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

1. demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the concepts of the interdependence and unity of life;
2. account for continuity of life through reorganization, inheritance and evolution;
3. apply biological principles and concepts to everyday life, especially to matters affecting the individual, society, the environment, community health and the economy.

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1. Living organisms:
a. Characteristics
b. Cell structure and functions of cell Components
c. Level of organization
i. Cell e.g. Amoeba, cheek cell
ii. Tissue, e.g. epithelial tissues
iii. Organ, e.g. leaf and heart
iv. Systems, e.g. reproductive
v. Organisms e.g. Chlamydomonas

2. Evolution among the following:
a. Monera (prokaryotes), e.g. bacteria and blue green algae.
b. Protista (protozoans and protophyta), e.g. Amoeba, Euglena and Paramecium
c. Fungi, e.g. mushroom and Rhizopus.
d. Plantae (plants)
i. Thallophyta (e.g. Spirogyra)
ii. Bryophyta (mosses and liveworts) e.g. Bryachymenium and Merchantia.
iii. Pteridophyta (ferns) e.g. Dryopteris. iv. Spermatophyta (Gymnospermae and
Angiospermae)
– Gymnosperms e.g. Cycads and conifers.
– Angiosperms (monocots, e.g. maize; dicots, e.g. water leaf)
e. Animalia (animals)
i. Invertebrates
– coelenterate (e.g. Hydra)
– Platyhelminthes (flatworms) e.g. Taenia
– Nematoda (roundworms)
– Annelida (e.g. earthworm)
– Arthropoda (insects) e.g. Millipedes, ticks, mosquito, cockroach, housefly, bee, butterfly
– Mollusca (e.g. snails)
ii. Multicellular animals (vertebrates)
– pisces (cartilaginous and bony fish)
– Amphibia (e.g. toads and frogs)
– Reptilia (e.g. lizards, snakes and turtles)
– Aves (birds)
– Mammalia (mammals)

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3. Structural/behavioural adaptations of vertebrates (bony fish, toad, lizard, bird, small mammal) to the environment.
1. Internal structure of a flowering plant
i. Root
ii. Stem iii. Leaf
b. Internal structure of a mammal

2. Nutrition
a. Modes of nutrition
i. Autotrophic
ii. Heterotrophic
Types of Nutrition
b. Plant nutrition
i. Photosynthesis
ii. Mineral requirements (macro and micro-nutrients)
c. Animal nutrition
i. Classes of food substances; carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils, vitamins, mineral salts and water
ii. Food tests (e.g. starch, reducing sugar, protein, oil, fat etc.
iii. The mammalian tooth (structures, types and functions)
iv. Mammalian alimentary canal
v. Nutrition process (ingestion, digestion, absorption, and assimilation of digested food.

3. Transport
a. Need for transportation
b. Materials for transportation.
Excretory products, gases, manufactured food, digested food, nutrient, water and
hormones)
c. Channels for transportation
i. Mammalian circulatory system (heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries)
ii Plant vascular system (phloem and xylem)
d. Media and processes of mechanism for transportation.

4. Respiration
a. Respiratory organs and surfaces
b. The mechanism of gaseous exchange in:
i. Plants
ii. Mammals
c. Aerobic respiration
d. Anaerobic respiration

5.Excretion
a. Types of excretory structures: contractile vacuole, flamecell, nephridium, Malpighian tubule, kidney, stoma and lenticel.
b. Excretory mechanisms:
i. Kidneys ii. lungs
ii. skin
c. Excretory products of plants

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6. Support and movement
a. Tropic, tactic, nastic and sleep movements in plants
b. supporting tissues in animals
c. Types and functions of the skeleton
i. Exoskeleton
ii. Endoskeleton
iii. Functions of the skeleton in animals

7. Reproduction
a. A sexual reproduction
i. Fission as in Paramecium
ii. Budding as in yeast
iii. Natural vegetative propagation
iv. Artificial vegetative propagation.
b. sexual reproduction in flowering plants
i. Floral parts and their functions
ii. Pollination and fertilization
iii. products of sexual reproduction
c. Reproduction in mammals
i. structures and functions of the male and female reproductive organs
ii. Fertilization and development. (Fusion of gamates)

