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My UTME Experience

I decided to share this experience of mine because I know it will help a great number of people, especially those who’re yet to sit for JAMB exam.

I’m Godswill by name and this is my story. On Friday February 19th I re-printed my Jamb slip and hated myself when I saw a notification that stated that my exam date was 27th of February. I couldn’t believe I had just 7 days to conclude my preparation and be in the hall or be marked absent. When I got home that evening from the cyber café, my dad who is a pastor in a well known church in Nigeria asked why my countenance was the way it was. I told him that the devil and his agents have conspired to make me fail Jamb. After a brief discussion, my ebullient father found out that my anger was that I had been drafted to be among the first set of candidates to begin this year’s JAMB. He smiled and told me not to feel bad about it. In his words he said, ‘My son, be careful and don’t let the devil put fear in you; that’s his method.” My dad spoke about the devil___ Ekwensu as if he was just a next door neighbour. He ended his ‘sermon’ by saying, “Someone has got to be the first, son. If you ask me, I’ll say it’s the will of God. I named you Godswill for a reason.”

One thing about my dad is that he has a way of making me feel pacified. But after the father and son discussion we had that day, I went to my room and what was ringing in my ears all through the night was that portion of the scripture that says that the first shall be the last. On that Friday night, I lay down on my bed listening to the clock ticking until I fell asleep. I didn’t even know when my alarm which was set for 3am rang. What I remembered was that when my mum woke me up at 5:30am for morning devotion, I noticed that the alarm clock which I had been using for months was smothered under my pillow. I couldn’t believe that ‘again I failed to wake up at night to study even with the recent development.’

Although this was my first JAMB (was because I’ve written already), on that December afternoon that my mum drove me to a cyber café where I was registered, there was this awkward feeling that I had all through that day. I can’t say if it was Jambphobia but, with all that people keep saying about JAMB and how they continue to jam students year in year out, I just couldn’t help being scared when I suddenly found out I had seven days to face this ‘hydra-headed monster’ of an examination.

I concluded that being among the first to write would translate to being among the first to taste failure. I wanted to hear about people’s result or performance before I go into the hall. Also, I was even more scared of being among the first to experience the glitches of JAMB and the ineptitude of CBT centre operators. After the glittery moments I had on that Friday, with the counsel of my dad, and my mum who obliged to fast and pray for the success of my exam, I was able to deal with my fears. I stopped the extramural lesson I was attending and used the remaining days for my revision. I swotted as if there was no tomorrow.

On the eve of my exam date, I had gotten my confidence back. I kept reminding myself that as the best student in the SS3 mock exam of my school, I have everything it takes to score very high in JAMB and get my desired course of choice.

Guess what? When I got to Afrihub, IMT (the venue of my exam) I became anxious again. After the queue and all the necessary information was passed down to us by the examiner, I sat in front of my computer unable to read the comprehension passage before my eye. It took me like ten minute of silently pep talking myself before the monitor to gather my wit. I will confess that it wasn’t a roller coaster ride but I put up a strong fight.

The moment I left the hall, I came home took my bath, eat and for the first time in seven days I slept without setting an alarm. You won’t believe I slept for twelve straight hours. Although, at first, I wasn’t happy that I had to be among the first set to open this year’s exam but having finished it. I think I wouldn’t have preferred any better date. Thank God is behind me now; never mind that I am scared each time my text message tone beeps. As I pray and look forward to a high score that ’ll enable me study Medicine at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, I have this little piece of advice for you who is yet to write:

  • Study as much as you can within the remaining time you have.
  • Stop all tutorial at least 5 days to your exam and pay attention to solving and answering past questions.
  • Look at JAMB syllabus and see if you’ve covered at least 90% of what you’re expected to.
  • Once you enter the hall, be calm and pay attention to details while reading the questions.
  • Be fast and accurate. If you can’t be fast (because it’s not Frank Edoho’s Fastest Finger First WWTBAM), make sure you’re accurate.
  • Don’t spend too much time on a question you don’t know the answer.
  • Make sure you answer all the questions before you leave the hall (by hook or by crook). However if you’re caught, don’t say Godswill Nwa Pastor told you to cheat. God knows I’ve never cheated in my life.
  • If you’ve not been preparing for this exam, don’t bother showing up at the venue because JAMB go disgrace you. I think it’ll be better to say that you missed UTME than to say you scored…
  • More importantly, pray for God’s help.

Abeg, as I still dey wait for alert from JAMB, help me pray that I won’t score less than 300. God bless you!


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