IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR 2012 JAMB UTME CANDIDATES: Compulsory Novels To Read For The Use of English

Some candidates of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) 2012 will be taken unawares when they sit for the compulsory English Language examination on 24th March, as JAMB has mandated all registered candidates to read two recommended novels for this year’s UTME.
It has been disclosed by JAMB that questions with 25 marks will be drawn from passages in these two novels to test if or not the students had read them. The recommended novels are: The Potter’s Wheel by Chukwuemeka Ike, 265 pages, and The Successor, authored by Jerry Agada which has 246 pages.
The piece of information which was embedded on page 198 of the 2012 syllabus revealed that The Potter’s Wheel has ten questions of 15 marks and The Successors, five questions of 10 marks. Total marks  obtainable if questions from both novels are answered correctly is 25.
However, barely two weeks to the unified examinations, many candidates still claim ignorance of the book saying they were not aware of the innovation that mandated students to read two novels for the examination. Some of the interviewed candidates said that their major concern was not only the stress of reading voluminous novels of over 500 pages, but that not enough awareness was created by JAMB.
Others said the examination body should have added the cost of these novels to the registration fee, adding that the novels are not available for sale in  bookshops. Some candidates who complained that they were not aware of the novels faulted sellers of JAMB forms who denied them access to the syllabus.
Miss Enibukun Ore, a candidate of UTME stated: “I am not afraid of reading the two novels of over 500 pages before the examination, but the timing of the introduction is wrong. JAMB should have informed us since 2011 to prepare our minds for it as the novels in question are not common to majority students.
According to Enibukun who scored 269 in the previous JAMB yet without admission:  “Most of us study a lot of past questions without going through the syllabus of current examination. The novels are scarce, though voluminous, I can read through within one week if available. I am not in any way against the introduction of two novels to be read before examination of this nature, but such recommended novels should be popular and common to  students. Anyway, my minimum target for this JAMB is 270.”
Enibukun who said she just heard about it a day before this interview  through her friend who registered for a coaching class, reiterated that JAMB should have made the novels available and include the cost with JAMB registration fee.
Similarly, Victor Anifowose who incidentally will be writing his first JAMB test said: “I am not aware of this development, all I have been doing is to study past questions. How will JAMB ask questions on these novels since there was no examples of past questions? Will it be asked like that of literature in English?” he asked.
Also, Mr Olu-William Onoja, a 30-year-old man aspiring to read law at the University of Lagos, stumbled on this story while it was being filed in a commercial bus and said: “I am not aware of the development. Is it true? I have not heard about these books, neither have I seen them.
However, I will look for  the books as I aspire to score a minimum of 290. I will inform my friends immediately as time is no longer on our side.” He, however, lamented that JAMB did not create enough awareness, adding that enough awareness should have been created through the mass media.
On her part, Miss Fapohunda Opeyemi who scored 218 in her last JAMB, yet without admission said that she got to know about this development two days ago through her uncle who is a journalist. “The major challenge before me now is how to get the books as they are not in bookshops.”


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