Students Prepare for National Exams

Published Wed, Apr 24, 2024
Written by Dana Kaltenberger

In Sierra Leone, there are three national exams that are administered to evaluate students’ knowledge and skills at different levels of their education. These national exams include the National Primary school Examination (NPSE), the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).  The body charged with the responsibility to conduct all these three exams is known as the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

The National Primary School Examination (NPSE): The NPSE is taken by students at the end of primary school typically in primary 6, Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE): The BECE is taken by students at the end of their Junior Secondary Education, usually in Junior Secondary 3, and the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE): The WASSCE is the main examination taken by senior secondary school students, typically in senior secondary school 3. This year EduNations are expecting a total of 162 pupils to take the NPSE exams soon, and a total of 181 students to write this years’ BECE exams, and a total number of 120 students are going to write this years’ WASSCE exams, these national exams play a significant role in determining students’ academic progress, facilitating transitions between educational levels.


Last year, EduNations registered a total number of 160 students across the 5 EduNations primary schools   that took the NPSE and 98.4% of those students passed the exams. And a total number of 172 students were registered and write the BECE exams and got 97% passers, and 106 students were registered for the WASSCE exams and 3 students were unable to write the exams due to illness and 4 results are withheld out of the 103 students that write the exams 96.12% passers.

These national exams play a significant role in determining students' academic progress, facilitating transitions between educational levels, and providing a basis for further education or employment opportunities. They help assess students' understanding of the curriculum, as well as their readiness for higher education or the workforce.

Students in Sierra Leone like any part of the world prepare for national exams, such as the BECE, WASSCE, and NPSE, through various methods and strategies. Classroom Learning: Students receive instruction and guidance from their teachers throughout the academic year; teachers cover the syllabus, explain concepts, and provide subject-specific resources to help students understand the topics. Textbooks and Study Materials: Students utilize textbooks recommended by the curriculum and study materials provided by their schools, these resources offer comprehensive coverage of the subjects, including explanations, examples, and practice exercises. Students study the relevant chapters and make notes for revision purposes, past exams papers, study group and peer group discussion etc.

During exam periods, students typically gather at designated exam centers, which are usually schools or other educational institutions. These centers are equipped with appropriate facilities and invigilators to ensure a controlled testing environment. Students are assigned specific rooms or halls where they sit for their exams, adhering to strict rules and regulations to maintain the integrity of the assessment process. The testing times are typically scheduled in accordance with the exam timetable, with specific start and end times for each exam session.


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Aminata Kamara  an SSS 3 student attending  EduNations Hope Academy  senior secondary school Rokassa preparing for her WASSCE exams said  "I've been studying day and night, pouring over textbooks and past papers, in preparation for the upcoming WASSCE. It's a crucial moment for me, and I'm determined to give it my all. The subjects are challenging, but I'm confident that my hard work and dedication will pay off. I know that success in the WASSCE will open doors to higher education and future opportunities. I'll keep pushing forward, staying focused on my goals, and giving it my absolute best."

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Foday Sesay a JSS 3 student attending EduNations Hope Academy Junior Secondary School Rokassa preparing for his BECE exams says "The BECE is just around the corner, and I've been studying relentlessly to ensure I'm fully prepared. It's a crucial milestone in my education, marking the completion of my junior secondary school years. I've been working hard to understand concepts, solve problems, and revise all the subjects. The pressure is real, but I'm determined to showcase my knowledge and skills. I believe in my abilities, and I know that success in the BECE will set a strong foundation for my academic journey ahead. I'll give it my best shot and make my teachers, parents, and myself proud."

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Adamsay A Kabia Primary 6 pupil attending the EduNations Hope Academy Primary School Mapainda said "The NPSE is approaching, and I'm feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness. It's a significant step in my academic journey, as it marks the completion of my primary school education. I know that performing well in the NPSE will open doors to further educational opportunities and set the stage for a successful future. I'm ready to face the challenge and prove that hard work pays off."