How to pass JAMB examination: JAMB examination is one of the most difficult examinations Nigerian students take every year. Recently, JAMB recorded that about 25,000 students failed the just concluded 2020 UTME examination. Frankly speaking, this is nothing to write about. The worst part of the whole story is that, those 25,000 students who failed the examination scored less than 130 in their results.
It is evident that Nigerian students often prepare better for JAMB examination than every other examination, but even after preparing, they still fail it. What then is the cause of this incessant failure? It seems to me that there are some indispensable guides for passing CBT examinations that students do not know yet.
In this article, I will comprehensively and explicitly discuss everything that is needed for passing JAMB examination in 2020. By mentioning some of the materials needed for passing JAMB, tips necessary for passing JAMB UTME examination, causes of the massive failure in JAMB examination and other secrets guides about JAMB examination, I believe you will do excellently well in the impending JAMB UTME examination (2020/2021).
On this note, if you have been asking the question, “How can I pass JAMB examination” or “what are the secrets for passing JAMB examination”, your questions are answered clearly here.
Below is a short video you should watch if you really want to pass the Impending JAMB examination. Trust me, you will love it.
What you should know about JAMB UTME examination
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is an examination body in Nigeria that was promulgated in Act (No. 2 of 1978) of the Federal Military Government on 13th February, 1978. After its establishment in 1978, the examination board was given the responsibility of conducting UTME examination for candidates seeking to gain admission into tertiary institutions through UTME.
JAMB examination was initially a handwritten examination when it was introduced. However, the examination board started a computer based test (CBT) recently to curb the problem of examination malpractice, which was one of the biggest problems that JAMB was seriously facing at that time.
Today, JAMB UTME is probably the most recognized way for gaining admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria, even though there are still other ways for gaining admission in Nigeria without JAMB. As a matter of fact, JAMB usually have about 3million applicants every year with about 500 examination center nationwide.
It is imperative to also note that JAMB UTME is one of the major examinations that is aimed at assessing the ability of candidate before gaining admission in Nigeria. In light of that, it is wise to conclude that the JAMB UTME is not going to be scrapped out anytime soon. This is actually why students are usually advised to start preparing for JAMB examination immediately they begin their secondary education.
Structure of JAMB examination
Currently, JAMB is a CBT examination (computer based test) and only objective questions are asked during the examination. Candidates will be required to select 4 subjects (also known as subject combination).
40 questions will be asked in all subjects except Use of English, which has 60 questions. In total, candidates will be required to answer 180 questions.
For Use Of English, JAMB usually give out a particular textbook for candidates to study and prepare with. 10 out of the 60 questions will be asked directly from JAMB recommended textbook for the year.
Duration for JAMB examination
In total, candidates will be given 2 hours to answer all the 180 questions given to them. That means, no candidate is expected to spend more than 1 minutes in any JAMB question.
During the examination, candidates can navigate to any part of their questions or, make use of the material like online calculators.
JAMB 2020/2021 grading system
JAMB grading system now depends on the subject in question. Thus, the grading system for Chemistry, Biology, physics etc, are not the same. If you wish to know JAMB grading system for any particular subject, i enjoin you to check JAMB syllabus for that subject. You will find almost everything you need there.
Below is a clear example of JAMB grading system for Use of English in 2020:
SECTION A: Comprehension/Summary
(a) 2 comprehension passages – 10 questions, 3 marks each = 30 marks
(b) I cloze passage – 10 questions, 2 marks each = 20 marks
(c) 1 reading text – 15 questions, 1 mark each = 15 marks = 65 marks
SECTION B: Lexis Structure
(a) Sentence interpretation – 10 questions 2 marks each = 20 marks
(b) Antonyms – 10 questions, 2 marks each = 20 marks
(c) Synonyms – 10 questions, 1 mark each = 10 marks
(d) Sentence completion – 20 questions, 1 mark each = 20 marks = 70 marks
SECTION C: Oral Forms
15 questions, 1 mark each = 15 marks
Total: 100 questions 65 + 70 + 15 = 150 marks
Also read: JAMB syllabus for Agriculture 2020
Material needed to prepare for JAMB examination
Below are the materials you will need to prepare and pass JAMB examination:
1. JAMB 2020 syllabus:
JAMB syllabus is a book that contains all the topics and subtopics of every topic JAMB will be extracting their questions. This book always expires after every 4years; after which JAMB will release another one. The latest JAMB syllabus was released in 2016. Thus, it is most probable that JAMB will release another one this 2020.