8. Growth
a. meaning of growth
b. Germination of seeds and condition necessary for germination of seeds.

9. Co-ordination and control
a. Nervous coordination:
i. the components, structure and functions of the central nervous system;
ii. The components and functions of the peripheral nervous systems;
iii. Mechanism of transmission of impulses;
iv. Reflex action
b. The sense organs
i. skin (tactile)
ii. nose (olfactory) iii. tongue (taste) iv. eye (sight)
v. ear (auditory)
c. Hormonal control
i. animal hormonal system
– Pituitary
– thyroid
– parathyroid
– adrenal gland
– pancreas
– gonads
ii. Plant hormones (phytohormones)
d. Homeostasis
i. Body temperature regulation ii. Salt and water regulation

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1. Factors affecting the distribution of Organisms
i. Abiotic
ii. Biotic

2. Symbiotic interactions of plants and animals
(a) Food chains, food webs and trophic levels
(b) Energy flow in the ecosystem.
(c) Nutrient cycling in nature
i. carbon cycle
ii. water cycle
iii. Nitrogen cycle

3. Natural Habitats
(a) Aquatic (e.g. ponds, streams, lakes seashores and mangrove swamps)
(b) Terrestrial/arboreal (e.g. tree-tops of oil palm, abandoned farmland or a dry grassy (savanna) field, and burrow or hole.

4. Local (Nigerian) Biomes)
a. Tropical rainforest
b. Guinea savanna (southern and northern)
c. Sudan Savanna
d. Desert
e. Highlands of montane forests and grasslands of the Obudu, Jos, Mambilla Plateau.

5. The Ecology of Populations:
(a) Population density and overcrowding.
(b) Factors affecting population sizes:
i. Biotic (e.g. food, pest, disease, predation, competition, reproductive ability).
ii. Abiotic (e.g. temperature, space, light, rainfall, topography, pressure, pH, etc.
c. Ecological succession
i. primary succession
ii. secondary succession

6. Soil
a) (i) characteristics of different types of soil (sandy, loamy, clayey)
i. soil structure
ii. porosity, capillarity and humus content
iii. Components of the soil i. inorganic
ii. organic
iii. soil organisms
b) Soil fertility:
i. loss of soil fertility
ii. Renewal and maintenance of soil fertility

7. Humans and Environment
(a) Diseases:
(i) Common and endemic diseases.
ii. Easily transmissible diseases and disease syndrome such as:
– poliomyelitis
– cholera
– tuberculosis
– sexually transmitted disease/syndrome (gonorrhea, syphilis, AIDS, etc.
b. Pollution and its control
(i) sources, types, effects and methods of control.
(ii) Sanitation and sewage
(c) Conservation of Natural Resources
(I) Variation In Population

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a. Morphological variations in the physical appearance of individuals.
(i) size (height, weight)
(ii) Colour (skin, eye, hair, coat of animals, scales and feathers.
(iii) Fingerprints

b. Physiological variation
(i) Ability to roll tongue
(ii) Ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC)
(iii) Blood groups
c. Application of discontinuous variation in crime detection, blood transfusion and determination of paternity.

2. Heredity
a) Inheritance of characters in organisms;
i) Heritable and non-heritable characters.
b) Chromosomes – the basis of heredity;
(i) Structure
(ii) Process of transmission of hereditary characters from parents to offspring.
c) Probability in genetics and sex determination.

a) Application of the principles of heredity in:
i) Agriculture
(ii) Medicine
b. Sex – linked characters e.g. baldness, haemophilia, colour blindness, etc.

1.) Adaptation for survival:
a) Factors that bring about competition.
b) Intra and inter-specific competition
c) Relationship between competition and succession.

2) Structural adaptations in organisms
3) Adaptive colouration and its functions
4) Behavioural adaptations in social animals
5. Theories of evolution i) Lamarck’s theory ii) Darwin’s theory
6. Evidence of evolution

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