Secondary education study results

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) assess study results with a letter grade. This is a combination of a letter and a grade.

Letter grade Description
A1 excellent
B2 very good
B3 good
C4 credit
C5 credit
C6 credit
D7 pass
D8 pass
F9 fail

Please note:

  • Usually, the WAEC and the NECO only use the grades. For example, 1 is the same as A1.
  • Subjects for which students received a fail (F9 or 9) are usually not mentioned on the diploma.

Types of exams

The WAEC and the NECO have separate exams for students and for people who no longer go to school, for example former students who want to retake an exam. The WAEC uses the term ‘school candidates’ for exams for students and ‘private candidates’ for the other exams. The NECO uses ‘internal’ and ‘external’ for the same difference. The exams for students are in May, June or July. The exams for people who no longer go to school are in November or December.

Checking study results online

Usually, you can check WAEC and NECO exam results online. Students buy a scratch card or result card from the WAEC or the NECO. With the card’s details, you can check the results up to 5 times online on:

Please note: you can also check results from long ago. You can check WAEC results from 1991 to now and NECO results from 2000 to now. So for old diplomas, students can buy a scratch card or result card as well.

Secondary education documents

The following documents allow students to prove that they have completed Nigerian secondary education:

Please note: only WAEC and NECO documents are official. Documents issued by the high school are not sufficient.

Higher education study results

In higher education, there are separate grading systems for each diploma. You usually cannot check study results online.

Higher National Diploma grades

Letter grade Classification
A distinction
B upper credit
C lower credit
D pass
E pass
F fail

Bachelor's degrees grades

Most Nigerian higher education institutions use a standardised grading system for bachelor’s degrees. Since 2018, they use the following grading system:

Study result Classification
70-100% first class honours
60-69% second class honours (upper division)
50-59% second class honours (lower division)
45-49% third class honours
40-44% fail

Up to and including 2017, the bachelor’s degree grading system was as follows:

Study result Classification
70-100% 1st class
60-69% 2nd class upper division
50-59% 2nd class lower division
45-49% 3rd class pass
40-44% pass
0-39% fail

Master’s degree and PhD grades

There is no standardised grading system for master’s degrees and PhDs. How higher education institutions assess study results can differ per study programme. You can usually find information about the grading system on the back of transcripts.

Higher education documents

For higher education, students must show all their diplomas and transcripts. If students completed their studies at a university or an affiliate institution, they must show a diploma and transcript(s) from that university.

Please note:

  • sometimes students do not have their diploma (yet), even years after graduation. In that case, the Nigerian higher education institution can send a graduation statement.
  • The term 'direct' or 'indirect' are often mentioned on the transcript. This provides information on how the study was admitted to the study programme.
  • The terms ‘harmattan’ and ‘rainare usually mentioned on the transcript as well. These indicate the 2 semesters of the academic year. The harmattan semester runs from August to December, the rain semester from January to July.