Though some educationalists contend that there is no need to read JAMB syllabus since they ask virtually everything taught in Nigerian secondary schools. I personally recommend that students should read their syllabus very well before preparing for JAMB examination.
The reason is because, JAMB often change the texts used for asking question every 4years. For instance, in 2015 JAMB asked questions from the book “Animal farm”. However, since 2016 till 2019, JAMB has not asked any question from that text again.
So you see, going through your JAMB syllabus for the year. It will be so bad that after preparing for JAMB, you find out that you have been studying the wrong textbooks.
2. JAMB recommended textbooks on all you four subjects:
JAMB recommended textbooks are also very important. If you must pass JAMB examination, you must study the recommended textbooks given by JAMB.
Now the question is, “how will you know the textbooks recommended by JAMB?” JAMB recommended textbooks after every topic in her syllabus. So you cannot get JAMB recommended textbooks if you do not have JAMB syllabus.
3. Official JAMB 2020 brochure:
Do you know that many students fail JAMB examination not because they did not prepare for the examination, but because they did not choose the right course for their course?
Yes! It happens. I have seen a student who applied for medicine in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), but added economics as part of his subject combination in JAMB examination. Obviously that student is going nowhere. This is why I always recommend all my students to go though the official JAMB brochure before registering for JAMB.
More so, JAMB brochure always states some things that candidates are expected of in JAMB examination. That is where you will need it to prepare for your examination.
The importance of this material cannot be overemphasized. Trust me; you really need your JAMB 2020 brochure to pass JAMB examination very well.
4. JAMB recent past questions and answers:
There is no gainsaying that JAMB past questions and answers are the key to passing JMAB examination. If you can practice all the previous questions asked by JAMB, there is no reason why you won’t score above 250.
The truth is that, JAMB repeats questions (even though they change the structure of the questions sometimes). In facts, in 2016 it was recorded that JAMB asked questions picked expressly from the previous year (2015). That year’s examination was a walk-over for students who studied their JAMB past questions and answers.
I am not saying that in 2020; JAMB will ask question picked word-to-word from their questions in 2019. I just want you to know that JAMB no longer manufactures questions. What they do now, is to ask you questions from the once they have asked the past years.
So it will really help if you read and study your JAMB past questions very well. Nevertheless, make sure you read them very along with your textbooks, syllabus and other materials. All these will contribute to your chance of success in the impending JAMB examination
5. A JAMB CBT application:
Another important tool that is very essential for passing JAMB examination today is “a CBT application”. These days, there are thousands of CBT applications that can help you to prepare assiduously for JAMB exam.
Frankly speaking, when I wrote JAMB examination in 2017, I did not make use of any CBT application. But one of the problems I had in the exam was time. I was unable to manage my time very well so I did not pass excellently.
This is basically the reason why I recommend JAMB CBT application for every JAMBITE. It you really want to pass JAMB examination, you must practice with a CBT app. You may not understand how helpful it is now; but I with time, you will be able to attest to the fact JAMB CBT apps are indispensible.
Must read: Awesome tips to make you a smart student
6. A notebook or jotter:
Yes, you also need a jotter to pass JAMB examination. Apparently, JAMB examination is a CBT examination; and by this, you are supposed to know that the way questions are asked in a CBT examination is quite different from the way questions are asked in a normal theory examination. In most cases where students are given CBT examinations to write, questions normally comes from Key points between the lines of the textbook.
Now! That is actually why you need a notebook or a jotter when preparing for your examination. If you find any significant key point when reading, all you have to do is to jot it down in your notebook or jotter. That will save you if by chance, you forget the point.
How to pass JAMB Examination
Below are the guides to pass JAMB examination:
- Overcome your fear for JAMB
- Study relentlessly
- Do not cram questions
- Study smartly
- Always test yourself
- Be pessimistic
- Seek advice from experienced once
- Learn time management
- Demise the notion of examination malpractice
- Be focused and avoid distractions
Above are the essential tips you need to prepare and pass JAMB 2020/2021 examination. As we continue, I will discuss each of the points above extensively. I therefore enjoin you to painstakingly read each of the points I will be explaining below.
1. Overcome your fear for JAMB
Over the years, fear has been one of the reasons why many students fail JAMB examination. The fear and tension that always come to the minds of candidates when JAMB examination draws close is too much.
