Post UTME Syllabus in Chemistry

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This is complete Post UTME Syllabus in Chemistry for candidates who are writing post utme exam this year in various universities. So, if you are preparing for post utme exam, it’s important that you follow this syllabus while you are reading. Try as much as possible to cover it with text books and post utme past questions.

Fundamental Concepts in Physical Chemistry

  1. Separation of Mixture and Purification or Chemical Substances

(a) Pure and impure substances. Melting and boiling points should be mentioned as criteria for purity of chemical substances. Elements, compounds and mixtures. Definition of (i) an element (ii) a compound should be known.

(b) Production of a mixture by mixing sulphur powder and iron fillings in any proportion; Production of a compound e.g. FeS by mixing iron fillings and sulphur powder in the ratio 28:16 and later heating. Discussion of the differences between a mixture and a compound should be known.

(c) Separation processes: e.g. by evaporation, simple and fractional distillation, sublimation, filtration, crystallization, precipitation and chromatography.

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  1. Atomic Structure. Periodic Table and Nuclear


(a) Short account of Dalton’s atomic theory: Crooke’s and JJ. Thompson’s experiment. Outline of Ratherford’s description of alpha particle scattering and deductions there from.

(b) Atomic number/proton number; number of neutrons: isotopes, atomic mass. Calculation of relative atomic mass from various isotopic masses. Relative atomic mass and relative molecular mass based on carbon 12 scale. Quantum Number, Electronic Energy Levels. Experimental evidence and interpretation of line spectra (quantitative treatment only). Arrangement of electrons in the main and sub-energy levels; shapes of s and p – orbitals only. Rules and principles of filling-in electrons – Aufbau Principles, Hund’s Rule of Maximum Multiplicity and Pauli Exclusion Principle. Abbreviated and detailed electronic configuration in terms of s, p and d orbitals from hydrogen to zinc. Mention should be made of the old system e.g. 2, 8, 1 for sodium.


Periodic Chemistry

Nuclear Chemistry

(i)   Types of nature of radiations.

Distinction between ordinary reactions and nuclear reactions, Charges, relative mass and penetrating power of radiations. Balancing of simple nuclear equations.

(ii)   Half-life as a measure of stability of nucleus. Quantative treatment of half-life,

(iii) Nuclear reactions. Fission and Fusion in nuclear reactions. Natural and artificial radioactivity. Detection of radiation by Gieger-Muler counter or cloud chamber. Generation of electricity; atomic bomb.

(iv) Effects and application of: Carbon dating, use of radioactivity in agriculture, medicine, industry and research. Periodicity of the elements: Periodic Law Trend in periodic properties down the group and across a period. Electronic configurations leading to group and periodic classifications. Periodic properties for the first 18 elements: atomic size, ionic size, ionization energy: electron affinity electronegativity.

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  1. Bonding and Shapes of Molecules Combining power, electrovalency and covalency:

The electronic configuration of elements and their tendency to attain the noble gas structure. Electronic structure of molecules; bonding, metallic – bonding and coordinate bonding. Vanderwall‘s forces. Hybridization of orbitals limited to Sp3, Sp2, and sp. Shapes of simple molecules: Linear (H2, O2 Cl2. HCl and CO2): pyramidal (NH3); tetrahedral CH4): angular (H2O). Properties of compared with those of electrovalent compounds.

  1. Stoichiometrv and Chemical Reactions

(a) Symbols; Formulae and Equations. Calculations involving formulae and equations will be required Mass and volume relationships in chemical reactions and the stoichtomelry of such reactions as. (i) precipitation, (ii) evolution of gases (iii) displacement at metals (iv) formation of reciucaflon of metal oxides.

Empirical and molecular formulae, chemical equation

Law of chemical combination:

Law of conservation of mass:

Law of constant composition:

Law of multiple proportion

(b)  Amount of substance and mole ratios

(i) Mass and volume measurements;

(ii) The mole as a unit of measurement:

avogadro constant as the number of atoms in 12.00g of carbon -12:

(iii) Molar quantities and their uses:

(iv) Mole of electrons, atoms, moledules, formula units etc.

