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Thursday, 23 February 2017

WAEC Syllabus for Clerical Office Duties

This is the complete WAEC Syllabus for Clerical Office Duties for this years WAEC examination. Candidates for WAEC GCE (External) and candidates for WAEC SSCE (Internal) are reminded to use this syllabus to prepare for their examination. Click here "WAEC Syllabus" to get the rest of the subjects.

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WAEC Syllabus for Clerical Office Duties

WAEC Syllabus for Clerical Office Duties


The objectives of the examination are to test candidates’ ability to (1)        understand the principles and procedures in performing clerical duties in an office;
(2)        apply knowledge acquired on the uses of office equipment and materials and perform basic clerical office duties;
(3)        communicate effectively;
(4)        explain basic personal and professional habits and attitudes necessary for the performance of office duties;
The examination is further meant to:
(1)         develop problem solving skills to deal with clerical and secretarial issues in the office;
(2)        provide the foundation for further courses in business studies.
There will be two papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2, which will constitute a composite paper and will be taken at a sitting.
PAPER 1:       This paper will consist of fifty compulsory multiple choice objective questions to be answered within 50 minutes for 30 marks.
PAPER 2:       This paper will be made up of one compulsory case study carrying 22 marks and six other questions out of which candidates will be required to answer any three for 16 marks each. The case study will be based on office situations and candidates will be required to show understanding of the issues involved.  The paper will carry a total of 70 marks and will last 2 hours 10 minutes.

   1.   THE OFFICE (1)  Definition of an office
(2)      Functions                         (a) Receiving information
(b) Recording information
(c) Processing/Analysing
information                                                                                                (d) Giving information
(e)  Storing information
(f)  Safeguarding/Protecting

(3)        Sections
(a)  Reception
(b) General Office
(c)  Stores
(d)  Mail Room/Registry

    (4)   Departments              
(a) Accounts their
(b) Purchasing
(c) Sales
(d) Personnel/Human
(e) Production
(f) Legal
(g) Administration
(h) Transport

      (5)     Office Personnel                (a) Office Manager                 (b) Office Supervisor              (c) General Clerks
(d) Accounts Clerks
(e) Data entry Clerks
(f) Administrative
Candidates should be able to:

identify the important roles played
by each of these sections in an organization;

examine the linkages among the departments, sections and functions;

identify the interrelationship among     heads of departments;

outline the relationship among office personnel in terms of their  duties/ functions in the office;


  (g)   Secretaries
(i) Company Secretary
(ii) Private Secretary
(iii) Stenographer Secretary
(h) Receptionist
(i) Typist
(j) Messenger

(5)      Professional Image of Office
(a)     Personal and
Business Attributes

(b )  Social habits, Personal
Hygiene and healthy

(b)    Time Management

(6)    Layout  
           (a)  open
(b) closed


(1)       Principles of Organisation
(a)    Unity of objectives
(b)   Span of control
(c) Authority and
(d) Delegation
(e) Unity of functions
(f) Unity of command
(g) Supervision
(h) Remuneration
(i)  Accountability
(j) Esprit de corps
Candidates should be able to:
identify the differences between the different types of secretaries and state their duties;

give a detailed explanation of the personal and business attributes of office staff;

identify the importance of good social habit and personal hygiene;

explain time management as well as identify time management skills and  time wasters in the office;

give the factors that determine choice  of  office layout and reasons for planning an office;
state the advantages and disadvantages of open and closed office layout.

Candidates should be able to:

explain of the principles of organisation and how they can be applied in an organization;

(1)  Organisational Structure        (a)  Line structure
(b)  Line and staff structure
       (c)  Staff structure
(d)  Functional structure
(e)  Matrix structure

(2)       Organisational  

       (I)   Documents used in Business                         Transactions

          (a)    Letter of enquiry
(b)  Price  list/
(c)  Local Purchase Order
(d)  Order        
(e)  Proforma Invoice
(f)   Invoice
(g)  Delivery Note/Waybill
(h)  Debit note
(i)   Credit note
            (j)   Statement of account
(k)   Cheques/Payment
(l)    Receipt
(m)  Purchase Requisition

(2)   Methods of Payment                                       (a)   Cash
(b)  Cheque
(c)  Standing order
(d)  Credit transfer
(e)   Money transfer

draw an organizational chart and state its uses, advantages and disadvantages;

identify the documents, their purposes and when to use them;

complete the documents;

describe the various methods of payment used in business as well as state their advantages and disadvantages;

