How to answer WAEC questions


The 2021/2022 WAEC exam is around the corner. Candidates are already expected to be making preparations for the exams. However, a lot of students go into the examinations with little or no idea of how they are to answer the exam questions. The WAEC standard for questions is very easy to understand. In this article, I am going to be giving you tips on how to answer WAEC questions. These tips are going to include guides on how to answer both the objective and theory sections of WAEC questions.


Before we go into the tips on how to answer WAEC questions, let me give you a brief Information about WAEC.

About WAEC

WAEC is the short form for the West African Examination Council. It is the exam body that is responsible for conducting the exams for senior secondary students in 5 countries. The countries that participate in the examinations include Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. 

The Examination board started in the year 1952 and has been active since then. Unlike other Exams, WAEC is still handwritten till today. They are no provisions of facilities for computer-based test in WAEC examinations.

Now let’s quickly go into the tips on how to answer WAEC questions. The examination consists of the objective and the theory/essay sections. I am going to guide you through everything you need to know about approaching the questions in both sections.

How to answer the objective section in WAEC questions

The objective section consists of 60 compulsory questions and they all carry equal marks. Here are some tips that you should take note of when you are answering Objective questions.

  • Shade with a Pencil

When answering the objective part of exams, you should shade the correct answer with a pencil. A lot of students choose to only tick the right answer in the box provided. However, the correct way to answer objective questions is to shade the correct option in the box provided. 

Note that you are not allowed to shade with a pen.

  • Answer the objective questions first

It is advisable to answer the objective question first. This is because you might get hints of answers that are in the essay/theory section. Also, the objectives questions take less time to finish even though the questions are about sixty.  

  • Answer the easy questions first: 

This is a good way to save your time during the examination. If you answer the easy questions first, you should skip the difficult ones for later. After you are done answering the easy questions, you can now revisit the difficult ones and tackle them. This way you can save time and energy. This method would help you avoid spending too much time on one question.

  • Take note of terms such as ‘Following’, ‘Except’, and ‘NOT’

WAEC is known for asking questions with the above terms. Sometimes, those terms are written in capital letters to stress their importance in the questions. You should read the questions slowly and carefully so that you do not fall for the trick. 


The tips I highlighted above would give you an insight into how to answer WAEC objective questions. For the Essay/theory questions, I have also highlighted some tips that you should know when you are answering these questions.

How to answer the Essay/theory sections in WAEC questions

This section is regarded as the more difficult section in the examination. This is because it requires a lot of writing. However, this section could be as easy as A, B, C if you follow the right methods. I am also going to guide you through the tips that would help you answer the questions.

  • Read the instructions that are written above the Essay questions

This is the most important tip to take note of. You have to read the instruction for the Essay section of the Exams. This contains relevant information about how many questions you are to answer in the Essay section.

  • Answer the questions you know very well first

When answering the essay/theory questions, you have to answer the questions that you are 100% sure of before looking to other questions. This will save your time and help you avoid spending too much time on one question.

  • Make your answers precise

This is a very important fact to take note of. You must go straight to the point and maintain a good level of precision when answering the essay question. If you try to write too many unnecessary details, the person marking the script might get too bored and not read all your text. You should be precise in answering questions unless you are asked to do otherwise.


Some Key terms 

A very important tip to take note of when answering essay questions is the use of some terms. For example, questions might carry terms such as List, Highlight, Differentiate, Explain, Briefly Explain, e.t.c. I will explain the meaning of the above terms.

LIST: This term requires that you only write the answers down by listing them. You should not explain in this case. However, you can only explain if the question reads ‘List and Explain’.

Differentiate: This is usually asked when you are to compare two or more things. You can answer this question using a tabular form by drawing a vertical line and writing down the differences between the two subjects. 

Alternatively, you can differentiate by using the phrase ‘while’ to separate the subjects you are trying to differentiate.

Highlight/Briefly Explain: When you are asked questions with these terms, you are advised to give a precise explanation of that subject or thing. This does not require long paragraphs or sentences. 

However, when you are asked to ‘Explain’, this is where you are to give all the necessary details and facts of that subject. In Christian Religious Studies (C.R.K), the phrase ‘Describe’ is mostly used in place of Explain.

Another fact is this; questions might come with the term ‘With the aid of a Diagram’. This means that your answer MUST be backed up with the relevant diagram.


I believe that after reading this post, you now know how to answer WAEC questions. If you enjoyed this article, kindly share it with your friends and families. Feel free to also share this post to social media groups related to WAEC 

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