The dream of every candidate preparing for UTME is to pass the examination. Of course, no man wakes up in the morning, sneezes, and says to himself, it will never be well with me “. Never!
The truth however is that not all the candidates who claim to be preparing for the UTME will pass the exam at the end of the day.
The “honey” of this world is for those who have the courage to confront the bees.
There is always a battle at every gate leading to the next level of life. Therefore, those who desire to win this battle and navigate the storms of life must first seek divine help. Besides, any wise person who is determined to excel in life against all odds does not wait to be persuaded, cajoled, or compelled to do what is required of him in order to achieve his dream and be able to sustain it.
Funnily enough, we live in a generation where students believe they can achieve success in exams even without adequate preparation. I make bold to say that any candidate who still believes he can enter “Academic Heaven” through the window should have his head examined. Without mincing words, it is forlorn hope and indeed the height of self-deception for one to think that one can take a sudden flight to success.
From the foregoing, it is clear that if you seek to excel in UTME, you must take certain steps:
(1). You must attend a tutorial center where you can be guided by competent and dedicated teachers: The UTME is a highly “technical” exam. Therefore, you need someone to guide you. You must not patronize tutorial centers where exam malpractice is a norm.
(2) Make reading a habit: I strongly recommend that you read 2 subjects for not less than 3 hours every night (1½ hours per subject).
(3) Buy at least one good textbook for each of the UTME subjects: Relying on your lecture notes alone is like signing a pace with failure because JAMB will never consult your teachers or your lecture notes to find out how much you have covered before the exam. Thousands of students are in “final year” in tutorial centers today because of this singular reason. Be warned!
(4) Buy paste Questions and Answers for the 4 UTME subjects: As you must have known, that JAMB repeats (recycles) its past questions every five, ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years as the case may be. JAMB sometimes repeats WAEC questions and vice-versa. The said repetition or recycling of questions is done in three main ways:
(a) Copy and Paste method: Here, the JAMB lifts past questions, word for word (verbatim) @Use of English e.g. UTME 1991 Q81was repeated in UTME 2011 Q76. UTME 1999 Q60(70) was repeated in SSCE 2004 Q57. SSCE 2014 Q63 was repeated in SSCE 2019 Q60.
(b) By changing the name(s) or keyword(s) used in previous questions e.g. UTME 1993 Q94 was repeated in UTME 2004 Q4 while UTME 1994 Q61 was repeated in UTME 2004 Q32.
(c) By bringing back the concept in previous questions: This is no doubt the most pronounced method of recycling questions, usually adopted by JAMB. Here, old questions are simply given new clothes or garment but the idea (concept) remains unchanged. For example, the idea in UTME 1991 Q81 was the same in 2011 Q76, while 1993 Q81 was the same in 2008 Q67. The concept in UTME 2004 Q3 was brought back in UTME 2014 Q4 & 9, while the concept in UTME 2011 Q89 was repeated in UTME 2015 Q97. Similarly, the concept in UTME 1992 Q60 was the same in UTME 2005 Q88 or Q85. Again, the concept is the same UTME 1978 Q60, 1988 Q100, 1989 Q94, 1992 Q59, 1997 Q83, GCE 2003 Q59, SSCE 2004 Q44, etc are the same.
N.B. all the cross-references were obtained in Use of English.
(4) Success in UTME can be assured when your desire and commitment to succeed extends beyond academic limitations: This explicitly posits the need for versatility and comprehensiveness during one’s preparation, I.e. the student need not limit his question banks to just the UTME past questions. Besides, a good number of past questions have been proven to increase the technical & reasoning ability of UTME candidates. Such past questions include; POSTUTME, NDA, WAEC, NECO & NABTEB. Wide coverage and retention of all these past questions make it easier for the candidates to be acquainted or familiar with each and every manner of question. Care must surely be taken into consideration because of the errors suspected to be numerous in these past questions, hence, we suggest diligence in searching up an answer in the recommended textbooks. Also, your wise understanding of these questions will expose you to the pattern, demands & content of the UTME you are preparing for & draws your attention to recent structural changes in the pattern of questions.
(5) Multiple CBT tests or Mock will: This will boost the candidate’s confidence and alleviate the sudden fears or tension that may have been built because of past failures. However, many students avoid sitting for regular tests or mock exams because they are afraid that their weak points will be revealed.
I strongly advise that candidates preparing for the UTME should as a matter of utmost importance, sit for an appreciable number of mock exams (preferably a maximum of 10).
We won’t forget the help offered to students by educational apps in random CBT tests whether offline or online, thus we recommend these apps to students (jamb prep & my school app).
2018 UTME best student was interviewed on the secrets that enabled him to achieve such a great feat. He revealed that his ability was because of the familiarity of the questions, which he describes as nonstressful to deal with, having come across those questions a number of times.
He attributed this firm familiarity to his active participation in many quiz competitions, scholarship exams & his schools’ exams.
We can discover how great feats we can attain by imbibing some uncommon principles that have been validated by experience. Don’t forget that you can fail big in multiple exams, and smash excellently in the final UTME.
(6) Lastly, candidates need to be discreet and wise during preparation to avoid studying amiss:We, therefore, suggest strongly on the use of the JAMB syllabus which will sharpen the candidate’s focus and prevent studying topics or with textbooks that are not UTME conscious or centralized.
Worthy of note; “the pains of burning the midnight oil are nothing compared with the joy of wearing the matriculation gowns. Certainly, the bitter pill of failure awaits those who choose to sleep while others are toiling”
- What Will Make You Fail This Year’s POST UTME
- How to read boring textbooks & recall everything that you have read.