Home Education News Today In Nigeria WAEC Vs NECO: Which Exam Is Better? Here’s What You Need To...

WAEC Vs NECO: Which Exam Is Better? Here’s What You Need To Know

WAEC Vs NECO: Which Exam Is Better? Here's What You Need To Know
WAEC Vs NECO: Which Exam Is Better? Here's What You Need To Know

WAEC Vs NECO: This article is created to provide answers to the following questions:

  • Is WAEC better than NECO?
  • Is NECO result accepted abroad?
  • Is NECO harder than WAEC

When it comes to secondary school examinations in Nigeria, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) are the two primary bodies.

Both organizations assess students’ academic performance and determine their readiness for higher education. This article explores whether WAEC is better than NECO, offering a detailed comparison to help students, parents, and educators make informed decisions.


Understanding WAEC vs  NECO

Overview of WAEC

WAEC was established in 1952 as a regional examination body for West African countries. It conducts the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which is a crucial certification for students seeking admission to universities both within Nigeria and internationally. WAEC’s credibility and widespread acceptance make it a pivotal certification for higher education.

Overview of NECO

NECO was established in 1999 to address the need for a national examination body in Nigeria. It conducts the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) and General Certificate in Education (GCE). NECO was created to alleviate some challenges associated with WAEC and to ensure comprehensive coverage and convenience for Nigerian students.

Key Comparisons on WAEC vs NECO

Acceptance and Recognition


  • Internationally recognized and widely accepted by universities around the world, including the USA, UK, Canada, and most European countries.
  • Preferred choice for students aiming to study abroad.

Is NECO result accepted abroad?


  • Primarily accepted within Nigeria.
  • Gaining more recognition, but WAEC holds broader acceptance globally.
  • Some international institutions recognize NECO, but it’s not as widespread as WAEC.

Examination Schedule and Structure


  • Conducted annually between April and June.
  • WAEC Results are released around August.


  • Conducted between June and July.
  • NECO Results are typically released within 45 to 60 days.

The scheduling difference can influence students’ choices based on their academic planning and preparation. WAEC questions tend to be more challenging and analytical, while some students find NECO questions to be more straightforward.

Is WAEC better than NECO?


  • Long-standing reputation for maintaining high standards of examination integrity.
  • Instances of examination malpractice are met with severe consequences.


  • Significant strides in improving credibility over the years.
  • Still battles perceptions of leniency compared to WAEC.

Accessibility and Coverage


  • Widely accessible but sometimes presents logistical challenges for students in remote areas.


  • Designed to be more accessible, particularly for students in rural areas.
  • Aims to provide a national standard of education assessment that caters to the diverse demographics of Nigeria.

Is WAEC Better Than NECO?

WAEC is often considered better than NECO due to its international recognition and wider acceptance by universities around the world. However, NECO is tailored to the Nigerian education system, making it more accessible and convenient for local students. The choice between the two depends on individual educational goals and circumstances. Both exams are credible, but WAEC holds a slight edge for those seeking global academic opportunities.

Choosing Between WAEC and NECO

Future Educational Plans

If a student plans to study abroad, WAEC is the better option due to its international recognition. Universities in countries such as the USA, UK, and Canada are more familiar with WAEC.


Scheduling Convenience

Some students opt to take both exams to increase their chances of passing and to utilize the different scheduling times to their advantage. This strategy ensures that if a student encounters difficulties with one exam, they have another opportunity to secure a good result.

Location and Accessibility

For students in remote areas, NECO might be more accessible, making it a practical choice. NECO’s focus on accessibility ensures that students from all parts of Nigeria can take the exam without undue hardship.


3 Advantages of WAEC over NECO.

1. International Recognition and Acceptance

One of the most significant advantages of WAEC over NECO is its international recognition and acceptance. WAEC certificates are widely accepted by universities and institutions around the world, including prestigious institutions in the USA, UK, Canada, and Europe. This recognition opens up numerous opportunities for Nigerian students who aspire to study abroad, providing them with a globally acknowledged qualification that eases the application process to international universities.

