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WAEC And JAMB: Which One Is Harder? Find Out!


If you are a Nigerian student who wants to gain admission into a higher institution, some of the most important exams to write are WAEC and JAMB.

Although there are other alternative exams for WAEC (NECO, NABTEB, GCE), and JAMB you can do Direct Entry, IJMB, JUPEB, and others.

But you will agree that WAEC and JAMB are the most popular. A high percentage of candidates choose WAEC for their O-Level results.

Also, most candidates choose JAMB for their entrance examination for the higher institution.

However, between WAEC and JAMB examinations, which one is harder?

Is WAEC harder than JAMB or JAMB harder than WAEC? Let’s find out in this article.

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What Is WAEC?

WAEC stands for West African Examination Council. 

It is an international examination board established to conduct exams and award certificates to senior secondary students in Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

What Is JAMB?

JAMB stands for Joint Admission and Matriculation Board. 

The JAMB is an independent body in Nigeria that govern and control the admission process into all higher institutions (Universities, Polytechnics, and College of Education). 

Difference Between JAMB And WAEC

1. West Africa Examination Council is an official certification exam for secondary school students in their final year, while Joint Admission and Matriculation Board are for candidates who want to gain admission into a higher institution. 

2. WAEC candidates must write nine (9) subjects in the exam, while JAMB candidates write four (4) subjects only. 

3. The West Africa Examination Council contains theory, objective, and practical questions, while JAMB contains objective questions only. 

4. WAEC results (certificate) are relevant for a lifetime, while JAMB results are for just a year. That is, you can only use your JAMB results for a year. 

5. The West Africa Examination Council certificate is recognized internationally, while the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board result is accepted in Nigeria only.

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Which One Is Harder? WAEC or JAMB?

Some students believe WAEC is harder than JAMB, while some students believe JAMB is harder than WAEC.

What is your opinion? Which one do you think is harder?

However, based on personal experience and research, WAEC is harder than JAMB with these valid points:

1. In WAEC, you are to write nine (9) subjects which require more hard work, reading, and studying. In JAMB, you are to write just four (4) subjects, which require less reading compared to WAEC. 

For this reason, it is easier to pass four (4) subjects than nine (9) subjects.

2. The West Africa Examination Council exam contains theory, objective, and practical. When a student is weak in any of the areas, that might lead to failure.

In comparison to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board exam, you can easily pass because it’s all objectives questions. Some students even pass objective questions by luck, although it is rare.

Do you want to write the WAEC exam and pass with distinctions? Download EduPadi WAEC App Here

3. The marking scheme of WAEC is harder compare to JAMB. 

In WAEC, the marking scheme for subjects without practical is 40% objective and 60% theory. And for the subjects with practicals, it is 40% theory, 25% objective, and 35% practical.

In JAMB, you answer 180 questions, and the total score is 400 marks. If you at least pass half of the questions (90 questions), you would score 200 marks.

So, with the marking scheme of JAMB, you can easily pass the exam. 

4. Another point is that WAEC is time-consuming compared to JAMB. You will use over a month to write the WAEC exam, while JAMB is only a day.

5. Finally, is it easier to fail WAEC compare to JAMB. How? If you fail a core subject like English Language, Mathematics, or other departmental core subjects in your WAEC exam, you have no choice but to re-write the exam. 

But in JAMB, if you fail in one subject other subjects can cover up for you, which makes it easier to pass compared to WAEC.

With these valid points, you will agree that WAEC is harder than JAMB in all areas. 

FIND OUT: Who Gives Admission? JAMB or Schools or O’Level? FIND OUT!


Both exams should not be hard if you read and prepare well for the exams. Many students do not read for exams anymore because they depend on malpractices.

The point here is reading, studying, and well preparation are factors that guarantee exam success.

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