Steps to Take if You Have A Poor WASSCE / WAEC Result

8 minutes read

You’re in the right place if you are part of those that achieved poor WASSCE results, or failed the WASSCE / WAEC examination and are desperately in a search for what to do to fix things in other to climb the academic or career ladder.

Carefully follow the proven strategies I’ve shared in this article and I promise things would be better off for you.

Note: I have already written a definitive guide with over 7000 words on how to pass the WASSCE and I highly recommend you read that after reading this content if you’re interested in sitting for exam again.

WASSCE hall Ghana

First off:

Do Not Take Things Too Hard On Yourself

That you achieved a poor WASSCE / WAEC result does not mean you should never have leisure time anymore. In fact, cutting off leisure time might increase you stress and make your anxiety worse.

That you achieved a poor WASSCE / WAEC result does not mean you should not eat anymore.

That you achieved a poor WAEC result does not mean you cannot make it to a higher institution.

That you failed the WASSCE does not mean you cannot get into your dream career tomorrow.

You should manage that you achieved a poor WASSCE / WAEC result and not let it manage you by ruining your chances of making progress.

Many people out there have been through worse situations than just failing an exam and coped. So buckle up.

Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable. — Coco Chanel

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. — Napoleon Hill

Do Not Compare Yourself To Others

You are not doing yourself any good if you compare yourself to your classmate who aced the WASSCE and made it to the University. Do not visit his or her Facebook, Instagram or Twitter timeline; you may only end up more depressed. Life is not a race but a marathon.

Stay focused on improving your lot in life by doing everything you can to improve your situation.

Find Out Why You Failed

 This is where you have to be brutally honest with yourself. You may find it difficult to find the true path to success if you don’t have enough information about why you failed the WASSCE or achieved poor WASSCE grades.

Be wary of blaming others for your misfortunes because this could prevent you from seeing or accepting the truth. Without knowing the truth, you cannot take the right decision on what next to do.

Questions you should ask yourself when doing this include:

  • Where did I go wrong in the subjects I performed poorly?
  • What questions or topics do I find friendly?
  • What questions or topics do I not find friendly?
  • What should I do differently if I am to sit for the WASSCE again?

I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that would not work. — Thomas A. Edison

Do Not Accept Failure

Accepting failure is a common sin most people who achieve poor WAEC results commit. They do not access their situation and work towards improving things. They give up their dreams by lowering their standard in life. This is wrong.

You were not born a failure no matter the natural limitations you think you have or the misfortunes you’ve faced. Winners never give up no matter how many times they fail.

Most failures always lead to an opportunity. So see your failure as an opportunity for success and realise almost every successful person you see today have failed at something.

It is better to fail at trying than to fail at doing nothing.

Giving up is the only sure way to fail. — Gena Showalter

There is no failure except in no longer trying. — Chris Bradford

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.-Denis Waitley
If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.—Vincent Van Gogh

Forget About How Others View You

It does not matter whether others mock or look down on you for your failure. What matters is where you would be within the next 10-20 years.

If you take the right steps today, you will end up in a better place tomorrow. So don’t be ashamed of attending that remedial class or meeting your friend who aced the WASSCE to help you because you want no one apart from your family members to know you failed the WASSCE.

Let us examine the hypothetical example below.

I failed core maths whilst Kofi aced it. I know Kofi can help me understand topics I find difficult. However, the problem is that I am too insecure to tell him I failed the subject.

In my mind, he would see me as an “empty-head” or a “loser”. However, in the actual sense, he would have sympathy on me, and be willing to help me immensely.

Seek For Help

It is always good to learn how to swim from somebody who can swim, rather than throwing yourself into the water and trying to do it yourself (which can increase the risks of drowning or giving up because of frustration). So do not face your problem on your own especially when you know there are people out there that can help you get on the success boat faster.

Seeking for help can involve:

  • Meeting your teachers for advice
  • Hiring a tutor who would coach you depending on your next plan or joining a WASSCE remedial school
  • Meeting other reliable students or peers to help you

Practise As You learn

Anyone who tells you practise is not an important factor to achieve success is not saying the truth or is ignorant.

If you decide to resit the WASSCE, practise beforehand. There is no better way to practise for the WASSCE than solving WASSCE past questions as often as you can.

WAEC hardly creates new questions from the scratch as you may already know but recycles or refurbishes old questions.

Time yourself when taking practice tests and be very strict when grading yourself.

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching. — Mahatma Gandhi

Find The Right Motivation To Succeed

Motivation is the fuel that drives you. Finding the right motivation to overcome your failure would build your perseverance.

Without the right motivation, the hunger to succeed would not be there. You would just be like an empty boat floating waywardly at sea.

Find your motivation and let it drive you to success.

