WAEC, NECO and NABTEB Compulsory Subjects - School Contents

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WAEC, NECO and NABTEB Compulsory Subjects

WAEC, NECO and NABTEB Compulsory Subjects for Secondary Students
WAEC Exams Session
You’re on the right page if you want to know what subjects are compulsory to sit for and write in WAEC, NECO, or NABTEB.

Generally, students are expected to write 9 subjects in WAEC and NECO. That’s the maximum you can register and sit for. Also, you can write a minimum of 8 for the two exams. By this, it means, you can’t register for subjects less than 8 (except for WAEC GCE that allows a minimum of 7 subjects).

Even though there are situations that may warrant you trying to register for 5 or 6 papers, such as if you just need to make up for one or two deficiencies in your O’level. Yet, these exams do not allow that.

It's only NABTEB that allows you to write a fewer subjects depending on the subjects allowed for your centre or the ones you need as a technical or business students.

So what are the compulsory subjects a student must write in WAEC, NECO or NABTEB?

I will divide this post into three sections:
  1. Compulsory subjects for WAEC students – Arts, Science or Commercial
  2. Compulsory subjects for NECO students – Arts, Science and Commercial
  3. Compulsory subjects for NABTEB students – Arts, Science and Commercial

Before then, let’s get some basics.

I discussed 5 or 6 compulsory subjects you must pass to gain admission in the post “SSCE Results: Combination, 5 Credits Needed and Where D7, E8 or F9 Accepted”. If you go through that post, you will understand what you must work hard for in other to secure admission with your O'level results.

However, you’re not allowed to sit for only that 5 or 6 subjects. Then, if you must write more, what should they be?

Subjects Compulsory for WAEC May/June and WAEC GCE (Jan/Feb Series or Aug/Sept Series)

  1. Science: English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Optional include Further Mathematics, Agric Science, Geography, etc
  2. Commercial or Social Science: English, Mathematics, Economics and two from Account, Commerce, Government, Geography, etc
  3. Arts: English, Mathematics, Literature in English, Government and any one of Economics, Christian Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, etc

Subjects Compulsory for NECO June/July and NECO GCE (Nov/Dec)

  1. Science: English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Optional include Further Mathematics, Agric Science, Geography, etc
  2. Commercial or Social Science: English, Mathematics, Economics and two from Account, Commerce, Government, Geography, etc
  3. Arts: English, Mathematics, Literature in English, Government and any one of Economics, Christian Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, etc

Subjects Compulsory for NABTEB May/June and NABTEB GCE (Nov/Dec)

Technical Candidates
English Language, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry (Optional include ICT – Information and Communications Technology, Economics, and Literature-in-English).

Business Candidates
  • Candidates for the under listed Trades can offer Biology as a trade-related subject, but other technical candidates are not allowed to offer Biology. The trades are: Catering Craft Practice, Ladies Garment Making, Men’s Garment Making, Cosmetology, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry
  • Introduction to Building Construction is a compulsory subject for candidates offering the under listed trades: Carpentry and Joinery, Painting and Decorating, Plumbing and Pipefitting, Draughtsmanship Craft Practice.

What of Other Subjects Listed for Students?

Lately, some schools and ministries of education are making the writing of some newly introduced subjects compulsory for WAEC and NECO candidates.  Among these new subjects, a student must select 3 or 4 to add up to his or her required 8 or 9 papers in total.

NOTE: Most of these courses are still non-matriculated subjects (i.e not still acceptable for admission purpose) among various top universities in Nigeria. For example, the University of Ibadan listed those they won't accept for admission.

So what must be selected among them?

First, let’s see the list of those subjects.

