Is Primary Certificate the Same as Common Entrance? -
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Is Primary Certificate the Same as Common Entrance?

A sample of FSLC
I got a request through my pay-and-request-reply service. The woman was asking on behalf of a daughter who was not sure if she got the common entrance certificate but she had her primary school certificate.

She was about to attend an interview and these two terms seemed confusing - the common entrance certificate and first school leaving certificate. Which is which?

In this post, I will answer this question if you're in the same dilemma.

Primary 5/6 Certificate is Also the First School Leaving Certificate

Before going into the main work, these two can be confusing either. If the instruction requests your primary school certificate, it's the same as the first school leaving certificate. Don't be confused!

The term "primary school certificate" is not often used as you have the "first school leaving certificate". The latter is a fanciful way of saying the former. In all, this is the official award given to you when you complete the primary 6 class or class 5 (for those who attended private nursery and primary schools).

So, in this post, I may be consistent with the latter for the purpose of clarity.

RecommendedDifferences: Statement of Result and Certificate (Original Result)

Common Entrance is An Exam That Leads to the Award of First School Leaving Certificate

In case, you're confused about a separate certificate for common entrance, you're just confusing. There is no individual certificate called "common entrance certificate" Nope!

It's not even official for any organization or body to ask for a certificate with that name/title. Instead, the certificate to be asked for and presented for your primary school education is called the "First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC)". 

At graduation, primary school pupils are awarded the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC), which, in combination with the common entrance examination, fulfills the formal requirements for secondary school education.

As you must know, no pupil will be recognized as completing the primary school education without sitting for the common entrance (whether you attended a government-owned or private-owned school). Hence, it's sitting for this exam that confirms you're done in primary school which in turn leads to the award of the first school leaving certificate.

Informally, we can just say the common entrance is the same as the first school leaving certificate or the primary school certificate.

About should have covered your related questions:

  1. What is the name of the primary school certificate?
  2. What is the primary 6 certificate called in Nigeria?
  3. What is the primary common entrance exam?


The First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) and the Common Entrance are intimately connected aspects of a student's primary education journey. To alleviate any confusion, it's important to understand that when asked for your primary school certificate, you can confidently provide your First School Leaving Certificate.

There is no separate "common entrance certificate" to be concerned about, as the successful completion of the Common Entrance examination is what leads to the award of the First School Leaving Certificate. 

In essence, informally, you can equate the Common Entrance with the First School Leaving Certificate or simply refer to it as your primary school certificate. Rest assured that these terms are used interchangeably and represent the same milestone in your educational journey.

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