However, I must let you know that you cannot pass JAMB examination with fear. In fact, you cannot possibly pass any examination with fear. If you want to pass JAMB, you must have confidence in yourself. Well the truth is that, confidence is not going to come from thin air.
How then is it possible to overcome fear? The answer is simply “reading”. What will give you the courage and confidence to withstand fear during JAMB examination is how hard you have read for the examination.
This is evidently true. It is only when you have read very well, that you will be able to tell yourself “I can do it, I have no reason to fear.” Well, apart from reading, other tips explained below can actually help you to overcome fear for JAMB examination.
As we continue you will find out those tips that can also help you to overcome fear during JAMB examination.
2. Study relentlessly
No doubt, reading is king. It is the only key for passing JAMB the right way. It is also the most difficult part of this article to put into practice.
Yes! Nowadays students find it difficult to read but still want to pass their examination without any problem. You cannot pass JAMB examination if you do not study.
In the same light, you cannot pass excellently if you do not study relentlessly. The way you study for the examination will determine your score eventually, so you have to study relentlessly.
Frankly speaking, it is probably impossible to be 100% prepared before JAMB examination. However, if you study relentlessly, you will get to a point where you can confidently tell yourself that you have done justice to all that is required.
What I am saying in essence is that, you really need to study if you want to pass JAMB examination. JAMB is not easy. It is not easy because the syllabus for all the subjects in JAMB is always voluminous. Thus, a relentless reading is the only way to cover what is required.
3. Do not cram questions
One of the mistakes I did during my time (2017) was to cram questions I saw in JAMB questions and answers. This is very wrong if you are doing. The truth remains that, JAMB always repeat questions, yes! But they may not repeat those questions word-to-word.
So, in as much as you are preparing by reading your JAMB past questions and answers, must understand those questions. In fact, you must know the topic that question borders on and study it very well because you may not see something exactly the same with what you saw in JAMB past questions and answers.
Students often make this mistake and that is why I decided to share this tip here. Trust me; if you are able to do this, them be rest assured of any score above 270 in the impending JAMB examination.
4. Study smartly
If you really want to pass JAMB examination, you must study smartly. Yes! JAMB is not a child’s play so you must work smartly. Gone are those days when students work hard to pass JAMB examination.
Nowadays, if you want to pass JAMB examination, you need to study smartly and not hard. The reason is because, JAMB unlike before, is a CBT exam. You will agree with me that the ways used for preparing and passing CBT exams is quite different from any other examination.
For JAMB, candidates must study with clear sight. I mean, taking cognizance of all the key-points in their textbooks and materials. JAMB is not going to ask anybody to define anything. They pick their questions from the line of their recommended texts.
So you see, reading the whole of your Government, Chemistry or mathematics textbooks does not necessarily mean that you will pass JAMB examination. You are expected to work smartly and not hard.
5. Always test yourself
If you search on Google now, you will find thousands of online free CBT websites and app that can help you prepare and pass JAMB examination. In my view, no student should take JAMB examination without practicing at least 20times with a good JAMB CBT app.
JAMB CBT apps are very important because they tend to put candidates in the exact exam condition they will be when writing JAMB examination. For instance, with a good CBT app you can fix the time you want to use for your questions. By doing this, you are inversely learning how to manage your time very well.
Accordingly, one of the best ways to overcome fear for JAMB examination is by testing yourself. It will make you feel strong. The truth is that, you cannot possibly do very well in the impending JAMB examination is you do not test yourself. Whether you use and app or not is immaterial.
6. Be pessimistic
Even though you have to read hard and take your exams very serious, being pessimistic will also help. It will help you to reduce fear and tension during JAMB examination. The truth is that, JAMB examination is very difficult because of its voluminous syllabus.
Nevertheless, that does not also mean you should think negative about your success. Even the bible says that “as a man thinks it, so shall it be unto him.” Thus, you mindset about JAMB examination will also contribute to your success or failure in JAMB examination.
To be pessimistic means to have a positive notion about something or someone. It helps a lot. Even when people tell you that it is impossible to pass JAMB with 300 and above, you can beat that score if you are determined and pessimistic. No doubt, it you want to pass JAMB examination, you have to start thinking positively about the examination.
