senior high school selection & placement

In this useful and informative article, we will talk about:

  1. The Automatic Placement
  2. Tie-Breaking System - this explains why two candidates with the same aggregate, one will get his or her first choice while the other will not.
  3. The Placement Results

If you understand clearly how the computerized school selection and placement are done you are more likely to have a stress-free mind and be able to select your senior high schools majorly based on your performance and interest.

According to GES, the placement process begins after WAEC releases the BECE results. The following explains clearly how the automatic placement is done.

The Automatic Placement Step by Step

  1. This is the process by which the CSSPS places the students, by merit, into one of their chosen SHS schools in descending order. This is done automatically without any manual intervention.

A student cannot be placed into a school they did not choose. There are some 12 frequently asked questions about senior high school placement answered by the GES. The link is at the end of this article.


  1. If the candidate’s aggregate falls within the merit of the programme chosen for their first choice, the CSSPS then checks the student’s preferred residential status, and then places them, accordingly, based on the available ‘space’.

    If the desired residential status is full, the CSSPS moves the candidate to their second choice and then repeats the process until placement is done.


  1. For instance, if a student with aggregate 8 would otherwise get placement in school A, but had chosen a Boarding option (which tends to be more competitive), and there happens to be no available space because other candidates with better aggregates have secured placement into the boarding house, the system will NOT place that student on Day Status in that school because the Day Option was not the candidate’s residential choice for that senior high school.


The system will rather move them to their Second Choice School to attempt to get both their preferred programme as well as their choice of residential status. If unsuccessful, the system will proceed to their third choice school, and the process is repeated until the student is placed or secures no placement.


This explains why for example one student will gain admission to their 1st choice school, while another student will not, even though they had the same aggregate. One may choose the day option for 1st choice while the other choose boarding status. Their programme of choice may even be different.


  1. Where a candidate has chosen a senior high school both as Boarding and as their Compulsory Day Option, and if the system is unable to secure a boarding residential allocation for them, then the system will seek to place them in that school but as Day residential allocation in that school.


This is different from step 3 in that here, the student happened to choose the same school for one of his first four choices, and then as his or her compulsory day option.


The Tie-Breaking System

The following factors are considered to determine the placement of students who had the same aggregates for the same programme, and the same residential status as well.

  1. The number of Grade Ones

For example, if 300 students with Aggregate 6 are competing for Science in School A and there are only 120 available slots for science in that senior high school, the ranking will be done such that those with Nine Ones will gain admission first, followed by those with Eight Ones, and so on.


  1. Raw Score

If there is still a further need to break a tie, the placement will be done using those candidates' raw scores from the highest to the lowest. So, the raw score obtained becomes important here as a tie-breaker.


  1. Subject Performance

A further tie-breaking, where necessary, will then follow taking into consideration the best grades obtained in the Core Subjects, in a manner as follows:

  • English, then
  • Mathematics, then
  • Integrated Science, then
  • Social Studies.

This instance of tie-breaking is the reason two students with the same aggregate may not get the same school as their 1st choices. One will get while the other will not because one had a higher raw score or had better grade for the core subjects if the system matched them head-to-head.

The most important thing is to select schools based on your performance and be open to options if your teachers or parents advise you. SHS is just a discovery stage in your life to become better someday.


The Placement results

After the CSSPS system completes the placement of students into their various options of senior high schools, the result will then be released by the GES, usually in an announcement via press communication.

BECE candidates or better still prospective SHS students can check their school placement via Text Message or through an Online Portal for CSSPS  

Your senior high school placement result will contain the following information:

  • The SHS you were placed into (name and location)
  • Residential status (whether you will be attending as a day or boarding student)
  • Programme or courses of Study (as you selected for that school)
  • Double Track Information, whether you will be on the green or gold track. But this is only the case if your placed school runs double track.
  • School start date when you will be starting your SHS

The GES also indicates that you should print out your school placement result and add all other relevant documents and take that to the SHS you were placed, to obtain a prospectus and enroll.

You may still have some questions and clarity. Read 12 Frequently Asked Questions About Senior High School Placement.

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Contributor: Admin