This guide contains everything you need to know about the WASSCE / WAEC exam.
About the WASSCE / WAEC exam
Table of Contents
The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is a standardized test administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is a higher institution entry examination written by students in Anglophone West African Countries.
These countries are Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia.
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) also helps other examination bodies in coordinating Examinations.
WASSCE / WAEC exam dates
The WASSCE / WAEC exam is written 2 times a year. These are:
November / December (Nov / Dec):
This was formally known as the General Certificate Examinations (GCE).
Students from private and public schools are allowed to take this examination.
School uniforms are not compulsory since high school levers, graduates or dropouts are allowed to write this.
Examination results are usually available by December.
May / June :
This was formally known as the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE).Only students from private and public schools are allowed to take this examination.
Candidates must wear their school uniforms during the examination day.
Results are usually out by August.
WASSCE / WAEC exam subjects
The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) was established as a result of the meeting by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, University of London School Examinations Matriculation Council and West African Departments of Education.
The meeting was meant to discuss the future policy of education in West Africa. At the meeting, the director of the University of London Institute of Education, Dr. George Barker Jeffery was selected to visit some West African countries to see the general education level and requirements in these countries.
The countries Dr. George Barker Jeffery was mandated to visit were Ghana, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
After his visit, he wrote a report currently known as the Jeffery Report.
In his report, he strongly stated the need for a West African Examination Council. His report also contained detailed recommendations on the composition and duties of the Council.
In regards to Dr George Barker Jeffery’s report, the groups met with the governments of these countries, and an agreement was met.
The governments agreed to the establishment of the West African Examination council that would adopt Jeffery’s recommendations.
The legislative assemblies of Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Gambia and Nigeria passed an ordinance (West African Examinations Council Ordinance NO. 40) approving the West African Examination Council in Dec 1951.
The Ordinance agreed to the coordination of exams, and issuing of certificates to students who wrote the West African Senior Certificate Examination.
Liberia later issued their ordinance in 1974, at the annual meeting held in Lagos, Nigeria.
Acceptance and guidelines for admission
Most Universities in the US, Canada, UK, Estonia, Finland, Turkey, Cyprus, Russia, and more recognize the WASSCE.
However, some Universities / Colleges may require students with WASSCE / WAEC certificates / results to do a foundation year before they proceed to year one.
In Nigeria, students are still required to write the JAMB or Post UTME before they proceed to the university.
WASSCE / WAEC exam grading
According to a reliable source, grading for a particular subject on the WASSCE varies from region to region.
Take the following statistics for example:
Supposed WAEC grading for Elective / Further Mathematics in Nigeria for 2011:
|B2||Very Good||74% -70%||2|
|B3||Good||65% – 69%||3|
|C5||Credit||55% – 59%||5|
|C6||Credit||50% – 55%||6|
|D7||Pass||45% – 49%||7|
|E8||Pass||40% – 44%||8|
Supposed WASSCE grading for Elective / Further Mathematics in Ghana for 2011:
|B2||Very Good||75% -79%||2|
|B3||Good||74% – 70%||3|
|C5||Credit||60% – 64%||5|
|C6||Credit||55% – 59%||6|
|D7||Pass||50% – 55%||7|
|E8||Pass||45% – 49%||8|
WASSCE vs International exams
The WASSCE / WAEC syllabus for some subjects is almost similar to that of some international exams. For example, the WASSCE syllabus for Chemistry is similar to the SAT syllabus for Chemistry.
This is why good students from schools that are WASSCE-oriented end up achieving good scores on the WASSCE.