NABTEB Biology Syllabus

NABTEB Biology syllabus

NABTEB Biology Syllabus And Hot Topics To Read For 2021 NABTEB: If you have been wondering how to get NABTEB Syllabus Online Plus hot topics you are to focus on in Biology then Guide is for you. 

The aim of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) Biology Syllabus for 2021 is to ensure that you are well prepared for the exam. 


The content of this syllabus has been drawn from the NBTE curriculum. It is divided into broad headings on the conceptual frame work on which the teaching syllabus is organized; the concepts of Biology, Flowering plants and Non-Flowering Plants, Invertebrates and Vertebrates, Basic Concepts of Ecology, Genetics and Evolution. An attempt has been made in this syllabus to make it relevant for candidates offering Biology either as a core science subject or as a trade related course.

AIMS: The aims of the syllabus are to:

  1. Ensure that candidates acquire meaningful and relevant knowledge in Biology;
    b. Develop reasonable and functional scientific attitudes in the candidates;
    c. Develop adequate laboratory and field skills such as observation, precision, classification
1.Concept of Biology1.1 Explain Biology as a science.1. Define science
2. Biology as a branch of science.
3. Importance of Biology to man.
4. Procedures in scientific methods. 5. The contributions of Robert Hooke,Theodore Schwann, Mathias Scheiden, Carl Linnaeus and Gregor Mendel to the growth of Biology.
The teacher should use charts, pictures and possibly films to demonstrate scientific procedures. Pictures to show scientists and possibly films to demonstrate scientific procedures.
2.The Scope of Biology1.1 Explain the scope of Biology1.2 Explain the inter- relationship of various branches of Biology.Scope of Biology: Ӣ BotanyӢ Zoology
Ӣ Genetics
Ӣ Ecology
Ӣ Evolution
Ӣ Microbiology ӢThe inter-relationship of various branches of Biology.
Take students out on field trips to observe plants and animals in their natural habitat. Lead students to detect relationship and inter- dependence among them.
3.General Characteristics of living and non-living things.
3.1 Explain the generalconcept of living and non-living things.
General characteristics of living, non-living things and dead things.Examples of living, non living anddead things.External features and life history ofrepresentatives of major groups of plants and animals (Schizophyta) e.g. Bacillus bacterium protozoa e.g. AmoebaClassify things in the classroom, school compound and school garden into living, non- living and dead things.Properties that qualify virus as living and non- living things should be emphasized.
 4.Plants and Animals1.1 Explain the differences between plants and animals.Characteristics of a named plant and a named animal.Distinctions between a named plant and a named animal.Euglena as plant and animal.
Diversity Among Living Things.
Classify plants and animals
The principle of classification of both plants and animals into classes and phyla.Characteristics/features of each phylum or divisions of plants and animals.External features and life history of an animal and a plant from phylum e.g. vertebrate and angiospermae.* Identify different classes of plants e.g. unicellular, non vascular and vascular and vascular plants and non-flowering plants.* Identify the two main classes of animals e.g. vertebrate ad invertebrate animals.* Collect plant and animal specimens from the immediate environment and name them. Classify them.
6.Microscope1.1 Identify the parts of a microscope. State its functions and maintenance.1. Parts of a microscope
2. Functions of each part of themicroscope.
3. Maintenance of microscope.
* Students should draw and label a compound microscope.* Prepare wet/temporary mounts. Observe under low power magnification.
7.Cells as Basic Units of Living Things.1.1 Outline the differences between plants and animals cells.1. Plant and animal cells.
2. Distinctions between plant andanimal cells.
3. Cell organelles.,
4. Components of cells and theirfunctions.
5. Single and free-living organismse.g. Amoeba, Paramecium, Euglena virids and chlamydomonas6. Colonial organisms e.g. volvox
Eudorina.Filament e.g. Spirogyra,Oscillatory.Distinction among single and free- living organisms, colony and filament.Differentiate between the groups of cells that form tissues and those that form colonies or filaments.
8.Cell OrganisationExplain levels of organization and complexity of organization in higher organisms.Single-celled organisms e.g. Amoeba, Euglena, Paramecium, chlamydomonas.Tissue e.g Hydra, Obelia, Sea Anemones.Organ (storage organ) e.g. bulb (onion) rhizomes and heart as pumping organ.System in mammals and flowering plants ”“ e.g. reproductive system, excretory systems, etc.Complexity of organization in higher organisms advantages and disadvantages.* These examples from the content should be used to illustrate differentiation and specialization in organism. Emphasize transport system in complex organisms.
9.Cell and its Environment. (Physical and Biophysical Processes in Cell).
9.1 Explain the physical andbiophysical processes in cell.
Ӣ diffusionӢ osmosis
Ӣ turgidity
Ӣ plasmolysisSites of occurrence of disfusion, osmosis, turgidity and plasmolysis and the conditions for occurenceDistinction between Osmosis and plasmolysis using specific examples.The importance of difussion and osmosis to life.

