WAEC stands for West African Examination council; it is the examining body that delivers the basic O-Level examination for secondary school students in West Africa. Most, if not all, Nigerians who plan to further their education to the tertiary stage have to sit for the WAEC exams, also known widely as SSCE, or a combination of both that becomes WASSCE.
As with any examination, quite a lot of time is dedicated to the preparation stage, which is why it is normal to see one prepare for an examination of a few hours for months, or even years. This is also the case with WAEC examinations.
However, of all the subjects offered by WAEC, the English paper is often dreaded by secondary school students, mostly because of the way the WAEC English paper requires you to be creative with your answers.
But there is very little to fear if you know how to properly utilise WAEC English past questions to your advantage. The fear in question sort of evaporates when you infuse the element of using these WASSCE past questions to your utmost benefit.
Really, the beauty of having past questions to revise with is that it gives you a picture of what the actual exam will look like. In any case, the information and helpful ideas in this article should take you several steps ahead in preparing yourself for the SSCE English examination.
The Benefit of Revising with WAEC English Past Questions
Preparing for the WAEC English paper with past questions is perhaps the best way to ace the exam with confidence. Unlike many of the other exams that feature in WAEC, the English paper is peculiar because each answer is tailored to each individual, especially the essay and textual passages. Therefore, the English paper can be quite subjective because there is very little chance that your answers bear much similarity to another candidate’s.
As a result of this individuality in answers, most candidates often fret at the thought of what is required to pass the WASSCE English papers and the kind of questions contained therein. This is where the advantage of revising with past questions comes in. You might be wondering that past questions are also a great resource for other papers in WAEC. You are correct.
However, the very little difference is that the ultimate advantage of revising particularly with WAEC English past questions is the way it increases your creative confidence (because you might already be worried about the pressure of having your answers be unique to you) in preparing for the examination. It also helps build your creative and imaginative reaction to questions in the paper. When you see how these subjective answers are constructed in the past questions, it definitely prepares you for how to construct your own answers.
Using the WASSCE English Past Questions to your Advantage
Understand that the past questions are a weapon in your hand and, just as a sophisticated weapon is best utilised in the hands of right person, so are the past questions. Having the past questions with you is not enough. Using them to your advantage is.
Practice! Practice! Practice! This is the key to getting the best from the WAEC English past questions. You can choose to practice on your own but, before you decide this, you should be aware of the rules for the assessment. Knowing the rules for the exam will be a guide for how to comport yourself while practicing on your own in the comfort of your home or in alternative situations.
Either a teacher or a tutor can also help out in your preparation for the SSCE English paper. They are the experienced guides that can correct your path or provide the needed clarification for topics or areas that confuse or are beyond you. Another positive effect of having this support is that they can simulate the exam for you, taking note of timing and precision in answer construction, so you are in tune with what to expect in the examination hall.
It is quite important, whether practicing on your own or with a tutor, to try to enact the rules of the exam while answering the English past questions. Consider it your personal mock viva, although your school would also organise a mock assessment. In this case, see it as a bonus to practice getting more familiar with the past questions and living the exam setting experience. In planning to practice the past questions on your own, take note of the following:
- Set your timer to the specified time allocation for the WAEC English exam.
- Calculate the average time it takes you to move from one section of the English assessment paper to another.
- Eliminate distractions by secluding yourself, especially when at home with parents and siblings.
- Do not have your devices with you. Always understand that you’re creating an exam setting.
Things to Learn from Practicing with WAEC English Past Questions
The SSCE English paper is divided into sections that test your understanding of concepts in different areas of the language. There is the essay section which tests your ability to construct and develop an idea about a topic and produce a well-structured essay which reflects a command of vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Following closely behind are the comprehension and summary sections. They basically test your ability to analyse, interpret, and respond adequately to the provided texts to derive meaning from them. These sections form a major part of the fear that most secondary school students in Nigeria have about the WAEC English assessment.
The sections that come after these test your vocabulary, grammar, and spoken English skills. For many secondary school students, these appear easier, since one is only required to pick an option. But the danger here is that, if the knowledge of these multiple-choice sections is not perfected, the marks allocated to these multiple-choice sections, which form a substantial part of your marks, would be lost.
Whatever the case, there is very little to fear in the WAEC English paper if you practice adequately with the past questions and infuse the tips and instructions above.
But take note! Practicing with the WAEC English past questions would not be enough to guarantee success if there is a disregard for time. This is why it is strongly advised to always (or most of the time) practice the past questions under timed conditions to ensure that you operate as efficiently as the time allows. Many of us have found ourselves in situations where we had practiced adequately for an exam but, because of poor time management, failed to put down as much as we could before the time was up. That shouldn’t be the case with you.
Wondering where you can find WASSCE English past questions? Just read on!
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Places to Find SSCE English Past Questions
In finding the right places for SSCE English past questions, you should first take note that there are online and offline resources to help you. These two forms, when utilised correctly, can prove to be the element of success you so desire in your WAEC English assessment.
There are electronic catalogues that are available to pick from which provide past question guides to prepare yourself for what to expect in the WAEC assessments across all subjects. Foremost among them is the official website for WAEC past questions. Although this is not equipped with downloadable materials, it provides the standard that you should work with to guide you away from the mistakes of past candidates.
There is a level of caution to be exercised, however, when scouting for websites that promise past papers for the WAEC English exam.
To avoid being misled, you can restrict your search to official or government-initiated websites.
Perhaps the best offline resources can be gotten through your teachers at school or, better still, your library, in the form of textbooks. Even if you don’t get resources for the WAEC exams from your teacher, you can still make them your guide in testing the level of your preparedness.
As you answer the past questions, don’t forget to resort to the rules in the marking schemes, which WAEC should provide to your school to help your teachers guide you from loopholes to avoid. Additionally, your teacher is also there to help you interpret and understand better what is required in each section of the exam through the marking schemes.
Alternatively, you can find experienced English tutors on Superprof to help you ace the WAEC English exam efficiently. You may find these tutors wherever you are in Nigeria or may choose to opt for a virtual class. All that matters is that you make the best of the tuition offered in preparation for the WASSCE English exam.
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With the helpful ideas shared here, you can be sure to be well on your way to not just acing the WASSCE English exam through the past questions but also being more confident about yourself as you progress in your academic pursuits.
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