7. Seek advice from experienced once
Experience they say is the best teacher. Due to the fact that it has been long since I wrote JAMB examination, I may not be able to tell you the ups and downs in the examination. That is expertly why you need the help of other students who recently wrote the examination and passed very well. Don’t be too timid to ask for the advice of other no matter how intelligent you are because, you are definitely going to learn something from them.
When they eventually tell you how the examination was in their time, you are supposed to pick some of the key things they said, mistakes they made and sure you don’t make that mistake during your time. This way, you will pass JAMB examination excellently.
8. Learn time management
Time management is one of the places students often get it wrong. Since 2016 till date, a large number of students often complain to that they were not given enough time to answer their questions after their exam.
This is why I must mention it here. In my view, it is very difficult if not impossible to pass JAMB examination without proper time management skill. You must learn to manage you time. You must learn to work with time even in an examination condition. A good way to learn this is by practicing with JAMB CBT Apps online and offline. They will help to put you in examination condition.
According, I advise you to plan the subject you want to answer first, second, third and last before going to the examination center. In doing that, make sure you answer easy subjects first before going to the difficult once.
More so, if you come across any question you do not understand, kindly skip it so that you will not waste too much time on it. All these tips will help you to save time during your examination.
9. Demise the notion of examination malpractice
In Nigeria, you seldom see a student that really wants to pass WAEC examination without engaging examination malpractice. In fact, most students believe it is absolutely impossible to pass WAEC examination without engaging in malpractice, but these are all fallacies.
Some time ago, I had this student who called me from Ghana, asking for expo from me. I quickly rebuked her, asking her to go and start reading her books. And to my greatest surprise, her reply was that; it is impossible to pass WAEC examination without examination malpractice. At that juncture, i saw one of the reasons why many student fail WAEC examination.
You can never be sure of passing WAEC examination in just one sitting by engaging in examination malpractice, because you can be caught while doing it.
And if unfortunately you are caught engaging in examination malpractice, then your chance of success in the examination has been jeopardised. So, I advise you don’t just rely on malpractice, but rely on what you read before entering your exam hall. That is the only sure success tool you have.
10. Be focused and avoid distractions
Distractions will come definitely. But you must be ready to avoid them and continue preparing. During my time, I stopped my friends from coming to my house for 5 months because I was so bent on passing the examination. I am not saying that you should leave your friends; but if they will stop you from reading, you must avoid them until you have passed your examination.
JAMB examination is just once every year. If you can stay focused for just one year, you will never write the examination in your entire life again. So I advise you to focus on your studies from today. Avoid anything that mitigates your reading habit. This way, you will score 300 and above in the impending JAMB examination
Passing JAMB examination is not an easy task. In fact, it takes only the grace of God for anyone to pass that examination. Nonetheless, I believe that the explanation given above will go a long way to help you pass the examination.
For now, those are the most essential things you must do to pass. However, from time to time I will update this article will more interesting tips. Hope this answers the question “how can one pass JAMB examination”.
You may also want to read:
Bonus Tips for Smashing JAMB Questions
While it is very important that you follow the tips highlighted above for pass JAMB 2020/2021 examination, here are some of the little secrets that will help you to pass JAMB examination:
Come to your exam center very early:
Do not make the mistake of coming late to your examination center on time. If you do that, you are putting your success at risk. Coming early to your examination hall can help you to overcome fair and tension during examination. This is one of the secrets tips used by students to keep themselves calm before their examination.
Pray before you start:
Apparently, you cannot do without God. Many a time, students fail JAMB examination not because they didn’t prepare for the examination but because they didn’t have God on their side. I advise you not to take this point very trivial. The God factor is also very essential if you must pass JAMB this year. Make sure you pray before your examination. Ask God to come and take absolute control.
Always read instructions
If you are one of those that don’t pay attention to instructions before answering questions, you are doing yourself no good. Failing to read instructions is also one of the reasons why students fail JAMB examination too.
How is it possible to a test when you are doing something opposite from what you were asked to do? You cannot pass JAMB if you do not read instructions. Even before you start you examination, make sure that you have been instructed to do so. This is also very important if you want to pass very well in the impending JAMB examination.
In conclusion, I must tell you to take the points in this article very serious. I have done my best to make sure that you are equipped with everything you need to pass JAMB 2020/2021 examination. It is left for you to use this article as a working guide. Trust me; you will pass JAMB 2020/2021 examination excellently.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ChMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.