Subjects Mostly Not Recognized for Admission Purpose

  • Animal Husbandry
  • Automobile Electrical Works
  • Basic Electricity
  • Bleaching, Dyeing and Finishing
  • Blocklaying/Bricklaying Concreting
  • Body Repair Works
  • Book Keeping
  • Building/Engr Drawing
  • Business Management
  • Business Methods
  • Carpentry & Joinery
  • Catering Craft Practice
  • Ceramics and Design
  • Computer Craft Studies
  • Cosmetology
  • Domestic & Office Machines Maint
  • Draughtmanship
  • Elect Inst & Maint Works
  • Elect/Medical App & Proj Maint
  • Electronics Works
  • Fabrication & Welding
  • Fisheries
  • Footwear Manufacture
  • Foundry Craft Practice
  • Furniture Making
  • General Science
  • Graphic Design
  • Instrument Mechanics Works
  • Intro to Agric Sci, Imp & Machines
  • Intro to Building Construction
  • Ladies Garment Const & Finishing
  • Leather Goods Manufacture
  • Leather Tanning
  • Machine Wood Working
  • Marine Engineering Craft
  • Mechanical Engr Craft Practice
  • Men's Garment Const & Finishing
  • Motor Vehicle Mech Works
  • Office Practice
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Photographic Practice
  • Plumbing and Pipe Fitting
  • Printing Craft Practice
  • Refrig and Air-Conditioning
  • Salesmanship
  • Ship Building Craft Practice
  • Shorthand
  • Shorthand, 80 WPM
  • Spinning
  • Statistics
  • Surface Design/Textile Printing
  • Tourism
  • Tractor System
  • Typewriting
  • Typewriting, 35 WPM
  • Vehicle Body Building
  • Weaving

  1. Some schools are now accepting some of the subjects listed above for admission but not all. Having said that, a candidate should check the JAMB brochure to know the schools accepting them and for what courses.
  2. You can add any three or four of those subjects as optional to the main compulsory subjects I listed above. This may depend on what your school also prefers or have a larger population for.
  3. Most schools/state governments are equally making Civic Education compulsory for their students. This is why WAEC added the subject with their list of available subjects in the private candidates series. I think you may not be able to avoid writing Civic Education and one entrepreneurial/trade in the internal WAEC or NECO.
  4. Making Civic Education compulsory for candidates in WAEC doesn't mean you must pass it. It must just be written. And unless it's required for your proposed course, you don't necessarily need to have a credit pass in it.


Now that you know the compulsory subjects for you as a science, commercial or Art student, you don't have any worry if your school has registered you for those subjects. In other words, the other 3 or 4 subjects may not really matter once those you IMPORTANTLY need are registered.

Where a school fails to put you in for your compulsory subjects, there may be the need to show them what your proposed university and courses required according to the JAMB official brochure.

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  1. Good day sir. My name's Gideon. My best subjects are biology and agric but I'm having difficulty deciding what course to go for. I'm hoping you could help me. Thanks

    1. Both Biology and Agric are good. Its just up to you to take one with passion and make things happen with your final choice.

  2. Greetings Sir
    My younger brother wants to study computer Engineering, but he doesn't want to register biology in his waec, can he really drop biology?

    1. Yes, he can. What he needs for Computer Science are Five (5) SSCE credits to include English Language, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. The 5th subject can be any.

  3. Greetings sir, my name is Gabriel my brother wants to be an aeronautic engineer does he need biology

  4. Greetings sir am Kehinde is any course i can do with this result
    English c6
    Math p8
    Economics c5
    Phys p8
    Ict c6
    Ibc c6.
    pls sir if anything i can do on it pls help me

  5. Good day sir,I'm Glory what course can I study with this result
    Maths B3
    English C5
    Geography E8
    Biology B3
    Civic C6
    Economic C5
    Chemistry D7
    Marketing B3
    Physics B3

  6. Check list of courses in the link below.


  7. Good day sir ,please can I gain admission to lasu with E8 in waec

  8. Please sir can study and medicine course .with e8 in my physics

  9. Gud aftn sir I want to ask dat u should tell me all d nine subject I should pickas an art student for neco

    1. Ok.

      Read the post below.



Before you comment, read the post and earlier comments very well. I will NOT reply questions already covered.

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