* Types of tropisms should be demonstrated. Microscopic examination of the different regions of growth and development, region of cell division, elongation, differentiation and maturation.
* prepare slides of a. Fission in paramecium
b. budding in yeast and hydra
These should be observed and drawn c. Conjugation
d. Vegetative propagation should br demonstrated using citrus plants


11.Flowering plants1.1  Explain the external and internal features of dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants.1.2  Explain reproduction in plants.External features of a named dicotyledonous flowering plantExternal features of a named monocotyledonous plant.Function of the different parts of the flowering plant.Internal structure of the root stem and leaf of both monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants.Reproduction in plants.Distinction betweensexual and asexualreproduction.Methods of asexualreproduction in plants e.g. budding, grafting, layering, stem cutting and use of suckers.Types of storage organs in plants e.g. rhizomes, bulbs, tuber roots, corns and leaves.Parts of flowers.The structure andfunction of the male and female parts of the flower.Types of pollination.Features of cross-pollinated and self-pollinated flowers.Agents of pollination andtheir adaptive features.Fertilization in floweringplants.Distinction between seedand fruit.Classification of fruits
1.3 Explain transpiration and mineralrequirements in plants.1.4 Explain the importance of photosynthesis and respiration in plants.and seeds.Agents of dispersal offruits and seeds.Germination.*Conditions necessary for germination e.g. adequate moisture, oxygen and suitable temperature.*Types of germination in plants (hypogeal and epigeal).Definition of transpirationMechanism oftranspiration.Sites in whichtranspiration takes place in plants (lenticel & stomata).Transpiration pull in plants.Factors affecting transpiration.Importance of transpiration to plants.Importance of mineral elements to plants.Definition of photosynthesis.Identification of parts of plants wherephotosynthesis takesplace e.g. leaf, stem.Process ofphotosynthesis.Conditions necessary forphotosynthesis.Importance ofphotosynthesis (Macro and Micro trace/elements. Effect of mineral deficiency, Nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and*Draw and label whole and a section of drupe, berry, caryopsis, bean seed or groundnut seed, castor oil seed or jatropia seed.
* Carry out experiments to show that water, temperature and oxygen are necessary for germination. Stages of hypogeal and epigeal germination should be observed and drawn.
*The students are to observe and draw stomata and guard cells under the microscope.
* Display poster of a stomata and its associated guard cells.
* Experiments to illustrate transpiration.
* Culture experiments to demonstrate the importance of mineral elements to plants.*Carry out simple experiments to illustrate the conditions necessary for photosynthesis e.g. light, oxygen, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll.
1.5 Explain tropism in plants.water cycles (Nutrientcycling).Definition of respiration.Identification of the partsof plants where gaseousexchange takes place.Respiration in all livingcells (Glycolysis andKrebs’ cycle.Distinction betweenrespiration and photosynthesis (catabolism and anabolism).Differences between respiration, combustion and fermentation.Definition of tropism in plants.Forms of tropism in plants.Mechanism of tropisms.Role of auxins in plantstropisms.Role of cytokinnins,gabberellin in flowering, fruit ripening and leaf fall.Other types of movement in plants e.g. nastic movement and tactic movement.*Test for starch in green leaf
*Water culture effects of experiment. The forms in which minerals are taken up by plants should be noted. Importance of each element to living organism should be emphasized.*Simple experiments to show that
a. oxygen is used up. b. carbon dioxide and heat are produced during respiration.* Simple experiments to show that phototropism, geotropism and chemotropism take place in plants.
12.Soil Science1.1 Explain the constituents, structure and characteristics of soil.1.2 Explain the various methods of soil andwater conservation and improvementConstitutents of soil and their importance.Types of soilCharacteristics of eachsoil type (physical,chemical and biological).Processes of soilformation.Soil structure and itswater retention capacity.Capilarity and porosity ofsoil samples of different types of soil.Concept of soil erosion.Various forms of soilerosion e.g. rill, sheet, gully and splash or rain drop.Other forms by which soil can loose its fertility e.g. leaching, surface compacting.Prevention of soil erosion.Various forms ofcultivation e.g. crop rotation, mono-cropping, mixed cropping, etc.Economic importance of various forms of cultivation.Roles of micro organisms in maintaining soil fertility.Importance of water conservation(afforestation and wild life conservation).* Carry out simple experiments to determine soil profile by both sedimentation and digging methods.*Carry out simple experiments to relate soil structure to water retention capacity. Determine experimentally the amount of air, water and humus in soild samples. Demonstrate with simple experiments the capillarity and porosity of different soil types.* Water carbon and nitrogen cycles should be treated.
13.Invertebrates (External Features).
Explain the external features and characteristics of
General characteristic features of invertebrate animals.Classification of* The teacher should lead the students to collect identify and classify members of

