Free SHS: WAEC must not drop the WASSCE 2020 question standard


As the 2020 WASSCE gets closer, for the first batch of the Free SHS students, WAEC must not drop the WASSCE 2020 question standards and its total quality standards.

WAEC has made a name for its self as an examining body that does not drop the quality standards of its examinations no matter the prevailing government policies on education. This is commendable for the independent examining body.

The WASSCE 2020 examination to be written by the first batch of Free SHS students must meet the same standards if we are to fairly access the quality of students’ performance and the policy implemented by the Akuffo Addo government after the examination.

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The government of Ghana has in the past three months has continuously put in place very proactive measures aimed at helping students in their final year excel in the examination.

Chief among them is the procurement of some 400,000 past questions, workshops for STEM teachers in public Senior High Schools as well as the shortening of the vacation period for final year students. The latter was to give students more contact hours at school as their examination draws closer.

These control measures are worth the effort however, the seriousness with which students take their lessons and preparation towards the 2020 WASSCE is another key determinant that cannot be overlooked.

The best way these students can say a big thank you to Ghana and the taxpayers is to excel however, we cannot run away from the reality that some students would surely fail the exams no matter contingencies measures put in place by the government.

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The government’s effort at preparing students very well and to make sure they excel; come out with very good grades is at the heart of all these efforts and sacrifices of the Nana Addo’s government.

The outputs of these students will either vindicate government and the huge investments made and their failure the vice-versa,

But, it is important to ensure, that, in our attempt as a nation to improve the pass rate at the 2020 WASSCE, the examining body, WAEC must not compromise its independence, the standard of the entire exams and questions to be set for candidates.

Ghanaians expect the examining body to maintain the highest standards and ensure its questions do not fall short of the quality they are supposed to have. Making the examination “easy” compared to past examinations will cast doubts on the examining body and the success of the Free SHS.

Even if the pass rate falls short of our expectations, we can take solace in the fact that we have moved the minimum level of education of many of these candidates from JHS to the SHS level using the Free SHS policy.


Efforts at ensuring the reduction and avoidance of examination leakages must be improved to reduce such occurrences to the barest minimum. Any attempt to get examination questions leaked by persons within and outside the council would further compromise the quality standards and systems in place.

Stakeholders must play by the rules of the game, the staff of the council whose work output, effectiveness and efficiency must come to play. They must ensure the integrity of the exams is maintained at all fronts.

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We do not want to have an examination that is well passed because of examination leakages, substandard examination questions and loose rules and systems all in an attempt to prove that the Free SHS has led to improved WASSCE results.

Let us all allow the policy to prove itself while maintaining all the high-quality standards of the examination when the first batch of Free SHS students sit for the 2020 WASSCE.

FQAs: What is the pass mark for WASSCE?

The pass mark for WASSCE which will also be used to grade the 2020 WASSCE students is as indicated below.

A1Excellent80% – 100%1
B2Very good75% – 79%2
B3Good70% – 74%3
C4Credit60%- 69%4
C5Credit55% – 59%5
C6Credit50% – 54%6
D7Pass45% – 49%7
E8Pass40% – 44%8
F9Fail0% – 39%9

The table indicated the scores students must obtain, the grade they are awarded per each range and the definition of each grade. Very often, the least pass marks and grades that give students the chance to gain admission into mainstream public universities is C5 (Credit) with a score between 55% – 59%. Any other grades above this are good whiles those below it are worse. Students who obtain below C5 very often have to seat for the NOV/DEC exams and pass to have a better chance of furthering their education at the tertiary level.

Source: NewsGhana24 | Wisdom Hammond

One thought on “Free SHS: WAEC must not drop the WASSCE 2020 question standard

  1. The grade bands above are not in sink with WAEC standards. They are far from reality.
    My greatest apprehension is that school authorities will collude with their candidates to cheat during the examination, just to please some people.
    As for lowering the standards for the questions, it is unlikely because it is not Ghana alone involved in the various stages of setting the questions.

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