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How To Answer WAEC Questions Correctly 2020

Before taking an examination, it is important to know the standard way for answering questions in that examination. More often than not, the reason why students fail WAEC examination is because, they had no idea of the supposed way to correctly answer WAEC questions. In light of this, I have decided to share my tips on how to correctly answer WAEC examination.

How to answer waec questions

In this article, you will learn how to answer both WAEC objective and essay questions without engaging in examination malpractice. Least I forget, you are also advised to read my article on how to prepare and pass WAEC examination here. Trust me; it will also go a long way to help you pass the impending WAEC examination. Now lets go back to the topic of discussion.

General tips for answers WAEC examinations

  • Any question that says you should “list” without a particular number, the minimum number that is expected is five (5).
  • It is always advisable to answer objective questions first because, sometimes the options in objective questions are answers to some essay questions.
  • Never write across the margin line in your WAEC answer sheet.
  • Do not start answering any question you can not finish.
  • Always answer easy questions first.
  • Go through each question twice if necessary.


#1: Always take note of words like “not” and “except“. They are words WAEC use to confuse students. If you are not able to recognize them, you will fail many objective questions in WAEC.

#2: Quickly skip any objective question you can’t remember the correct answer to. You might come across another question that will help you to remember the answer later.

#3: Whenever you come across a question you don’t understand, try to reread the question again. That will help to make you understand better.

#4: Make sure you use pencil when shading your answers. WAEC has made it known that ticking of answers is not advisable. You must boldly shade your answers, so that you will not confuse the person that will mark your answer sheet.

Must read:

How to answer waec examination questions


WAEC essay questions are questions that requires a candidate to answer in writing. It is oppose to objective questions, where candidates will only have to tick or shade the correct answer in the options given.

Below are the guides to correctly answer WAEC essay questions:

Pick the questions you want to answer before answering them:

It is wise to always pick the questions you intend to answer before answering them. Take for instance, if you are given 5 (five) questions in the essay section, and you are asked to answer just 3 out of 5, make sure that you go through all the questions first. After that, mark the three questions you can answer very well.

Picking your questions before answering them will save you from getting stocked when answering a particular question. It will also help you save time to review your work later.

Take your time to understand questions:

Taking your time to understand questions is also important before answering any WAEC question. It has been confirmed that the reason why many students jubilate after taking WAEC examination; and still fail in their result is because, they failed to really understand the questions they answered in WAEC.

The truth is that, WAEC examination is getting technical everyday. WAEC don’t ask direct questions again. They try to twist their questions to make sure that candidates really understand the subject topic where the question was gotten from.

For instance, if WAEC wants to know whether students really know what a totalitarian government is, her question will go this way:

Highlight the key features of totalitarianism?

WAEC will not ask candidates to define or explain what totalitarianism means because, that will be a lot more easy.

Go straight to the point:

One big mistake many candidates make in WAEC examination, is to write too much. Whenever you see any question in WAEC examination, you are not expected to start explaining redundant information. It is wise to always go straight to the point.

The reason i am saying this is because, WAEC examination papers are not marked by computer or any electronic device. They are marked by human beings. Whenever you explain too much in a particular question, they might keep your question aside because, they have thousands of script to mark. Thus, they don’t have time to waste on a particular paper. More so, if you try not to answer a question directly, you might digress and start answering the wrong thing. Trust me: this is one of the secrets for passing WAEC examination excellently.

Pay attention to the introductory word or phrase of any question:

This is one of the most important things you should take note of, when answering WAEC questions. WAEC often use some particular words/phrases when asking their questions. Some of these introductory words/phrases are:

  1. Explain.
  2. Briefly explain.
  3. List.
  4. List and explain.
  5. Highlight.
  6. Differentiate.
  7. With the aid of a diagram.

In other to clear understand what all theses terms means, i will explain each of them with examples below. Now here we go!


Whenever you are asked to explain in WAEC examination, you must write down everything you know about the keyword of the question. In other words, to explain is to give full details of a term.

Lets take for instance, if you are asked to explain “Brain drain in Nigeria”, you are expected to give the meaning of brain drain, the causes, effects of brain drain and the possible solutions to brain drain in Nigeria. It is not a must to write them in different subheadings. You may decide to rights them in different paragraphs.

Briefly explain:

To “briefly explain” is different from just explaining. Here, you’re expected to explain in just few words. In my own opinion, any time you are asked to briefly explain; it shouldn’t be more than 5-6 lines. If you explain too much when you are asked to briefly explain, the person marking your script might reduce your score for not obeying that simple rule.

Take for instance, if you are asked to briefly explain what you understand by Democracy. All you are expected to do is to define democracy, and say any other thing you know about democracy.


Students always fail questions that requires them to just list. The reason is because, after listing; they are tempted to also explain. Whenever you are asked to list in WAEC, just list your answer and that is all.

For example, if you have a question that says, “List 3 sources of constitution in Nigeria”. Your answer should go this way:

The sources of constitution in Nigeria are:

Custom and tradition.
Judicial president.

If you give your answer this way, you will get your full mark for that question.


To highlight is the same thing as to briefly explain. All you have to do here, is to give little information about the thing you are asked. So if you see a question that says “Highlight the causes of corruption in Nigeria”. All you have to do is to briefly explain all the causes of corruption you know.


This is another place where candidates often get perplexed. To differentiate is to highlight the distinct qualities or characteristics of to terms. There are basically two ways to answer questions asking you to “differentiate” in WAEC.

The first method is to draw a vertical line in your answer sheet. Put the two terms in different sides of the line and give their differences. In the second method, simply write down their differences in different paragraphs. One difference should be in one paragraph.

Recommendation: Using the first method is much more acceptable. Many teachers don’t like it when students use the second method. So I enjoin you to use the first method. It will make your work neat and organized.

With the aid of a diagram:

Lastly, one of the phrases used by WAEC when asking questions is “With the aid of a diagram“. This phrase is simply telling you not to list or explain in writing. It means that you should use a diagram to answer that particular question.

Note that “a diagram” as used above, may also include a bar chart, piechart or a pictogram. So if you are asked a question that goes “With the aid of a diagram, explain the state of poverty in Nigeria”, note that you are allowed to use any of the above to explain the current state of poverty in Nigeria.

Also read:


Passing WAEC examination is obviously not an easy task. Nonetheless, with the information shared in this article, i believe you can really pass WAEC examination without examination malpractice. Do make good use of this article and you will be happy with yourself after checking your WAEC result.

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