20 Tips On How to Prepare and Pass WAEC Examination

20 Tips On How to Prepare and Pass WAEC Examination

How to prepare and pass WAEC examination – WAEC being one of the most critical examinations every West African student is to take to show the successful completion of the secondary school education, seems herculean to most students.


Students think the examination is hard to pass because they are not exposed to the correct information they ought to have before sitting for the examination.

If you are sitting for the forthcoming WAEC examination, you inescapably need a guide on passing your papers and getting good grades. This is the reason we have put together materials for this article.

By the end of this piece, you will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of the WAEC Examination
  • Know what it takes to prepare and pass WAEC Examination
  • Leave here with determination and know how to prepare and pass WAEC Examination

Whether you have written the examination and didn’t make it then, or you are about to write WAEC for the first time, this is the guide you need to get.

This article will consider the proven twenty (20) tips on how to prepare and pass WAEC examination. Note that these tips are not restricted to particular years of examination – the validity remains all time.

We would not be jumping into the main topic, as there are prerequisites for your complete understanding of the topic. Let’s get started.

Concept of WAEC

The West Africa Examination Council examination was founded in 1952 and it is required to take as a students studying in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and Liberia to show your competence after completing your secondary school education.

Although the main aim of this examination is to test all that a student has learned throughout his days in secondary school, many have a wrong motive towards it, and this, I must add, is the reason people don’t often pass WAEC on their own.

20 Tips On How to Prepare and Pass WAEC Examination

Why Students Fail WAEC Examination

Whenever you intend to solve a problem, you should first identify the problem itself. Don’t get it twisted; it is possible to know you have a problem without knowing what that problem is precise.

After identifying the problem, you should look for the cause before you can take any other steps to provide a solution to that problem.

Right now, we are going to examine the reasons why students fail the WAEC examination. They don’t just fail; you will agree with me that there are reasons for this. What are those reasons?


However, before diving into how to prepare and pass WAEC examination, it is imperative for you to know that based on research conducted so far, we discovered many students fail the WAEC examination because of:

1. Lack Of Reading Culture

Many students don’t like to read, mainly because the reading culture in Africa as a whole is already dying. I think one reason for this is the coming of technology. Technology has its advantages and, obviously, disadvantages. Some of the significant disadvantages of technology can be seen in the life of students.


With the coming about of video games and social media majorly – which practically shows the advancement of technology, more and more students are dropping the habit of reading as this is one how to prepare and pass WAEC examination.

Whatever way you think will help you become close to books, I will encourage you to adapt. It is perfect for reading extensively as you will have more confidence in yourself and feel you can write your examinations independently.

2. Reliance On Examination Malpractice

Examination Malpractice is horrible, and yes, everyone knows that. Yet, it is the white hope of many students. This should not be your type of person.

Hoping on examination of malpractice is like hoping you want to reach all countries across the globe just by using the ship as a means of transportation. It might sound possible, but it is not.

Involvement in examination malpractice is the reason many students keep failing WAEC. Have the belief that you can do it on your own.

3. Wrong Use Of The Internet

The Internet can be very time-consuming. It consumes the time many are supposed to use for their personal development.

Misusing the media is another significant problem facing students. You should minimize your media use if you don’t add value to yourself with it. Misusing the media is why it appears that the disadvantages of the media are more than the advantages.

20 Tips On How to Prepare and Pass WAEC Examination

The media is designed to meet all purposes, so whatever it adds to you results from what you are interested in. If you use the Internet wisely, you can learn more daily. There are many groups for scholars you could join on social media platforms; there are apps you can download to learn new topics, etc.

4. Bad Company

When you don’t choose the people you move with wisely, you will be negatively affected, no matter how little.

In my ideology, I feel that rather than dealing with people who wouldn’t add value to your life, a person is better without friends.

You will understand this point only if you know the influence your friends can have in your life.

