Passing JAMB exams has always been the aim of every student in Nigeria. While some put in little effort, only a few students do what’s necessary. Sometimes, these few don’t have all the answers and miss it too in the end. Passing the JAMB exams has been a significant cause of concern for students and their parents as it determines how far a student can go in Nigeria. This post will discuss how to pass the JAMB exams.
How to pass the JAMB exams
Things you should do before the JAMB exams:
1. Read your notes
Reading your notes helps you recall all you’ve learned in the past. It refreshes your memory. Note that there’s a difference between reading for reading sake and reading to understand. When you read for reading sake, you’ve just scanned your notes. Hardly does anyone learn anything that way.
Reading to understand, on the other hand, is beneficial. You can discuss what you’ve read extensively and write on it when you read to understand. So, with that, you’re sure to pass exams. It doesn’t stop there, however. When you read to understand, your brain can always recall such information over time and, most times, accurately. That means you’ve not only learned what you’ve read about to pass exams, but you’ve also learned it for life.
2. Read the required texts and textbooks
There are usually recommended readings for the JAMB exams. It would be best if you read from materials recommended by JAMB because the examination questions are based on these materials. There may be other texts and textbooks that can be used as alternatives to the ones listed. However, reading with those texts and textbooks puts you at a disadvantage because the JAMB exams questions won’t come from those texts and textbooks. It’s as good as you’re reading off point.
3. Read according to the JAMB syllabus
Every year, a JAMB syllabus is released. The JAMB Syllabus, an official document compiled by the Board, contains detailed information on the topics you are expected to cover on a particular subject for your UTME. Reading well, and according to the syllabus, ensures that you get all the answers to the questions as they will be drawn from these topics.
4. Practice past JAMB exams questions
Many say practising past questions is something every student should do. I didn’t believe it until I tried it, and then it worked for me. Past questions are a sort of “expo”. They let you know what topics students have been tested on in the past. This can guide you when reading for examinations, particularly JAMB exams. This doesn’t mean that the previous year’s questions are the same questions you’ll see on your examination day.
5. Take the mock JAMB exams
Taking the mock JAMB exams gives you an idea of the real thing. You get to know the examination situation, how you’ll be timed, and how well you’ve done when the results are released. This has three advantages. Firstly, you know what your exam will be like. Secondly, while taking the exams, you find out those topics you don’t know so well, and you can go back to read them. Thirdly, when the results are released, you can judge how prepared you are for the exam. For example, if your scores weren’t good in the mock JAMB exam, you could read harder and better.
6. Know how to use a computer
The JAMB examination was a paper and pencil test (PPT) before. Now, it’s a computer-based test (CBT). Therefore knowing how to use a computer is crucial. If you don’t know your way around a computer, you may fail the exams.
During the JAMB exams:
Many students find it hard to recall everything they’ve read after stepping into the examination hall. This is due to the anxiety associated with examinations. How do you combat this? Relax. When you get into an examination hall, settle down and take deep breaths. Don’t panic because when you do, your brain is agitated and can’t process all you’ve read, let alone recall it.
2. Note the time and work with it
Time management is one of the problems many students face while taking the JAMB exams. You should get a simple wristwatch and take it to the examination Hall with you if it’s allowed. Then follow this simple method.
Note the time allocated for your examination and the number of questions you are to answer. Then, divide the time allocated for the examination by the number of questions you have to answer. For instance, if you’ve got 30 minutes to answer 60 questions, divide 30 by 60. That means you have half a minute to answer one question. So, don’t spend more than half a minute answering a question. That worked for me, but if you have any better ideas, you’re free to use them.
3. Do not cheat during the JAMB exams
Examination malpractice in Nigeria is no longer a mere problem but a menace. This has led the appropriate authorities to combat examination malpractice tooth and nail. Hence, any student caught practising examination malpractice will be dealt with accordingly. Unless you want to spend some time in jail, don’t cheat.
Some people don’t get caught, you might say. Well, they may get away with it but that means they don’t have the knowledge and they can’t defend their scores if they’re questioned in the future. Only a few get away with examination malpractice, mind you. Why risk it?
4. Never “help” other candidates in the JAMB exams hall
This is another form of examination malpractice. You may see a friend in the examination hall who is trying to get your attention so you can help them answer a question. You may think of it as helping a friend, but it’s examination malpractice. If you’re caught, the law won’t take it kindly with you.
5. Don’t be distracted
Many start their examinations quickly but get distracted some minutes later. It’s either they’re looking around or listening to the invigilator’s jokes. Some just forget that they’re writing an examination and stare into space, their minds far away from the examination. Inevitably, their time is wasted, and some minutes to the end of the examination, they answer questions hurriedly and sometimes wrongly.
6. Skip questions you’ve got no answers to yet
Many students concentrate on one question they’ve got no answer to yet, thereby wasting time in the process. Moving on to the next question instead is a better idea. That way, you answer the questions you know best properly. Then, you have enough time to try and recall the answers to the other questions.
7. Guessing is better than nothing
You may not make any headway even after spending a lot of time trying to figure out the answer to a question. In some cases, your time is almost up. The best thing to do in such situations is to guess. It may sound crude, but it’s better than not answering a question at all. Who knows? You may be lucky.
8. Cross-check all answers after you’re done
Many ignore this crucial step out of either impatience or ignorance. There’s no harm in going over your questions and cross-checking all your answers. It’s to ensure that you answered all or most of the questions correctly. Always cross-check the answers to your questions as long as you have the time to do so.
You might also be interested in WAEC examination preparation tips.