NECO Exam: Five Strategies To Getting Good Grades

Neco Exam

What does NECO Stand For?

NECO is an acronym used for National Examination Council in Nigeria. The body which is saddled with the responsibility of Organizing Nationwide Examinations across Nigeria was founded in April in the year 1999. NECO have being responsible for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE), Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), and the General Certificate in Education (GCE). The SSCE and GCE take place in June/July and November/December respectively.


  NECO have being a major Examining body for the past 23 years having only WAEC (West African Examination Council) as it major rival. Personally, I find NECO to be a genuine alternative to WASSCE. Major Institutions across Nigeria now accept a combination of results of no more than two sittings; this implies that it is possible for one to combine the NECO result and WASSCE together.

However, it is important for one to ask oneself a pertinent question; “Why do I have to sit for an Examination twice?” The reality is that anything that can be done twice can be done once. 

Reasons Why Students Fail NECO Exams In Nigeria and How To Solve The Problem

Sometimes students who intend to sit for an external Examination such as NECO work their bullocks out and yet fail to get good grades. Below are some of the reasons why you have consistently failed to hit top grades despite burning numerous candles night after night every year.


Failure to recognize oneself

“Know thy self” – Plato 

The above quote by Plato tries to make us understand that for one to be able to understand his environment and be able to make a meaningful impact it is pertinent for such an individual to understand his make-up. For instance, I for once don’t subscribe to the idea of waking up to read at night, I’d prefer to read during the day time and get adequate rest at night. Unfortunately, some students want to read at night simply because their friends also wake up to read at night. Knowing yourself could be seen from the angle of Learning styles; Are you a Divergent Learner or Convergent Learner, a Field dependent learner or a Field Independent learner? Ask yourself these questions.

Get relevant materials

One of the ways to be ill-prepared for an examination is not getting adequate materials that are relevant to the registered subjects. A student who wants to sit for an examination of the caliber of NECO needs to familiarize him/herself with the strategy used in asking questions in such kinds of Examinations. Some materials you can use include: Textbooks and Past Question Papers or material that has both past questions and answers (Q&A), you can also go online and get tutorial videos that will help you understand the concept that you are struggling with better. This will go a long way to help a hard-working student prepare appropriately for the Examination. 

Failure to adhere to instructions

The inability of students to handle anxiety could be a serious hindrance to get one getting the desired grades in any examination. I have interacted with students who told me that immediately they saw the question paper, scanned through, and saw a few questions that they had come across while studying and decided to answer them right away before such answers vaporize into the open space. 

One’s inability to comport oneself and study the question paper and follow every instruction given will surely be a reason why he/she fails an examination. I, for once made such a mistake when I sat for WASSCE a few years ago, on getting my question paper, I delved in and saw a few cheap questions, and straight away I answered them. When I got out of the hall, a fellow student drew my attention to the fact that I had answered Ghana’s questions.

Solving this problem could be a daunting task but you can start by learning to comport yourself whenever you are faced with a challenge. You can start by learning to comport yourself when you receive a package or get a new device so as to ensure you read every instruction on the manual before usage. 

Relying on only what  is taught in class is Dangerous

It is quite unfortunate that we now have a breed of students that rely strictly on what was taught in Class. These are the kind of students that do not make research or make findings on their own. They are the kind of students that are always looking for one teacher or another to blame for their failures in an examination. If you intend to get excellent grades in any Examination, do not rely on just what you were taught in Class. I will advice you get the NECO curriculum, make photocopy if necessary (in an event the one you got does not belongs to you) study every topic in the curriculum for each subject and then proceed to get a lot of questions, study them and answer them.

Failure to seek help

A fool is one who notices a leakage in his ship and keeps his hands crossed or we can simply say it is folly for one to be drowning and not call out for help. A student who is struggling with a particular subject should call for help. Meet relevant stakeholders or personnel in that particular field. For if you are a student that is sincerely struggling with Mathematics, while preparing for NECO it is important to meet someone who is an expert to help out with your mathematics problem.  If need be, get a lesson teacher or higher a tutor if you seriously desire to get good grades in that subject that you are weak in.

I have heard many people say that NECO is a tougher examination than WASSCE but the reality is that anything you are not properly prepared for in life will always appear to be a difficult task.


In conclusion, I will advise you to go online and get relevant materials (PDFs and Video clips) that will help you pass that subject that you are scared of sitting for in NECO.

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