The journey all started in 2016, when I finished my secondary school.
While my friends were taking the famous utme form, I didn’t because I thought the exam was quite different from waec and I needed a lot of months to prep for it, due to the way people talk about this Almighty exam (if only the school I attended had enlightened us about the exam, but nope they didn’t, all they focused on was just waec, you know being a public school, I don’t know if anyone here can relate) .
Although my family tried to make me take the exam, my mind was made up, I wasn’t going to.
I started preparing for the 2017 version of the exam on my own from 2016, because I have always heard news about those who became the overall best in the exam and I wanted to be in that category too. I started my prep in july of 2016, without attending tutorial or anything as such, neither was it with the exam syllabus.
I read and read, treated past questions, I could remember vividly that I finished my biology past question before the exam, I visited my classmates that I knew were better than I in some of the subjects and the rest of what a student does while preparing for an exam.
I took 2017 jamb mock exam and I had 252, I wasn’t satisfied with the score but I was happy that I could do better when the real exam comes.
To cut the long story short, exam day came, I was so ready for it, so I thought.
I wrote my exam, the result came out and I got the shock of my life, lol.
I had 210, I couldn’t believe it. Oh my, oh my, I cried my eyes out, because I knew I read, I don’t just understand what really transpired.
After my crying days were over and my family had done their best in consoling me, I was able to ginger myself back to my feet, knowing I picked Nigeria’s premier university, UI. I sat up again and began reading for the university’s postutme with such score😄🤦🏽♀(looking back I laugh at my own naivety) on my own, I was thinking maybe just maybe if I could just have a score of 100/100 maybe I would be considered for admission to study medicine.😀 that’s what misinformation caused.
I read like i won’t read again, burnt candle even generator sef, nepa included and I prayed like ehn no be for here.
Omo exam came, sat for it.
- I couldn’t complete all the questions within the set time because honestly I didn’t prep with timing in mind.
- Though, the questions were simple, I couldn’t solve questions without the use of calculator because I didn’t prep with that in mind as well.
And other things like that… I got 52, again, I cried, lol.
I knew right then that they wouldn’t give me my chosen course but I was hopeful maybe just maybe they could give me another course because mehn I don’t want to sit at home while all my friends who wrote in 2016 had all been admitted for their courses of choice. So I don’t want to be left behind.
Please I’m here to tell someone you’re in no race with anyone but yourself.
I wasn’t given any course, and I lost all hope because I thought I had done all I could to secure admission.
So fast forward to 2018.
I refused to take up the form.
I wasn’t just interested in anything at that moment, I just wanted to coil up in a corner probably cry/sleep till the world comes to an end.
But as always, thanks to my family, they were just always there.
Because of my lackadaisical attitude towards the exam, it was my elder brother who rally round for the registration and all, all I just did was went there for thumb printing.
And I didn’t really prepare for it, like I did the first time, all I did was just practice past questions every now and then, the motivation was not just there. I also refused to take the mock so that what happened the previous year won’t happen again, lol.
Exam day came, had to take the exam with my younger sister (that wasn’t a problem) in the same center and we sha went for it, result came, I got 270.
Omo! I was so excited, depression mood deactivated😂, my joy knew no bound, I was so grateful to God. And I thought my prep of 2017 just reflected in 2018.
This time I chose unilorin and I beat their utme cut off for medicine. I started reading because I didn’t want to take any chances again. I joined groups on whatsapp that really helped.
Exam came, sat for it.
I scored 66/100 and from the questions I saw during the exam, I wasn’t well prepared🙁.
But I was still hopeful.
- Because i thought they would still add other things like waec points and jamb but they didn’t neither was any cut off mark released, we were all left in shadows
- Probably they would give me another course, they didn’t either.
That year again went, no admission.
By then the pressure from friends, church members, neighbors, teachers from sec school too was getting on the high side to the extend that I don’t come out when everyone is at home, I was always indoor, some neighbors started throwing all sort of insults at me both in my present and behind that i was lazy (then I wasn’t working I was always home preparing for an exam that was nothing to write home about) and the rest of what they said.
I quitted attending church because questions were always coming from left and right.
I lied to my friends who we finished together whenever they want to come visit during their holidays.
I avoided my teachers whenever i was sent on errand.
Friends at home started calling me dad’s girl. I’m not exposed and all. But they didn’t know my vision, I don’t blame them because they are not me.
And each day I cried nonstop when the house was silent. I felt like God hated me and just wanted me to be mocked.
2019 came, read stories about those who overcame repetition in utme.
I made up my mind that i was going to give in my all and be a testimony too.
Met a tutor online, who came to tutor me for the exam, lol it wasn’t much to write home about either.
All the tutor did was recommend textbooks and tried to help me with my reading process(i remember when I had to read for 12hrs in a day, I did that severally, still helping till now) and motivated to the best of his ability, aside that, I was back to square 1 where I read on my own(note: I’m not a fan of tutorials, I once attended one in 2018 when I thought my reason for not doing well in the exam was because I didn’t attend tutorial, but honestly, it felt like a waste of time, like we were being taught a repetition of what I already know, I didn’t stay there up to a week, I just had to leave and was some worth distracting for me due to my having to make friends and get home tired and wouldn’t be able to read any other thing ).
Read textbooks over and over again, solved past questions from back to back, balanced all my subjects, covered syllabus.
Exam came, scored 300. I chose Unilag this time still same medicine.
Post utme came, I was prepared, so I thought, sat for the exam and scored 21/30. I was just a few points below cut off. As usual i cried and it felt like i was a nobody to God, i felt useless because those who I finished secondary school before were now all in school and my friends had about 2years or so to conclude their undergraduate programs, yet i was still where I was.
