High school students across West Africa sit for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and General Certificate of Education (GCE) exams every year with the hope of obtaining good grades that will pave way for their future careers.
Unfortunately, not all students achieve their desired grades.
This article explores reasons why students fail these crucial exams, highlighting some of the factors that contribute to poor performance, and offers some tips on how students can improve their chances of success.
Must read: 10 Steps To Take If You Have A Poor WASSCE, WAEC, Neco, Jamb, or GCE Result
Why Students Fail WASSCE, WAEC, NECO, JAMB, and GCE Exams
WASSCE, WAEC, NECO, JAMB, and GCE Exams are exams that some students take and breeze through, but unfortunately, some students do not pass.
In fact, each year, there are more students who fail these exams when compared to those that pass them.
Is there something about these exams that makes some students struggle more than others? and is it possible that the inability to read their books was not the only reason why they failed?
Certain students have received failing grades due to a lack of adequate preparation for these exams.
They mistook it for a standard exam like the ones they take in school when they focused on specific topics and, thankfully, were able to see the questions during the exam.
Reading alone may not be sufficient to pass the WAEC, NECO, JAMB, or GCE examinations;
Therefore, if you intend to take these exams, keep this possibility in mind.
There are additional reasons why you could have failed these exams.
If you want to pass these exams with only A’s, you must do everything possible to avoid doing any of these things we’ll be mentioning below.
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1. Not Knowing Exactly what the exam is about
These exams are not at all like the exams taken in secondary schools.
If you want to do well in your examinations, you need to make sure that you have reviewed everything in your syllabus before the day of the exam.
Questions could be asked on any topic.
When you take into account how extensive these course materials are, you will realize that you have to start preparing for the exam far earlier with your curriculum, your texts, and your past questions.
See this: What is WASSCE? Everything You Need to Know [Comprehensive Guide]
2. Relying on Exam Malpractice and special centers
Some schools are well-known for exam malpractice, and some students in those schools are aware of this and do not feel the need to read.
They might see no need to stress themselves studying when their teachers will provide them with the answers.
Be careful if you are one of these students.
Keep in mind that not everything goes as planned.
There is a good chance that genuine officials with high integrity will be present that day and will either stop such behavior from teachers or mark your school for exam malpractice.
There is also a chance that your teachers will not show up to the exam venue as well, leaving you to rely on your faith.
Similarly, if you’ve registered in some special centers where they call out answers to exam questions or someone writes for you, you’re likely to fail these exams.
In some cases, the answers may be incorrect, and WAEC/JAMB/NECO may cancel the results from that center.
Furthermore, the exam official may discern that the person writing the exam is an imposter, resulting in the cancellation of your papers.
There have also been reports of students seeing these questions before the exam.
Remember that if you rely solely on those questions and ignore other subjects, you may be in for a big surprise.
There have been numerous instances in the past where these Exam bodies became aware of leaked questions on a specific subject and changed the exam questions just a day before the exam, resulting in mass failure in these schools.
If you’ve seen the leaked questions, simply ignore them and continue studying other areas of your syllabus.
See this: JAMB Subject Combination for All University UTME & Direct Entry Courses
Procrastination may appear to be a fun activity until you realize how much damage it causes.
If you have a habit of putting off your reading hours, you may find yourself unprepared for the exam.
Time is a finite resource that sneaks up on us when we least expect it.
You may believe that because your exam is three months away, you have time to play video games or gist with friends; however, this is a recipe for failure.
“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet,”
says Bill Watterson, a sarcastic thought-provoking quote.
You must be in the right frame of mind. Last-minute stress is dangerous” That’s what procrastination can do.
It prevents you from reading until the last minute when panic sets in and makes it difficult to understand what you’re reading.
If you want to pass your exam with flying colors, you must avoid this situation. “You may postpone, but time will not.”
Try to consume the below resource, it will help you with your time management.
Must read: How to Prepare a Personal Reading TimeTable
4. Lack of Study Materials
It is not uncommon to see students who do not have the recommended materials for study.
You cannot possibly rely solely on the notes provided by your teacher.
Purchase the recommended texts for extensive reading and understanding of the subject.
You’ll find suggested books to read in the syllabus that will help you succeed in the exams.
The same is true for not taking past questions.
Most schools require students to purchase past questions to solve with their teacher during class time, but not all schools take this seriously.
Past questions can help you prepare by giving you an idea of the exam structure.
Recommended: Complete list of all Past Questions and Answers for Jamb, NECO, WAEC, and more.