How To Prepare And Pass WAEC Examination

  • Don’t engage in examination malpractice
  • Read according to the syllabus
  • Practice past questions
  • Start reading now
  • Prioritize core subjects
  • Master speed and accuracy
  • Read the recommended textbooks
  • Read the instructions
  • Write eligibly
  • Shade properly
  • Understand theory terms
  • Draw to the standard
  • Start with the questions you know
  • Seek the help of your elders
  • Answer questions for your country only
  • Attempt all compulsory questions
  • Always seek for updates
  • Make good use of the media
  • Comply with the examination rules
  • Pray to God

1. Don’t Engage in Examination Misconduct

The reason is that it is against the conduct of every examination. Remember that examinations are not just done; it is to test the level of a student’s understanding of what they have been taught.

It is true that when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. For too many learners, an exam is just something they do before proceeding to the next-door level of learning. It is beyond that. Only if you know the sole and original motive of learning will you sit up to ensure you pass on your own.

When you participate in examination malpractice, there are chances that you will be caught. Suppose you are not discovered in the examination hall.

In that case, the subjects you cheated for might be canceled or withheld because whatever is initially written by you will be known for its uniqueness by the experts assigned to mark the WAEC examination. There are several other reasons you should not engage in any examination malpractice. What are some of these reasons?

  • You won’t feel comfortable in the examination hall
  • You are at a significant risk of getting your paper canceled – which would also shame you.
  • When asked to defend your results, you won’t be able to do that if, by chance, you go scot-free with the cheating act.

There is one thing most WAEC candidates have not discovered is that you have higher chances of passing when the marker of your paper perceives that you wrote your work yourself. Some additional marks will then crown your efforts for loyalty. It is rare to see people use their brains for examination these days.

Having it in mind before the examination that you will cheat is a terrible habit that will cause you not to understand the little you might intend to read for your paper.

2. Read According To The Syllabus

Working hard is not enough if the approach is not intelligent. You might have noticed that in your secondary school, there are times when you will take your time to read all you were taught in class, and getting to the examination hall.

However, you might have forgotten the answers to the question in front of you or you think you have not read about them, while the reason for this is simply because you don’t read smartly.

You necessarily don’t have to read the entire book – your brain is not a computer’s memory, although you might have a photographic memory. But then, you don’t want to risk forgetting all you have read.

To avoid this, scan your book for essential points you don’t already know about. Take the points you don’t know about seriously and ensure you understand, not just cram them.

In the case of WAEC, consisting of even broader topics, you should seek the WAEC syllabus for your year of examination. That will guide you on what topics you should cover for the success of each subject you will be sitting for.

Knowing what to expect in an examination is the best tip for passing. If, after knowing the topics, you can still not pass, you can be sure that you are the cause of your failure.


Not just that, you must have determined to fail, then – because all that is required from you after seeing the syllabus is to go for materials that treat those topics well. You might as well consult people that understand those topics to put you through.

Doing this for all subjects you will be sitting for will earn you at least a B in your subjects which is an excellent grading.

Where can you get the WAEC syllabus? You can meet your school’s examination officer to get a copy of the syllabus or simply go to the Internet for it, this is one of the tips on how to prepare and pass WAEC examination.

3. Practice Past Questions

Do you believe practice makes perfect? If you wish to pass your WAEC examination, you should help yourself by not being lazy to get past questions.

Ask your seniors/elders for the question papers they used in their time, do not just get those questions; work on them. Whenever you come across any topic giving you a problem among the past questions you have accessed, you should make findings and ensure you can answer such questions because you never can tell.

After all, questions are repeated in WAEC. The only reason you might not notice this is that how they will ask the questions will never be the same all year.

20 Tips On How to Prepare and Pass WAEC Examination

So at least practice the questions asked eight consecutive years back. You will be fully prepared to tackle the WAEC examination by the time you have been able to provide answers to questions asked in the previous eight years. I hope you understand this?

So you should now be getting at least eight question papers on each subject, ranging from the previous years down to – as much as you can cope with.