Use of mole ratios in determining stoichiometry of chemical reactions. Simple calculations to determine number of entities, amount of substance, mass, concentration, volume and other quantities.

  1. Kinetic Theory of Matter:

(a) Postulates in the kinetic theory of matter. Application of the theory to explain the:

(i)         Nature of solids, liquids and gases

(ii)         Changes of state of matter.

Change of state of magger should be explained in terms of movement of panicles. It should be emphasized that randomness creases (and orderliness increases) from gaseous state of liquid state to solid state.

(iii)        Diffusion of gases. Diffusion should be associated with Graham’s Law. Ammonia and hydrochloric gases traveling at a meeting point should be used to explain (in terms of simple calculations) diffusion.

(b)        The Gas Laws

Charles, Boyle’s, Dalton’s, Graham’s, Avogadro’s Laws and the ideal gas equation. Qualitative explanation of each of the gas laws using the kinetic model Mathematical relations based on the laws. Molar volume of a gas = 22.4dm3 at s.t.p. The general gas equation:   = K

  1. Energy and Energy Changes

(a) Energy changes accompanying physical and chemical changes. Simple calculations involving chemical reactions. Dissolution of substance in/or reactions with water e.g. Na, NaOH, K, NH4Cl, positive DH or energy absorbed for endothermic reactions. Negative DH or energy released for exothermic reactions. Simple calculations involving DH based on energy profile diagram will be required. Types of heat changes: Heat of combination, formation, dilution, reaction, neutralization etc: Hess’s Law of constant heat, heat summation should be included.

(b) Entropy as order-disorder phenomon. Simple illustrations like mixing of gases anti-dissolution of salt are required.

DG0  = 0 as criterion for equilibrium

(c) Spontaneity of reaction

AG° greater or less than zero as criteria for non-spontaneity and spontaneity respectively.

  1. Acids, Bases and Salts

(i)   Definitions, general characteristics. preparation, and properties of acids, bases and salts. Arrhenius, Bronsied Lowry and Lewis concept of acids and bases.

(ii)   Acids, bases and salts as electrolytes. Weak and strong electrolytes. Evidence from conductivity and enthalpy of neutralization.

(iii) Hydrolysis of salts. Qualitative explanation of hydrolysis. Behavior of some salts (e.g. NH4Cl, AICI3 Na2CO5, NaHCO3, CH3COON4) in water.

(iv) pH knowledge of pH scale, pH as a measure of acidity and alkalinity, ionic product of water, Simple calculation of pH

(v) Acid-base indicators. Indicators as week organics acids or bases. Colour of indicator at any pH depends on the relative amount of acid and basic forms.

(vi) Acid-base titrations; knowledge of how acid-base indicators work in titrations. Choice of indicators in acid base titrations, standard solutions, molar solutions, molarity / volume relationship in a closed system (i.e. M x V = constant). Primary standards. Calculations involved in acid/base titrations.

(vii) Deliquescence, hydroscopy and effluorence. Water of crystallization.


  1. Oxidation and Reduction Reactions

(a)  Oxidation and reducation processes

Oxidation and reduction in terms of

(i)   Addition and removal of oxygen and hydrogen

(ii)   Loos and gain of electrons

(iii) Change in oxidation number/state

(b) Oxidation states

(i)   Fundamental definition of oxidation state

(ii)   Deduction of oxidation state of oxygen in O2H2O and H2O2

(iii) Deduction of oxidation state of elements in HCI

(c) Oxidising and reducing agents:

Definition of oxidizing and reducing agents in terms of:

(i)   Addition and removal of oxygen and hydrogen

(ii)   Loss and gain of electrons

(iii) Test for oxidizing and reducing agents

(d) Redox equations:

Balancing redox equation by

(i)   Ion, electron or change in oxidation state method

(ii)   Electronic half equation method

  1. Rates of Reactions and Chemical Equilibria

(a) Rate of a reaction

Give the definition of reaction rate

(i)   Factors affecting rates- Physical state. concentration of reactants, temperature catalyst and medium. For gaseous systems, pressure may be used as concentration term. In studying the factors, the following example, amongst others can be used. The reaction between HCI and Na2S2O3, HCI and marble in lump and in powdered forms; the decomposition of H2O, or KClO in presence and absence of MnO2.

