Important facts about WAEC

Tochi Juliet
By Tochi Juliet

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) is the body in charge of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Here are lists of essential facts about the WAEC which you may not have known.

WAEC office  in Lagos

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is an examination board that conducts the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for universities in five West African countries.

The WAEC was an examination board established by law to determine the examinations required in the public interest in English-speaking West African countries, conduct the examinations, and award certificates comparable to equivalent examining authorities internationally.

It was established in conjunction with Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia, the English speaking countries of West Africa.

After the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, the body came into view. In 1948 the University of London School Examinations Matriculation Council and West African Departments of Education met concerning education in West Africa.

It was agreed that the body should come into existence for its essential purpose to education. It was later established in 1952 after the Governments of Ghana (then Gold Coast), Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia enacted the West African Examinations Council Ordinances in 1951.

The headquarter of WAEC is presently in Accra, Ghana.

The body assists in the development of sound education. It ensures that educational standards are maintained and give the people of West Africa a vision of the high potentials beyond examinations.

It is the body's role to conduct National Examinations, International Examinations and also Examinations that are conducted with other examining bodies and Examinations conducted on behalf of other examining bodies.

WAEC also coordinates examinations in collaboration with the City and guilds of London institute and Royal Society of Arts.

The body also foresees examination in West Africa on behalf of the following international examination bodies: the University of London GCE, Scholastic Aptitude Test for Educational Testing Service, Princeton, USA, Graduate Record Examinations for Education Testing Service, Princeton, US, JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board) examination in countries outside Nigeria.

It is worthy to note that one can't be admitted into a higher learning institution without first obtaining the (WASSCE) West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

Candidates who want to obtain a WAEC certificate (WASSCE) are required to sit for the examination and take at least six different subjects, including:

  1. English Language
  2. Mathematics
  3. At least one Nigerian native Language, basically Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba.
  4. One science subject, Physics, Chemistry or Biology
  5. Literature in English, History or Geography
  6. Agricultural Science After this, the candidate is expected to choose the other three subjects, not among the core subjects listed above. The West African Senior School Certificate (WASSC) examination is conducted twice a year, from May-June and November-December. Once the examination is completed, the candidate should purchase a scratch card for checking the result. The scratch card is to verify that the student has completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma.

WAEC scratch card for the checking of WAEC result

To check the WAEC WASSC, candidates are meant to check their results with a WAEC scratch card through the WAEC website online.

The WAEC scratch card can be obtained at the WAEC's national office or any of its zonal and branch offices in the respective five countries.

The vision statement of the body is to be a world-class examining body, adding value to the educational goals of its stakeholder, while the mission statement is to maintain internationally accepted procedures, to keep providing qualitative and reliable educational assessment and to keep promoting sustainable human resources development, mutual understanding and international cooperation.