FREE JAMB 2019/20 Syllabus for Chemistry – [UPDATED]



The aim of this 2019/2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) syllabus in Chemistry is to prepare the candidates for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives, which are to:


(i) understand the basic principles and concepts in chemistry;

(ii) interpret scientific data relating to chemistry;



(iii) deduce the relationships between chemistry and other sciences;

(iv) apply the knowledge of chemistry to industry and everyday life.


Separation of mixtures and purification of chemical substances

(a) Pure and impure substances

(b) Boiling and melting points.

(c) Elements, compounds and mixtures

(d) Chemical and physical changes.

(e) Separation processes:

evaporation, simple and fractional distillation, sublimation, filtration, crystallization, paper and column chromatography, simple and fractional crystallization, magnetization, decantation.


Candidates should be able to:

(i) distinguish between pure and impure substances;

(ii) use boiling and melting points as criteria for purity of chemical substances;

(iii) distinguish between elements, compounds and mixture;

(iv) differentiate between chemical and physical changes;

(v) identify the properties of the components of a mixture;

(vi) specify the principle involved in each separation method.

(vii) apply the basic principle of separation processes in everyday life.



Chemical combination

Stoichiometry, laws of definite and multiple proportions, law of conservation of matter, Gay Lussac’s law of combining volumes, Avogadro’s law; chemical symbols, formulae, equations and their uses, relative atomic mass

based on 12C=12, the mole concept and Avogadro’s number.


Candidates should be able to:

(i) perform simple calculations involving formulae, equations/chemical composition and the mole concept;

(ii) deduce the chemical laws from given expressions/statements/data;

(iii) interpret graphical representations related to these laws;

(iv) deduce the stoichiometry of chemical reactions.



Kinetic theory of matter and Gas Laws


(a) An outline of the kinetic theory of matter;

(i) melting,

(ii) vapourization

(iii) boiling

(iv) freezing

(v) condensation


in terms of molecular motion and Brownian movement.

(b)(i) The laws of Boyle, Charles, Graham and Dalton (law of partial pressure); combined gas law, molar volume and atomicity of gases.

(ii) The ideal gas equation (PV = nRT).

(iii) The relationship between vapour density of gases and the relative molecular mass.


Candidates should be able to:

(i) apply the theory to distinguish between solids, liquids and gases;

(ii) deduce reasons for change of state;

(iii) draw inferences based on molecular motion;

(iv) deduce gas laws from given expressions/ statements;

(v) interpret graphical representations related to these laws;

(vi) perform simple calculations based on these laws, equations and relationships


Atomic structure and bonding

(a) (i)The concept of atoms, molecules and ions, the works of Dalton, Millikan, Rutherford, Moseley, Thompson and Bohr.

(ii) Atomic structure, electron configuration, atomic number, mass number and isotopes; specific examples should be drawn from elements of atomic number 1 to 20.

(iii) Shapes of s and p orbitals.

(b) The periodic table and periodicity of elements, presentation of the periodic table with a view to recognizing families of elements e.g. alkali metals, halogens, the noble gases and transition metals. The variation of the following properties: ionization energy, ionic radii, electron affinity and electronegativity.



(c) Chemical bonding.

Electrovalency and covalency, the electron configuration of elements and their tendency to attain the noble gas structure. Hydrogen bonding and metallic bonding as special types of electrovalency and covalency respectively; coordinate bond as a type of covalent bond as illustrated by complexes like [Fe(CN)6]3-, [Fe(CN)6]4-, [Cu(NH3)4]2+ and [Ag(NH3)2]+; van der Waals’ forces should be mentioned as a special type of bonding forces.

(d) Shapes of simple molecules: linear ((H2, O2, C12,HCl and CO2), non-linear (H2O) and tetrahedral; (CH4) and pyramidal (NH3).

(e) Nuclear Chemistry:

(i) Radioactivity – Types and properties of


(ii) Nuclear reactions. Simple equations,

uses and applications of natural and artificial radioactivity.


Candidates should be able to:

(i) distinguish between atoms, molecules and ions;

(ii) identify the contributions of these scientists to the development of the atomic structure;

(iii) deduce the number of protons, neutrons and electrons from atomic and mass numbers of an atom;

(iv) apply the rules guiding the arrangement of

electrons in an atom;

(v) identity common elements exhibiting isotopy;

(vi) relate isotopy to mass number;

(vii) perform simple calculations relating to isotopy;

(viii) differentiate between the shapes of the orbitals;

(ix) determine the number of electrons in s and

p atomic orbitals;

(x) relate atomic number to the position of an

element on the periodic table;

(xi) relate properties of groups of elements on the periodic table;

(xii) identify reasons for variation in properties

across the period and down the groups.

(xiii) differentiate between the different types

of bonding.

(xiv) deduce bond types based on electron


(xv) relate the nature of bonding to properties

of compounds;

(xvi) differentiate between the various shapes

of molecules

xvii) distinguish between ordinary chemical

reaction and nuclear reaction;

(xviii) differentiate between natural and

artificial radioactivity;

(xix) compare the properties of the different

types of nuclear radiations;

(xx) compute simple calculations on the

half-life of a radioactive material;

(xxi) balance simple nuclear equation;

(xxii) identify the various applications of



(a) The natural gaseous constituents and their proportion in the air. – nitrogen, oxygen, water vapour, carbon (IV) oxide and the noble gases (argon and neon). (b) Air as a mixture and some uses of the noble gas. Candidates should be able to: (i) deduce reason (s) for the existence of air as a mixture; (ii) identify the principle involved in the separation of air components; (iii) deduce reasons for the variation in the composition of air in the environment; (iv) specify the uses of some of the constituents of air.