(ii) Theory of reaction rates, collision theory and activation energy theory to be treated qualitatively only. Factor influencing collision (i.e. temperature and concentration). Effective collision; Ativation energy and enthalpy change. Qualitative treatment of Arrhenius’ Law to be noted. Effect of Light on some reactions (e.g. halogenations of alkanes) to noted.

(b)        Chemical Equilibria

(i)   General Principles: Reversible reactions; i.e. dynamic equilibrium. The equilibrium constant K must be treated qualitatively.

(ii)   Le Chateliers Principles: prediction of the effects of external influence of concentration, temperature and pressure changes on equilibrium system.


CHM 002 Chemistry II: Fundamental Concepts in Organic/Inorganic Chemistry.

  2. Introduction and nomenclature

(a) Meaning of the term “organic” and the unique nature of carbon

(b) Characteristics of organic compounds:

hybridization in carbon sp3 sp2 and sp; sigma and pie bonds carbon/carbon single, double and triple bonds

(c) Functional group and the homologous series; types of organic reactions

(d) Nomenclature (naming) of aliphatic families.

  1. Isolation, Purification, Characterization, Isornerisms and Double bond equivalence

(a) Pure solids and pure liquids, separation

techniques include details of column and thin

layer chromatographies, mobile phase.

stationery phase, elution Rf values.

(b) Qualitative and quantitative analyses for

carbon and hydrogen;

(c) Isomerism; definition, types of isomerism with various examples including optical isomerism double bond equivalence.

  1. The Alkane Hydrocarbon (Paraffin)

(a) General formula; methods of preparation, special method preparing methane nomenclature; physical properties; chemical properties; combustion, molecular formula of gases or hydrocarbons; substitution reaction-chlorination: uses of alkanes

(b) (b) Petroleum, fractional distillations important fractions from fractional distillation: petrol, knocking, octane rating; calculation of octane value; cracking.

  1. Alkenes olefins

(a) General formula, functional group, nomenclature, methods of preparation

(b) Physical properties, nucleophilic and electrophilic reagents, Addition reactions addition of H,, Br,, HBr, Bromine water, cone. H2SO4, Ozone, H2O and (O) (i.e. hydroxylation)

(c) Test for unsaturation, polymerisation, combustion 2HRS

  1. Alkynes.

(a) General formula, functional group, general method of preparation .special method of preparing ethyne.

(b) Physical properties, chemical properties combustion; addition reactions addition of Br,, H., HBr. Water, polymerization, polyvinyl chloride; Reaction of ethyme with KMnO4

(c) Metallic derivatives Copper and silver ethynides sodium ethynides and its uses in preparing higher alkynes, 2HRS.

  1. Introduction to Aromatic Chemistry

(a) Benzene and aromaticity, the kekule an Divar structures

(b) Naming of benzene derivatives

(c) Physical properties of benzene, Industrial sources of benzene from petroleum and from coal tar.

(d) Reactions of benzene addition reactions and substitution reactions, 2HRS

  1. Haloalkanes

(a) Monohalo alkanes – General formula; some typical members: classification as primary, secondary and tertiary: nomenclature; physical properties methods of.

(b) Di-and Tri-haloalkanes: nomenclature and isomerism; Preparations, chemical properties; uses.

  1. Alkanols

(a) General formula; few members of the homologous series: nomenclature: laboratory preparation; manufacture from starch

(b) Physical properties, unexpected high boiling point: chemical properties as a compound containing OH group and as an acid, oxidation distinguishing between primary, secondary and tertiary alkanols: uses of alkanols; examples of dihydric and trihydric alkanols.

