How to Graduate with First Class in the University

Graduating with a first class degree is the dream of every student in the university. There are lots of opportunities for first class graduates within and outside their country.

Yes, a first class degree still matters today because it will give you an edge in the labour market during job hunting. Also, it is easier for these sets of students to get scho

larship opportunities abroad.

Most full-term scholarships for Master’s and PhD are for first class graduates.

Do not listen to people who will try to convince you that education is a scam or a waste of time in Nigeria. You do not have anything to lose if you become a first class student in your school.

A first class degree may not be the master key to your success in life. But, it may open doors of opportunities for you later in the future. It is why you must study hard as a student.

A student with first class has a CGPA of above 4.5 on a 5.0 scale.

You can check how to calculate your CGPA in your school.

Graduating with a first class requires dedication, diligence and consistency. You must decide within yourself that you can get a first class degree.

The journey to graduating with a good CGPA result is not a walkover. You must be ready to put in the hard work to achieve academic success.

In this post, I will be sharing practical tips on how to graduate with first class in Nigerian universities.

Let me know in the comment section if you need further help with getting good grades.

Also, you can drop your current CGPA to know your chances of graduating with a first class.

In this article, CGPA means cumulative grade point average.

How to Graduate with First Class in Nigeria University

Here is the practical guide on how to graduate with first class in Nigerian universities;

  • Set The Goal to Make First Class
  • Read and Study Everyday
  • Be Passionate About Your Course
  • Attend Lectures
  • Take Notes in Class
  • Do Your Assignment
  • Understand Your Lecture Materials
  • Attend Tutorials
  • Take Continuous Assessment Seriously
  • Practice Past Questions
  • Make Friends with A Senior Colleague
  • Take Attendance in Class
  • Research and Study Materials Online
  • Prepare for Your Exam
  • Join A Study Group
  • Limit Your Time On Social Media Apps
  • Avoid Distractions
  • Eat, Exercise and Sleep
  • Learn How to Calculate CGPA

Set A Goal to Make First Class

Nigerian student

Setting a goal to make good grades is the ultimate key to graduating with a first class degree. You must develop a passion for a good result.

Many students make the mistake of setting the goal to graduate with good grades late.

As a student, you must not wait till your third or final year before aiming for a good result.

You must set the goal to graduate with a high CGPA immediately after you arrive on campus. This decision will guide your actions in school to achieve your goals.

Our people say that “a warrior must first win the battle in his mind.”

By setting a first class goal, you prepare your mind for academic rigour.

So, today, tell yourself that you are going to graduate with a first class CGPA.

Read and Study Everyday

student studying with a laptop and book

Reading and studying daily is the secret to graduating with a first class degree.

To get good grades in school, you must read and study daily. I mean that you must find time no matter your busy schedule to open your books to read.

The mistake of students is waiting for the exam timetable before starting to read. You cannot graduate with a first class using this approach.

First class students know the importance of studying every day. Even with the stress of lectures, practicals and tutorials, you must create time to read your book.

The brain is like the engine of a fine motor car. A car engine works best when you use and maintain it. Parking the car for a long time will cause it not to work well. Like the car, you have to put your brain to use by reading every day.

You don’t need to understand every single material that you read for the day. But the most important thing is that you create a study time for yourself.

A good strategy is to read the topic for the day before going to class. It will help you to follow and understand the lecturer during the lecture.

Try to get the course outline for your courses and begin to read ahead of your lecturers. It will help you to perform well in your exams.

Be Passionate About Your Course

female student studying

Many students do not get good grades because they are studying a course they do not like.

This problem is with students who get admission for a course they have zero passion for or like. An example is getting Animal Fencing instead of Medical Laboratory Science.

There are no two ways about it. You must love what you do to succeed. After all, a good CGPA may allow you to change your course to your preferred department.

You have to develop a passion for your course no matter whether it is not your first choice. In this way, your mind can work towards you striving to get good grades.

Attend Lectures

students sitting inside a lecture hall

Attending lectures at all times is the key to graduating with a first class result.

During class, you will be able to know the method of the lecturer and examination questions.

Every lecture has a different method and expectations from students. During classes, you will learn the best technique to answer their questions in the exam.

Do not make the mistake of joining the bandwagon of students who do not attend lectures.

Waking up early and staying in overcrowded classes is not easy. But you must persevere.

I remember how I stood for almost all my lectures during my first year at school. It was a stressful experience. But, it paid off well in the end.

You see, try as much as possible to attend lectures. Also, ensure that you sit in a position to hear the lecturer and see the board.

Take Notes in Class

A student reading a book

Taking notes in class is a necessary strategy if you want to graduate with a first class.

Note-taking is a necessary skill for top-performing students in Nigerian universities.

The act of copying notes in class will help you get the relevant information you need for your exam.

As you must know, many lecturers give out their examination questions during classes.

It is with your note that you will know the questions in the exam.

Also, having a note will take away the stress of reading the whole textbook for the course. You will not have to digest information that will not come out in the exam.

It is easier to understand your note than the lecturer’s soft or hard copy materials.

Inside your note, you would be able to highlight an important point that you need to know.

