Definitive Guide: How To Pass The JAMB Once

The Joint Admissions & Matriculation Board(JAMB) Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) is one that scares lots of potential candidates because they have heard stories of people not being able to pass it at first trial and those who had to sit for the exams 6-9 times before passing it.

Well, one thing you should know is that people approach things differently. The method candidate A might have used in approaching the exams might differ from that of candidate B, and this will produce different results at the end. It is easy to excel in your exams in the first trial as long as you follow the rules that have helped students like you ace the JAMB.

Before we discuss the rules required to pass your JAMB examination like a boss, let’s look at the basic things you need to know about the examinations.

Basics Of The JAMB Examination

After paying for your registration form, you will get a CD containing the syllabus and brochure. Purchase the recommended novel with a token amount. The brochure will help you select your course choice along with the University. You have the option of choosing a federal university for your first choice, a state university for the second, a polytechnic for the third, and a college of education for the fourth.

You will need to choose three relevant subjects besides the Use of English (which is compulsory), making it four subjects altogether. If we were to judge from the past JAMB examinations, each subject contains 250 multiple-choice questions (no theory section). A hundred of the questions come from Use of English while the remaining subjects get 50 questions each. So you need to prepare yourself mentally to answer those questions.

The JAMB is a computer-based examination and not handwritten. There will be no question-and-answer sheets as they will display sheets as everything on the computer waiting for you to tick the right answers. If you have never operated a computer in your life, it is necessary to learn how to do so before the exams as no one will help you during that day.

The exam takes about three hours to complete although this time is subject to change by the officials. It’s important to answer all the questions to each of the subjects within that time limit, so you need practice accuracy while preparing.

Now you’ve got the basic information about the exam, let’s move on to the rules.

Rules To Help You Pass Your JAMB Exams Once

Rules apply to everything in life. We are taught to follow the rules right from being toddlers to adulthood. The right rules help in shaping and guiding us through life.

To ace your JAMB exams then you have to be diligent in applying the laid down rules that have helped thousands of students achieve this goal diligently. Once you can identify these rules, stick to them until the exams and they will assure you of not purchasing another Jamb registration form next year. Do you want to know the rules? Read on to find out:

Study The JAMB syllabus

Every exam comes with a syllabus otherwise known as an area of concentration (A.O.C). There is an AOC for WASSCE, JAMB, and even when you gain admission to the University, your lecturers might give you AOCs. Now, the first step to passing your JAMB examination is by getting your hands on the Jamb Syllabus. It serves as a guide when reading your textbooks or solving past questions. Trying to read without a syllabus is like a blind man trying to walk through an unfamiliar road without a guide or stick.

JAMB gives out syllabus because they understand that students cannot possibly read everything in their educational textbooks because it’s voluminous and could easily overwhelm students. And so, they have made things easier by selecting topics they are likely to get questions to set for the exams. You can never go wrong using the syllabus when preparing for the examinations. It guides you to read whatever subjects you must have registered for the exams.

Read The Novel

Make sure you get the recommended novel when you register for the exams. Now, the mistake most students make is that they think the novel is for art students and that’s wrong. The Use of English takes about 15-35 questions from the novel.

Ensure that you read the novel from the beginning to the end noting the names of the characters and the role they played. It doesn’t matter if you are a science or art student, you will all write Use of English and answer the questions from the novel.

Purchase Past Questions Or Use Free Past Questions Resources

While using the syllabus to choose topics for reading, you also need to purchase the past jamb questions or use our free JAMB past questions resources to see the structure and complexity of the questions. You can get them from online or offline vendors. Sometimes, JAMB repeats their past questions so using one may be an advantage for you. Also, while using purchased past questions, do not always rely on the answers printed at the back as they are not always correct.

If you can’t answer any question on your own, take it to your older siblings, friends, study group or even the teachers at school to help you out. But if you take out time to read the subject textbooks and syllabus, you might not even need help from anyone.

Learn The Basics of Using A Computer

JAMB hasn’t looked back since the inception of the Computer-Based Test (CBT). They have always conducted exams using the CBT method, and so, if you hope that they might scrap it out, you had better stop and concentrate your efforts on learning how to use a computer.

How do you learn to use a computer? If you don’t have a personal computer at home, you may need to take frequent trips to the Cyber café to learn how to use one. Although this is an old-school method, it accommodates those that might not have Smartphones to make learning to use a computer easier.

If you have a smartphone, you can watch YouTube videos and read articles online on how to operate a computer. You need to learn how to switch on the computer, log in your details, navigate the mouse to control the cursor on the screen to click on the right questions, and so on.

Another important thing is to make sure you attend the mock exam JAMB will organise to help you get acquainted with using the computer to write the exams if you are a novice.

Don’t fear learning how to use the computer as it is one of the easiest things on earth to do.