invertebrate animals.invertebrate to their phylum e.g. amoeba, paramecium, hydra, tapeworm etc.Worms.Life history ofinvertebrate e.g. Amoebaetc.Economic importance ofinvertebrate.Antropoda, Mollusca, Annelida, Nematoda and Plathyhelminthes. * Darw the external features of invertebrates e.g. earthworm, spider, millipede, centipede, cockroach, roundworm, tapeworm.
14.Vertebrata14.1 Explain the external features andcharacteristics of vertebrate animals.General characteristic features of vertebrate animals.Specific characteristic features of vertebrates pisces (fishes), amphibians repitilia, aves and mammals.Classification of vertebrates.External features, life history and adaptation to environment of each of the vertebrate groups.* Observe live fish, toad, lizard, bird and rate.
* Draw and lable the examples named above to show external features.* Write similarities of one group with another.
* Discuss differences between one group and another.
15.Supporting Systems in Animals
15.1 Explain the differenttypes of skeletons and supporting systems in animals.
Biological significance of skeleton and supporting system of animals (protection, support locomotion/movement and respiratory movement).Skeletal material e.g. chitin cartilage and bones.Distinction between types of skeleton.* The teacher should use the assembled complete skeleton of man, rat or rabbit to demonstrate supporting system in animals.* Draw and label the different bones of the skeleton of man.
16.Bones of the Skeleton15.1 Explain the different types of bones thatmake up the mammalian skeleton.General plan of the mammalian skeleton.Components of the axial and appendicular skeleton.* Draw and label the specified bones of axial and appendicular skeleton.
17.Types of Joints in AnimalsDescribe the types of joints in mammals, their locations1. Types of joints in mammals e.g. movable and immovable joints,* Demonstrate the mechanism whereby the bending and
and functions.ball and socket joints etc.Location and functions ofeach joint.Role of muscles inmovement.The function of articularcartilage.straightening movements of the arm is brought about in man.
* Draw a large and well labeled diagram of ball and socket joint.
18.Animal Nutrition18.1 Identify the mode of feeding in animals and explain the digestive system in man.Types of heterotrophic nutrition in animals (holozoic, parasitic symbiotic, saprophytic).Classes and sources of food substances in man.Importance of the classes of food in human diet.Importance of balanced diet to good health.The diseases of man associated with deficiencies of protein, vitamins and minerals.Symptoms associated with diseases mentioned above.Methods of curing the diseases.Digestive system in man.The mechanism involvedin, ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation and egestion.Functions of liver and pancreas.Distinction between autotrophic modes of nutrition.* Examine the dentition of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and relate the dentition to their diet.* Carry out simple experiments on food test.
* Identify proteins, carbohydrates and fats.Draw and label a large diagram of digestive system of man and use it to explain the different ogans that take part in digestion.Carry out simple experiments on the action of ptyalin, rennin and pepsin.
