Two years ago (2012) when I wrote my first JAMB examination, I had this feeling that I was going to smash the exam with a high grade like at least 350 over 400 but finally I found myself scoring 192 over 400. But I thanked Almighty Allah for making me among the lucky candidates that saw their results. Some of my colleagues didn’t even see their results and others scored 150 over 400 while others were even below that. So, from experience I will say nine of the reasons why we fail JAMB in this country are:
1: Fear: According to H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” Honestly I was afraid then, the fear of JAMB made me think I was going into a do or die affair. I could also remember that the very day of the examination it took me about 10 minutes before I could even start shading some answers all because of fear of what the outcome of the exam might be. So I believe fear contributed to my failure. So my fellow students be bold, courageous and never think of failure in your JAMB examination. JAMB is just like any normal examination, even if very tricky.
2. JAMB syllabus: It might sound funny but believe me, JAMB follows some syllabus topics in setting their examination questions. My advice here is that you should adhere to JAMB syllabus because that is where their questions are coming from.
3. Power of JAMB past questions: My dear colleagues never neglect the power of past question papers. They reveal some tips and sample questions on what you will be facing in your examination. After the examination that day, some of my friends that wrote theirs about four years ago, told me that about 20 questions each came out from JAMB past questions. I was shocked but no second chance for an amendment.
4. Miracle centre believe it or not: This is an open confession, the fear of failing made me to get some A,B,C,D and E from a lady sitting beside me that very day. She registered in a miracle centre. I am very sure my score would have been better than 192 if I had not copied from that girl. After the examination, she showed me the answer her boyfriend sent to her but to my greatest surprise the English language paper type is A but mine is B. Unfortunately to me I carried my Use of English over, so BE CAREFUL.
5: Invigilators of nowadays: Invigilators in some centres usually frustrate students to pay or there will be no communication inside the examination hall. For instance I can remember that day, an invigilator was said to have asked to be paid N2,500 by each candidate to allow them share and communicate with each other but if you fail to pay automatically you will become No 1 Suspect in the hall. They will try anything possible to make you fail unless God saves you.
6: Late coming: Yes, I will advice you all to be at your centre one hour before the examination starts. Try as much as you can to be the first student at your centre. Coming late to any examination will make you feel that you have lost it all; not only lost but you will be disorganised.
7. Breakfast: Yes, we know that a hungry man is an angry man. Before leaving in the morning please take something; at least one cup of coffee or tea with bread will be nice to hold you. Sometimes, your exam will even start later than planned.
8. Long distance: The possibility of a student living in Nasarawa State (Doma) to meet up with an examination that will start around 9.00am in the FCT, Abuja, is just 40/100 because anything can happen. Some students will tell you that they will meet up but along the line, they will be held up along the way. The question is: What if the car breaks down on the way? (I don’t pray for such). What if you don’t locate your centre before the exam starts? The only possible solution for this is just to be in the state/local/town/village where your centre is located a day before the examination date.
9. JAMB paper type: Many students choose to change their JAMB paper during the examination. This is against the law so beware. But let’s assume your JAMB Use of English paper type is TYPE A while the EXPO you have is B do not copy it because they are of different type. Some students will quickly get EXPO from their colleagues without checking the paper type and they will copy it.
Osabo is a 100 level student of English Education at NSUK.