Tips to Pass JAMB exams and Using JAMB Past Questions

Writing Jamb Exams? Here are some useful tips. The Joint Matriculation Examination Board exams is one of the most widely taken exams in Nigeria. It has even become more important with the recent scrapping of Post UTME examinations of tertiary institutions. This new development by the Federal Government has given overwhelming importance to not just passing, but scoring high in JAMB examinations, as it would stand as the major criteria for your selection by the school of your choice.

Following the introduction of Computer Based Tests (CBT) in JAMB examinations, many aspiring students have had to adapt to the e-climate, and are filled with differing opinions concerning the tests, albeit the fact that JAMB gave room for candidates who still prefer the OMR examinations.

For many years, the acronym ‘JAMB’ has been revered by fresh secondary school graduates and their more experienced colleagues alike. This is basically because of the dicey nature of JAMB questions and the numerous myths surrounding how JAMB examinations are marked. ”Oh! They do negative marking” ”They do upside down marking” ”If you don’t know a question, don’t even attempt it because they will minus one from the ones you got”, and other such tales that put so many butterflies in the tummies of candidates before the exams and after the exams before results are out.

The truth is that you can actually write JAMB exams and be confident about passing. These tips have been carefully picked and discussed.

Part 1. Past Questions:

This is number 1 on my list because it is the most essential part of passing these kind of exams. Past questions give you an idea of how questions in that subject look like. With past questions, you can guide your reading and instinctively know what kinds of details to watch out for while reading. There are two ways to make use of past questions and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. The first style is to answer all the questions on a separate sheet, and later score yourself by checking the answers. The second method involves checking the answer to each question before you move on to the next.

The first method is good because of the following:
1. It provides the opportunity to put yourself under examination conditions.
2. You can measure how much time you spent attempting the questions.
3. It enables you rack your brain for answers before you move to the next question. Whereas in the other method, when you get tired of brainstorming, you can easily check the answer. Hence, you might not use your brain at full potential.

The second method, on the other hand, has these advantages:
1. It saves a lot of time.
2. It is good for further reading. When you see a question that you are not familiar with, you can check the answer and quickly read up on that topic.

How do you use these two methods efficiently? I will be discussing this as we progress.

-Early Light Preparations

‘JAMB’ as it is popularly called, is not a ‘choice’ exam. It is only in rare cases that you would not have to write JAMB while attempting to further your education in Nigeria. Hence, even while you are in SS2, you should already be preparing for JAMB. This basically starts by beginning to take your studies more seriously from your SS2 Class. While you should do as much as possible to pass your current term examinations, you should read up on other topics every once in a while. Try revising SS1 topics and taking a peek at SS3 topics at your spare time. This way, you won’t forget too much of what you’ve learnt previously, and you would have an idea of what you are expecting in the future.

– Concentrate on your field!
Yes, it is good to read a whole lot of things for fun… But please make sure that what you are reading most times has significance to your field. Senior Secondary School education is primarily divided into Arts, Commercials and Science. If you are in the commercial line, and you have mad craze for science, then you should make sure that what you are reading most times has significance to your field. Senior Secondary School education is primarily divided into Arts, Commercials and Science. If you are in the commercial line, and you have mad craze for science, then you should make sure that your science interests do not significantly affect your commercial dream. You can’t serve two masters at a time. So, try not to spend too much time with that physics or chemistry textbook while your are not done with your Accounts textbooks. Concentrate on your field.

– Early Heavy Preparations

At this stage, I am assuming that you are already in at least SS3 or already out of school. You must start serious preparations early. Serious preparations here involves getting your JAMB past questions and at least one good textbook on each subject. These days, you have the internet, so things are pretty much easier. You should also have a copy of the syllabus that you are expected to cover. This will help to guide your reading because not every topic in your textbooks should be read. Also, as part of your preparations, you should make a reading time table. Make sure it is convenient and not stressful. You can have just one subject a day on weekdays and two on weekends. It is always good to have a time-table. A timetable ensures that you touch all the subjects. Without one, you might only read subjects that you like.
Equally, ensure that you give yourself sufficient rest.

While preparing for JAMB examinations, even if someone has assured you that the exams are covered with some sort of ‘runs’, ensure that you still prepare very well. Please and please, this is vital.

Part 2. How to Use JAMB Past Questions.

Part 1 introduced you to past questions and the methods by which you can use them. Here, I am going to explain when to use each method.

The first method, like I said earlier, involves answering the questions on a separate sheet and later scoring yourself using the answers provided, whether at the back of the material or checking them in a textbook or a note. This method should be used at the early stage of your preparation. This method helps you see how you would fare if you were to take the exams there and then. You set the exam conditions for yourself, and maybe even use a timer.

As the days progress, you would notice that your average score will begin to increase. Just do your normal daily reading, and when it is time to use past questions, use this method. Then when you check the answers, ensure you observe those ones that you failed. However, do not.. I repeat, do not go back to your textbooks to start reading the topics that you failed. Save this for the second method. The only time you should go to your textbooks is when you strongly disagree with the answer provided in the material.

The Second Method involves checking the answer after each question. In this method, you should observe the topics and questions that you failed and try to go over the topic again.

This method should be used when the exam is close. At this stage, you are expected to have covered the syllabus to a point that you are comfortable with. Hence, you are only going back to the textbooks to refresh on the topic.

If you follow these two methods you should not have much problems with your exams.

Part 3 – Taking Down Notes.

I seriously go against taking down notes while preparing for JAMB exams. This is because JAMB exams are objectives, not theory. You should only take down very little notes during your preparations, as note taking can be a waste of time in objective examinations. Take down only few notes while preparing. Notes help people remember key points when the study area is wide. Yes, the study area here is wide too but you should read like you are reading a novel, not like you are preparing for a WAEC exam. You do not need key points here. If you watch a series or read a novel, and you are asked for the name of a character, or the city he resided in, won’t you remember? Those are objectives. That’s why you should read like you’re reading a novel. Naturally soak in all these key information without even knowing that you are soaking them in. It helps. You have options in objectives, so once you see an option that’s the correct answer, something ticks in your head. That’s the way objective questions work.

Part 4 – On Exam Day

This is where your preparations yield their fruits. The D-day. Calm your nerves and make sure you do not get caught with anything that can put you in trouble. Conduct yourself very well and ensure that someone else does not get you into problems. If you are doing the computer-based exams, then there is going to be a timer. Whenever you are not sure of the answer to a question, please and please, just tick the best option that comes into your head and move on to the next question. When you are done, then you can go back one after the other, and trust me, you will remember those questions that you jumped. Then you can brainstorm… Not when you are not done. Also, remember to never jump a question without ticking an answer. If you have NO IDEA about the question, then pick either option B or C. Never pick A.

Good luck in your exams!

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