If you are educated and a permanent resident of any English speaking West African country, then you know about the examination body, WAEC; you have probably written yours or you know someone who has.
Education is, after all, in stages and the promotion to different stages is determined by examination and how well you do in the examination.
While we can all agree that we have to prepare for an examination, a guide to direct our studying is always helpful. And that is something that a grading system serves as.
Have you ever wondered how the examination is graded? Have you ever wondered how WAEC examiners grade their results?
Good knowledge of this will help inform you on how to study appropriately for the examination.
What is WAEC?
WAEC (West African Examinations Council) is the examination body in charge of organising examination leading to higher institutions in English speaking West African countries.
Since 1952, the body has been consistently reinventing and improving its standard. The grading system has also experienced improvement as well and knowledge of the grading system will help candidates to properly study for the examination.
How WAEC examiners Actually grade their results
What is the WAEC grading system like? This is a question that will understandably be in your mind as a candidate.
The first thing you need to know is that the letters A to F are used to determine the level of your grade, with A being “excellent” and F being “fail”.
In an ascending order, the grading system is;
0 – 39% = F9
40 – 44% = E8
45 – 49% = D7
50 – 54% = C6
55 – 59% = C5
60 – 64% = C4
65 – 69% = B3
70 – 74% = B2
75 – 100% = A1
And the interpretation of the grades is;
A1 = Excellent
B2 = Very good
B3 = Good
C4, C5 and C6 = Credit
D7 = Pass
E8 = Pass
F9 = Fail
So, basically, this is calculated based on the percentage of the number of questions you get right in both the objectives and theory sections.
Certain subjects are graded differently from others. Generally, the questions are divided into 40% for objectives and 60% for theory.
For mathematics, the theory questions take 60% of the total mark while the objectives take the remaining 40%. Therefore, if you want to be graded A, you will have to answer correctly 40 questions in the objectives and 8 in the theory section.
For English, there are 160 objective questions including oral English and the theory section includes comprehension and essay writing. The objectives section takes 40% while the theory section takes 60%. Basically, to do well in English, you should aim for at least 25% – 30% in each section.
Subjects that have practical, such as Physics, Chemistry, Agricultural Science, Biology, Home Management, and Food and Nutrition amongst others, are divided into objectives, practical and theory sections. The 50 objective questions take 25%, the practical section takes 35% of the mark, and the theory takes the remaining 40%. Therefore, if you want to do well in these subjects, you must address at least 25% correctly in the objectives, practical, and theory.
It is important to note that to be accepted into the higher institution, you have to have, at least, a “C” in English and Mathematics and, at least, five other subjects that are your subject combination. A subject combination is used to define the subjects that suit your preferred course of study.
What this means is that you should concentrate on making sure to get, at least, “Credit” in, at least, seven subjects.
Now that you are well acquainted with the grading system of WAEC, you can tailor your study accordingly to achieve success in the examination. You should check this article on how to pass WAEC in one sitting