How to answer WAEC biology practical questions effectively

 Biology Is A Practical Science

Biology is not just a subject but a practical science. It provides a collection of experiments that demonstrate a wide range of biological concepts and processes. Experiments are placed with real-life contexts and have links to carefully selected further reading. This is why we actually have the presence of biology practical’s in schools and even in West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Exams.

Biology that deals with the study of the living world and living organisms won’t be complete without practical classes. Whether you want to become a doctor or biotechnologist biology practical is needed to pass biology as a subject. It takes about 50% of the total score. So to ace you exams, you need to prepare for your practical, exams very well in addition to your preparation for the biology theory exams.

Why Students Fail Biology Practical Exams

Having done series of practical classes in school it turns out most of the time that many WAEC candidates find it difficult to answer the WAEC practical biology correctly due a lack of proper understanding of the questions. This makes them fail the subject at the end of the day.

And for some others they didn’t prepare very well for questions relating to the list of specimens which would have been given to the school before the examination date. In this article I would be giving a few steps on how to prepare for and also answer WAEC biology practical questions very well .

How To Prepare For WAEC Biology Practical Exams

  • Make adequate preparation for the examinations: in preparing for the practical exam you should ensure that you exhaust you practical notes. WAEC would provide your school or center with a list of the specimens for the practical. So having been informed about the specimens you should read a lot on the specimens and the procedure of the practical’s involving the specimen and also question that can be asked. Study all the procedure, conclusions and answers to possible question that you can be asked.
  • Use biology practical manual and textbooks: this is very important because it would be a good source of information for you as you read. Using practical manuals would help simplify the procedures and, make it orderly.
  • Study past questions: past questions would help you see how they ask questions and help you focus on reading and preparing to answer the question. Past questions just help you to know how the practical questions and answers go. It exposes you to how they ask question and they expect the questions to be answered.
  • Make good use of WAEC syllabus: this is another helpful material to use. It guides you so that you won’t read amiss. It helps you figure what topics of biology practical’s they ask questions. So just in case you didn’t get the list of specimen you can use the syllabus so that your preparation would be detailed.

How To Answer The WAEC Biology Practical Questions In The Exam Hall

In answering WAEC biology practical questions you must understand the marking scheme, so as to present your answers in such a way that it would look attractive to the examiner to earn you big marks. Bear in mind that every single procedure is awarded marks. So ensure you don’t skip any procedure while reporting and presenting your practical results.

You will be expected to carry out an experiment and report your observation. So what you will see as the observation will not be far from the WAEC biology specimen given to your school or exam center. Below are few things you should do when answering biology practical questions.

  • Ensure that you come to the examination hall as early as possible to avoid being delayed in getting into the examination hall.
  • Make sure you have at least two sharpened pencil , an eraser and a sharpener.
  • Adhere to all instructions. Ensure that you read and digest every instruction written in the question paper.
  • Study the questions and the specimen very well before you start your experiment.
  • If you’re asked to draw, sketch don’t trace draw. Tracing is an offence and you can be marked down for it.
  • Draw exactly what you see and observer and not what you know
  • Come with an handkerchief to rub your palms at regular intervals in case your palms get sweaty
  • The name of the specimen, e.g. specimen H should be written under or on top after completion.
  • Your procedure and observation must be written carefully and neatly
  • Don’t give lengthy answers except you’re asked to explain something.
  • Submit your answer booklet as soon as you are asked to.


A Little Example Of WAEC Biology Practical Questions

  1. Study specimen A and B and answer questions (a) to (c)

(a)i. name the habitat of each specimen A and B

  1. Name the adult stage in to which each of specimens A and B develop

iii. Name the phylum and class common to the adult stage of specimens A and B


(b) State three observation features of biological significance in

  1. Specimen A
  2. Specimen B


(c)i. State four observable structural differences between specimen A and B

  1. State three observable similarities between specimen A and B


  1. Study specimen C,D, and F and answer questions 2(a) to 2(c)


(a)i. Name the organism  from which each of specimens C,D  and E, are obtained

  1. State the function common to specimen C, D and E.

iii. State three observable features which adapt specimen C to its function


(b)I. State two observable structural similarities in specimen C and D

  1. State three observable structural differences between specimen C and D


(c) Make a drawing 6cm to 8cm long of specimen C and label fully


  1. Study specimen K and L and answer question 3(a) to 3(c)

(a)I. Name the floral parts of specimen K

  1. Indicate the number of floral parts in each whorl of specimen K

(b)i. Name the sex of specimen K

  1. Give a reason for the answer in (i)

(c) What is the symmetry of specimen K


This is an example of what WAEC biology practical question looks like. You can study the questions just to serve as a guide. I wish you all the best in you exams.

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