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About the WASSCE

The WASSCE is a standardised 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.


The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) was established because 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 instructed 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 emphatically 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 write 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 recognise 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:

Grades Definition Interpretation Equivalent
A1 Excellent 75%- 100% 1
B2 Very Good 74% -70% 2
B3 Good 65% – 69% 3
C4 Credit 60%- 64% 4
C5 Credit 55% – 59% 5
C6 Credit 50% – 55% 6
D7 Pass 45% – 49% 7
E8 Pass 40% – 44% 8
F9 Fail 0%-39% 9

Supposed WASSCE grading for Elective / Further Mathematics in Ghana for 2011:

Grades Definition Interpretation Equivalent
A1 Excellent 80%- 100% 1
B2 Very Good 75% -79% 2
B3 Good 74% – 70% 3
C4 Credit 65%- 69% 4
C5 Credit 60% – 64% 5
C6 Credit 55% – 59% 6
D7 Pass 50% – 55% 7
E8 Pass 45% – 49% 8
F9 Fail 0%-44% 9

WASSCE/WAEC exam subjects

  • Further Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • Technical Drawing
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Fine Art
  • Music
  • French
  • Commerce
  • Data processing
  • Economics
  • French
  • Government
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Book keeping

To view more subjects written on the WASSCE, visit our WAEC syllabus page.

Local Languages in Ghana:

  • Dagaare
  • Dagbani
  • Dangme
  • Ewe
  • Ga

WASSCE/WAEC exam dates

The WASSCE / WAEC exam is written 2 times a year. These are:

November/December (Nov/Dec) exam dates

This was formerly 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 exam dates

This was formerly 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 and 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.

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