Desire is the key to motivation, but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal -a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek. — Mario Andretti

People often say that motivation does not last. Well, neither does bathing -that is why we recommend it daily. — Zig Ziglar

Have Your Paper Or Papers Remarked / Results Cross-Checked By WAEC

If you are sure your WAEC results does not reflect your effort on the exam, then having it remarked or cross-checked by WAEC officials may not be a bad idea.

There have been cases where students who had their WASSCE papers remarked or WASSCE results cross-checked achieved better grades.

However, you would have to pay to make this possible. In addition, if you end up achieving the same grade or lower in the remarked paper, WAEC may penalise you.

The fear of being penalised by WAEC prompts most students not to go for the remarking option. However, this should not discourage you if you’re sure of your claim.


There is no harm in trying to change the course of events by rewriting the WASSCE / WAEC exam. I have seen students who achieved better grades after sitting for the WASSCE for the second time.

You failed the first time, pick yourself up, dust yourself and try again prepared.

When we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel. — Eloise Ristad

I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I have been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. — Michael Jordan

Find The Right Strategy Forward

A good strategy is one of the best masterpiece in your collection. It will help you confront and manage your situation appropriately.

Ask yourself these questions in other to find the right strategy forward:

  • Do I need to resit the WASSCE?
  • What would I do differently if I write the WASSCE again?
  • How can I achieve my desired grade on the WASSCE?
  • What questions would I attack first on the WASSCE if I choose to resit?
  • Do I want to study in my country or abroad?
  • Is the WASSCE my only option to getting to the University of my choice in my country or abroad?
  • What are the options available to be what I want to be in life?
  • Where do I see myself 15 years from now?

Find the right strategy and execute on it.

Obstacles, of course, are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience and resourcefulness. — Naomi Wolf

Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there. — John P. Kotter

Make Good Use Of Your Time At Home

You may not be going to the university this year or even next year, therefore use that as an opportunity to engage in things that would benefit your career or goals tomorrow. You could take a business course, sign up for an internship, or learn a high-income skill. Making good use of your time at home can give you an edge in a job or university application pool tomorrow. 

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. — Henry Ford

Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be. — John Wooden

Embrace Fear

Failure can only keep you down if you continue to fear it. Embracing the fear of failure gives you the power to befriend it and move past it. 

Everything you want is on the other side of fear. — Jack Canfield

Seek For Alternative Exams

You could do an IB or A level program.

You could sit for SAT which can allow you to study abroad.

You could write the ACT or any other exam that can get you into a university or program, in the country of your choice.

You could even go back to high school, do a one-year programme, and retake the WASSCE fully prepared.

Take Online Courses

The proliferation of MOOCS (short for Massive Open Online Courses) on almost every field has made learning very accessible today. In fact, some of these online courses are delivered by some of the best institutions in the world which means you would likely gain more knowledge than any other institution in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia or Gambia.

The best part is some of these online course providers issue certificates of completion, which you can use to show future employers or institutions as a proof of knowledge, gained.

So why not incorporate taking free/paid online courses into your learning or skill-acquisition strategy?

Online Degrees

The internet has led to a revolution in higher education which has lead many institutions to launch affordable or tuition-free online degree programs in areas relating to Business, Economics, Marketing, Computer Science and more.

I would write more on this and would publish it soon.

Start A Business

Starting a business would teach you more than most institutions in West Africa would ever teach you about business. So instead of spending your money paying for a business degree, why not just start a business if you’re keen?

Prepare For The Worst

Chances are things might seem to get even worse when you think they can’t get even lower. Hone your spirit of resilience to prepare for such situations.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. — Robert F. Kennedy

“It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts. — Zig Ziglar


Your failure or poor grades on the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) should not define you.

You can still be that great person you want to be.

Decide from today to implement the tips above; one-step at a time and things would be better off.

Once again, read my definitive guide with over 20 solid tips on how to pass the WASSCE if you’re interested in sitting for the WASSCE again.

 I wish you well.

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Giovanni O.C Olakunori

Giovanni Chinecherem Olakunle Olakunori(commonly known as Giovanni Olakunori) is an aspiring data scientist at heart, business developer and educator with a deep interest in ancient philosophy, healthy living, and developing economies. He’s the founder of LarnEdu, a community that inspires and supports lifelong learning especially in underdeveloped nations. He currently lives in the UK after living in 4 other countries across Europe and Africa. You can read more about him or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see his public posts about how much he loves hot Kenkey and Jolof rice.

89 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Please I completed wassce 2013 as a science student. I did well in my core subject and Elective maths.Due to some poor dicision on my part I wasn’t able to resit and now I am planning to resit this year.I was wandering if instead of resiting my old elective’s i can sit for two art’s subjects instead and combine it to my wassce may/june.Thank you

    • Giovanni O.C Olakunori says:

      I believe that’s possible in some cases although you’ll have to check with the school you want to apply to…Best.

  2. Michael says:

    Is two wassce accepted for university

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