2023 WASSCE: 33,238 candidates without results

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By Alhaji Haruna Sani

The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) has issued highlights of the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) result that was released on Friday 29 September 2023 by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

Based on the highlights from the Ministry, 191,077 candidates on the list sat at least one subject/paper, 33,238 were without results as their results have been withheld, whilst another 6,658 had no results as they were absent for all subjects. The total of 34,525 results withheld is the highest ever in the country.  

According to the ministry, a detailed and comprehensive report on performance in the exams will be available on the MBSSE website.

Meanwhile, the initial highlights specified 243,202 candidates from 888 schools in Sierra Leone entered for the May/June WASSCE in 2023. Results for 28 private schools, who owe WAEC, were not in the list sent to the MBSSE which contained just 230,973 names from 860 schools.

Two candidates shared top position in the 2023 WASSCE results released to the MBSSE. One is a female and the other is a male. They are both from the same school. Their names are Raymonda E. Mammah and Sahr Edward Fillie.

Their school of entry was Providence International Senior High School. Both sat 9 subjects. They obtained 8 A1s (excellent) and 1 B2 (very good). Their average grade/unit was 1.11 (excellent). 16 of the candidates with released results in 2023 have better average grades than the best average grade obtained in 2022.

The best performing school, Providence International Senior High School, had the results for 185 of its candidates released. All 185 candidates (100%) obtained a credit or better in a minimum of 5 subjects including English Language and

Candidate entry for the 2023 WASSCE is the highest ever recorded. This year entry 243,202 is higher than the 163,860 entry for the 2023 NPSE and the 206,874 entry for the 2022 WASSCE.

Key among the highlights are that of the 230,973 candidates on the results received by the MBSEE, 121,324 were female and 109,649 were male i.e. 52.5% were female which continues the trend of more female than male candidate entries for WASSCE.

Of the 191,077 candidates that sat at least one subject and whose results have been released, 101,222 (53%) were female and 89,855 were male.  

 A total of 1,630,980 subject papers were sat by the 191,077 candidates that sat at least 1 subject. 1,346,855 passes were recorded giving a pass rate of 83%. Given that the pass rates in 2021 and 2022 were 64% and 77%, this year’s pass rate is the highest ever.

Thrilling news is that the number of students obtaining the benchmark minimum of 5 credits in a single sitting is the highest ever from 113,824 in 2022, to 137,796 in 2023 even with a large number of results still withheld.

The breakdown shows that 551 candidates obtained a credit grade or better in at least 5 subjects but did not obtain a credit in English Language or Mathematics, 233 candidates obtained a credit grade or better in at least 5 subjects including English Language but did not obtain a credit in Mathematics, 105,924 candidates obtained a credit grade or better in at least 5 subjects including Mathematics but did not obtain a credit in English Language, 31,088 candidates obtained a credit grade or better in at least 5 subjects including Mathematics and English Language. 13,688 candidates have 3 credits whilst another 26,128 candidates have 4 credits and would qualify for entry to some post-secondary certificate and diploma programmes.

Mathematics i.e. they all obtained the requirements for direct entry to a university undergraduate degree programme.

 As already indicated, the number of candidates achieving direct university undergraduate degree programme entry requirements by obtaining 5 credits including a credit in English Language and/or Mathematics in a single sitting is, at 137,245, even higher than the 108,418 of 2022.  

The percentage of candidates with credit or better in English Language was a disappointingly low 17%.

There are variations in performance across subjects but overall performance in the different subjects is much better in 2023 than in 2022.  In all the key subjects there are significant improvements in the number and percentage of candidates in the A1 to C4 range.  

District performance is better in 2023 than in 2022, with the average grade for all districts being in the range of 5 to 6 i.e. credit grade range. The best performing district had 79.4% of its candidates, whose results have been released, with credits or better in 5 or more subjects including English Language and/or Mathematics. 11 out of the 16 districts had over 90% of their candidates, whose results have been released, with a minimum of 3 credits in subjects sat.

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