(3)       Payroll Handling          

(4)       Tax Regimes
(a)    VAT,
(b)    Income Tax
(c)     Communication
Service Tax(CST)
(d)    Property Tax
(e)     Import/Customs Duty

(5)       Petty Cash

  (1)  Types of Bank

     (2)  Types of Account
Fixed deposit 

      (3)  Cheques        
explain the termnologies – wages     salaries, gross pay, net pay, allowances, basic pay and PAYE;
know the metthods of determining
workers’ pay   – piece rate, time rate,
commission, flat rate, overtime and
bonus  expain and prepare payroll for
the payment of wages and salaries of
staff with given information;

identify and explain the various types of taxes and their importance;

expain the terms petty cash and imprest system and complete the petty cash book.

Candidates should be able to:
know the functions of Commercial, Development, Merchant, Rural/ Community Banks and the Central Bank  give examples of the various types of banks;
state the features of the various accounts;

give the definition, types, features of a valid cheque, parties to a cheque as well as the reasons for dishonouring cheques. explain a crossed cheque, various ways of crossing a cheque and the effect of the crossing.

(1)   Ordering of Stock

(2)   Duties of the  Storekeeper

(3)   Requisition Procedure

(4)   Stock Record and
          (a) Annual        
(b) Periodic
(c) Perpetual

(5)   Stock Control
(a) Minimum Stock
(b) Maximum Stock
(c) Re-order level

(6)  Stock Valuation
       (a) Cost price
(b) Average price
(c) Market price
(d) Lower price


(1)         General Office    
Candidates should be able to:
explain the term ‘stock’, the importance of stock keeping in business and describe the procedure for ordering stock from the manufacturer or supplier;

state the duties of the storekeeper and the
requirements of a good stock system;

describe the store requisition procedure;

explain stock, methods of stocktaking, stock records, types of stock records , the different methods of stocktaking  and describe the use of various documents. (Bin card, tally card, purchase order etc.);

explain the meaning and methods of Stock valuation;

Candidates should be able to:

mention and explain factors to be considered when purchasing office machines/equipment;
identify different office machines/equipment, their uses as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using manual and electric machines;
            (a)  Computer (b)  Photocopier
(c)  Risograph
(d)  Collating machine
(e)  Dictaphone                       (f)   Typewriters
(g)  Duplicating machines
(h)  Perforator
(i)   Calculator
(j)   Cash Register
(k)   Pager
(l)    Fax machines
(m)  Accounting machines
(n)  Scanner

(2)         The Computer and  I CT

(3) Mail Room    Equipment/Materials
(a)  Letter opening machine
(b)  Addressing machine            (c)  Franking machine
(d)  Shredding machine
(e)  Scales
(f)   Pair of scissors,
paper knife or blade
(g)  Stapling machine
(h)  Staple remover
(i)   Guillotine

describe how to maintain office machines/   equipment;

give the meaning, components, types, peripheral devices, functions, uses, advantages and disadvantages of computers;
explain the basic terms used in computing, functions of the Internet, Intranet and the Worldwide web  as well as mention service providers.

8.  COMMUNICATION          
   (1)  Meaning                       
   (2)  Forms
          (a)    Verbal
i. oral
ii. written
(b)    Non-verbal
(c)    Visual

(3)         Channels of   

    (4)  Barriers to effective      
(a)    Organisational Barriers
(b)   Physical Barriers
(c)  Psychological Barriers
(d)  Socio-Cultural Barrier
(5)       Business Correspondence
(a)  Letters
i   Form Letters
ii   Circulars
(b)  Memos
(c)   Reports
i    Short formal
ii   Short informal
iii   Periodic /Routine
iv   Special
v   Statutory
(6)       Mail handling
(a)    Mail Room
(b)   Incoming and Outgoing mail
(c)    Incoming and Outgoing mail register
(d) Postage book
(e)  Messenger’s Receipt

Candidates should be able to:

describe the different forms of communication with examples and identify their advantages and disadvantages.

identify the differences between vertical, horizontal and diagonal communication

explain and give  examples of the various barriers to communication.

state the parts, formats, and uses of each type of business correspondence.

identify types of reports, the purposes, characteristics and format of each.
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state the procedure for handling incoming and outgoing mail and complete the various books used in the process.

