The 2015 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) begins today across the country.
In all, 268,771 candidates from 868 public and private Senior High Schools (SHS), will participate in the examination at 866 centres.
The figure represents an increase of 20,603 candidates over the 2014 figure of 242,162 candidates.
Speaking to the media last Friday during a tour of some examination centres in Accra, the Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, congratulated the candidates for successfully going through their respective programmes and wished them success in the examinations.
She said it was time for the candidates to bring to bear the knowledge and skills they have acquired through the period of their study, and justify the investments made in them by the government, their parents and teachers.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang implored the candidates to observe examination rules and regulations, and understand questions before answering them.
She reminded the candidates that their future depends on accomplishments in the examination and expressed the hope they would pass and make the country their parents proud.
Statistics of the 2015 WASSCE shows that 139,843 males and 128,928 females would sit the examination.
The Ashanti Region has the highest number of candidates of 62,472, comprising 31,701 males and 30,771 females followed by the Eastern Region with total of 39,821 candidates, made up of 19,814 males and 20,007 females.
The Central Region with 28,312 candidates comprising 14,530 males and 13, females is the third highest region, with 28,000 candidates from the Greater Accra region made up of 13,884 males and 14, females is the fourth.
The region with the least number candidates is the Upper West Region which registered 3,999 males and 3,061 females for the examination.
The WASSCE is being conducted in West African countries including Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
Last year, candidates from Liberia and Sierra Leone did not take part in the examination because of the Ebola disease.
The examination begins with Integrated Science.