  1. Alkanals and Alkanones

(a)        General formula; the carbonyl group; nomenclature; preparation from alkanols; and from calcium salts of carboxylic acids. Addition reaction with HCN: condensation reactions: oxidation reactions, and reduction: distinguishing between alkanals and alkanones Fehlings Test and Tollen’s Test; the lodoform Test

  1. Monocarbocylic (Alkanoic) acid

(a) General formula; functional group, few members of the series and nomenclature; Resonance in carboxylic acids and the presence of a fake carbonyl group.

(b) Laboratory preparation of carboxylic acids, reactions with PCl, with alkanols/W, with electropocitive metals.

  1. Vatives of carboxylic acids

(a) These derivatives are (a) acid chlorides (b) acid anhydrides (c) acid esters and (d) acid amides. The treatment of each should be based on (i) General formula (ii) functional group (iii) method of preparation (iv) chemical react ions.

(b) Fats and oils as alkanoates, saponification; distinction between fats and oils; distinction between soaps and detergents.

  1. Amines and amino acids

(a) Amities as primary, secondary and tertiary: nomenclature as derivatives of alkanes. Preparations, Reactions with inorganic acids.

(b) Amino acids as bifunctional compound; nomenclature; reactions of the functional groups; existence as dipolar salt or switterion.

  1. Natural and Synthetic polymers

(a) Definitions, of Addition and condensation polymers; plastics and resins: thermoplastic and thermosetting  polymers. Properties of polymers. Natural rubber.

(b) Natural polymers: carbohydrates formula, properties and uses; classification as monosaccharide, disaccharides and polysaccharides; reducing and non-reducing sugars using glucose fructose, sucrose/maltose and starculcellulose as examples; hydrolysis of sucrose and starch.

(c) Proteins as polymers of amino acids molecules linked by the peptide or amide linkage; hydrolysts: uses in living systems.

  1. d) Synthetic polymers; classification and preparation based on the monomers and co-polymers.




Metals and non-metals; definition; chemical and physical characteristics.



(a)        Hydrogen:

Laboratory preparation, properties and uses. Production from water gas and cracking of petroleum fractions will be expected. Test for hydrogen.

(b)        Oxygen

  • Laboratory and Industrial preparation.
  • Properties and uses;
  • Binary compounds of oxygen; Acidic oxides, basic oxides, amphoteric oxides and neutral oxides.
  • Air; The usual gaseous constituents; nitrogen. Oxygen, water vapour (Argon and Neon) Proportion of oxygen in the air e.g. by burning phosphorus or by using alkaline pyrogallol.
  • Air and combustion; structure of the flame Bunsen flame: candle flame: luminous and non-luminous flame.

(c)        Water and Solution

  • Composition of water. Test for water, Atmospheric gases dissolved in water and their biological significance.
  • Water as a solvent.
  • Hardness of water; causes and methods of removing it. Advantages and disadvantages of hard water and soft water. Comparison of the degree of hardness of different samples of water.
  • Treatments of water for town supply.
  • Air and combustion, structure of the flame luminous and non- luminous flame

(d)        Halogens:

  • Chlorine: Laboratory preparation properties. reactions and uses. Uses of chlorine and its compounds should include the following water sterilization, bleaching, manufacture of HCI, plastics and insecticides. Test for chlorine. Preparation and uses of bleaching powder.
  • Uses of halogen compounds. Uses should include silver halides in photography and sodium oxochlorate (I) as a bleaching agent.

(e)        Chemistry of carbon compounds

  • All allotropes of carbon, their structures, properties and uses. The uses of the allotropes should be correlated with their properties and structure.
  • Coal: Different types of coal to include anthracite, peat and lignite. Products obtained from destructive distillation of wood and coal.
  • Coke: Gasefication and uses; manufacture of synthetic gases and uses.
  • Carbon (IV) oxides and uses. Uses to include use as fire extinguishers Action of heat on trioxocarbonate (IV) salts to be known; Test for CO
  • Carbon (II) oxides: Laboratory preparation, properties including its effect on blood.

