WAEC Social Studies Syllabus for SHS PDF

The three major topics in the WAEC Social Studies syllabus are the following.

  • The Environment
  • Governance, Politics and Stability
  • Social and Economic Development.

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Remember that there can be only one WAEC Social Studies Syllabus. For that matter, you are likely to find the same Social Studies Syllabus for WAEC/WASSCE candidates elsewhere.

The difference here is that I will show you how to approach your studies with the WAEC Social Studies syllabus as your companion. So here we go.

How to Use the WASSCE Social Studies Syllabus

Note these vital points regarding the best way to use the SHS Social Studies syllabus. It is important that every examination candidate focuses on the subject syllabus in order to perform to their highest potential.

  • Each time you study, keep this Social Studies syllabus very close to you. This is why I have given you the PDF version free of charge to download. All you need is a reliable mobile phone or laptop so you can download this PDF document and save it safely.
  • Make sure you have a reliable Social Studies textbook. It doesn’t need to be a brand new book. If you cannot afford a new book from a bookshop, make good use of used books to cut costs.
  • Use as many Social Studies past questions as possible to check how easily relatable the questions are.
  • If you can, come up with your own essay and objective questions based on the topics in the WAEC Social Studies syllabus.
  • Then provide answers to the questions on a regular basis. Your Social Studies exercises must cover even the topics you find to be not too interesting. The reason is you must expect any topic from the syllabus to appear in the examination.
  • Start early so that you can go very far before the exam. When you have covered all the topics in the senior high school Social Studies syllabus you will know. And this will boost your confidence level.

SHS/GES Social Studies Teaching Syllabus PDF

The Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service have always issued teaching syllabuses for high schools. These syllabuses are usually more detailed and are, therefore, much longer than their WAEC-issued counterparts.


But do not be afraid. The two types of the Social Studies syllabus, just like any other subject syllabus, contain the same topics. The difference is only in detail.

When you finally download the WAEC Social Studies syllabus, you will have the opportunity to download the MOE/GES syllabus as well. That is if you think you need it.

With the study tips out of the way, let’s now have the full details of the WAEC Social Studies syllabus.

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1. WAEC Social Studies Syllabus: PREAMBLE

Social Studies is a study of the contemporary problems of society. The subject prepares the individual to fit into society by equipping him/her with knowledge about the culture of their society, its problems, values and hopes for the future.

Social Studies is multi-disciplinary and takes its source from many subjects. Examples are Geography, History, Government, Sociology, Psychology, Economics and Civic Education.

Essential elements of the knowledge and principles from these disciplines are integrated into a subject that stands on its own.

Social Studies, as a subject, helps students to understand their society better; helps them to investigate how their society functions and, hence, assists them to develop a critical and developmental mind that transforms societies.

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The examination syllabus is aimed at testing candidates’

  • Understanding of the components of positive attitudes and values towards individual and societal issues.
  • Knowledge of the components of society and their role.
  • Understanding of democratic values and how they foster national unity.
  • Understanding of the importance of the institution of marriage and family and their importance to society.
  • Understanding of positive self-concept for the development of the individual, good interpersonal relationships and social harmony.

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  • Awareness of socializing agencies and their roles in forging national unity.
  • Understanding of physical and social environment and the need to preserve them.
  • Awareness of socio-economic problems in Ghana and how to solve them for sustainable development.
    • Ability to cope with the problems of social change


The examination will consist of two papers: Papers 1 and 2 both of which must be taken by the candidates

PAPER 1        There will be 50 objective items, all of which must be answered within fifty minutes for 50 marks.

PAPER 2.       There will be a 3-hour paper consisting of three sections – A, B and C. The sections will cover the following areas of the syllabus.

Section A:       The Environment

Section B:       Governance, Politics and Stability

Section C:       Social & Economic Development

Ten (10) essay-type questions will be set in all, four on Section A and three each on Sections B and C. Some of the questions will be structured. Candidates will be required to answer five (5) questions in all choosing at least, one from each section.

Each question will carry 20 marks. The paper will carry a total of 100 marks.



1.0 Self-Identity

  1. Explanation of self’ and capabilities.
    1. False identity and its implications.
    1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory – its usefulness to the individual.
    1. Developing one’s capabilities.
    1. Self-confidence: its meaning and development.

