WAEC does not prepare candidates for its examinations by establishing secondary schools or tutorial centres, and no such institutions are affiliated to the Council.
WAEC provides feedback in the form of Chief Examiners' Report on candidates' perofrmance in the various papers for each examination diet, which helps schools and private candidates to prepare adequately for subsequent examinations. The Chief Examiners' Reports are avialable for sale at the Council's offices nationwide.
First, a committee of experts draws up a marking guide. All appointed examiners are then thoroughly drilled in all aspects of the marking scheme in a simulated marking exercise called co-ordination. Actual marking does not start until the coordinating officers are satisfied that all examiners know what is required of them. Even when actual marking begins, the examiners are not left entirely on their own.
They are organised into small groups, each being supervised by a highly experienced examiner called a Team Leader. The Team Leader checks and vets the group members' marking progressively to ensure that they are keeping to the guidelines.
The Team Leaders themselves are supervised by more experienced examiners called Chief Examiners. When marking is finally completed, WAEC still goes ahead to employ another group of people called Checkers. The main role of Checkers is to ensure that all marks awarded by examiners are correctly recorded and transferred to the appropriate score sheets.
Candidates are required to enter and sit for a minimum of eight (8) and a maximum of nine (9) subjects. These must include the following :
- English Language
- At least one Nigerian Language (see footnote)
- At least one of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
- At least one of Literature-in-English, History and Geography.
- Agricultural Science or at least one vocational subject.
These are the core subjects. In addition to the above, every student must offer any three of the underlisted subjects not already offered as core subjects: Biology, Economics, Physics, Book-Keeping, Chemistry, Typewriting, Further Mathematics, Shorthand, Commerce, History, Geography, Literature-in-English, Agricultural Science, Woodwork, Health Science, Auto-Mechanics, Building Construction, Music, Clothing and Textiles, Art, Christian Religious Knowledge, French, Islamic Studies, Physical Education, Arabic Studies, Government, Metal Work, Applied Electricity, Electronics, Foods and Nutrition, Technical Drawing Home Management.
NOTE: The Federal Ministry of Education has given a waiver in respect of Nigerian Languages during the 2003 examination. This implies that candidates' entries are valid with or without a Nigerian language for the period of the waiver.
There are three categories of officials: supervisors, invigilators and inspectors. Supervisors are teachers nominated by the various State Ministries of Education. They are actually responsible for conducting the exams at the various centres. It is their responsibility to collect question papers from the custodian and return answer scripts to the custodian centres.
Invigilators are usually teaching staff nominated by their school principals to assist the supervisors at the centres, while inspectors are WAEC staff members who go from one centre to another when the examination is in progress.
School candidates collect their certificates from their schools while private candidates obtain theirs directly from WAEC.
Candidates can collect their certificates from WAEC Zonal and Branch offices in charge of the state where they sat for the examination.
Results are partially released due to queries arising from one or a combination of the following mistakes:
- Wrong transfer of examination numbers in one or more papers;
- Failure to shade examination numbers;
- Shading objective sheets with biro pens instead of pencil;
- Mistakes in entries leading to duplication of subjects.