19.Mammalian Dentition18.1 Explain the structure of mammalian teeth,types, functions and diseases.Structure of a mammalian tooth.Types of teeth and their functions.Mammalian dentition as related to the types of food they feed on.Dental care.* teachers should instruct students to count their teeth, observe their shapes with the aid of mirror. * Examine the jaw of carnivores and omnivores dentition
5. Dental diseases associated with food habits and their prevention.and relate them to their mode of feeding. * Emphasize teeth care; cleaning , good diet and visit to dentist etc.
20.Circulatory System in Mammals
20.1 Explain circulatorysystem in mammals.20.2 Describe the mechanism of blood clothing and first-aid treatment.
Circulatory system in mammals.Heart structure and functionComponents of circulatory systems and their functions.Blood vessels structure and functionsProcesses of blood circulation in mammals.Types of circulatory systems.Components of blood.Functions of blood.Distinction among single,double, open and closed systems of circulation.Bleeding (external and internal).The mechanism of blood clotting.First-aid treatment of bleeding and snake bites.* Draw and label the major components of circulatory system in mammals.Use a small mammal (Rat), dissected to demonstrate the circulatory system. Draw and label the vertical section of the mammalian heart.* Use chart of blood circulatory system of man to demonstrate systematic circulation and pulmonary circulation.* Demonstrate how cotton wool or bandage can be used to stop bleeding. Demonstrate how you can stop snake venom from being carried to the brain by the blood.
 21Respiration in Mammals.21.1 Explain the process of respiration and therespiratory organs in mammals1. Definition of respiration. 2. Types of respiration.
3. Distinction betweenaerobic and anaerobicrespiration.
4. Respiratory organs in
*Draw and label the respiratory system of dissected small mammals.* Carry out experiments to show
animals.Components of therespiratory system inmammals.Mechanisms of gaseousexchange in fish, toad,and mammals.Distinction betweeninhalation and exhalation.Role of oxygen in tissuerespirationKreb’s cycle: Glycolysisin cytoplasm and kreb’scycle in mitochondrion.Compare respiration,combustion, fermentation and glycolysis.gaseous exchange and heat production in respiration. (Biochemical details not required).
22.Excretion in Mammals22.1 Explain the different excretory organs and excretory products of mammals.Excretory organs of mammals and their products.Structure of the kidney.The processes ofexcretion as carried outby the kidney.Disease of the kidney(causes, symptoms &precautions/control).Mammalian skin.Process of excretion bythe skin.* Emphasis should be excretory organs and waste products, minerals, salt, heat, water from skin urea, uric acid, etc from the kidney and CO2 heat and H2O from lung.* Draw and label the cross-section of the kidney.
* Mention the waste products.* Draw and label a cross-section of the mammalian skin.
* Draw and label the nephron.
 23.Coordination In Mammals23.1 Explain the component of the central andperipheral nervous system in mammals.The component of the central and peripheral nervous system.External structure of the brain and spinal cord and their functions.Structure and functions of somatic and automatic nervous systems.Structure and functions of the neurons.Draw and label a large diagram of a named mammalian brain (man)

