So, you just went through six years of secondary school, the toughest being the last three, senior secondary school, and you are expected to write a maths exam that contains topics from all the previous years of your secondary school maths.

That is quite a feat, even someone who has already graduated from secondary school may find this task challenging, that is why every possible way to get an advantage in maths WAEC is explored, and one of those ways is by studying maths WAEC past questions.

They are very helpful, you can’t get anything more readily useful than the maths past question, perhaps apart from your maths textbook. It is vital for revision and for practicing your maths lessons before exams. In the next few paragraphs, you will learn all about maths past papers and where to find them.

The Benefits Of WAEC Past Papers

Past question papers are one of the best ways to practice for your maths WAEC exams. It provides you with an insight that no other exam material is capable of giving you because it is the actual exam questions themselves on those past papers.

Study maths past questions on your own.
It is easy to understand the maths past questions and answer booklet, you can study them on your own. Source:

You can get them in the form of Q&A books compiled and sold in schools and bookshops. The book usually contains past questions since the 1990s till current dates, they are about 300 pages long and are easy to understand and read. You can read it on your own at your leisure.

You can also find the Q&A books in libraries, either your school library or a public library. Check with the one nearest to you to find out if they have it, so that you can use it to practice in the relaxing and quiet environment of the library.

The books are usually separated by subject, so biology past papers are different from maths WAEC past papers. Some of the benefits of using past question papers are listed below.

How to prepare for the SSCE Maths Exams, learn more.

You Familiarize Yourself With The Exams

Using WAEC mathematics past questions to practice helps you to become familiar with the theme of the exam, you get a feel of what it is like to sit for this exam.

Also, since these exams are all set according to a certain style or pattern, that is by the number of questions set and the number and type of sections in each exam, etc., you have an advantage by reading past questions because you now have a first-person account of what the maths WAEC would be like.

It is important that you know what the exam looks like because every exam has its own set of rules, for instance, you might be asked to ANSWER THE FOLLOWING SECTION WITH A YES OR NO. If you haven’t been practicing with the past question papers you might not understand what the instructions mean if that was your first time seeing it.

Helps Point Out Your Weaknesses

Past papers ask questions from all parts of your maths curriculum for secondary school. It is a combination of many of the topics you learned in your maths lesson. You can’t sit for a maths WAEC exam that asked only about one topic.

Because of this you will most likely come across topics you are good at and ones you are not good at. Practicing with maths past papers will ensure you come across as many topics in the maths syllabus as possible, thereby helping you identify the ones that are not your strong suit.

Once you know them, you can set aside a dedicated time to deal with them. You can do that by revising them with a friend or in a group study with a couple of your classmates, or you can hire a professional maths tutor to teach you more about the topics.

It Helps You Practice Within The Time Limit Of The Exam

WAEC Maths Past Papers In Nigeria.
Practice as if you are in the actual exams. Source:

Each and every exam is set according to a time limit and you are expected to finish before the time is up. So, in order not to exceed the time limit, you better learn how to manage it.

And you can do that by practicing with your maths past papers. You should set a timer exactly as the instructions on the exam paper, if it says 2hrs you set your timer for 2hrs. Then start answering questions.

Try to finish before the timer is up but if you don’t finish by then, don’t beat up yourself about it, and besides, that is part of the reason we want you to practice. You have a better chance to improve in another round. Keep repeating this exercise until you are good enough to finish on time.

Here are some tips to help you manage your time effectively in an SSCE exam:

  • Always carry all the necessary tools you need to the exam hall, such as maths set, rulers, etc.
  • Always arrive on time.
  • Allocate time for each question, maybe a minute or so for objective questions and 10 min for theory sections.
  • Read all the instructions carefully before starting, it is not advisable to read them after you have begun. You may learn about a shortcut you can take advantage of.
  • Avoid all distractions.

Helps You Recognize The Terms Used In The Exam

The maths WAEC has some words or rather terms that are used to explain questions and to give instructions to students. You can’t readily understand some of the terms unless you practice regularly with the maths WAEC past questions.

The more you visit your maths past questions the more familiar you become with these terms. So endeavor to read your past papers as often as you can, the terms used in the maths WAEC exams will come naturally to you.

Past papers are arguably the best form of revision for students, it helps you to have a feel of the exam and lets you practice and rehearse within the limits of the exam, it is like writing the actual exam itself.

How do you become good at maths? Read what needs to be done to make become a Math's Rock-star at school, and also find out how you can start preparation for your advanced level maths education. 

Tips For Maths WAEC Revision

When you are rehearsing with a maths WAEC past paper you should do it properly, try as much as possible to be accurate. Make it as if you are in the exam hall at that moment.

So, no phones or tablets, no laptops that could distract your attention, no chatting and obviously no friends close by that would not allow you to rehearse. Find somewhere quiet and comfortable. Then you can proceed.

When you lay down the papers to read or the Q&A booklet, make sure you read the whole instructions. Carefully go through each and every one of them so that you understand what is required of you in the exams. By doing that, you get an overview of the whole exam and what is required of you before it even starts.

Take note of the marks allocated to each question, it helps you make better choices when you are faced with questions you don’t know the answers to. And you won’t skip the important questions if you know how much marks it will cost you if you did.

If you are asked to answer 3 questions out of 5, then answer only 3, no more no less. Answering more can have serious repercussions on your overall marks because students are expected to follow the instructions.

And remember, it is maths that we are talking about here, so always carry your calculator along with you. Either for revisions or lessons or the WAEC exams, you should always have your calculator with you. It is essential.

Although it is important, not all questions are solved using a calculator and your instructions might even be not to use a calculator to solve these, in that case, use your intuition and remember how your teacher solved it and do the same.

Avoid mobile phones during maths waec.
No distractions from your mobile phone when practicing maths past questions. Source:

Now, another important issue you need to address in maths WAEC exams is this; you must be aware of which questions require that you show your working. In WAEC, it is pretty easy to tell. Most objective questions just want you to find the answer and select the correct answer from the options you are given.

So, no working out is required. But when it comes to the theory section, you are always required to show your working. Take note of that.

Where To Find Maths WAEC Past Papers In Nigeria

The first place to check out is online. There are infinite resources online and the WAEC maths past question is one of them.

You can hop onto websites such as, it is the best website that provides maths past questions from previous years. There are also past papers for other subjects as well.

Or you could look up this website, they have compiled past papers from previous exams along with the answers altogether. What’s interesting about these past papers is that you can practice on the website just like a CBT test.

If you want a hard copy of the past papers then you have two options, one is to either download a PDF file of the past papers and print them, or two, you can visit any bookstore to buy a copy. Your choice.

Everything you need to know about secondary school maths, read the complete guide. 

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Hafiz is a freelance writer who has an appetite for creativity and smart tech. He also dabbles in poetry.