Most students enjoy cramming; if you are one of these students, find a better strategy because this one has resulted in numerous failures.
One disadvantage of cramming is that once you forget a line or word, you’ve forgotten everything, leaving you stranded and frustrated in the exam hall.
Rather than cramming, set aside time to study for the exam. WAEC, NECO, JAMB, and GCE exams require you to cover a wide range of topics, which is impossible to cram.
Some students may limit their cramming to past questions in the hope that they will be asked again.
While it is possible that they may repeat questions, you never know when what will appear, and it is impossible to memorize all of the past questions since inception.
We created a really helpful guide that will help you study well.
See this: How to Study [The Right Way]
6. Failing to Make Progress in Your Weak Subjects
Math may be difficult for some art students, whereas English may be difficult for science students.
One weak subject can make your final result less appealing; no one wants to see the dreaded F9 or E8.
How do you keep it from happening?
Always seek assistance from teachers, students, friends, parents, and siblings, or better yet, enroll in a tutorial center that teaches the subjects well.
Before registering, make sure the center has a good reputation.
It is possible to improve on your weak subject before exams if you put in the time and effort.
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7. Fear of Failing
Sometimes fear comes even when there is no need, and when you allow that fear to creep into your heart, it messes up everything.
Fear is one of the reasons you might fail these exams.
You can study hard all you want, but as long as you are afraid of failing the exam, you will.
Fear undermines your high self-esteem and confidence, making you feel inadequate and incapable of accomplishing great things.
What are you going to do about your fear? Determine the source of your fear and confront it head-on.
Are you concerned because your school has a history of producing poor results? Are you concerned because the past questions you’ve seen have been technical?
Are you afraid because you can’t seem to improve on an important subject?
Are you scared because you’ve failed these exams previously? Is it because of a massive failure the past year?
You can deal with your fears once you’ve identified their source.
Remember fear can paralyze you and prevent you from properly preparing for your exams.
It’s better to deal with it sooner rather than later so you can focus on acing your exam.
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8. An Overload of Events
Keeping yourself occupied with too many activities is one reason you’d fail your exams.
Sports activities, working, visiting friends and any other events may have to be postponed until after the exams to avoid failing.
It may be difficult to give up these activities, especially if they supplement your income, but this may be your first lesson in life about prioritizing.
What are your wants and needs?
Do you need your exam certificate to further your education, or do you need to make money or become a successful athlete right now?
One must be more important than the other, and since you’re reading this, we’re guessing your WAEC, NECO. JAMB and GCE certificate is more important.
If we are correct, it means you must abandon all extracurricular activities or learn how to manage your time so that you have enough time to read and cover your syllabus.
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9. Relying Only On Past Papers
When it comes to studying for your exams, one of the most important tools you can use to prepare for your exams is by going over past questions and allowing yourself to practice.
You should not, however, be under the impression that working through every sample question from the previous five years will adequately prepare you for the exam at hand if you have not read the required textbooks and are not familiar with the course material.
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10. Not Creating A Healthy Exam Preparation Plan
Creating the appropriate approach in advance for your WASSCE, WAEC, NECO, JAMB, and GCE Exams, will help you remain motivated and confident, and it makes it much simpler to take the measures that are essential to prepare for your exams.
You would not be in the same position as a football team that does not have a game plan. if you did not have the appropriate strategy prior to taking the examination kindly start creating one.
This would make you more organized, which would increase the likelihood that you will succeed in the exam.
Therefore, develop a healthy preparation plan.
- Not Knowing Exactly what the exam is about
- Relying on Exam Malpractice and special centers
- Lack of Study Materials
- Failing to Make Progress in Your Weak Subjects
- Fear of Failing
- Overload of Events
- Relying Only On Past Papers
- Not Creating A Healthy Exam Preparation Plan
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In conclusion, sitting for exams such as WASSCE, WAEC, NECO, JAMB, and GCE can be a daunting experience for many students, but with the right preparation and mindset, success is achievable.
We have highlighted some of the common reasons why students fail these exams, including lack of preparation, poor time management, exam anxiety, and inadequate study materials.
However, it’s important to remember that success is within reach with the right attitude and approach.
Students should strive to identify their weaknesses, seek help when necessary, and implement effective study strategies to improve their chances of success.
By doing so, they can unlock their potential and achieve their academic goals.
Consider reading: Different Ways to Upgrade Your WASSCE, WAEC, NECO, JAMB & GCE Result
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