Do Your Assignment

a student in the library

Doing assignments in school is necessary if you want to make a first class grade in Nigeria.

Many lecturers give their exam questions as an assignment. But, many students make the mistake of not taking note of assignment questions. This set of students gets the shocker of their lives when they see the assignment questions in the exam.

Also, many Nigerian lecturers assign marks to assignments. So, doing it can fetch you up to ten (10) marks or thereabout. This free mark will help you to get an A grade in the course.

Understand Your Lecture Materials

Student studying with a laptop

Understanding your lecture materials is vital for you to get an A grade in your courses.

It requires that you read and understand the soft and hard copy notes of your lecturers. Reading is necessary but understanding the materials is the main deal.

Do not be in the category of students who read their lecture materials like a novel. You would miss out on vital information with this technique.

Students who wait till the night before the exam before they study do not graduate in first class.

Starting from today, read and understand your lecture materials. It may need you to do more study online using Google or YouTube.

Attend Tutorials

woman drinking coffee during daylight

Attending tutorials can be of help to many students to pass a course.

The truth of the matter is that some students do not understand during classes or personal study. These categories of students would need to attend tutorials to get good grades.

At this point, I must state that attending a tutorial on campus is not compulsory. Only go for this option if it is beneficial to you.

The problem with tutorials on campus is that they teach you big stuff that you do not need for your exam.

Ensure the tutorial will help you get a good grade and not a waste of time and resources.

Take Continuous Assessment Seriously

Pen on a white paper

Continuous assessment (CA) is a test students take at the end of the semester to check their knowledge of the course material. CA score is thirty (30) marks in Nigerian universities.

Taking your continuous assessment seriously will give you an edge to get good grades.

It is almost impossible to get an A or B grade in a course without doing well in your CA.

A high score in your continuous assessment is what you need to build your CGPA in school.

Do not make the mistake of not taking the continuous assessment test. You must prepare for your test like the exam.

Continuous assessment will help you to determine your level of preparedness. After the test, you would know the areas you need to pay more attention to understand.

A high CA score can cushion any mistake that you make in the exam. By so doing, you would end up getting a good score.

Target to score above twenty-five (25) in your CA.

Practice Past Questions

Nigerian student studying

The practice of past questions is the key to getting good grades in all your courses for the semester.

It is a common practice for lecturers to repeat previous years’ questions on their exams. Most of these lecturers are lazy in setting a new set of questions in their examinations. So, they go to their question bank to bring out questions for the exam.

Becoming a first class student will need you to get and study past questions. It will help you to know the possible exam questions for the course.

Students make the mistake of trying to cram past questions and answers. It doesn’t work out well that way.

Past questions and answers are to be a guide that you study with understanding.

Make Friends with A Senior Colleague

students laughing

Making friends with senior colleagues who are top students is necessary.

Try to find out and be friends with students in classes above you that are doing well in their academics. They will guide you on what you need to know about your courses.

These students will inform you how lecturers want students to answer their questions.

Academic mentors would also assist you with past questions. They can keep a check on you from time to time to ensure that you are taking your academics serious.

Be mindful of the person that you choose as your academic mentor. You would not want to end up with a person that wants to take advantage of you.

Take Attendance in Class


Marking your name in the attendance roaster is necessary for every student.

The University regulation stipulates that every student must meet 70% attendance.

Apart from the regulation of the University, most lecturers give marks for attendance. It is why you must ensure that you write your name in the attendance booklet at the end of each class.

Also, attendance during practical sessions carries high marks. You must try not to miss out on any of your practical sessions at the University.

All these will help you to get a good grade in your courses.

Research and Study Materials Online

A student with a laptop

Researching materials online will give you a complete understanding of your lecture materials.

Many students find it difficult to follow their lecturers during classes. But if you go online to read on topics taught in class, you will get a good understanding.

The problem is that many students only rely on the information given by the lecturer in class. It is the wrong approach to studying to become a first class student.

You should make it a habit of watching YouTube tutorials on your course content. Searching online for concepts you don’t understand on Google will help you in the long run.

First class students study wide using textbooks and online materials. It is why they can tackle exam questions with ease.

Online study does not mean you will give your lecturer something different in the exam. No, that is not the point.

Most Nigerian lecturers will want you to give them their notes back in the exam. You will shoot yourself if you give them answers that are foreign to them.

The purpose of doing further study is to give you a good understanding of the course material. By so doing, you would be able to answer questions in the exam.

Prepare for Your Exam

student studying

Adequate preparation is necessary for you to graduate in a first class.

Your exam preparation must start from the first day of your lecture.

Never wait a few days for your exam before you begin to go for night class and whatnot.

Preparing for your exam involves attending lectures, reading and getting the necessary materials.

You must be able to know yourself. Identify what works best for you.

A first class student must know the best time to study and assimilate. Never make the mistake of trying to be like your friends when it comes to reading.

It could be that you assimilate better in the early hours of the day or late in the evening.

Knowing what works best for you will help you to graduate with a good grade.

Join A Study Group

students sitting at a table

Joining a study group will help to improve your grade to graduate with a first class.

