) examples of scalar and vector quantities
(iii) relative velocity
(iv) resolution of vectors into two
perpendicular directions including
graphical methods of


(a) Types of motion:
translational, oscillatory, rotational, spin
and random
(b) Relative motion
(c) causes of motion
(d) Types of force
(i) contact
(ii) force field
(e) linear motion
(i) speed, velocity and acceleration
(ii) equations of uniformly accelerated
(iii) motion under gravity
(iv) distance-time graph and velocity time
(v) instantaneous velocity and

(f) Projectiles:
(i) calculation of range, maximum height
and time of flight from the ground and
a height
(ii) applications of projectile motion
(g) Newton’s laws of motion:
(i) inertia, mass and force
(ii) relationship between mass and
(iii) impulse and momentum

(iv) force – time graph
(v) conservation of linear momentum
(Coefficient of restitution not
(h) Motion in a circle:
(i) angular velocity and angular
(ii) centripetal and centrifugal forces.
(iii) applications

(i) Simple Harmonic Motion (S.H.M):
(i) definition and explanation of simple
harmonic motion
(ii) examples of systems that execute
(iii) period, frequency and amplitude of
(iv) velocity and acceleration of S.H.M
(v)simple treatment of energy change in
(vi) force vibration and resonance
(simple treatment)

Gravitational field

(i) Newton’s law of universal gravitation
(ii) gravitational potential
(iii) conservative and non-conservative
(iv) acceleration due to gravity
(v) variation of g on the earth’s surface
(iv) distinction between mass and weight
(v) escape velocity
(vi) parking orbit and weightlessness

Equilibrium of Forces

(a) equilibrium of particles:
(i) equilibrium of coplanar forces
(ii) triangles and polygon of forces
(iii) Lami’s theorem
(b) principles of moments
(i) moment of a force
(ii) simple treatment and moment of a couple
(iii) applications
(c) conditions for equilibrium of rigid bodies
under the action of parallel and nonparallel forces
(i) resolution and composition of forces in
two perpendicular directions,
(ii) resultant and equilibrant
(d) centre of gravity and stability
(i) stable, unstable and neutral equilibra

Work, Energy and Power

(i) definition of work, energy and power
(ii) forms of energy
(vii) conservation of energy
(iv) qualitative treatment between different
forms of energy
(viii) interpretation of area under the forcedistance curve

(b) Energy and society
(i) sources of energy
(ii) renewable and non-renewable energy eg
coal, crude oil etc
(iii) uses of energy
(iv) energy and development

(v) energy diversification
(vi) environmental impact of energy eg global
warming, green house effect and spillage
(vii) energy crises
(viii) conversion of energy
(ix) devices used in energy production.
(c) Dams and energy production
(i) location of dams
(ii) energy production
(d) nuclear energy
(e) solar energy
(i) solar collector
(ii) solar panel for energy supply



(i) static and dynamic friction
(ii) coefficient of limiting friction and its
(iii) advantages and disadvantages of friction
(iv) reduction of friction
(v) qualitative treatment of viscosity and
terminal velocity.
(vi) Stoke’s law

Simple Machines

(i) definition of simple machines
(ii) types of machines
(iii) mechanical advantage, velocity ratio and
efficiency of machines


(i) elastic limit, yield point, breaking point,
Hooke’s law and Young’s modulus

(ii) the spring balance as a device for measuring
(iii.) work done per unit volume in springs and
elastic strings
(i) work done per unit volume in springs and
elastic strings.


(a) Atmospheric Pressure
(i) definition of atmospheric pressure
(ii) units of pressure (S.I) units (Pa)
(iii) measurement of pressure
(iv) simple mercury barometer,
aneroid barometer and manometer.
(v) variation of pressure with height
(vi) the use of barometer as an altimeter.
(b) Pressure in liquids
(i) the relationship between pressure, depth and
density (P = gh)
(ii) transmission of pressure in liquids (Pascal’s
(iii) application

Liquids At Rest

(i) determination of density of solids and liquids
(ii) definition of relative density
(iii) upthrust on a body immersed in a liquid
(iv) Archimede’s principle and law of floatation and applications, e.g. ships and hydrometer

Temperature and Its Measurement

(i) concept of temperature
(ii) thermometric properties
(iii) calibration of thermometers
(iv) temperature scales –Celsius and Kelvin.
(v) types of thermometers
(vi) conversion from one scale of temperature to

Thermal Expansion

(a) Solids
(i) definition and determination of linear,
volume and area expansivities
(ii) effects and applications, e.g. expansion in
building strips and railway lines
(ix)relationship between different expansivities
(b) Liquids
(i) volume expansivity
(ii) real and apparent expansivities
(iii) determination of volume expansivity
(iv) anomalous expansion of water

