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Why You Keep Getting Low Scores in JAMB UTME and Post UTME and How to Stop It

Did you know? Being brilliant isn’t actually the main criterion for obtaining admission into higher institutions in Nigeria. There are other factors contributing to success that you might have overlooked and these are some of the things I’ve set out to discuss in this article. This may actually be your first trial, yet you have to continue reading as what I will be discussing will be of benefit to you too. So, what are the things that are making you get low scores so far?

You are NOT Ready

Yes! You are basically not ready. Maybe I should use myself as a case study for you. I wrote UTME 4 times; Why?! Because of mixed priorities. Shortly after I finished secondary school, I engaged in other extra-curricular activities, teaching, working as an Adhoc Staff in a company while seeking admission, which are basically normal; man must hustle, you know? In my first UTME (aspiring for UI Nursing), I scored 211. Before the second UTME, I was working, so, there was very limited time to study so I had 211 again. And for the third UTME, I had 230; same school, same course, no success.

What was happening is actually understandable. The time I needed to study and complete the syllabus was the same time I was using to meet work deadlines. You know, 9-5pm work, get home late and sleep, not that I wasn’t serious and you are free to say that, but it’s basically improper preparation and unreadiness. In my case, I happened to meet a savior – A change of environment to OAU Pre-Degree Programme. There I had the time to focus, although I almost failed again before finding by balance because there were distractions too. Fast forward to fourth UTME during my Pre-Degree year, I scored 252, same course – nursing (the score was practically not enough because I needed about 33/40 in post UTME to meet the previous year’s cut-off mark). I was finally admitted with 0.6 points above the cut-off mark. This admission followed an intense study of 8 months including staying off social media, almost read textbooks from cover to cover.

But I tell you for free, if you are following the same unserious pattern of working and studying that I did for 3 years, you may have a lower chance of passing, and a higher chance of getting a low score because of what is called “divided attention”. While doing other things apart from academics, especially something that brings us money, even as an undergraduate, there is this fear of failing in that aspect and it demands more of our time (we definitely do not want any type of wahala from our oga) hence, our attention is shifted more to work than that of academics – we may do this unconsciously, so it is most times difficult for us to detect the error until time has gone. In fact, we will trick ourselves into believing that the questions are going to be what we know. The end result? 30/100.

The bottom line is that you need to be ready to focus on studying in order to gain admission. As an undergrad, I’m not saying you can’t work while studying, but the first line is to know how to balance work life and academics so that your academics won’t suffer. Have a time management map and someone to be accountable to in order to track how you effectively use your time. If possible, reduce or stop working for a while to focus on exams or re-plan your dealings.

You are doing the wrong thing and expecting the positive result

Believe me, Medical or Engineering courses are not meant for everyone and if you think it is meant for you, then you have to earn it, by confirming your readiness at first. In fact, I’ve heard someone say: “I’m into the medical profession to suit my parents, once I’m done, I’m going to start selling food because that is what I want to do”. Yeah, the same course someone has been chasing for years, someone else is throwing it inside dustbin. You may also be in this same category one way or the other, you know you hated mathematics and physics, yet, you kept chasing computer engineering, why not be in good terms with mathematics and physics first, or move to a course that fits the subjects you like? You wanted to study Physiotherapy, yet you kept having less than around 160 in UTME every year, why not find the root of your failure first instead of blaming the system, and maybe, just maybe deciding to go to a polytechnic may be your best decision (success is everywhere, you may end up employing those who went to the university). Maybe your own study time is being shared by excessive gaming, TikTok, Snapchat and WhatsApp statuses; why not have them switched off for the next few months?

You are following the wrong method

What is the right method if your method is wrong? The right method is simple. Ask those who are already there about what they did, each of them will give you a different story and of similar message, consistent studying, using the right materials, etc. Right materials in your case may be the right environment, right books, right friends, right tutorial and right self plan. It is not always every time that you need a tutorial center to pass. Some of those who attend tutorial centers fail too, because they were not ready or they thought tutorial center is a miracle center and they don’t need to read again after getting home from tutorials.

In another case, some of us admission seekers are rooted in the believe that the only thing that gives admission is either expo or connections, busy searching for exam questions up and down, thus this thinking affects a candidate’s mentality and prevents him/her from getting prepared as required. And for some of us, our own wrong method is procrastination, packing all books together until 3 days to the examination and reading all at once (also called crash reading). You can’t overload or misuse the brain and expect the brain to help you remember in the exam hall. Some are even too lazy to find out the best leaning method, study method or reading method for them. For example, some of us study better alone, with no noise, some study better with a friend explaining to them, some learn better in groups and for some, they do not understand at all. This may be due to various ways by which the brain has been stressed which leads to less concentration while studying. By the way, one of the ways to stress your brain is also not having enough sleep.

What I just wanted to let you know is that the wrong method does not give the right result.

You don’t have the right information

There is one thing about information in the education and admissions, it is DYNAMIC. Let me give you a close example; years back, candidates could change their UTME courses from their portal but now, you have to visit CBT center. As an admission seeker, you need to be updated with the right books to read, right combinations to choose, right way to read and the right steps to take. For example, if you go into an exam hall without knowing mathematics is part of the questions to be asked, you have already failed in that aspect, thus you need to find out what subjects to prepare for in Post UTME of certain schools and the areas to focus on. Imagine someone who will be writing a PPT exam using OMR sheet and did not prepare for such, entering exam hall only to see pencil and paper all around or going into an exam thinking calculator will be allowed while it won’t. The nervousness is enough to affect your score. One last thing related to having the right information is knowing cut-off marks. I know most of us are good in searching for “what is the cut-off mark of…” and end up getting the wrong information. It is true that knowing the previous cut-off marks will enable you to plan your journey well and know how much effort you need to put in, in order to meet the required score needed for that admission but the most effective ways of getting this is to meet with those already students in that department or check trusted sources like the school’s website. I wish you best of luck, I hope you read this information again, and pick out areas that interest you. See you at the top.

Talking about right methods, we partner with trusted, top online and physical tutorials to boost your study and enable you reach your target score, that score you really desire. They are equipped with sound tutors and offer proper mentorship for candidates aspiring for different tertiary institutions in Nigeria. If you are interested, click here to connect with them. For those interested in physical tutorials, they also provide accommodation for candidates coming from far places.

For further consultations, online registrations or to get past questions, consult us on 08061783878 or chat with us via the WhatsApp button below:

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A. A. Badmus

A. A. Badmus is a seasoned Educational Consultant that assist students in processing admission into schools in India and Nigeria. Currently studying Nursing at OAU Ile-Ife and passionate about serving accurate and timely information to admission seekers as well as students at large. I write about Education, Tech and Health.

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