WAEC English Marking Scheme (How SSCE Essays Are Marked)

WAEC Grading System in Nigeria and Interpretation

Last updated on September 21st, 2023 at 10:44 pm


What is WAEC Grading System?

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) employs a grading system for evaluating students’ performances in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

WAEC Grading System And Their Meaning

With all three examinations conducted each year by the examination body, the same grading system applies in Nigeria for candidates who sat for any of the three exams.

  • 75-100% (Excellent): A1
  • 70-74% (Very Good): B2
  • 65-69% (Good): B3
  • 60-64% (Credit): C4
  • 55-59% (Credit): C5
  • 50-54% (Credit): C6
  • 45-49% (Pass): D7
  • 40-44% (Pass): E8
  • 0-39% (Fail): F9

Analysis of WAEC Grading System

If you score between 75-100 in your WAEC subject, that’s A1 (Excellent); B2 means your score is between 70-74 (Very Good); B3 (Good) means your score falls between 65-69.


Conversely, a D7 (Pass) means that ranges between 45-49%. A D7 is not a good grade; E8 means 40-44% while a score below 40 is categorized as F9, which is interpreted as a “Fail”.

The above grade (1 to 8) appears on the original result of WAEC while failing (F9) doesn’t (June 2000 WAEC result). This means that if you registered and sat for 9 subjects in WAEC in May/June, and upon request for your original WAEC certificate, the examination specified seven subjects, it means you failed the two other subjects. It’s F9

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Who Are The Joint Owners of WAEC?

The West African Examinations Council since its creation in 1952 has been at the forefront of conducting a regional test for candidates residing in Anglophone West African countries such as:

  • Nigeria,
  • Ghana,
  • Sierra Leone,
  • The Gambia, and
  • Liberia

Categories of exams conducted by WAEC

There are three examinations conducted by the regional examination body every year, they are:

  1. May/June
  3. WASSCE for private candidates.


WASSCE for School Candidates (May/June) is specifically designed for the final year students in senior secondary schools who registered for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE).

During May/June exam which usually takes place between April to June, candidates are mandated to wear their respective school uniforms even external candidates also wear the same uniform as the “internal candidates”. They all undergo biometric registration.

Note: You can check your WAEC result through SMS and via the examination body porta.


The General Certificate Examination (GCE) which is popularly called WAEC GCE is tagged November/December. It is an examination conducted for candidates who want to rewrite papers they failed during the May/June examinations.

Although candidates are not mandated to wear uniforms, they are required to undergo biometric registration as it’s done in the May/June registration process.

WASSCE for private candidates.

The idea to conduct three examinations per year by WAEC was announced on April 13, 2017, when it said that an additional diet for the private candidates every year is to address the concerns and difficulties experienced by private candidates “who desire another attempt at WASSCE.

“With this development, there has been a wave of agitation, criticisms and appeal across the sub-region for the council to ameliorate the agony of long waiting experience by private candidates,” Dr Iyi Uwadiae, the registrar of WAEC as of 2017 said in Lagos.

Significance of WAEC Result for Admission Seekers

The fact that you recorded A1 in all WAEC subjects isn’t an automatic admission into the tertiary institution as you will have to cross another hurdle set by JAMB.

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Admission seekers into the universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and other tertiary institutions will have to sit the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), an entrance examination conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), which is one of the agencies of the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria.

This means that candidates are required to satisfy not only the university’s general entrance requirements but also the requirements of the particular faculty in which they wish to study the course of their choice.

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1 thought on “WAEC Grading System in Nigeria and Interpretation”

  1. I am filling a form, and under education, they gave a space for ‘grade’, as an SSCE CERTIFICATE holder, what am I suppose to write there?

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