Gas Laws

(i) Boyle’s law (isothermal process)
(ii) Charle’s law (isobaric process)
(iii) Pressure law (volumetric process
(iv) absolute zero of temperature

(v) general gas quation
= constant )

(vi) ideal gas equation
Eg Pv = nRT
(vii) Van der waal gas

Quantity of Heat

(i) heat as a form of energy
(ii) definition of heat capacity and specific heat
capacity of solids and liquids
(iii) determination of heat capacity and specific
heat capacity of substances by simple
methods e.g method of mixtures and electrical method and Newton’s law of

Change of State

(i) latent heat
(ii) specific latent heats of fusion and
(iii) melting, evaporation and boiling
(iv) the influence of pressure and of dissolved
substances on boiling and melting points.
(ii) application in appliances


(i) unsaturated and saturated vapours
(ii) relationship between saturated vapour
pressure (S.V.P) and boiling
(iii) determination of S.V.P by barometer tube
(iv) formation of dew, mist, fog, and rain
(v) study of dew point, humidity and relative
(vi) hygrometry; estimation of the humidity of
the atmosphere using wet and dry bulb

Structure of Matter and Kinetic Theory

(a) Molecular nature of matter
(i) atoms and molecules
(ii) molecular theory: explanation of Brownian
motion, diffusion, surface tension,
capillarity, adhesion, cohesion and angles of
contact etc
(iii) examples and applications.
(b) Kinetic Theory
(i) assumptions of the kinetic theory
(ii) using the theory to explain the pressure
exerted by gas, Boyle’s law, Charles’ law,
melting, boiling, vapourization, change in temperature, evaporation, etc.

Heat Transfer

(i) conduction, convection and radiation as
modes of heat transfer
(ii) temperature gradient, thermal conductivity
and heat flux
(iii) effect of the nature of the surface on the
energy radiated and absorbed by it.
(iv) the conductivities of common materials.
(v) the thermos flask
(vii) land and sea breeze
(viii) engines


(a) Production and Propagation
(i) wave motion,
(ii) vibrating systems as source of waves
(iii) waves as mode of energy transfer
(iv) distinction between particle motion and
wave motion
(v) relationship between frequency, wavelength
and wave velocity (V=f λ)
(vi) phase difference, wave number and wave
(vii) progressive wave equation e.g
Y = A sin
  vt 


(b) Classification
(i) types of waves; mechanical and
electromagnetic waves
(ii) longitudinal and transverse waves
(iii) stationary and progressive waves
(iv) examples of waves from springs, ropes, stretched strings and the ripple tank.

(c) Characteristics/Properties
(i) reflection, refraction, diffraction and
plane Polarization
(ii) superposition of waves e.g interference
(iii) beats
(iv) doppler effects (qualitative treatment

Propagation of Sound Waves

(i) the necessity for a material medium
(ii) speed of sound in solids, liquids and air;
(iii) reflection of sound; echoes, reverberation
and their applications
(iv) disadvantages of echoes and reverberation

Characteristics of Sound Waves

(i) noise and musical notes
(ii) quality, pitch, intensity and loudness and
their application to musical instruments;
(iii) simple treatment of overtones produced by
vibrating strings and their columns
(iv) acoustic examples of resonance
(v) frequency of a note emitted by air columns in closed and open pipes in relation to their

Light Energy

(a) Sources of Light:
(i) natural and artificial sources of light
(ii) luminous and non-luminous objects
(b) Propagation of light
(i) speed, frequency and wavelength of
(ii) formation of shadows and eclipse
(iii) the pin-hole camera.

Reflection of Light at Plane and Curved Surfaces

(i) laws of reflection.
(ii) application of reflection of light
(iii) formation of images by plane, concave and
convex mirrors and ray diagrams
(iii) use of the mirror formula
(v) linear Magnification

Refraction of Light Through at Plane and Curved Surfaces

(i) explanation of refraction in terms of
velocity of light in the media.
(ii) laws of refraction
(iii) definition of refractive index of a medium
(iv) determination of refractive index of glass
and liquid using Snell’s law
(v) real and apparent depth and lateral
(vi) critical angle and total internal reflection
(b) Glass Prism
(i) use of the minimum deviation formula

Optical Instruments

(i) the principles of microscopes, telescopes,
projectors, cameras and the human eye
(physiological details of the eye are not
(ii) power of a lens
(iii) angular magnification
(iv) near and far points
(v) sight defects and their corrections

Dispersion of light and colours

(a) dispersion of light and colours
(i) dispersion of white light by a triangular
(ii) production of pure spectrum
(iii) colour mixing by addition and subtraction
(iv) colour of objects and colour filters
(b)electgromagnetic spectrum
(i) description of sources and uses of various
types of radiation.