Where can you get past questions? You can access WAEC’s past questions on the Internet by searching for the apps on Playstore or the PDF on Google.

4. Start Reading Now

The earlier, the better. One of the essential things you have to do, which is, of course, what you would have been expecting to see in this article, is to read hard.

You will have to cram and have no room to understand what you ought to know if you don’t bend your head to read. This is the time for you to start cultivating a reading habit if it has been lacking in you before now.

One way this can be so easy for you is to find the best time and place that works for you when reading. Sometimes, you might end up sleeping off whenever you open your book to read on the bed because the bedroom is designed for sleeping and not for reading.


So what you want to do right now is take some time to observe yourself and discover the time that works for you as you prepare ahead for the upcoming WAEC examination.

Are you wondering if it is too soon for you to start reading? It seems I have to let you know that regardless of what class you are in the high school, you should start reading for your WAEC examination to make your papers simple for you. No matter how simple the question is, it automatically becomes difficult for you if you don’t know the answer – so read and start now!

5. Prioritize Core Subjects

So you wouldn’t relent, your teachers might not tell you this, but you need to know that not all subjects are essential to pass excellently in WAEC.

Initially, you need just five subjects in WAEC. In JAMB, for instance, you need just four. However, your school will ask you to fill in at least eight subjects in your WAEC registration form – it depends on the school.

The reason for this is so that you can replace some courses with others should you don’t have them in your examination. But this is not always the case, as it is rare for students to be able to replace Physics with Agric, for instance.

Anyway, remember that you need five of the subjects in your eight or nine (9) WAEC subject combinations.

For students, there are three essential subjects your form must carry:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Civic Education – this has been newly integrated (although does not seem to have gained stand) in the compulsory subjects for all students.

The government wants everyone to know about governance in addition to the lingua franca and general mathematics. This is an excellent plan to help all citizens, even outside the educational system.

In addition to these three subjects, if civic remains compulsory, you need to add two more and see the five of your core subjects. If you must fail anything in WAEC, make sure it is not any of these.

6. Master Speed and Accuracy

As you learn to master the questions that have been asked in previous years, you also want to learn to be fast in what you do. Like all formal examinations, WAEC is guided by a specific time and no candidate is to exceed the given time.

One way to be very fast in answering questions is not to write before thinking but to master speed in the examination. Little do you know that some people so have a fear of examination, “Examinophobia,” that it becomes what sets them back from keeping to time.

If these people are made to be familiar with the examination, the phobia will no longer be there, and confidence will help them answer more smartly and quickly.


Do not just practice past questions without guiding yourself with time; it is not enough. Discipline yourself by setting a time when you are expected to stop whatever you are writing during your days of practice.

Usually, this is supposed to come as a result of the steady practice of past questions, but if you want to run away from that (which is not advisable), look for other ways to learn to answer questions quickly.

You don’t want to go into that hall and start for extra time; it won’t be funny. The worst thing that can happen to a person is to leave the questions you know unanswered because the time given is not enough for you.

7. Read The Recommended Textbooks

WAEC always recommends texts for students planning to take part in the examination. The recommended books are not always made compulsory for students, so many often don’t bother to get them before writing the examination.

This will be most relevant to you if you are a literature student. Several texts are recommended for students to read once every four years. You should be so current as to know what texts fall under your year of examination.

20 Tips On How to Prepare and Pass WAEC Examination

So you should go to your subject teachers and get updates on the texts recommended for you to read for the WAEC examination.

8. Read the Instructions

The words or signals that tell you how you should do something are referred to as instructions or directions. It is essential to take note of instructions before answering the questions in your paper. This is one tip you need to keep in mind for the success of your examination.

Several instructions accompany each question paper in the WAEC examination as a case study. Instructions are often given before the questions in each section. Please do not be too busy or in a rush to leave any instruction unread, and this is one of the tips on how to prepare and pass WAEC examination.

