JAMB scores can often be a source of disappointment for candidates each year. Even when candidates perform well or above average compared to previous years, some may still be negatively affected. Once results were released, I received numerous questions about JAMB scores on my blog, including concerns such as whether a low score would prevent admission or if scores could be upgraded.
If I score 120, can I gain admission? My school cut-off mark is 180 but I got 179, what can I do? Will JAMB reduce the cut-off mark this year because I scored low? Can I upgrade my JAMB score to have above 250 or more?
In this post, I aim to alleviate these concerns and provide guidance to those who received a lower JAMB score but still aspire to gain admission. With years of experience in the field, I will outline the necessary steps to take now that the results are out, prior to the start of the admission process.
So, if you received a low UTME score, there are still options available to you. Please read on for the recommended steps to take to secure admission.
1. Don’t Panic About the Lower JAMB Score
Don’t be alarmed by a low JAMB score. Despite the obvious concern, many students can still gain admission with lower scores if they follow some advice.
So, how can this be achieved? I will reveal the answer shortly.
Scoring high in JAMB is essential, but it’s not a guarantee for admission. Surprisingly, some students with scores above 250 couldn’t secure admission, while others with scores of 150 or less gained admission into their desired schools.
For reference, in the 2020 admission for example, out of the 4,948 applicants who scored 300 and above, only 3,492 gained admission into higher institutions, leaving out a total of 1,456 applicants stranded.
In the same year, about 52,323 candidates scored between 250 and 299 in the same examination, out of which 22,580 candidates were also not admitted.
In the same vein, some 193,661 candidates out of 347,469 who scored between 200 and 249 were not offered admission.
You will see that before you leave this page.
This misfortune repeats itself every year because of some factors such as:
- applicants’ rigidity about a specific course i.e. when a candidate who wants a particular course refuses to settle for anything else;
- wrong O’level subject combination;
- low post-UTME screening score;
- UTME-combination deficiency,
- duplication of application,
- absence from post-UTME screening,
- mismatch of catchment institutions,
- and non-acceptance of the offer.
- failure to upload their O’level with five credits in the required subjects.
To this end, if you can do all the above right, even with your lower score, you’ll be on campus when your friends and enemies, who scored higher, may remain home till next year.
2. Do the Change of Institutions/Courses But Don’t Rush at That
To reduce stress after receiving a low score on the JAMB exam, consider using the JAMB change of institution and/or courses option. This allows you to apply to schools that accept lower scores rather than those with higher score requirements. However, it is important to note that a lower score requirement does not make a course or institution inferior. In fact, a less competitive course may be a better fit for your career goals and academic pursuits.
When deciding whether to make changes, it is important to wait and see how things develop after the release of UTME results. Most schools will not begin admission immediately, so take the time to research their post UTME/screening requirements from the previous year to see what they accepted. This can help you decide whether to change institutions, courses, or both.
It is important to note that changing institutions or courses is a continual exercise throughout the admission year, which does not end until another JAMB form is released. Therefore, it is not necessary to rush into making changes. Taking the time to make an informed decision can save you money in the long run, as you may not need to make multiple changes before the admission year ends.
3. Consider Schools Accepting Lower Scores
If you received a lower score than expected on the UTME exam, you may consider changing to institutions that accept lower scores. However, it is important not to rely solely on the advice of family and friends. Wait for the institutions to announce the sale of their admission forms and research their previous year’s cut-off marks before making a decision.
Lower scores are better suited for polytechnics and colleges of education, as they tend to have less competition than universities. If your score falls between 100 to 179, consider changing to a polytechnic or college of education and focusing your efforts on that institution. For more information on institutions that accept these scores, see “21+ Schools that Accept 100+ for Admissions.”
4. Consider Admissions Without JAMB UTME
Lucky you, if you don’t want to use JAMB UTME to gain admission. Yes, you can gain admission without JAMB.
There are universities offering admissions for degree programmes without UTME/DE, so also a few polytechnics won’t need JAMB UTME for their ND programmes.
Among such programmes are distant learning, regular part-time, and daily or direct part-time.
Luckily, you can cross to HND full-time after completing your ND part-time or daily part-time. This will help you to serve at NYSC.
You can also run a university daily part-time programme such as for the Federal University of Oye Ekiti which also promises NYSC.
A few distance learning programme such as that of the University of Ibadan (UIDLC), and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAUDLC) also assures you of serving at NYSC if you’re within the 30 years of age on graduation and/or mobilization.
Other ways to gain admission if you don’t care for the JAMB score this year include:
- schools of nursing that are not asking for JAMB
- pre-degree programmes which will only need next year’s JAMB to be at 100 level, by next year
- A’level programmes such as UI Cambridge, and other schools IJMB, JUPEB, etc will help you skip JAMB next year and cross to the 200 level with Direct entry admission
- National Open University except that of now is yet to be going for NYSC.
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