The global recognition of WAEC also means that students holding a WAEC certificate can seamlessly transition into foreign educational systems, giving them a competitive edge in securing admissions and scholarships.

2. Established Credibility and Reputation

WAEC has been in existence since 1952, building a long-standing reputation for maintaining high standards of examination integrity and quality. This established credibility assures students, parents, and educators that the examinations are rigorous and fair. WAEC’s commitment to upholding academic standards and combating examination malpractice has made its certificates highly respected.


The credibility of WAEC is further reinforced by its stringent examination processes and the severe consequences for cheating, ensuring that the results accurately reflect a student’s academic abilities. This reputation can significantly impact a student’s prospects, as educational institutions and employers trust WAEC’s certification.

3. Extensive Alumni Network

WAEC’s long history has produced a vast and influential alumni network that spans across numerous professions and industries globally. This network can provide significant advantages for current students and recent graduates. Being part of a well-recognized examination body with an extensive alumni network offers opportunities for mentorship, networking, and career development.

The alumni network can also facilitate connections with successful professionals who have navigated similar educational paths, offering guidance and support. This can be particularly beneficial for students seeking career opportunities both within Nigeria and internationally.


Conclusion on WAEC vs NECO 

In the debate over whether WAEC is better than NECO, the answer largely depends on individual circumstances and goals. Both examination bodies serve vital roles in the Nigerian education system, offering students the opportunity to demonstrate their academic abilities and pursue higher education. By understanding the differences and considering personal objectives, students and parents can make informed decisions that best suit their educational aspirations. Ultimately, whether it’s WAEC or NECO, what matters most is the commitment to academic excellence and the pursuit of knowledge.

FAQs on WAEC vs NECO. 

What is the main difference between WAEC and NECO?
WAEC is a regional examination body recognized internationally, while NECO is a national examination body focused on the Nigerian education system.

Which exam is better for studying abroad?
WAEC is better for studying abroad due to its wider international recognition and acceptance by global universities.


Are WAEC and NECO recognized equally in Nigeria?
Yes, both WAEC and NECO are recognized in Nigeria, but WAEC holds a slight edge in terms of credibility and acceptance.

How do the examination schedules of WAEC and NECO differ?
WAEC is conducted between April and June, with results released in August. NECO is conducted between June and July, with results released within 45 to 60 days.

Can students take both WAEC and NECO exams?
Yes, students can take both WAEC and NECO exams to increase their chances of passing and to utilize the different scheduling times.

What measures are in place to ensure the credibility of WAEC and NECO?
WAEC has a long-standing reputation for maintaining high standards of examination integrity. NECO has made significant strides in improving credibility and continues to implement measures to reduce examination malpractice.

Why is WAEC more recognized internationally than NECO?

WAEC has a longer history and broader regional scope, which has established it as a credible and widely accepted examination body internationally.

How does WAEC’s credibility impact students’ opportunities?
WAEC’s credibility ensures that its certificates are trusted by educational institutions and employers, enhancing students’ prospects for further education and job opportunities.

Can NECO certificates be used for international applications?
While NECO certificates are gaining more recognition, they are not as widely accepted internationally as WAEC certificates. Some institutions do accept NECO, but WAEC is generally preferred for international applications.

Are there any significant differences in the exam content of WAEC and NECO?
Both WAEC and NECO cover similar subjects and syllabi, but some students find WAEC questions to be more challenging and analytical, while NECO questions are often considered more straightforward.

Full List of Nigerian Billionaires Who Own Football Clubs in Europe


What should students consider when choosing between WAEC and NECO?
Students should consider their future educational plans, the recognition and acceptance of the certificates, the examination schedules, and their own academic strengths when choosing between WAEC and NECO.



  1. I defer with your sordid journalist approach between WAEC and NECO. Both of them belong to the international organization recognized worldwide (including all other examination bodies in Nigeria).
    NECO SSCE certificate is recognize globally. I will advise your organization to visit NECO in order to know more about the organization.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here