You might think you are to answer all questions in a particular section while only one is required. Perhaps, coincidentally, you only know one of the questions in that section. You may answer more and, as a result, fail the entire section for not keeping to instructions.


There was a telling of a story of a student in a well-known institution some time ago. Everyone knew the student as the dullest in the class; he was the best student in a particular course because he was the only one who took the time to read the instructions. How did it happen?

The lecturer in charge of that subject reportedly instructed above the questions that “answer no question.” Being the dull student that many thought him to be, the gentleman took his time to go through the instruction carefully and was able to comply with them.

While others were busy writing, writing, and writing, this young man took his time to read the instruction, again and again, to be sure he was not mistaking something for another. He eventually submitted and became the best in that course.

The validity of this real-time story is not something you should bother your head with, as the main point is what you should learn. It can be advantageous to read and comply with the instruction.

9. Write Eligibly

Is your handwriting the type that earns people the tag of a doctor in secondary school? If yes, you should start working on it now. The doctor is a cognomen given to students with ineligible handwriting in high school, and there is a reason why doctors have bad handwriting.

It is possible you don’t know whether your handwriting is good or bad. In that case, you need a new pair of eyes to help you judge because you have been seeing it too often.

Listen to reviews from your friends as regards your handwriting. What are they saying about it? If your handwriting is not clear, then you should work on making it readable by all.


You should not be satisfied with your handwriting because you can read what you have written. Remember, you are not going to mark your WAEC examination papers yourself.

Not writing in a way that others can read might cause you to fail what you should have gotten correctly. The experts marking WAEC are not there to mark your papers alone, nor can they call on you to the staff room to explain what you have written.

Once a marker sees that a candidate’s handwriting is not readable, they want to believe that it is a form of cheating as the student is seen as someone that doesn’t have anything to offer. We all know what the consequences of this will be.

10. Shade Properly

There is no need to explain this. However, you might need to be told if you don’t read instructions in the examination hall. They will write several instructions in front of your paper, part of which will let you know you are expected to shade correctly.

You should not shade in a way that will be confusing to the marker. When you are shading option “A,” for instance, you should not, on no account, shade some part of option “B”; otherwise, you will be marked wrong.

Also, you are expected to shade clearly. Don’t shade faintly, and make sure your shadings are very bold and dark.

As a result of shading clearly, you are expected to erase any mistake you want to correct completely. If you shade according to instruction, it will take time to erase an already shaded option. Thus, you are summoned to erase correctly until it is clear that you no longer want that option.

11. Understand Theory Terms

Not understanding a question is the first thing that shows a person will fail a given question. Hence, one of the things you want to prepare for before writing a WAEC examination is what each theory term depicts. Some of the terms you should know are:

  1. Enumerate
  2. Mention
  3. Itemize
  4. List

The terms above mean the same thing, just to number out some points the question is asking for. You are never required to elaborate your answers when a given question consists of any of the terms above. Another category of examination terminologies you want to know include:

  • Explain
  • Elucidate
  • What is? (Often requires elaboration – based on the user context, though)
  • Discuss
  • Show
  • Give your point of view
  • In your opinion

20 Tips On How to Prepare and Pass WAEC Examination

You can go to research other theory terms you should know before writing the WAEC examination. This is one of the essential items on our 20 tips on how to prepare and pass WAEC examination. Do not be surprised you might leave a question you know unanswered because of the term used in asking you. So you want to be used to these terms as early as possible.

12. Draw to the Standard

When taking courses that require you to draw, kindly do it diligently. If there is an option to choose another question that does not require drawing.

I would advise you to pick it to avoid drawing mistakes, you should bear in mind that when you are asked to draw in an examination, you must:

  1. Erase your mistakes completely
  2. Ensure you keep your drawing paper as neat as possible.
  3. Write the name of the diagram drawn below the drawing.
  4. You should not, on any account, use a pen (unless you are asked to) – not sure that can happen, though.
  5. Make sure you label just one side of the paper if there is a need for any.

