The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is an examination board established by law to determine the examinations required in the public interest in the English-speaking West African countries, to conduct the examinations and to award certificates comparable to those of equivalent examining authorities internationally.
The legislative assemblies of Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia passed an ordinance (West African Examinations Council Ordinance NO. 40) approving the West African Examination Council in December 1951.
The Ordinance agreed to the coordination of exams, and issuing of certificates to students in individual countries by the West African Examination Council. Liberia later issued their ordinance in 1974, at the annual meeting held in Lagos, Nigeria. After the success of forming an examination council, the council called the first meeting in Accra, Ghana in March 1953. In the meeting, the registrar briefed everybody about the progress of the council. In that same meeting, five committees were formed to assist the council.
These committees are the Administrative and Finance Committee, School Examinations Committee, Public Service Examinations Committee, The Professional, Technical and Commercial Examinations Committee, and the Local Committee. The total number of people present for this meeting was 26.
Examinations conducted by the WAEC
The West African Examination council conducts different examinations both at the national and international levels. These include International Examinations, National Examinations, Examinations conducted in collaboration with other examining bodies, and Examinations conducted on behalf of other examining bodies.
As for the International exams taken in the five countries with the WAEC ordinance, we have the WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination). There are three different WASSCE examinations namely:
- WASSCE FOR PRIVATE CANDIDATES (FIRST SERIES) JANUARY–FEBRUARY
- WASSCE FOR (SCHOOL CANDIDATES) MARCH-MAY
- WASSCE FOR PRIVATE CANDIDATES (MAIN GCE) SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER
The National 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.
The council also coordinates examinations in collaboration with some trustworthy examination bodies. These include:
And as for examinations conducted on behalf of international bodies, we have:
- University of London GCE
- 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 Ghana, the WAEC is in charge of the following examinations:
- BECE School (Basic Education Certificate Examination for candidates)
- BECE Private ( Basic Education Certificate Examination for private candidates)
- WASSCE School
- WASSCE Private
- General Business Certificate Examination
- Advanced Business Certificate Examination
WAEC official websites
- WAEC Ghana: https://www.waecgh.org/
- WAEC Nigeria: https://www.waecnigeria.org/
- WAEC OFFICIAL: https://www.waecheadquartersgh.org/
- WAEC Sierra Leone: https://www.waecsierra-leone.org/