To transit from one level of the educational system to the next, pupils have to undergo selection or achievement examinations to determine their suitability for the level they are transiting into. NECO plays a dominant role in conducting the various transiting examinations, which are as follows:
This is the examination taken by candidates in their last stage of Secondary Education. The SSCE is in two categories. One is for candidates in the third and final year of their secondary education and it is called SSCE Internal. The Second is SSCE External and is for candidates not in the School system.
The SSCE internal has forty subjects. the minimum number of subjects a candidate can sit for is eight while the maximum is nine. all Senior Secondary schools in the Federation present Candidates for the SSCE because the results are used for
Another core component of the mandate of the Council as espoused in the Enabling law is the conduct of the Senior School Certificate Examination for External Candidates.
To transit from the ninth year of the basic education class to the senior secondary, the JSCE is conducted for candidates in their third year of the Junior Secondary School. While each state of the federation and the FCT conducts the JSCE for its candidates, NECO conducts the JSCE for Federal Unity Colleges, Armed Forces Secondary Schools and other Federal establishments operating Secondary schools. Private Secondary schools also take part in the NECO JSCE provided they are permitted by their State Ministries of Education. Twenty two subjects are administered at the JSCE level. A candidate is expected to sit for a minimum of ten subjects and a maximum of thirteen. A candidate is deemed to have passed the JSCE if he/she has passes in six subjects including English and Mathematics.
The grading system is as follows:
This examination is administered to pupils in their 6th year of basic education. The purpose of this examination is to select the best candidates from every state of the federation and the federal Capital territory (FCT) for admission into federal Unity colleges. These Colleges are essentially, Secondary schools owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Their objective is to foster unity amongst the children of NIGERIA. Two are held annually. Result of the first examination determines candidates that qualify for a second examination based on cut-off marks for each state. The result of the second examination qualifies candidates for admission based on merit, equal state quota and environment considerations.
The gifted children education programme is designed to identify exceptionally talented children at the sixth grade level of the basic education, bring them together in the same environment at the Secondary school level where they can express their talent without being slowed down by the less gifted. To achieve this objective, a special secondary school called Federal Government Academy was established in Suleja, Close to Abuja. Selection into the Federal Government Academy is by a special examination administered to identified talented children in basic six in all the states of the Federation and the FCT. Result of the examination is used to select candidates primarily by merit, and to a lesser extent, by equal state quota.