Full Report: 2022 UACE results out

Kampala- Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) on Friday released the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examination results.

The results were released during an event held at the president’s office in Kampala, presided over by John Chrysostom Muyingo the State Minister for Higher Education.

According to UNEB, an analysis of the overall candidates’ performance in the examination shows that a very high percentage of candidates (99.2%) qualified for the award of the UACE, just as was in 2020. 

Below is the full statement by UNEB Executive Director Dan Nokrach Odong  on the 2022 UACE exams results.                                                      


Honourable Minister of Education and Sports, the 2022 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examination was conducted between 21st November and 9th December, 2022 under the theme “Integrity and Security in the Management of Examinations; the Health and Safety of the Learners is a joint Responsibility”.  This theme has guided the Board throughout the examination periods since 2020.

Total Candidates                                              

A total of 97,890 candidates registered for the 2022 UACE examination from 1,969 centres compared to 98,392 candidates from 1,952 centres in 2020.  This is a decrease of 502 candidates (-0.5%). Candidates who appeared for the examination were 96,557, compared to 97,443 in 2020, a decrease of 878 candidates (-0.9%).  The number of candidates registered under the UPOLET programme was 17,321 (17.7%) of total candidature compared to 17,647 (17.9%) in 2020

Forty thousand, seven hundred thirteen (40,713) female candidates registered for UACE in 2022 compared to 41,190 in 2020. Females constituted 41.8% of the total number of candidates who took the examination in 2022.  While at UCE the proportion of females is very close to that of males (49.7:50.3), it is significantly lower at this level (41.8:58.2).

Table 1 below gives the statistics of the number of candidates who registered and those who sat the UACE examination for the last five years.  

Table 1:  Registration of UACE Candidates for the period 2017-2022

It can be seen from Table 1 that the numbers registering for this examination have been fluctuating, but the trend has a decline after 2019. 

The absenteeism rate of candidates at UACE in 2020 has risen by 0.4% over the last year.

A few districts, for example, Abim and Buvuma, that already have low numbers of candidates still also have high rates of absenteeism.  The rate for Abim is 26.6% while Buvuma is 40.0%.

Table 2 below gives a summary of Special Needs candidates by category and gender and the special considerations the Board has for each category.

Table 2:  SNE Candidature in UACE 2022 compared to UACE 2020 (By Gender)

The total number of SNE candidates were 222 as compared to 208 in 2020

Performance of Candidates

The performance of 2022 candidates compared with that of 2020 is shown in Table 3 below in terms of numbers of candidates passing at the different principal pass levels. 

  Table 3: General Performance in UACE 2022 compared to UACE 2020

An analysis of the overall candidates’ performance in the examination shows that a very high percentage of candidates (99.2%) qualified for the award of the UACE, just as was in 2020.

At the minimum two Principal levels required for University admission, 67,815 (70.3%) qualify compared to 69.8% in 2020. In terms of numbers, this is slightly less than that of 2020, which was 68,013 candidates (69.8%), but this is consistent with the fact that there was a slight drop in entries for the examination in 2022. In cases where one Principal and two Subsidiary passes levels are considered for admission to other tertiary institutions, 89.3% of the candidates will qualify.  This is comparable to 2020.

Comparison of Male and Female Candidates’ Performance

Table 4 below compares pass levels in the 2022 UACE examination between females and males. 

Table 4:  2022 UACE Performance by Gender 

As seen in Table 4 above and from the registration, female candidates are fewer than the male candidates. However, the Table indicates that, proportionally, female candidates performed better than their male counterparts did. The percentage passes at the upper levels (3P and 2P) are higher, while percentage passes and at the lower levels and failure rate among female candidates are lower than for the males.  

Performance of candidates in the large entry subjects and General Paper in 2022 is compared to that in the previous year, 2020 in Table 5 below.

Table 5:   Performance in Large Entry Principal Level Subjects and General Paper

Table 5 shows that at the Principal pass level (A – E), there are improvements in History, Economics, Entrepreneurship Education, Geography and Art. Mathematics and Chemistry recorded significant improvements at A pass level, while Physics had a drop at A but remained comparable at the A-E level. Although there is a drop in the number of candidates registered this year, entries for Mathematics and the Science subjects (except Physics), increased significantly compared to entries for 2020. This was also observed in the 2020 examination where Mathematics and Science entries had also been higher than those for 2019 and before. 

This is seen in Table 6 below.

Table 6: Entries for Mathematics and Sciences in the last five years

Entries for Physics have not shown a consistent trend.

Performance in Biology has again dropped below the 2020 level where it had risen. Examiners have attributed this to candidates having problems in questions on Genetics, Ecology and applications of biological concepts to the environment, Classification and inability to deal with simple mathematical computations in


Table 7 below compares performance of male and female candidates in large entry subjects.

Table 7:  Performance of Females and Males in Large Entry Principal level Subjects and General Paper

Regarding percentages, female candidates performed better than their male counterparts at the principal level pass (A-E) in Arts (Humanities), Mathematics and Physics. Male candidates were better in Agriculture, Chemistry, Biology, Art, and General Paper. 

Female entries for the Sciences and Mathematics have remained lower than that of the males, consistent with the fact that overall female entry is lower than that of the males. Candidature was 29.6% for Mathematics, 6.1% for Physics, 16.5% for Chemistry, and 15.9% for Biology. It should be noted that these percentages were lower (except for Physics) in the 2020 examination and before. In other words, female entries for Mathematics and the Sciences are gradually increasing as seen in Table 8 below.