(i) existence of positive and negative charges
in matter
(ii) charging a body by friction, contact and
(iii) electroscope
(iv) Coulomb’s inverse square law, electric
field and potential
(v) electric field intensity and potential
(vi) electric discharge and lightning


(ii) parallel plate capacitors
(iii) capacitance of a capacitor
(iv) the relationship between capacitance, area
separation of plates and medium between the
(v) capacitors in series and parallel
(vi) energy stored in a capacitor

Electric Cells

(i) simple voltaic cell and its defects;
(ii) Daniel cell, Leclanche cell (wet and dry)
(iii) lead –acid accumulator and Nickel-Iron
(Nife) Lithium lron and Mercury cadmium
(iv) maintenance of cells and batteries (detail
treatment of the chemistry of a cell is not
(v) arrangement of cells
(vi) Efficiency of a cell

Current Electricity

(i) electromagnetic force (emf), potential
difference (p.d.), current, internal resistance
of a cell and lost Volt
(ii) Ohm’s law
(iii) measurement of resistance
(iv) meter bridge
(v) resistance in series and in parallel and their
(vi) the potentiometer method of measuring
emf, current and internal resistance of a cell.
(v) electrical networks

Electrical Energy and Power

(i) concepts of electrical energy and power
(ii) commercial unit of electric energy and
(iii) electric power transmission
(v) heating effects of electric current.
(vi) electrical wiring of houses
(vii) use of fuse

Magnets and Magnetic Fields

(i) natural and artificial magnets
(ii) magnetic properties of soft iron and steel
(iii) methods of making magnets and
(iv) concept of magnetic field
(v) magnetic field of a permanent magnet
(vi) magnetic field round a straight current
carrying conductor, circular wire and
(vii) properties of the earth’s magnetic field;
north and south poles, magnetic meridian
and angle of dip and declination

(viii) flux and flux density
(ix) variation of magnetic field intensity over
the earth’s surface
(x) applications: earth’s magnetic field in
navigation and mineral exploration.


Force on a Current-Carrying Conductor

Magnetic Field
(i) quantitative treatment of force between
two parallel current-carrying conductors
(ii) force on a charge moving in a magnetic
(iii) the d. c. motor
(iv) electromagnets
(v) carbon microphone
(vi) moving coil and moving iron instruments
(vii) conversion of galvanometers to
ammeters and voltmeter using shunts
and multipliers
(viii) sensitivity of a galvanometer

Electromagnetic Induction

(i) Faraday’s laws of electromagnetic induction
(ii) factors affecting induced emf
(iii) Lenz’s law as an illustration of the
principle of conservation of energy

(iv) a.c. and d.c generators
(v) transformers
(vi) the induction coil
(b) Inductance
(i) explanation of inductance
(ii) unit of inductance
(iii) energy stored in an inductor
(iv) application/uses of inductors
(ix) Eddy Current
(i) reduction of eddy current
(ii) applications of eddy current

Simple A. C. Circuits

(ii) peak and r.m.s. values
(iii) a.c. source connected to a resistor;
(iv) a.c source connected to a capacitorcapacitive reactance
(v) a.c source connected to an inductor
inductive reactance
(vi) series R-L-C circuits
(vii) vector diagram, phase angle and power
(viii) resistance and impedance
(ix) effective voltage in an R-L-C circuits
(x) resonance and resonance frequency

Conduction of Electricity Through

(a) liquids

(i) electrolytes and non-electrolyte
(ii) concept of electrolysis
(iii) Faraday’s laws of electrolysis
(iv) application of electrolysis, e.g
electroplating, calibration of ammeter etc.
(b) gases
(i) discharge through gases (qualitative
treatment only)
(ii) application of conduction of electricity
through gases

Elementary Modern Physics

(i) models of the atom and their limitations
(ii) elementary structure of the atom;
(iii) energy levels and spectra
(iv) thermionic and photoelectric emissions;
(v) Einstein’s equation and stopping potential
(vi) applications of thermionic emissions and
photoelectric effects
(vii) simple method of production of x-rays
(viii) properties and applications of alpha, beta
and gamma rays
(xiii) half-life and decay constant
(xiv) simple ideas of production of energy by
fusion and fission
(xv) binding energy, mass defect and Einstein’s
Energy equation
[∆E = ∆Mc2

(xvi) wave-particle paradox (duality of matter)
(xvii) electron diffraction
(xviii) the uncertainty principle

Introductory Electronics

(i) distinction between metals, semiconductors
and insulators (elementary knowledge of band
gap is required)
(ii) intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors;
(iii) uses of semiconductors and diodes in
rectification and transistors in amplification
(iv) n-type and p-type semiconductors
(v) elementary knowledge of diodes and

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