Each academic session is divided into three terms. Promotion from junior to senior school is based on success at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Whitesands students do both the BECE, as conducted by Lagos State Ministry of Education and the National Examination Council (NECO). At the end of senior school, Whitesands students sit for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council.
The school’s broad and enriched curriculum may cover other international syllabuses in many subjects, such as the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), the London General Certificate of Education (GCE), or the American SAT. Students who wish to take these other exams are encouraged to do them after they have completed the May-June SSCE of WAEC and NECO in their third year of senior school (SS3).
Students who attempt external exams in November-December while still in SS2 are bound to suffer a decline in performance in their day-to-day course work, which, in the end, is detrimental to the shape of their final transcript of grades. Whitesands School therefore does not encourage her SS2 students to be taking these external examinations.
All Whitesands students are encouraged to take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) for Nigerian universities before they leave school.