The Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) is a crucial assessment exam in Ghana’s education system. The exam is used to qualify students for second-cycle (secondary and technical) schools. BECE results are based on continuous assessment (30%) and the main external examination (70%).
Registration and eligibility
Students in their third year in Junior High Schools (JHS) are eligible for this examination. Only schools approved by the Ghana Education Service (GES) under the Ministry of Education are eligible. Students have six weeks to register between October and November. Statement of Entries and School Choice Files are uploaded online, and Continuous Assessment Scores are submitted on compact discs. Registration fees are also paid at this point to the appropriate Office of the Council by specified dates given each year.
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) Ghana releases the BECE timetable. The examination takes place nationwide every year.
BECE subjects of examination
- English Language
- Religious and Moral Education
- Integrated Science
- Social Studies
- Ghanaian language
- Visual Art
- Home Economics
- Pre-Technical Skills
- Information Communication and Technology
Candidate grading and selection
BECE grades consist of multiple-choice questions and answer and essay sections. Candidates are graded on a 1-9 point scale, with Grade 1 being the highest and Grade 9 being the lowest.
After results are released, an automatic selection process begins using the Computerized School Selection and Placement System. Successful candidates are placed in senior high schools, technical institutes and vocational institutions.
WAEC uses BECE Result Aggregate Calculation to grade students based on their academic performance in BECE. The aggregate uses the six best subjects to grade a student. They include the best core subjects, including Mathematics, English, Integrated-Science or Social Studies, and the best elective subjects.
Scripts (graded exams) are kept for three months after being released, after which they are destroyed. During the three months, the Head of the School is allowed to review the results at a fee.
All successful candidates receive a certificate of completion within a month after the release of results. The certificates are sent to various schools for collection by candidates. Once collected, the certificates are not replaceable in cases of loss or damage. However, the exam results can be attested and certified on request.