Classification of the neurons.The transmission of nerve impulses by a change in electrical potential.Distinction between reflex and voluntary actions.Paths of reflex arc.Principal sense organs(eye, ear, nose, skin, etc)and their locations.The structure of the eye,ear and skin.Eye defects and theirmethods of correction.The functions and theeffects of over and under- secretion of hormones, e.g. thyroxin, insulin, adrenalin, and sex hormone.Maintenance of constant body temperature in mammals.*Draw and label reflex arc. Candidates should perform experiments to illustrate reflex actions such as blinking of the eyes, knee jerk, etc.*Longitudinal section of the mammalian eye and ear should be drawn and discussed. Charts of the eye and ear of man should be used.
24.Basic Concepts of Genetics24.1 Explain the basic terms used in genetics, theMendelian laws of inheritance and the applications of genetics.Terminologies used in genetics e.g. gene, chromozones, dominance, recessive, hybrid, genotype, phenotype, filial, generation, back- cross, complete & incomplete dominance, allele or allelomorphic pairs, etc.Mendelian laws of inheritance.Simple monohybrid crosses by the use of punnet square.Genetic studies as applied to agriculture and health.The principle of back- crossing e.g. red and white flowers where red* Illustrate diagrammatically, types of crosses. Carry out the following: dihybrid cross, Rryy ”“ round yellow, X-wrinkled green rryy.* Note Round is dominant over wrinkled while yellow is dominant over green.
is dominant over white.Sex determination inmammals.Distinction betweenmonohybrid and dihybridcross.Methods of carrying outgrafting in a named plant.Types of local plantwhich can be propagated by grafting e.g. oranges, mangoes, rubber, etc.Applications of genetics to health e.g. sickle cell anaemia, blood grouping, haemophilia etc.* Carry out random assortment of genes using assorted seeds.* Characteristics of peas and drosophylia melanogaster should be emphasized.* Examples and explanations are required.
25.Basic Ecological Concepts25.1 Explain the ecosystem, ecological factors and its measurement.1. Components of ecosystem and sizes.Ӣ Ecological components, biosphere, habitat, population, biotic community, ecosystem.Ӣ Biotic and abiotic as a component of the ecosystem.Ecological factors in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem
* Ecological successionSimple measurement of ecological factors.
Ӣ Physical factors:climate, topography. Ӣ Edaphic factors:chemical and physical composition, moisture content and soil texture.Definition of marine habitat.Characteristics of Marine habitat.Major ecological zone of
* The concept of ecological factors common to all habitats should be mentioned. Candidates should be able to mention some of the ecological factors including humidity, temperature, wind speed, rainfall and light intensity.* Simple measurement of ecological factors should be carried out* Testing of soil pH using litmus paper.Soil profile ”“ sedimentation method.
25.2  Explain marine habitat.25.3  Explain food webs and trophic levels.25.4 Explain energy transformation innature and ecological management.Marine habitat and their characteristics.1. Autotrophs and heterotrophs.”¢ Producers ”“ autotrophs”¢ Consumers ”“ heterotrophs.”¢ Decomposers 2. Tropic levels:”¢ Energyrelationships: food chain and food web.Pyramid of numberPyramid of energy.Ecological succession A. Primary successionSuccession in lakes, ponds estuaries.Problems of survival.B. Secondary Succession 3. Energy flow:
Ӣ Food/energyrelationship in aquaticand terrestrial habitat. Ӣ Pyramid of energyand
pyramid of numbers.”¢ Distinction between pyramid of numbers and pyramid of energy.Energy loss in ecosystem. ”¢ Solar radiation: Itsintake and loss atearth’s surface. ”¢ Biosphere.Decomposition in nature. ”¢ Decomposers (microand macro decomposers).
Visit sea shore.Candidates should be able to classify organisms as producers, consumers and decomposers in aquatic and terrestrial habitat.Illustrate food relationship in food chain and food web using specific examples.Drawing pyramid of number and of energy.Candidates should study succession of an abandoned farmland, lawn pond or moistened bread in