You can learn more about rules guiding drawing in the WAEC examination. Your biology teacher will be in the best position to answer you.

13. Start With The Questions You Know

The reason for this theory is to help your manage your time wisely and it is now of the ways on how to prepare and pass WAEC examination. It is not a crime that you don’t know all the questions asked.

Trying to answer those you know you don’t understand is what will make you wrong. If your efforts to pass WAEC examination must be fruitful, you must learn to answer questions smartly.

It is brilliant when you start with the questions you are sure of, regardless of the number in which they fall. For instance, you have the following on your question paper.

For example; Instruction: answer only two questions from this section.

  • Q1. What is WAEC?
  • Q2. Why do you write WAEC?
  • Q3. When did the United States gain its independence?
  • Q4. Who founded Ghana?

Having the question like this, and let’s say the only one you know is sure of is number two, you should start with that. Leaving it to crack your brains for answers that don’t seem to be there may cause you to forget the question you already have an answer to.

So in a case like this, you should not number your answers chronologically as in, writing No “1” at the top of the question two you chose because it is the first question. That may cause you to fail. Even if you start with question four, you should write the number ‘4’ above your answer.

14. Seek the Help Of Your Seniors

Do not underrate anyone, especially your teachers. You never can tell what helpful information they have at hand for you. When you don’t joke with your predecessors and teachers, you will have the chance of getting the correct information you need as soon as they have any.

Your subject teachers, for instance, will get information on what the practicals to be done will be about through the school’s principal, who must have learned it directly from the WAEC office.

15. Answer Questions For Your Country Only

Does it sound funny? If yes, you should nevertheless take it seriously. Reading every word that comes to your notice on your question booklet is essential.

For instance, do not mistakenly answer the questions meant for Ghanaians as that would be a waste of effort and time.

16. Attempt All Compulsory Questions

Leaving compulsory questions unanswered will equal pouring grains of corn into a bag full of holes. You don’t just want to do this because compulsory questions attract more marks than other ones.

Even if you don’t know so much about the question that is said compulsory, you should attempt it. Remember, there is a reward for originality.

17. Always Seek For Updates

20 Tips On How to Prepare and Pass WAEC Examination

Move close to people you know who constantly have valid updates about the WAEC examination. This will go a long way to put you in the right direction. If you don’t want to appear blind to the examination, then stay abreast of sources of updates.

18. Make Good Use Of The Media

It is time to prepare for your ‘As’ and ‘Bs’ in WAEC. You should either do away with your phones or use them wisely. If we must admit, our mobile devices bring one of the most significant distractions one can ever get.

Rather than spending five hours on social media platforms, you should venture that energy into your device wisely means you can seek all the information you need to know about the WAEC examination through it – just as you have done by coming to this read this.

19. Comply With The Examination Rules

You might be embarrassed when you fail to comply with the rules guiding your examination in your center. If you are chased out of the hall for not putting on the complete uniform, for instance, you should know it will affect your performance in the examination.

So get all that may cause you not to be chased out of the hall, ready. Your mind should also be ready for the examination.

20. Pray to God

Praying to God is one of the ways on how to pass and prepare WAEC examination, join other serious and prayerful students studying for the same examination.

Do not also forget to put a check on the reasons why students fail WAEC, one of which employs you to make good use of the media and also commit your examinations to God’s hands.


Finally, students fail WAEC because they don’t have the right tips to guide them on what to and what not to do. Herein, we shall now talk about the correct information for you. Here are the tips on how to prepare and pass WAEC examination.

We have helped you with this guide on how to prepare and pass WAEC examination. To show you are grateful, you should not hesitate to share it with your loved ones. Please don’t keep it to yourself, remember your friends also need this.


About Abayomi

Abayomi is an education student and a certified content and prolific writer in Nigeria who is concerned with serving scholars across all nations with in-depth research and quality content.

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