Sources of carbon(II) oxides to include charcoal fire and exhaust fumes.

(f)         Sulphur:

  • Allotropes and uses preparation of allotropes not expected.
  • Preparation prosperities and uses of Sulphur(IV) oxide. The reaction with alkalis should be included.
  • Trioxosulphate(IV) acid and its salts. Also included is the effect of acids on salts of Trioxosulphate(IV).
  • Tetraoxosulphate(Vl) acid. Commercial preparation from contact process: properties and uses. Properties as a dehydrating and oxidizing agent and as dilute acid. Test for Tetraoxosulphate(Vl) ion.
  • Hydrogen sulphide; preparation: properties as a weak acid, reducing and precipitating agents. Test for sulphides.

(g)        Nitrogen

  • Preparation of nitrogen in the laboratory and production from liquid air.
  • Ammonia: Laboratory preparation: industrial preparation Haber process; uses of ammonia. Ammonium salts and uses. Oxidation of ammonia to nitrogen(IV) oxide and inoxonitrate (V) acid. Test for NH4 Animonium chloride, tetraoxophosphate (V) as fertilizer only.
  • Trioxonitrate (V) acid: Laboratory preparation from ammonia; properties and uses. Trioxonitrate (V) salts action of heat and uses. Test for trioxonitrate (V) ion.
  • Oxides of nitrogen properties. The nitrogen cycle.



(a) Principles of the extraction of metals by:

  1. Electrolysis.
  2. The use of carbon or carbon (II) oxide.

(b) Alkali metals e.g. sodium.

(i)   Sodium hydroxide; production by electrolysis of brine: its action on aluminium, zinc and lead ions, Uses, including precipitation of metallic hydroxides.

  1. Sodium trioxocarbonate (IV) and Sodium hydrogen trioxocarbonate (IV) production by solvay process: properties and uses. The use of Na2CO2 in the manufacture of glass.
  2. Sodium chloride, properties and uses.

(c) Alkaline earth metals e.g. calcium. CaO. CaCO3. properties and uses. Preparation of CaO. CaCO3 from sea shells. Cement and mortar

(d) Aluminium, purification of bauxite. elecirotviic extraction: properties and uses of aluminium and its compounds.

(e) Tin: Extraction from its ores; properties and uses.

(f)   Metals of the first transition series:(i) electronic configuration. (ii) oxidation states. (iii) complexion formation. (iv) formation of coloured ions.

(g) Iron: Extraction from sulphide and oxide ores; properties and uses. Different ores arid their properties. Advantages of steel over iron. Test for Fe and Fe’2 ions

(h) Copper; Extraction from sulphide and oxide ores: properties and uses of coppel salts Special note should be taken of the preparation and uses of copper (II) tetraoxosulphate(VI): Test for Cu ions.

(i)   Alloys; Steel, stainless steel, brass, bronze, type metal, duralumin and soft solder simple reasons for the use of these alloys in preference to the metals from which they are made.



Chemistry in Industry

(i) Natural resources in a particular country. e.g. Nigeria.

  • Chemical industries in a particular country and their corresponding raw materials. Distinction between fine and heavy chemicals.
  • Factors that determine sitting of chemical industries.
  • Effect of industries on the community.
  • Extraction of metals e.g. Al, Fe, Au/Sn. Raw materials, processing, main products, by products recycling.



Air, water and soil pollution.

(i)   Sources, effect and control

  • *Greenhonse effects and depletion of ozone layer.
  • *Biodegradable and pollution non-biodegradable



Food processing, fermentation including production of kenkey/gari, bread and alcoholic beverages e.g local gin.

See: 10 Recommended List of Books and Materials to Read for Your Post UTME Exam


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