West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams

What is WAEC?
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), established in 1952 by the then colonial Government(s) in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), Nigeria, Sierra-Leone and the Gambia, is with the responsibility of determining the examinations required in the public interest in West Africa, and empowered to conduct such examinations and award appropriate certificates. Liberia later joined the Council in 1974.

What are the WAEC examinations?
The Council conducts four categories of examinations:
  1. International exams are taken in the five countries with the WAEC ordinance. It consists of:
    • WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination),
    • SC/GCE O’ levels, and
    • HSC/GCE A’ levels.

  2. National examinations, such as the Senior School Certificate, Technical, Business Studies, and Common Entrance Examinations, are taken in individual countries. They include:
    • the Junior Secondary School Certificate for Nigeria and the Gambia,
    • Junior and Senior High School Certificate Examinations for Liberia,
    • National Primary School and Basic Education Certificate Examinations for Sierra Leone,
    • Basic Education Certificate Examinations for Ghana, and
    • Senior School Certificate Examinations for Ghana.

  3. The council also coordinates examination in collaboration with some trustworthy examination bodies. This includes:
    • City and Guilds of London Institute
    • Royal Society of Arts

  4. The council also conducts examination in West Africa on behalf of international examination bodies. This includes:
    • University of London GCE examination for non-West Africans
    • Scholastic Aptitude Test and Graduate Record Examinations for Educational Testing Service, Princeton, USA, and
    • JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board) examination in countries outside Nigeria.
In Nigeria, however, WAEC has shed all but one of its examinations; the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which is for both school and private candidates.

What is the WASSCE?
The WAEC SSCE (WASSCE) is a standardized exam administered by the WAEC to Anglophone West African candidates (Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Gambia) at the end of their secondary school education. WAEC SSCE certificate is a requirement for gaining admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria, may be used in securing jobs or applying to elective positions. An alternative to WASSCE is the NECO SSCE.

Candidates are allowed to select up to nine subjects, and expected to pass five subjects at credit level to gain admission into a University in Nigeria. Most university disciplines require that the five credit subjects must include English Language and Mathematics.

The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) organises two WASSCE exams. The first, also known as SSCE by its old name (Senior School Certificate Examinations) or WASSCE May/June, holds in May/June. It is primarily for those still in secondary school, and wearing of distinctive school uniforms is the norm. The second examination, called WAEC GCE by its old name (General Certificate Examination) or WASSCE November/December, is for private students only and takes place around November/December. Uniforms are not compulsory, however, other rules may be applied on candidates.

What is the standard of WAEC certificates?
The council issues credible and reliable certificates to candidates that participate in its Examinations. The standard of this certificates matches with that of the United Kingdom, because the WAEC Ordinance empowers the council to conduct Examinations and award certificates, provided the certificates do not have a lower standard compared to the equivalent certificates of examining authorities in the United Kingdom.

Checking your WAEC GCE result
There are three options for checking WAEC results:
  1. View and print results at the WAEC Direct portal
  2. Receive WAEC results via SMS on your mobile phone
  3. Send a copy to your email address
Viewing and printing your WAEC result online. This is the norm in checking WAEC results. Visit the WAEC result checker site (see link below), and fill out the form at the left hand side of the site. To access the WAEC result checker, you need to purchase a WAEC Direct scratch card, and enter both the PIN on the card and the card serial number. You will also need your WAEC Examination number, year of examination, and type of examination. After filling the form, click 'SUBMIT' and if all is well your WAEC result is displayed. You can either print it out or send it to an email. Whatever you do remember you have only five access to your result per WAEC scratch card.

Check WAEC result on a mobile phone. You may check WAEC result via SMS. To check WAEC GCE Nov/Dec 2010 on a mobile phone, buy the WAEC Direct Scratch card for N350. Thereafter, send a short code in this format: WAEC*ExamNo*PIN*ExamYear to 32327. For example, if your WAEC Exam number is 78965432, your PIN is 123890, and you sat for WAEC GCE in 2010, send WAEC*78965432*123890*2009 to 32327. The WAEC SMS result checking service costs N30 per SMS and is available only on Glo, Airtel, and MTN networks.

Send WAEC result to email. With the result checker function at the WAEC Direct site, you may send a copy of your WAEC result to your email address. This will make it easily accessible whenever you need it. A friendly advise is that you send a copy to your email address from WAEC result checker portal, because you have only 5 access to your WAEC result per scratch card. Sending a copy to your email means you can access it as many times as you want via your email. To send your WAEC result to your email, select the 'SEND RESULTS TO EMAIL' option after you are logged in, enter your email address and click 'SUBMIT'. A copy of your WAEC result will then be sent to your email address.

General Information
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is a not-for-profit examination board formed out of the concern for education in Africa. Established in 1952, the council has contributed to education in Anglophonic countries of West Africa (Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia), with the number of examinations they have coordinated, and certificates they have issued.

The Council conducts several international and national examinations in all member countries except Nigeria where it has shed all but one of its examinations, the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates in May/June and Private candidates in November/December.

WAEC Contact Information
For more: official WAEC home; Or WAEC Nigeria home
Frequently Asked Questions: WAEC FAQs
WAEC results: WAEC result checker (WAECdirect online)
Exam registration: WAEC online registration portal
Results (Ghana): Waec results website (Ghana)
Scratch cards: Major dealers of WAEC Direct scratch cards
Card dealer: Become a dealer of WAEC scratch cards

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