It is that time of the year again. ASUU strike notwithstanding, the show must go on. JAMB and WAEC are not bothered by ASUU strike although they burdened by it. JAMB has released its results. Adebayo Eyimofe from Ayo Fayose’s Ekiti has scored the highest with 362 marks. But that is not the “juicy” news to Nigerians. Like we do in politics, we leave the real issues and focus on irrelevancies. What Nigerians are worried about is the 140 admission cut off point. They say education has finally died in the country. If you belong in that category, don’t let the cut-off point bother you. Calm down if you are reading this. Education is not going anywhere. It is our way. What we don’t understand, we worry about. 

The JAMB results should worry Ekiti people first and foremost. With Eyimofe’s performance, it likely that Ekiti pupils performed brilliantly this year. Although, that will raise the cut off point for admission on MERIT for seekers, it will raise it for Ekiti specifically as a Catchment area to a university in South West. If Eyimofe chose UNILAG for instance, his/her performance means while it raises for everyone, it will raise it for admission seekers from Ekiti State because it is a Catchment area to UNILAG. Same for U.I or Ife. 

This system is similar to what we have with Unity Schools. Anytime some people see 34 as admission cut-off point for Zamfara State and 140 for Bayelsa State, they will begin to curse Nigeria and use derogatory remarks on Zamfara people and the entire North. But the reality is a pupil from Bayelsa is not in competition with that child from Zamfara. He/she is in competition with fellow Bayelsa pupils who wrote the examination. It is the performance in each state that determines the cut-off point since every state has equal chances to Unity schools. If the table turns and the highest score from Bayelsa or Ogun is 20 marks, the cut off for either of them will be 15. Nothing can stop that at the moment. Not even a court judgment. Unity school is meant to foster unity among Nigerians and not for some sections of the country. In any case, looking at investment governors like Peter Obi made in education in their states, unity schools should not be so fascinating to both parents and pupils. But since they appear to still hold some fascination, start preparing your child for the task ahead if your intention is to get him/her into a Unity school.

Back to university admission. What do you need to know if your child is seeking a place in the university?

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1. If your child chose UNILAG, U.I or Ife and perhaps any of other first and second generation universities, 140 cannot get him/her a place at the gate. In fact, 200 is a joke. Don’t even think about it if you don’t want Adult Education. From the statistics given by JAMB, 378,639 pupils scored 200 and above. This figure is enough to fill both federal and state universities in relatively peaceful or stable states. That 140 is to encourage people to come to universities that are not so fancied in some states for obvious or not so obvious reasons. Education is not going anywhere. As it stands now, it is late now if 140 cut-off point applies to your child. Start preparing him/her instead for better performance next year and increase his/her chances. Prayers can work but in this case, I can’t prove it and tell you miracle will happen if the score is less than 200. I don’t also know if you have money to send your child abroad. So I can’t propose that. I preach early preparation for next JAMB. Ire o.

2. JAMB score is not the only examination your child will write. He/she must also have O’Level results from WAEC/NEO and Post-UTME. All these combine to guarantee admission or prevent it. How do universities combine these sets of results? Specifically, how does UNILAG combine O’Level, JAMB and Post UTME to determine cut-off points? Using Unilag, it is as follows:

O’Level = 20%

JAMB = 50%

Post UTME = 30%

Overall = 100%.

I am using Unilag because it is the standard bearer for other universities in Nigeria. But U.I, Ife, Uniben, LASU, Unilorin, UNN and others in that category are not too different from Unilag.  

a. O’Level: My generation used two sittings or combined results for admission. That was the time people wrote GCE five times and JAMB 10 times. Not anymore. One sitting is what Unilag will accept from your child. But it is not just one sitting, but one good sitting as each grade is awarded its own score. If your child therefore wants to study Medicine & Surgery for instance, the following points will be awarded:

A1= 4.0

B2= 3.6

B3= 3.2

C4= 2.8

C5= 2.4

C6= 2.0

For medicine and surgery for an Eyimofe, your child will need Five O’Level credit passes in English, Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology. If your child has five straight As or Bs or Cs in these five relevant subjects, the scores will look as follow:

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A1 = 4.0 x 5 = 20

B2 = 3.6 x 5 = 18

B3 = 3.2 x 5 = 16

C4 = 2.8 x 5 = 14

C5 = 2.4 x 5 = 12

C6 = 2.0 x 5 = 10

So if your child has two As, two B3s and one B2, it will go as follows:

4.0+4.0+3.2+3.2+3.6 = 18/20%. 

If it is five straight As, your child already has 20points for being brilliant. You see that education is not going anywhere? There is no merit or catchment in O’level o. But it varies from school to school. LASU for instance gives A1 10points and U.I 6points. So LASU’s aggregate usually rises to 50points and in U.I it will be 30points for As. So find out which applies to your child’s proposed university. Information is power. Let us continue. 

b. JAMB: JAMB score is also awarded a grade point to something similar to the following:

180-200 = 20-23points

200-250 = 24-33points

251-300 = 34-43points

300 – 400 = 44-60points                

But if it is Unilag, it contributes 50%. So the university will divide Adebayo Eyimofe’s 362 by 8 and it will give 45.25% over 50%. For him, O’Level and JAMB will result to:

20 + 45.25 = 65.25%.

Some universities may not award score to Post UTME. They may rely on only JAMB score and O’Level. Therefore, JAMB’s grade points will apply straight away without division. Even if it Unilag, 65.25% without Post UTME is high enough for Eyimofe and the prospect is high for him/her to study medicine & surgery. So chances are that with good O’Level results, your child stands a good chance. What I will advise here is that from SS 1, know what your child needs to study based on she is good at or what you want him/her to study. Mentor him/her along that path so he/she can make As in five relevant subjects. With just great O’Level results, her chances are brilliant when it is time. If he/she masters the five subjects so well before leaving secondary school, he/she will also do well in them during JAMB. Let us go to Post UTME.

3. Post UTME: Remember I said Post UTME will contribute 30% to the admission quota. So let us go. The Post UTME exam score is over 100 but it only contributes 30% to the whole admission. So whatever Eyimofe scores in the Post UTME will be divided by 2. If he/she scores 60/100, the 60 will be divided by 2 as follows:

60/2 = 30

If we add the 65.25% he/she got from JAMB and O’Level with 30 from Post UTME, it will give us 95.25%.  But this will not be the cut-off point. The school will consider the performances of other students in the same department to determine what the cut-off will be. But if your child scores between 80% and 95.25% aggregate, the chance is brilliant for merit. 

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But is JAMB the only route for your child to into the university? No. Below are the other options in Unilag. Other universities will have their own. Find out.

4. A’Level: If your child is brilliant enough, why not enroll him/her to write either GCE or Cambridge A’Level examination? That will guarantee him/her admission through Direct Entry without having to write JAMB or wait at home. For medicine & surgery, your child only need A’ Level passes in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. With five O’Level credits in English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, it is College of Medicine straight! Other programmes have their A’Level requirements including Mass Communication. The good thing is your child only needs to pass three relevant subjects for A’Level.  

5: JUPEB: That is what we called “prelim” those days. It is The Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB). Your child can take this exam. They also have their cut-off point. The cut-off mark for all courses in the 2022/2023 academic session is 15 points. This means any student who wishes to gain admission into any University in Nigeria must obtain a score of not less than 15 points. Together with O’Level results, fiaaam, admission niyen.

6: Foundation Programmes (formerly Diploma II): Your child doesn’t have to battle with JAMB. He/she can enroll in Unilag’s foundation programme. We called it Diploma those days. If your child is successful in the programme, it is avenue for him/her to gain direct admission into the 200 level of the degree programmes of the University of Lagos. 

So you have options. Don’t let JAMB limit your child. Make a move.