Table 8:  Entries for Female candidates for Mathematics and Sciences in the last five years

Entries for Physics have not shown a consistent trend.

Candidates Performance Expected at UACE

As we have stated before, the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examination builds on the knowledge and skills assessed at UCE. It is designed to test candidates’ ability to comprehend and apply knowledge in new situations; demonstrate logical reasoning skills, ability to perform scientific experiments, interpret results and draw the relevant conclusions. The questions set test the candidates’ ability to handle higher order tasks such as descriptions, explanations, analysis, and evaluation which are expected at this level.

Performance of candidates is reported using letter grades, and those candidates who scored grades A and B demonstrated high levels of knowledge of the subject matter and were able to handle tasks that required high order skills.  Their work in the practical examination papers also showed ability to correctly use apparatus, record observations in a manner reflecting the accuracy level of the instruments used, and ability to use the data generated correctly to either plot graphs, or use the values obtained to substitute in a given formula to determine the required constants. 

Candidates at lower levels demonstrated adequate to basic mastery of the subject matter. Their performance was undermined by misunderstanding of questions, inability to describe, explain, interpret, offer logical arguments or illustrations and specific examples to qualify their answers. Better answers were seen in parts of questions that are more direct. Some candidates rely on mnemonics in order to recall facts. 

Some zero scores were recorded in many papers. One of those candidates decided to just copy out questions several times in one of the papers, while another wrote “Dear Mr Examiner.  You are still wasting time on me when there are more serious candidates?”. After writing “Now listen to my story” he wrote a short poem starting with “I am the stone the builder refused….”. He then listed names of some famous musicians and their songs.  Apart from scoring zero, this performance could indicate an underlying problem.

In sciences, evidence of theoretical teaching with little practical experience given to the candidates was observed at many centres.  As a result, candidates who performed poorly showed inability to follow instructions and procedures during the practical examinations, failure to accurately record data or even make meaning of any of the data recorded. They had difficulty in writing the language of Chemistry using the correct chemical symbols and balanced equations. Whereas the skill of dissection is essential in Biology, some candidates did not carry out this task on the specimens provided as required by the questions but presented text book drawings. This may indicate the teachers in the schools where this happened may not have exposed the candidates to this skill that they will need should they, in future, have an opportunity to pursue Biological sciencebased courses.

A detailed analysis indicating the salient areas of improvement as well as areas of weakness will be sent to centres in the Report on the Work of Candidates. Advice to teachers on how to address areas of difficulty will be given. Electronic versions of these reports will be sent through the school portals. Members of the public who may be interested will be able to purchase copies from the UNEB Publications Sales point at Communications House in Kampala.    

Malpractice and Irregularities

Honourable Minister, cases of malpractice at this level have remained low. The reported ones have been mainly external assistance in Mathematics, Biology and Computer studies. In accordance with Section 4 (3) of the UNEB Act, 2021, the Board, has withheld results of 113 candidates, and will accord the affected candidates a fair hearing before passing a final verdict.


Hon Minister, we shall continue to thank you again and again for ensuring that UNEB got the necessary support that was crucial in successfully completing this, and all the other activities that have culminated in our being able to successfully present the results of the last examination, the UACE, to you for release. 

I thank the Chairperson and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Sports for appropriating the funds; and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development for releasing the funds that we needed, and in time too.

I wish to sincerely thank the Chairperson and members of the Board, for their guidance; the staff of the Ministry of Education and Sports, its agencies and other institutions who assisted UNEB in various ways during the conduct of the examination. All Area Supervisors, heads of centre, scouts and invigilators who were in the examination centres overseeing the exercise. They did this in accordance with the Ministry of Education and Sports guidelines and the standard operating procedures prescribed by the Ministry of Health, especially in those areas which were under the threat of Ebola.

I equally extend my appreciation to the Uganda Police, the UPDF and other security agencies that assisted the Board to conduct a smooth examination.

I take this opportunity to thank the examiners who reported to mark the scripts.  I thank the institutions that allowed UNEB to use their premises as marking centres; the parents and guardians for their tireless support to the candidates; and the members of the Press who actively highlighted and publicised UNEB activities throughout the examination period.  There were many members the public who accorded us invaluable intelligence and support during the field conduct of the examination.   

To the candidates who performed well, I congratulate you. I encourage those whose performance fell below the satisfactory competency levels to try again as there is always a second chance.

I wish, specially, to acknowledge the dedication to duty exhibited by staff at the UNEB Secretariat in the face of the health challenges that our country has faced over the last three years. Their commitment and sacrifice has enabled the Board to successfully conduct and process the results of this UACE examination as they have done the other two examinations. To them, I dedicate this day.

Access to UACE Results and Collection of Pass Slips

The UACE results will be uploaded on each centre portal and heads of centre can download the results.  Hard copies of the results will be available from UNEB Ntinda offices in the course of next week. Centres will be informed through their portals.

A number of heads of centre have not been keen on cross-checking their candidates’ results and sending queries/amendments in time. We advise them to do so and personally submit their queries/amendments to the Board electronically through their portals not later than fifteen working days after the release of the results.

Interested persons may access the results of individual candidates through SMS.  Please go to the Message menu, then type UACE, leave a space then type the correct index number of the candidate, e.g. U0000/501 and send to 6600. The service is available on MTN and AIRTEL networks.