What is WAEC Alternative to practical?

WAEC Alternative to practical is a familiar term for most individuals who have sat for the O’level examination before. This is mostly observed in WAEC subjects, that feature practical examination sessions. This practical examination session is mostly seen in science-inclined subjects like Chemistry, physics, etc.

WAEC Alternative to practical question
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What is the alternative to practical in WAEC?

Alternative to practical is a type of practical or examination exercise that doesn’t involve the use of live specimens or apparatus. Alternative to practicals is held in WAEC examination centres that are not well equipped to have practical examination sessions for their students. 

Differences between Practicals and alternative to practicals.

  1. Alternative to practicals is a practical that is done theoretically. While practicals are conducted live, and the students write out their inferences from what is seen.
  2. Alternative to practicals is very common in the WAEC GCE examination, while Internal WAEC examination can make do with either practicals or alternative to practicals.
  3. Alternative to practicals can be carried out in any examination hall, but practicals are done only in laboratories.

Similarities between Alternative to practicals and practical examinations.

  1. Both methods of practical examination are done using the same specimens, tools, and case studies. Even though they may not be present in alternative to practicals, both practicals will feature the same components. (As long as they are done on the same day, same year, and on the same subject).
  2. The marks allocated to practicals don’t change based on how the practical examination was conducted. Alternative to practicals and practicals have the same allocated mark at the end.

Frequently asked questions about WAEC Alternative to practicals 

How many marks do alternative to practical have in WAEC?

The WAEC alternative to practical carries the same mark as any practical examination session. 
The allocated mark for practicals of alternative to practical is 35% of the total score. Leaving the remaining 65% of the mark to be shared between the objectives and essay in a 25% and 40% rationing respectively.
The time allocated for WAEC practicals and the alternative to practicals are also the same.

Can a school conduct practicals and alternative to practicals?

The option of alternative to practicals is only done when a school doesn’t have a working laboratory or apparatus to conduct practicals for a particular subject.

It’s possible that a school may conduct practicals for a subject like biology, and have an alternative to practical exam sessions for physics, this can be a result of not having a working physics laboratory, or enough apparatus to conduct practical examinations in physics, that’s why they have to resort to alternative to practical.

 The WAEC alternative to practical option is a remedy for the unavailability of laboratories for practical examinations.

This option allows WAEC candidates to be screened in practical sessions theoretically, this means they don’t experiment with specimens or tools, rather they do the practicals on paper. They may be asked to identify, or label parts of an animal or machine. 

This option eliminates the disadvantaged condition that is supposed to face candidates that write in schools without working laboratories. Don’t forget, the moment you register for WAEC GCE, you have automatically signed up for WAEC alternative to practical.

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