I was still hopeful tho, probably they would still give me some other course but none came neither do I want to do a change of course.
I don’t just want to have anything to do with school again.
2020 came, all hell broke loose. I was ready to leave my comfort zone and decided to submit everything to God’s able hand, for Him to be my tutor Himself, I was tired of doing it all alone with no tangible results.
I leave home very early for library on a daily, from when they open till when they close. I became like a staff, that’s what people thought tho😄
I joined groups, one of which was TOTAL
ANGER AGAINST JAMB, Omo I felt the name was just for me because honestly, i was angry at Jamb.
This time I registered for several tutorials online, because that suites me perfectly unlike a physical tutorial.
I got closer to God and prayed like I wouldn’t read, and read like I wouldn’t pray. I resumed going to church. I put my mind off what anybody thought about me, all I saw was just me and my divine tutor.
I participated in different online mocks, using them to judge how well I had read and prep for the exam.
I read all my textbooks over and over just like I did in 2019 but this time to understand every topic, I visited past questions again, finished them from back to back once more. Whatever I didn’t understand in the past questions, I consulted my textbooks.
Whenever I was having difficulties I turn to God for lecturing and honestly He showed up big time.
I slept when I needed to and read when I needed to, played when I needed to, chatted when I needed to etc (time management)
Met with friends of like mind online who also recommended more textbooks for me. And gingered me more. I was well informed than the previous exams I had taken.
Exam came, tho had issue with the center, sha we sha wrote the exam, result came out, had 320.
Wow! I was/am so glad and grateful to God, tho I wasn’t satisfied but I was beyond grateful.
Now onto post utme, the story is already getting long, lol, sorry about that.
I followed the same pattern with jamb but this time increased the gear because I knew post utme had always been the problem for 3yrs.
Couldn’t use the library this time because of covid wahala, stayed home instead.
Registered for online tutorials as well. I never played with my online classes neither did I take personal reading as joke.
Participated in several mock tests too(some I won prices, lol).
Unilag post utme came once again, sat for it and got 25.5 approximately 26/30. Cut off mark came and I beat catchment cut off for medicine.
Tears of joy streamed down my face because the battle of 5yrs was finally over. I screamed I MADE IT!
Lol. My song of celebration knew no limit. Now I even care less about friends who are about to graduate while i’m just starting, the “koko” is God has finally done it.
Tips on the exam that I have come to realize in my few years of taking jamb (which I know your tutors would have taken you through)
Before the exam;
i. Put God first, don’t forget the G-factor that comes before the RACE in the word Grace.
ii. Learn from your past examination mistakes
iii. Don’t be overdependent on PQs
iv. Set goals for the scores you desire. Just know you will become what you think.
v. Don’t read beyond the scope of jamb, use the syllabus it’s just an O’level exam.
vi. Don’t focus just on your strength in terms of subjects, work on your weaknesses too because individual scores in each subject make up your total jamb score.
vii. Make use of the right materials while preparing for the exam.
viii. Practice good study habits
ix. Time management; create a time table for your activities and stick to it.
x. Do well to know the nature of the exam you’re preparing for.
xi. Finally, in your preparation always find what works best for you, in my case physical tutorial wasn’t my thing.
xii. Belong to the right circle of friends
xiii. Back up the use of appropriate textbooks with appropriate past questions.
xiv. Participate in mock exams it only help you get better.
xv. Lastly, don’t relent in your effort, even tho the exam is postponed.
During the exam;
i. The God factor shouldn’t be forgotten.
ii. Be sure you’re certain of a particular answer before clicking on it.
iii. Think deeply after reading a question before attempting.
iv. After about 15secs, you weren’t able to answer a particular question, skip it while choosing a random answer that you’re partially sure of, i.e don’t leave the question with no answer picked, write down the particular number in a rough sheet, circle it and come back to attempt after you must have been done answering other questions.
v. After reading a question glance through the options in order to know what is required of you to do.
vi. On the day of your exam don’t be scared and don’t be too excited, just be calm.
vii. When you see a question you’ve attempted before, don’t be quick to pick an answer, take your time to read carefully and pick your answer wisely.
And a bit of spur(if we can call it that tho because i’m hardly good in it)
It’s ok for people around you to judge you, it’s ok for them to call you a failure, it’s ok for them to look down on you, it’s ok for them to give different advice on how to go about your life, it’s ok for them to call you names (I was told I had spiritual problems that was why I was stagnant, lol, I was told medicine wasn’t for me, I should go to a polytechnic, university wasn’t for me, I should stop putting my eggs in a basket blah blah blah some even went to the extent of calling me jamb customer, lol).
Don’t listen to the noises in the market, that’s not your definition, that’s not who you are, that’s not what God calls you. Just FOCUS on the person you’re becoming, let your FOCUS be on where God is taking you, it is your vision not theirs.
Be like Jacob who refused to let go of an angel until he was blessed (apologizes to my Muslim brothers and sisters, I just had to share this), be patient, be rest assure God is working something out for you.
Yes it’s ok for your friends or younger ones to be ahead of you, it’s ok for them to be doing better than you are at the moment. I just want you to know you’re not in competition with anyone but yourself to be a better version of who you were yesterday.
Because you ain’t there yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate those going ahead of you. Be happy for them because someday it will be your turn.
If i can do it, YOU can do better.
Some of the picture quotes that encourage me never to give up and lose FOCUS
This is the particular song that kept and still keep me going.
And remember all the world loves a winner nobody has time for a loser.
Thank you for having me Legitschoolgist, I’m really honoured.
God bless you all🙏