If you find anything difficult, call the attention of the Cyber café owner, or go along with a friend familiar with the rudiments of operating a computer. One advantage of using the CBT method in writing JAMB is that you will use it after graduation from University when you write aptitude tests to get jobs. So, it’s better you learn early.

Be disciplined

You will be more likely not to pass the JAMB if you’re not disciplined enough to focus on applying the tips in the next part of this guide.

How to study and pass the JAMB examination once

Now you’ve learned about the basic information and rules; it is time to learn how to study for the exams. If this is your first time writing the exams and you are still in secondary school, then congratulations because your odds of passing the exams with flying colours are high! Why? Because about 90 percent of the questions are from what you are learning in school right now and you can still focus on learning without distractions.

If you’ve been unsuccessful in your first JAMB trial, there is still hope. You have the upper hand now as you understand exam structure which gives you an edge. The only problem you may face is having distractions as we know some students try to engage in other things after leaving secondary school to earn a living.

You need to overcome this by focusing on one thing at a time and studying for your jamb should be the first after which you can create time for others.

How do you study to pass your JAMB examinations? Are there special methods, techniques, or reading styles? Let’s find out:

Regular Focused Study

Notice we did not use the word “read” here but focused study. This is because, focused studying means cutting out all unnecessarily distractions(social media notifications, podcasts, distracting music, etc) and immersing your self in active study. It encompasses active reading and other important things such as understanding, taking detailed notes, memorising facts, making flashcards and doing everything to keep what you have read in your memory.

When reading through your textbooks, ensure you have an exercise book by the side to help in summarising what you have read in your own words.

If you are solving problems, get an exercise book for it rather than using different sheets of paper as this helps in keeping all your thoughts in a place and makes everything organised. Believe it or not, an organised environment makes learning easier.

Concentrate on your strengths

Most students have those subjects they prefer than others although some are lucky to understand all their subjects. If you have subjects you prefer, then study them first. Concentrating on your strength helps you score higher in those subjects which will cover up for your weak areas.

Get Help For Your Weakness

If you have a subject that is your weakness, don’t ignore it because it’s still a 100 mark. Try your best to understand it by studying more and asking people knowledgeable about the subject to help. Ensure you listen with rapt attention while they are teaching and practice what they have taught you alone.

Put In More Hours

Have you been reading for three hours for your JAMB exams? Put in an extra two hours but remember to take breaks so you come back refreshed. You do not have to burn the midnight candle unless you are a night owl, but ensure you are creating out adequate time to study.

You should set a target completing the syllabus before the examination day. But don’t be in a hurry when studying or you won’t be able to keep anything in your memory. The key here is to read early so you can cover your syllabus. Avoid waiting until the exams are a week or two away.

Join A Study Group Or Learning Centre

It all depends on your personality. Do you find it comfortable reading alone, or with other students where you can ask and answer questions? You might find it easier and more beneficial to solve past questions when you do it in a group where everyone weighs in their knowledge. If you don’t have a study group, you can register at a centre mainly for JAMB lesson centre where they teach the core JAMB subjects. Make inquiries about the place before registering so you do not end up paying for a half-baked lesson centre.

Keep Fear At Bay

One thing that precedes failure is fear. Once you can overcome certain fears in your life, victory is always close. You have no reason to get scared of writing JAMB as long as you prepare properly and take the points listed above seriously. Believe and have confidence in yourself and capabilities. Don’t get carried away by rumours you might have heard.

Eat And Rest Properly

Some students make the mistake of starving themselves of food and sleep because they want to read more. But doing this will only result in confusion, weakness, and difficulty in assimilation. Make sure you are eating a well- balanced diet with brain foods such as nuts, egg, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Sleep well so you can wake up with high energy levels to continue reading but this time, with a clearer brain.

Preparing For The JAMB Examination Day

The day of your exam plays another important role in ensuring your success. After registering, you will get a centre where the exam will take place. Locate the place before the exam day so you will know the best route to navigate and get there.

Wake up early on the exam day to memorise everything you have read before preparing to leave for the venue. Ensure that you leave home early so you get to the centre at least 45 minutes before the exam begins so you can settle in properly. Rushing to your venue or arriving late can leave you disoriented and confused which can have a great negative impact on your exams. So you must avoid it.

Listen to every instruction the exam official gives and those on the screen before you answer the questions. Read every question with understanding before answering them. Remember to be accurate but avoid checking your time every minute so you don’t get scared or distracted.

To improve your accuracy, answer the strength subjects before attending to the weak ones but don’t get too overconfident that you forget to read the questions properly.


It is easy to pass the JAMB examinations once when you follow the rules and steps listed above. You also need to find something that will motivate you to take out those books and study or solve mathematical and scientific problems. What is your motivation? Getting a high JAMB score, gaining admission into the university immediately after secondary school? Studying your dream course? Find your motivation and use it to kick-start your journey to success in your exams.

Best wishes.

Subscribe now to get summarised alerts of new posts by email.

Send this to a friend