Gaseous products.Role of decomposers.Associations.”¢ Types of associations e.g. parasitism, symbiosis, saprophytism.Adaptation of organisms.Pollution of theatmosphere.Nature, names,sources and effectsof pollutants.Effect of noise as apollutant.Water and soil pollutionTypes and compositionEffects of the pollutantControl measures for thevarious forms of pollution with emphasis on regulatory bodies e.g. FEPA, United States Environmental Protection Agency, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO etc.Structure of bacteria and virus.Distinction between bacteria and viral cells.Mode of transmission, symptoms control and causative organisms of cholera, tuberculosis, leprosy, bacillary ”“ dysentery, typhoid fever,the laboratory over a period of time.Colonizers should be identified by their scientific names.Adaptive behaviour such as territorialism and dispersal mechanisms to avoid overcroding should be noted.Non-cyclic nature of energy transfer should be mentioned.The students should be able to construct and explain pyramid of numbers and of energy.Energy as a limiting factor in primary production i.e. autotrophs production should be taught.The students should observe demonstrations to
25.5 Explain the various diseases of man andtheir causative agents.gonorrhoea, syphilis, poliomeelities, small pox and AIDS.Vacinnation and inoculation in disease control and prevention.Sources of food poisoning and food contamination.Ways of preventing foodpoisoning.Food preservation.Methods of investigationof food poisoning andfood contamination.Symptoms of varioustypes of food contamination and food poisoning..A. Classification of plants
1. Botanical classification 2. Agriculturalclassification
3. on the basis of lifecycles.B. Effects of Agricultural activities on ecological systems.C. Pests and Diseases of Agricultural importance.1. Plants
2. Animals.Variation in population
1. Morphological e.g. (size,height, weight etc).
show that carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, heat energy are released during decomposition.Explain briefly, the first and second laws of thermodynamics.Adaptation of plants and animals to environmental conditions with particular reference to differences in habitat, should be discussed. Teacher should take students out to appreciate the effect of environmental pollution ”“ smoke, dust, cellophare,Discuss the harmful effects of noise pollution from generators and sound gadgets.Draw and label the structure of a virus and a bacterium.A visit to any hospital to observe how vaccination and inoculation are performed is required.Lead students to identify food contamination and posons.
25.6 Relevance of Biology to Agriculture.25.7 Variations and variability.Colour, skin, eye, haircoat of animals.Physical e.g. behaviour,ability to roll the tongue, ability to taste phenyl thio carbanide PTC, Blood groups.Application of variations in crime detection blood transfusion and determination of paternity.i. Adaptation of survival A. Competitionincluding intra and inter species competitionB. Relationship betweencompetition andsuccession.
ii. Structural Adaptation to:A. obtain food
B. Protectanddefend. C. Securemates.
D. Regulatebodytemperature
E. Conserve water.
Emphasize disease controlled and eradication by immunization and vaccination.Common plants and crops should be classified.Candidates should be able to explain how these activities of man affect natural ecosystems.Candidates should be able to identify and describe the life cycle of some common pest of crops and livestock noting their economic importance and method of control.The effect of diseases on crops and livestock, the causative organism as well as control measures should be noted.Candidates should be able to plot histograms and interpret data based on distribution of these finger prints trais in a population.
25.8 EvolutionCandidates should study the relationship of a mixed population of organisms to space sources of food and other materials, which are necessary for life.Candidates should observe examples of organisms that show structural adaptation for obtaining food (e.g. legs and beaks of different birds, mouth parts of insects especially mosquitoes, butterfly escape enemies; secure mates) regulates body temperature and conserve water.








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