Many adults in their late 20s or 30s upwards in West Africa who couldn’t attend or complete Senior High School (SHS) constantly dream of acquiring the all – important WASSCE qualification to enable them to further their education for a better future.
I’m referring to nationals or residents of the five English – speaking countries in West Africa namely,
- The Gambia
- Nigeria and
- Sierra Leone
Are you one of such individuals I have just described? If yes, then chances are that you’re desperately looking for a way out so you can take the next significant step in your life.
Sadly, there are many out there who will tell you that it is not going to be easy for you to write and pass WASSCE without having gone through the formal SHS system. They may even discourage you to forget it since it is NEVER possible to do so.
Well, I have good news for you: the naysayers are COMPLETELY WRONG. Yes, you heard me right. Either they are ignorant about the whole thing or they’re simply throwing dust into your eyes.
You can study on your own, sit for the private West African Senior School Examination (popularly called Nov/Dec WASSCE in Ghana – I’m not too sure how it is called in the other countries I’ve mentioned) and come out with flying colours.
Below, I have taken my time to take you through the necessary steps that you need to take to achieve your cherished dream of acquiring the WASSCE certificate.
Before we continue …
What I’m going to tell you has got nothing to do with fast, easy and dubious ways of acquiring a fake certificate which will never take you far. At least I can assure you that the universities in Ghana will find you out sooner than later if you use fraudulent means to gain admission to any of their faculties.
I’ve always believed in working hard to earn my little glories so that’s what I preach to my students and clients. I hope you understand.
Let’s move on.
Now if you’re on the same level with me, then let’s move forward to discover my simple steps regarding how to obtain your WASSCE qualification without having set your foot in any SHS classroom before.
1. You need to have at least upper primary education
All you need for starters is some background in formal education preferably from primary 6 to Junior High School level.
To register as a private candidate for WASSCE, you do not even need a BECE qualification/certificate to qualify you to register for the WAEC WASSCE.
The only reason you must have had a taste of formal education is to enable you to feel at home with your studies as an adult learner. So even this is my only expert opinion. It is never compulsory!
2. You need a huge dose of self – motivation and self – discipline.
Please if you cannot motivate yourself enough to study diligently then I can assure you that you will end up proving the naysayers right. Like everything else worth – pursuing, making preparations for the WASSCE can be very demanding.
No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it is not possible. It is. It can even be a lot of fun if only you discipline yourself and keep to your study schedule. I’ve guided dozens of adult beginners like you to successfully go through this experience so I’m very certain about what I’m telling you.
3. Choose the right course/program for you
I am an Arts/Humanities person so don’t be surprised if I tell you to choose elective General Arts subjects such as Government, Economics, Literature – in – English, Religious Studies, History, Geography and any eligible local language.
On a more serious note, the best move is to choose a course where your natural abilities and passion lie so you can maximise your performance. Let NO ONE decide for you on this important step. If your gut instincts tell you, and you can convince yourself that you will find it easier and more personally fulfilling studying Business Accounting, General Science, Vocational or Business Secretarial then that’s the way you must go.
And remember, in today’s world, there are mouth – watering opportunities out there waiting for anyone who pursued and studied well any course they truly love and for which they have a natural talent.
4. Assemble all the necessary study materials.
As a private adult learner, you will need to do a lot of research. Look for people who can give you the right answers regarding the textbooks to use for your studies, the syllabuses to acquire and the past questions to examine critically.
Thankfully, there are online WASSCE resources you can obtain if only you make the right searches through such search engines as Google and Mozilla Firefox. Look out for websites like
5. Begin your studies very early.
It is advisable to set a target study and preparation period of at least 18 months for yourself. This is especially so if your formal education experience stopped anywhere before the final year of Junior High School.
I am very conscious of the fact that while some individuals are talented fast learners, others are very slow or average learners. My prescriptions are therefore aimed at both the average and fast learner.
If you happen to be an extremely slow learner then probably you will have to consider other areas where you should definitely have a talent instead of academic work.
6. Get good tutors to coach, mentor and show you the way.
While a few individuals are able to go solo and do everything regarding their studies virtually on their own, I think the majority of beginner – adult learners need to get good and effective tutors to guide them.
A note of warning. Do not judge the quality or otherwise of any private tutor by the level of fees being charged or the appearance of the study premises they provide. You could end up paying a fortune for fanciful trash!
It is great if your tutors have the following attributes:
- They are punctual and spend time profitably
- They do not turn the lesson into a partisan political indoctrination session
- They give regular assignments and mark them promptly
- They display adequate knowledge of their subject. Their paper qualification alone should not fool you.
- They treat you with respect and patiently teach to your understanding.
- They encourage you rather than discourage and put fear in you. There is nothing to fear about examinations if you prepare well.
7. Register as a private candidate for the examination.
Registration usually begins by the end of February each year and lasts till around the end of April. There is also a late registration period of one additional month but for which you will be made to pay a hefty penalty for the sin of registering late!
And remember, WAEC will not ask you to show any academic qualification to enable you to register for the private WASSCE. If only you think you’re capable of going through with this, they will allow you to go ahead.
I intend to say more about the registration process and also further details about proper preparation for the examination in other blog posts coming soon. Please watch out for them.
So there you are! You too or that person you know can obtain WASSCE qualification despite the fact that you didn’t attend or couldn’t complete SHS.
Please, I’ll appreciate it very much if you take some time to express your views on this topic. Thank you in advance for doing just that.