(7)  Meetings (a)  Purpose and kinds of
(b)   Requirements for a valid
(c)     Purpose and kinds of meetings
(d)    Requirements for a valid
i    Chairperson
ii   Secretary
iii   Teller
iv  Scrutineer

(e)     Meeting terminologies

(f)     Preparation of meeting
i    Notice                                ii   Agenda
iii   Minutes

(1)   Proofreading and office

(2)   Spelling, Word division  
and Punctuation

state the duties of  the officials.

mention and explain  meeting termnologies such as notice, quorum, agenda, resolution, ad-hoc committee, minutes, motion, ex-officio, casting
vote etc.

draft meeting documents from given information

Candidates should be able:
state the importance and purpose of  proofreading.

correct errors in passages, expand office abbreviations and use them  correctly.

know the basic rules for spellings, word division and punctuation.

10.    FILING  AND  INDEXING    (1) Methods of Classification
(a)  Alphabetical
(b)  Numerical     
(c)  Subject
(d)  Geographical
(e)  Chronological
(f)  Alpha-numeric
(g)  Subject-numeric   

(2)  Systems of filing 
      (a)  Lateral
(b)  Suspension
(c)  Vertical
(d)  Horizontal

(3)   Rules for filing    

(4)  Indexing and Cross-

(4)   Electronic filing  

(6) Central and Departmental     

   (1)  Reference Books
(a)  General reference books
i    dictionary                          ii   encyclopaedia
iii   almanac
(b)  Places
i    atlas
ii   site plan

Candidates should be able to:
explain filing, features of a good filing system and reasons for filing.

understand the rules for the various filing methods together with their advantages and disadvantages.

explain how each system operates  and identify the advantages and disadvantages of each system.

state the general rules for filing.

identify the types/forms of indexing and importance of indexing

explain electronic filing and state  its advantages and disadvantages  e.g microfilming/micrographics

compare central and departmental filing  and list their advantages and disadvantages.

Candidates should be able to:

mention information that could be obtained from each reference book.

     (c)  Specialized reference books i    trade journals
ii   post office guide
iii   telephone directory
(d)  Government Publications
i  Hansard
ii  White paper
iii  Gazette
iv  Financial Instructions
v   General orders

(2)  Sources of Information
(a)   Personal documents
(b) Driving documents
(d) Visa
(e)Tax clearance

(3)  Business Information
(a)  Exchange rates
(b) Stock exchange  listing
(c) Financial bulletins
(d) Employment

      (1)  Postal Services
            (a)  Postage stamps                                  (b)  Express mail
(c)  Special mail
(d)  Poste restante
(e)   Private mail bag
(f)   Registered mail
(g)   Recorded delivery
(h)   Airmail
(i)    Business reply service
(j)   Private mail box         


identify the various sources of information with examples, e.g.
·         Revenue offices – taxes
·         Immigration Service – passport
·         Embassies/High Commissions – visa
·          Banks – financial bulletins

Candidates should be able to:

explain the use of each postal service.

(2)  Courier Services        Expedited Mail Service (EMS)
Delsey, Helbor & Lyn (DHL)
Federal Express (FedEx)

(3)  Agency Services
(4)  Remittance services       
Postal Order
Money Transfer

           (1)  Internal Relations in the    

           (2)  Relations with the Public
(3)   Interpersonal Skills

       WELFARE   IN  

     (1)  Health Hazards in the    

      (2)   Accidents in the Office

(4)         Staff Welfare

state the features and benefits of courier services.

mention  and explain agency services
provided by the post  office.

Candidates should be able to:
explain internal relations and public relations and identify  ways of improving human  relations.

state factors that promote public relations and ways of improving interpersonal skills.

Candidates should be able to:

identify and explain health hazard in the office;
state the types of health hazards in the office and how they could be prevented;
state the types and causes of accidents as well as measures to prevent them;

identify welfare services and benefits available to office staff and the advantages associated with them.


(1)     Advertisement
    (2)  Submission of  Letters of
           application and curriculum vitae     

(3)   The interview 

Candidates should be able to:

design an advertisement;
write application letters with curriculum vitae;
know how to prepare for an interview.

Candidates should be able to:

explain the term “entrepreneur” and  give the general characteristics of an  entrepreneur;

explain small scale business and identify  the characteristics of a small scale enterprise;

identify the importance of small scale       businesses in the society/country.


  1. Secretarial Duties                      –         John Harrison, Pitman           Publishing Ltd.
  1. Office Practice for Colleges     –         Elendu O. Elendu, New Africa Publishing Co.   Ltd. Owerri (1985)
  1. Case Studies, A Skills-Based –           Sheila May, Pitman Approach       Publishing Ltd.
  1. Office Procedure                    –           John Harrison, Pitman                   Publishing Ltd.


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