Basic things to consider when marking NECO English language




1) For each essay “content” has a maximum of 10 marks.

2) “Content” refers to relevance of ideas to the topic and its specific audience and purpose. It also refers to the appropriateness of the language and relevance to the central theme and its development. The adequacy of treatment of the subject matter is important and there must be some originality in approach. 

3) Following the rules of grammar and punctuation judiciously is not  sufficient, a passage without errors of language can be considered badly phrased or difficult to follow based on form and content.

4) An unusual and unexpected approach will,however, not be rejected without careful consideration.


1) For each essay, “organization” has a maximum of 10 marks.

2) “Organization” refers to the correct use of formal features such as good paragraphing, appropriate use of emphasis and arrangement of ideas. Paragraphs are expected to be chronologically, spatially and logically coherent.

3) What examiners look for include a suitable opening, adequate development into paragraphs, links between paragraph, balance, unity, coherence, and a suitable conclusion. 


1) For each essay, “expression” has a maximum of    20 marks.

2) Expression refers to vocabulary chosen, which should reflect the general audience, atmosphere or format of composition, e.g. vocabulary for an informal letter. Vocabulary must also be controlled and the sentences structured.

3) An example of the distinction being made about vocabulary is the language expectations for an article in a school magazine, which should be a story telling experience, or for expressing a personal opinion. On the other hand, the language in an article for publication is expected to be formal.


1) For each essay, “mechanical accuracy” has a maximum of   10marks

2) Mechanical accuracy refers to grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) rules to be complied with. Errors discovered will be penalized by examiners, and 1/2 mark deducted for each, up to a maximum of  10marks.

3. Candidates are expected to use skillful and sophisticated ways of punctuations and should avoid being “caught” by examiners especially on errors indicated by NECO in its yearly Chief Examiners’ Reports.