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Full Meaning of Held, Withheld, Outstanding (2023 WAEC Update)

WAEC Result: Understanding Withheld, Held, and Others

In the context of the 2023 WAEC Result Update, when candidates access the WAEC Result Checker Portal to view their results, some receive successful outcomes, while others encounter errors. In this article, I will explain the terms used by WAEC to help those experiencing such issues or uncertainties.


Candidates have been repeatedly asking this question without receiving satisfactory answers due to a lack of orientation. To provide clarity, below is a detailed explanation and definition of the terms commonly used by WAEC.


Results are often withheld when a considerable number of candidates at an exam center achieve identical grades in the subjects they wrote. WAEC suspects such centers might be involved in exam malpractices, leading to an automatic suspicion. As a result, the candidates’ results are held back while further investigations are conducted to uncover any misconduct.

During the investigation, the results of all candidates from that center undergo scrutiny. If a result passes the test, it is released, while others may remain withheld.

Applicants who take part in WAEC-conducted examinations may have their results withheld only if they violate the council’s guidelines and norms.

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The results of many candidates were withheld by WAEC because they were found to have engaged in examination misconduct during the exam.

Although some candidates may claim not to have engaged in malpractice, their results were still withheld. This could be due to suspicions of copying from others or allowing someone else to copy, actions that WAEC deems unacceptable and can result in withholding of the candidates’ results.


After conducting research, it came to my attention that a significant number of WAEC students hire others to take their exams for them. This might be due to feelings of inadequacy in clearing WAEC or because of conflicting schedules with other exams.

This is one of the reasons why I occasionally advise candidates not to register for WAEC and JAMB simultaneously, even though it may seem like a good idea.

However, the practice of hiring a “mercenary” to write the WAEC exam on one’s behalf is unwise, as it carries the risk of the hired individual being caught red-handed during the examination.


Candidates’ scores may be withheld if they cause disruptions inside the examination venue. It is crucial for students not to communicate with each other during the exam to ensure a fair and unbiased process. If any issues arise, candidates can report them to the invigilator.

Cheating during the exam could lead to filling out a malpractice report, which may result in the withholding of your results. Maintaining the integrity of the examination is essential to avoid such undesirable outcomes.


Sometimes, a candidate may have an outstanding result in a particular subject because their attendance for that examination was recorded. However, the total score for that subject has not been finalized. This situation often arises when an extra answer sheet is not properly attached or when there are errors in filling out examination numbers and other essential details.

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It is a common occurrence among candidates who register for WAEC in special centers. Certain specialized centers or schools have developed a reputation for being highly disreputable due to their involvement in exam malpractice.

Whenever such a case is reported, the entire result of the center is promptly canceled. Further investigations are then carried out to address the situation and take appropriate actions.

REMINDER: It is crucial to fill in all the necessary details accurately when writing your WAEC Exam and checking your WAEC results. Also, ensure your handwriting is legible, as there are differences between me and 1, and between 0 and O.

However, some candidates act carelessly and overlook these distinctions.

Providing incorrect details while checking your WAEC results may result in responses like “No Result For This Candidate in The Specified Year.” Being mindful of accuracy is essential to prevent such occurrences.

What are my options if my results are withheld?

If your results are withheld, you have several options to address the situation:

1. Contact WAEC: Reach out to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to inquire about the reason for the result withholding. They will provide you with information on the specific issue and the steps to take.

2. Follow their Instructions: If WAEC has provided any instructions or guidelines regarding the withheld results, make sure to follow them diligently. This may involve providing additional information or documents for further investigation.

3. Appeal the Decision: If you believe your results were withheld unjustly, you can file an appeal with WAEC, stating your case and providing any evidence to support your claim.

4. Wait for the Investigation: Sometimes, the result withholding is due to ongoing investigations. In such cases, you may need to wait for the investigation to be completed before any further action can be taken.

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5. Consult with School/Examination Center: Talk to your school or examination center to understand if they have any additional information or advice on how to proceed.

6. Seek Legal Advice: In extreme cases, where you believe your rights have been violated, you can consult with a legal professional to understand your options and potential recourse.

Remember to act promptly and follow the proper channels to address the withheld results effectively.

Should I keep my hopes alive?

Sure, if you are confident that your examination center did not participate in or promote exam fraud during the examination, it is essential to express that confidence.

However, the final decision relies on the committee report. If your center is found guilty, you may be compelled to prepare for the exam the following year.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding this issue in the comment section below.

Remember to share this using any of our share buttons.


In conclusion, it is crucial to follow all guidelines and avoid exam misconduct to ensure a fair and valid examination process. If your results are withheld, take immediate action by contacting WAEC and following their instructions. You can also appeal the decision if you believe it was unjust. Remember to remain confident if your examination center did not engage in fraud. Ultimately, the committee report will determine the outcome, and if found guilty, you may have to retake the exam the following year.

If you have any further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask. Sharing this information can be beneficial to others, so feel free to use our share buttons. Thank you for your attention.


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