2.0 Adolescent Reproductive Health

  • Explanation of terms: adolescent, reproductive health and reproductive rights.
  • Characteristics of adolescence.
    • Irresponsible adolescent behaviour; causes and implications.
  • Safety measures for adolescent health.
    • Fostering good gender relations.
    • Chastity: meaning and benefits

3.0 Our Culture and National Identity

  • Explain the concept national identity.
    • Identification of socio-cultural practices in Ghana.
    • Explain how socio-cultural practices in Ghana promote or inhibit development and why some should be changed.
  • The need for institutionalizing some socio-cultural practices.
  • Evaluate the importance of national and traditional symbols in fostering national allegiance.
  • Elements of Ghanaian culture that bind us together.
    • Some Ghanaian values and traits.

4.0 The Institution of Marriage

  • Explanation of courtship and marriage.
    • Purpose of marriage.
    • Preparation towards marriage.
    • Types of marriage in Ghana – process and residence.
    • Challenges in marriage.
    • Causes and effects of broken marriages.
    • Ways for sustaining marriages.

5.0 Individual Obligations in the Family

  • Explanation of family and types of families.
    • Functions and importance of the nuclear and extended families.
    • The roles of individual members of the family.
    • Systems of inheritance.
    • Importance of family as an institution.
    • Implications of abandoning the family.

6.0       Responsible Parenting

  • Differences between parenthood and parenting.
    • Responsibilities of parents.
  • Consequences of irresponsible parenting.
    • Preventing and managing parent- child conflict.
    • Ways by which children cause their parents to be irresponsible.

7.0 Socialization and Our Social Environment

  • Explanation of socialization; agencies of socialization agents of socialization.
  • The roles of agents and agencies of socialization.
    • Deviant behaviour and its implications on the society.
    • Factors that promote better interpersonal relationship in groups and individuals in Ghana.

8.0. Our Physical Environment and Environmental Challenges

  • Explanation of the terms physical environment and environmental challenges.
  • How human activities in Ghana are influenced by the physical environment.
  • The impact of human activities on the physical environment- positive and negative and their effect on man
    • Measures for protecting the environment.

9.0 Education and Social Change

  • Explanation of education, its forms and purposes.

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  • Explanation of social change.
  • The impact of education on national development.
  • The role of education in social change in Ghana.


10.0 National Independence and Self Reliance

  1. Explanation of political independence and self-reliance.
    1. Responsibilities and challenges of political independence.
    1. Reasons why Ghanaians misconstrued implications of independence.
    1. How to overcome the challenges of political independence in Ghana.
    1. How to apply the concept of independence and self -reliance to one’s life.

11.0 Peace Building and Conflict Resolution

  1. Explanation of the concepts: peace building and conflict resolution.
    1. Sources of conflicts and their effects.
    1. Effects of conflict on society.
    1. Conditions for peace building.
    1. Processes of peace building.

12.0  Leadership and Followership

  1. Meaning of leadership and followership.
    1. Qualities of a leader and a follower.
    1. Kinds of leaders.
    1. Leadership styles.
    1. The role of a leader and follower in nation-building.

13.0 Our Constitution, Democracy and Nation Building

  1. Explanation of constitution, democracy and nation building.
    1. Features and ways of promoting democracy.
  1. Importance of constitution in nation building.
  1. The role of democracy in nation building.
  1. Reasons why unity and development are more sustainable under democratic government.
  1. How to prevent autocratic rule.

14.0 Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual

  1. Explanation of rights and responsibilities.
  1. Types of rights and responsibilities.
    1. Possible conflicts in the exercise of rights and responsibilities.
  1. Reasons for curtailment of rights.
  1. The need for citizens to perform their responsibilities.

15.0 Ghana and the International Community

  1. Explanation of globalization and international community.
  1. Forms of co-operation Ghana has with other nations and bodies -United Nations Organization (UNO), African Union ( AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Commonwealth of Nations.
    1. Origin and objectives of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
  1. Benefits of NEPAD to Ghana.