(a) Water as a product of the combustion of hydrogen and its composition by volume.

(b) Water as a solvent, atmospheric gases dissolved in water and their biological significance.

(c) Hard and soft water:

Temporary and permanent

hardness and methods of softening hard water.

(d) Treatment of water for town supply.

(e) Water of crystallization, efflorescence,

deliquescence and hygroscopy. Examples of the substances exhibiting these properties and their uses.


Candidates should be able to:

(i) identify the various uses of water;

(ii) identity the effects of dissolved atmospheric

gases in water;

(iii) distinguish between the properties of hard and

soft water;

(iv) determine the causes of hardness;

(v) identify methods of removal of hardness;

(vi) describe the processes involved in the

treatment of water for town supply;

(vii) distinguish between these phenomena;

(viii) identify the various compounds that exhibit

these phenomena.



(a) Unsaturated, saturated and supersaturated solutions. Solubility curves and simple deductions from them, (solubility defined in terms of mole per dm3) and simple calculations.

(b) Solvents for fats, oil and paints

and the use of such solvents

for the removal of stains.

(c) False solution (Suspensions and colloids):

Properties and examples.

Harmattan haze and water paints as examples

of suspensions and fog, milk, aerosol spray,

emulsion paints and rubber solution as

examples of colloids.


Candidates should be able to:

(i) distinguish between the different types of


(ii) interpret solubility curves;

(iii) calculate the amount of solute that can

dissolve in a given amount of solvent at a

given temperature;

(iv) deduce that solubility is temperature-dependent;

(v) relate nature of solvents to their uses;

(vi) differentiate among true solution,

suspension and colloids;

(vii) compare the properties of a true solution and a false’ solution.

(viii) provide typical examples of suspensions

and colloids.


Environmental Pollution

(a) Sources and effects of pollutants.

(b) Air pollution:

Examples of air pollutants such as

H2S, CO, SO2, oxides of nitrogen,

chlorofluorocarbons and dust.

(c) Water pollution

Sewage and oil pollution should be


(d) Soil pollution:

Oil spillage, Biodegradable and

non-biodegradable pollutants.

Candidates should be able to:

(i) identify the different types of pollution and


(ii) specify different sources of pollutants

(iii) classify pollutants as biodegradable and


(iv) specify the effects of pollution on the


(v) identify measures for control of

environmental pollution.


Acids, bases and salts

(a) General characteristics and properties of acids, bases and salts. Acids/base indicators, basicity of acids; normal, acidic, basic and double salts. An acid defined as a substance whose aqueous solution furnishes H3O+ions or as a proton donor. Ethanoic, citric and tartaric acids as examples of naturally occurring organic acids, alums as examples of double salts, preparation of salts by neutralization, precipitation and action of acids on metals. Oxides and trioxocarbonate (IV) salts

(b) Qualitative comparison of the

conductances of molar solutions of

strong and weak acids and bases,

relationship between conductance and

amount of ions present.

(c) pH and pOH scale; Simple calculations

(d) Acid/base titrations.

(e) Hydrolysis of salts: Principle

Simple examples such as

NH4Cl, AlCl3, Na2CO3 and CH3COONa

Candidates should be able to:

(i) distinguish between the properties of

acids and bases;

(ii) identify the different types of acids

and bases;

(iii) determine the basicity of acids;

(iv) differentiate between acidity and

alkalinity using acid/base indicators;

(v) identify the various methods of

preparation of salts;

(vi) classify different types of salts;

(vii) relate degree of dissociation to strength

of acids and bases;

(viii) relate degree of dissociation to


(ix) perform simple calculations on pH and pOH;

(x) identify the appropriate acid-base


(xi) interpret graphical representation of

titration curves;

(xii) perform simple calculations based on

the mole concept;

(xiii) balance equations for the hydrolysis

of salts;

(xiv) deduce the properties (acidic, basic,

neutral) of the resultant solution.



Oxidation and reduction

(a) Oxidation in terms of the addition of oxygen or removal of hydrogen.

(b) Reduction as removal of oxygen or

addition of hydrogen.

(c) Oxidation and reduction in terms of electron transfer.

(d) Use of oxidation numbers. Oxidation and reduction treated as change in oxidation number and use of oxidation numbers in balancing simple equations.

(e) IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic compounds using oxidation number.

(f) Tests for oxidizing and reducing agents.

Candidates should be able to:

(i) identify the various forms of expressing

oxidation and reduction;

(ii) classify chemical reactions in terms of

oxidation or reduction;

(iii) balance redox reaction equations;

(iv) deduce the oxidation number of chemical


(v) compute the number of electron transfer

in redox reactions;

(vi) identify the name of redox species in a reaction

(vii) distinguish between oxidizing and reducing

agents in redox reactions.

(viii) apply oxidation number in naming inorganic compounds

(ix) relate reagents to their oxidizing and reducing abilities.


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