The Council conducts examinations under the following broad headings:
The National Examinations are restricted to the specific member countries for which they are developed and reflect their local policies, needs and aspirations, while the International Examinations are available to candidates in all the member countries.
The National Examinations include the Gambia Basic Certificate Examination, the Junior and Senior High School Certificate Examinations for Liberia, the National Primary School and Basic Education Certificate Examinations for Sierra Leone, and the Basic Education Certificate and Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations for Ghana.
The International Examinations are available to candidates in all member countries. The Council’s international examination is the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which replaced the General Certificate of Education (Ordinary/Advanced level) examinations.
The WASSCE has been introduced as part of the educational reform programmes in member countries. The maiden edition was conducted in The Gambia in 1998. Nigerian candidates took the examination for the first time in 1999, Sierra Leonean candidates took it in 2000 and Ghanaian candidates in 2006. Liberia is also planning to adopt the WASSCE in 2011. The WASSCE is administered twice a year, in May/June and in November/December. One unique feature of the WASSCE is that it combines school-based continuous assessment scores with the Council’s assessment on a certain ratio. The WASSCE, among other things, enables candidates to qualify for admission into universities and other tertiary institutions.
In its endeavour to improve the process of conducting examinations in the member countries, the Council continues to use technology to its advantage. It successfully implemented in 2003/2004 the use of the WAECDIRECT RESULT HOSTING AND WEBSITE FACILITY, which makes it possible for the results of the WASSCE to be viewed on the Council’s websites.
In 2005 the Council advanced its use of technology with the development and introduction of Online Registration in some of its examinations. This system enables schools to register their candidates from their various locations through the Internet. Private candidates can also register online. With this facility, schools and candidates can verify their enrolment details and obtain their examination numbers immediately after registration.