16.0 The Youth and National Development

  1. Meaning of youth.
  1. Challenges facing the youth in their efforts to contribute to national development.
    1. Avenues for youth training in Ghana.
  1. Avenues by which the youth can get employment.
  1. Benefits of financial security to the individual and the nation.
    1. Planning sustainable financial security for the future.
    1. Explanation of the work of some financial institutions in the country.
  1. The role of the youth in national development.

17.0 Science and Technology

  1. Differences between science and technology.
    1. The role of science and technology in national development.
  1. Measures for promoting science and technology in Ghana.
  1. How science and technology is used in development and production in the world.
  1. Ways by which Ghana could promote development through increased application of science and technology.

18.0 Resource Development and Utilization in Ghana

  1. Explanation of Resource, Development and Utilization.
    1. Types of resources and the relationship among them in production.
  1. Measures for developing human resources.
    1. How human resources and other resources contribute to national development.

19.0 The Role of the Individual in Community Development

  1. Explanation of community and community development
    1. Identification of levels of community.
    1. Factors involved in community decision-making.
    1. The need for vision, initiative and drive in community development.
    1. Explain what community development involves.
  1. Ways by which individuals can contribute to community development

20.0 Promoting National Socio-Economic Development

  • Explanation of the concept development.
    • Identification of components of national socio-economic life.
    • Characteristics of a buoyant economy.
    • Sources of development problems in Ghana.
    • Measures Ghana has taken to improve development and standard of living in the country.
    • Ways of improving the standard of living in Ghana.

21.0 Sustainable Development

  • Explanation of sustainable development and maintenance culture.
    • Factors hindering sustainability of growth and development in Ghana.
    • Measures to sustain growth and development.
    • Measures to improve quality human resources and prevent their loss.
    • Ways of ensuring sustainability in a person’s life
    • How to avoid incurring unmanageable debts.
    • How to avoid falling victim to financial fraudsters.

22.0 Population Growth and Development

  • The structure of Ghana’s population
    • Social and economic implications of Ghana’s population structure.
  • Measures for breaking the vicious cycle of Ghana’s rapid population growth.
    • Efforts made towards implementation of Ghana’s 1994 population policy.
    • Reasons why it is difficult for Ghana to achieve the fourth and fifth millennium development goals.
  • Reasons for a person’s preference for an ideal family size.

23.0 The World of Work and Entrepreneurship

  • Explanation of work, productivity and entrepreneurship
    • Types of enterprises in Ghana.
    • Qualities of an entrepreneur.
    • Basic requirements for starting and sustaining a business enterprise.
    • Contribution of local enterprises to economic development.
    • Negative attitudes to work and their effects on productivity.
    • Positive work attitudes that employers expect from workers.

Recommended Reading List

The following are the recommended books for your Social Studies course. Like I said earlier, do not shy away from searching for used books if, for any reason, you cannot afford the new ones.

  1. Ayertey, Isaac (2009)        –           Mastering Social Studies for

Senior High Schools. Accra, Excellent Publishing and Printing.

  • Boateng, Philomena (2011) –        Social Studies for Senior High Schools, Accra, Aki-Ola

Publications. Fifth Edition

  • Aketewa, Michael (2007)  –           Social Studies for West African Senior High School, Accra,

Suhaws Printing Press.

  • Agyei, Paul (2007)            –           Contemporary Social Studies For Senior High Schools, Accra. Vicoplus Enterprise.
  • Mintah-Afari Emmanuel (2009) – Social Studies for Senior High Schools, Accra. Approacher’s

Series (Gh) Ltd

  • Gyekye Kwame (2008)     –           Social Studies for West African Senior High Schools Certificate

A four-year course, Legon-Accra. Sankofa Publications Co. Ltd

  • Joseph Kofi Adu-Yeboah  –           Practical Social Studies for Senior High Schools, Kwadwoan

Daniel Obiri-Yeboah (2008) Publishing

  • The 1992 Constitution of Ghana

Last Words

Now you know the topics to study for your WAEC/WASSCE Social Studies test. Feel free to download your PDF copy for offline use. It is completely FREE.

It is up to you to make sure you do not leave any stone unturned as you get ready for the exam. There are many other high school study guides and revision tools at Cegast Academy.

You only need to look around to discover some of the most dependable learning and teaching materials others are already using to better their chances in the coming examination. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to subscribe for regular updates.

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