Time and time again, we have heard JAMB (Joint Admission and Matriculation Board) candidates say they do not know what step to take next after seeing their UTME scores. It is a known fact that there are different categories of JAMB candidates after every examination. They include those who scored below 200, those who made one or two errors during registration, those who have no clue about post-utme, those who don’t know the cut-off marks of their chosen schools.
I remember a JAMB candidate who lost his chances of gaining admission in 2020 despite scoring 279. Do you know why? Well, he chose the wrong UTME combinations. There was another candidate whose error was to choose the University of Lagos (UNILAG) as his second choice, instead of first.
So it is advisable for every JAMB candidate to start paying attention to details, and some of these details are what we are going to consider below.
- Be sure you chose and wrote the right UTME subject combinations
The first thing to do after your examination is to confirm you have sat for the correct UTME combinations. Let me give you an example. A UTME candidate who wishes to study Chemical Engineering will need to sit for Mathematics, English, Physics and Chemistry. if such student unknowingly writes Biology, there will be a problem with his/her admission.
As you can see, getting a high score is only the first step, but not the ultimate step. A student can score 320+ and still fail to secure an admission if he/she doesn’t fill in the correct subject combination.
It is essential that you go through the JAMB Brochure in other to be 100% sure you have picked the right subject combinations.
- How old are you?
Everyone now knows that you cannot be given an admission into any Nigerian government-owned University if you are still below the age of Sixteen (16) as at the time of admission. Well, maybe not everyone knows, but awareness have been created by over the years about this fact. Irrespective of your UTME score, if you are not yet 16, you will not be considered for admission into a federal or state University.
Somebody told me “but my 14 years old friend is doing diploma at UNILAG”. Well, while there is no age restriction for diploma, a candidate still has to be 16years old before he/she completes the diploma.
The only alternative as at the time of this writing is to opt for a private University where there are no age restrictions.
- Do you have a complete O-level result?
Similar to the case of having the correct UTME combination is a complete O-level result. It is important to be sure you have passed your required O-level (WAEC, NECO, GCE, NECO-GCE, NABTEB) subject combinations. A candidate needs a minimum of five (5) credits in each subject for admission. Go through the JAMB Brochure and be sure you have already passed the 5 important subjects for your course which, of course, includes mathematics and English.
- What did you score in your UTME?
Yes, what did you score? The answer to this question will go a long way in helping you to decide whether you should wait on the institution and course you picked during registration or whether it is time to switch to another institution and a new course.
As you may have discovered by now that the 2021 UTME results have been anything but impressive. Statistically, most students scored below 200 and quite frankly, these set of students do not qualify for admission into a federal university. Such students need to start considering either a State University (most accept 180+) or a Polytechnic.
Candidates with scores between 160 and 180 can wisely opt for polytechnic as they accept 160. Those who scored 150 can pick a state university while those with 140+ can try College of Education.
While 200 is the minimum score for most Federal Universities, it is still important to note that this also depends on the student’s desired course. For instance, a candidate picked UNILAG and chose Law as his course of study. He then wrote UTME and score 2021, Such a candidate needs to change his course to something ‘lower’.
Long story short, if you discover that your cut off mark doe not meet up to the standard of a particular school or course, then it is best to obtain a Change of Institution or Course form. This will enable you to switch to a more favourable course.
- Start preparing for Post-UTME
It is time to let you know (incase you don’t) that there is something called a post-UTME and it is time to start preparing ceaselessly for it. Different schools have different methods of conducting this exam and some schools do not conduct it at all.
Hence it is important to know whether your chosen institution organizes or not. If they do, its also important to get their Past Questions and start practicing them.