How to Score High in Post-UTME

Things to do in order to score high in Post-UTME and get admitted into any of the tertiary institutions in Nigeria with ease.

Firstly, what is post-UTME? Post-UTME stands for Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. It is a test or a form of screening activity done by higher institutions of learning in Nigeria. They carry out this screening on students who apply to study one programme or another in these schools before admitting or dropping any one of them as the case may be depending on the individual's performance in/during the screening test. 

Why post-UTME? Some have queried the rationale behind the conduct of post-UTME in various institutions of learning. The answers to this question are simple and cogent. The federal government of Nigeria introduced this examination as a measure to counter the underhand tactics inherent or usually seen in the conduct of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). It is one thing to sit for the JAMB examination; it is a different kettle of fish to go through post-UTME. One may pass JAMB but may not do so post-UTME. The latter makes it possible to have qualified students to get admitted into tertiary institutions on their own merits having performed brilliantly in both examinations.

Another reason for the post-UTME is the peculiarity of higher institutions. To study in one particular university, polytechnic or college of education, you have to know what difference it has compared to others, and you have to accept to live up to the tenets and regulations guiding the said institution. It is through this screening exercise that an applicant or prospective student can know and accept or decline to pursue his or her educational pursuit in any of these schools. The two reasons are why tertiary institutions in Nigeria carry out screening exercises on students.

Moving on, how can an applicant excel in post-UTME?

There are several factors that can make or mar a student in post-UTME: psychological, physiological and environmental factors. It depends on how you choose to go about these factors and how much information is at your disposal.

I would like to start this segment by reiterating what has come to be an everyday phrase in our daily lives, "one can't give what he or she doesn't have". To pass any examination, you have to be knowledgeable, especially in the field of study you've chosen. This is rudimentary. You build something on something; you don't build something on nothing.

In addition, a student wishing to score high in post-UTME has to prepare for the examination very well. You have to study smartly. By studying smartly, you should not crowd yourself with a lot of materials as too much volume of reading materials may either distract you or take up all your time with little or nothing gained. Be specific during your preparation and go straight to the questions that are likely to come out. You can identify likely questions by being up to date with the current curriculum, current societal trends in technology, health, economy, politics etc. It is also not out of place to consult past questions and practice them depending on your area of study or discipline. Preparedness is a veritable key or tool to employ in scoring high in post-UTME. The better prepared you are, the better your chances of excelling. It is life's general rule, essentially.

Building self-confidence is another way to score high in post-UTME. As a student, you must try as much as possible to strike a balance between lack of confidence and overconfidence. Either of the two is no good. Therefore, make serious and intentional efforts to bridge the gap between lack of self-belief and overconfidence. The result would ultimately bring you self-confidence which is another important piece in going into examination such as the post-UTME. I must add, however, that as a student, your zeal and willingness to read and prepare for examinations can help greatly in not only building your confidence but in sustaining the same as well.

Furthermore, leverage your JAMB score while going for this screening test. How do you do that? It is a common practice for post-UTME to come after the release of JAMB scores. Whatever your JAMB score may be, either low or high, leverage it. Let your score serve as a motivation for you to get into a tertiary institution. If your score is high, you have an opportunity to maintain it and prove to everyone, especially the higher institution you are going to sit for post-UTME that your JAMB score isn't a fluke. You can only do so by maintaining your performance in the screening test. In the event your JAMB score is not that encouraging, you can as well turn it into a motivational tool by putting in extra shifts in your preparedness and doing better in the post-UTME score. Whatever the case may be, do not fail to see your JAMB score as a stepping tool, wing it in any direction that will fetch you admission into any school/discipline of your choice.

As a student going for post-UTME, you have to know the format the school of your choice do adopt in their post-UTME. As I mentioned earlier, there are peculiarities in these higher institutions. There are those who make their post-UTME a 100-question exam to be answered in an hour or an hour and a half. Some adopt a 30-question to be answered in 25 minutes. We also have schools with 50 questions meant to be answered in an hour or 45 minutes, etc. So, it is instructive to know the format beforehand to be able to prepare well so as to score high in post-UTME.

Watch what you eat a day or two prior to your exam day. You have to know your body system well and take the things that won't upset your stomach just before or during your exam. You have to be healthy and in top body shape to be able to write your exam and to write very well. An upset in the stomach or any part of your body before stepping into the exam venue or during the screening proper has the possibility of taking you off balance and causing you to perform poorly or miss the exam outrightly. 

Moving on, a candidate of any post-UTME should know the date of his or her exam, know the venue, and be on the ground a day or two before the exam to familiarize and acclimatize with the new environment. It is important to have a good feel of the environment you are to sit for such an exam before the commencement of the exercise. Doing so would in one way or the other prove to be helpful in guiding you as you write your exam by boosting your morale and confidence. When confidence is boosted in this manner, the chances are that you'd score high in post-UTME with all things being equal. 

In the final analysis as a way of summary, scoring high in post-UTME can be a tea party affair should you know what you are doing and put in the effort towards actualizing your goal. One must try to avoid any situation capable of inducing anxiety and tension prior to the exercise. That's why familiarizing and acclimatizing with the environment should be factored in greatly, not forgetting being at the venue ahead of the scheduled time on the exam day.

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