A study group is the coming together of two or more students for academic discussion.

Being a member of a group will keep you in check on what you need to know in a particular course.

There are instances when you would think that you have a good understanding of a course. But a group discussion will help you to identify your area of weakness.

Also, students tend to learn faster when they explain topics to their classmates. This way, you would try to understand the course to explain it to members of your study group.

Most times, many study groups end up discussing irrelevant topics. So, you must ensure that members of your group have a common goal.

Set up regulations to ensure that you guys do not deviate from the primary purpose of the group study.

Limit Your Time On Social Media Apps

social media

Limiting your time on social media apps will give you more time to focus on your academics.

Social media is a big distraction for students in Nigeria. It is the cause why many students cannot focus during studying hours.

Most of the time, you will find students using their phones while the lecture is ongoing.

To graduate with a first class, you must find ways to overcome the distractions of social media apps.

It will involve you being strict about when to reply to messages on your WhatsApp.

  • Create time to use social media.
  • Do not allow these apps to control your lifestyle.
  • Resist the urge to check your social media apps while the lecture is ongoing.
  • Switch off your data while you are studying.

Avoid Distractions

get rid of distraction

Avoiding distractions on campus is necessary for you to have good grades.

Distractions come in different ways on the University campus. You must be able to set your priority right by engaging in social activities.

Attending social events is not bad for a student. You should take part in beneficial and fun-filled events on campus.

But the inability to manage your time and activities is a problem. No form of an event should distract you from your academics.

You must know the kind of events that you attend in school.

If you want to go into school politics, you must find a way to balance your academics and your ambition.

Avoiding distractions in school will keep you on the path to achieving your goal of a first class degree.

Eat, Exercise and Sleep

care for your body and health

Eating well, exercising and sleeping is necessary for your brain to work at its best capacity.

Many students make the mistake of not taking care of their health. It is common for Nigerian students to eat junk with no nutritional benefit.

Eat Well

It is when you eat well that you read well. Try as much as possible to cook your food. Things would be a lot easier if you had a refrigerator to store food in large quantities.

Regular Exercise

A proper exercise routine will also help you to achieve your academic goals. Exercising comes with a lot of benefits for students who want academic excellence.

Find time to exercise at least three times a week.

Sleep Better

A good sleep routine is necessary for you to read and understand. Get as much as 7 hours of sleep a night.

Having a good night’s rest will not hinder you from graduating with a good grade. Do not put yourself in the position of battling sleep and studying at the same time.

Learn How to Calculate CGPA

A pen on paper beside calculator

Learning how to calculate your GP and CGPA will help you set goals to get a first class degree.

Every Nigerian student must know how to calculate their CGPA. It is this permutation that will help you to set your target grade for your courses.

Opportunities for First Class Students in Nigeria

UBA Foundation Essay Competition

Here is the list of opportunities and benefits for first class students in Nigeria;

  • International & Local Scholarship
  • Lecturing Job Opportunity
  • NYSC Posting
  • Job Hunting
  • Research Opportunities

International & Local Scholarship

A first class degree will allow you to get a full scholarship abroad or within Nigeria.

Many scholarship opportunities are available for first class students. These scholarships come with a lot of benefits.

Lecturing Job Opportunity

A graduate assistant job opportunity is available for first class students in Nigerian universities.

Many schools in Nigeria keep their first class graduates as graduate assistants.

The perk is that you can combine the teaching job with your postgraduate studies.

NYSC Posting

First class graduates get the best place for primary assignment during the NYSC.

This set of graduates gets tertiary institutions for one year for their posting. Also, it is easier for them to get a job position during the NYSC program.

Job Hunting

First class graduates have an edge during a job application.

Many recruiters prefer to use first class graduates.

Example of A First Class CGPA

Here is an example of a first class CGPA;

First Year4.74.64.7
Second Year4.44.84.6
Third Year4.94.74.8
Fourth Year5.04.94.95

List of First Class Students in Nigeria

Here is the list of first class students in Nigeria, University and CGPA;

Amarachi Mary Mba4.94University of Nigeria
Basirat Rufai6.9University of Ibadan
Ibrahim Adedeji Alimi4.98University of Lagos
Uzoma Chinomso4.82University of Port Harcourt
Oluebube Miracle4.87Nnamdi Azikiwe University

I would love to hear from you in the comment section below. Ask me any questions. I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Do make sure that you share this post with your friends using the social media icon below.

Share on:

I am an Enthusiastic SEO Writer engineering helpful skyscraping content on the internet. A lifelong learner who loves to read, learn and write.

77 thoughts on “How to Graduate with First Class in the University”

  1. I had the total cgpa of 3.78 in 200l first semester
    And we are not yet in second semester

    Do you think I will be able to make first class with this current cgpa

    • Do a calculation assuming you make a minimum of 4.8 for the remaining sessions.

      Let me know if your CGPA will reach first class.

  2. Hi. I’m currently in my 3rd year (entering the 2nd semester this month) with a 4.11 CGPA, is it still possible to make a first class? It’s a 4-year course.

  3. Good day sir
    Am just in 100L, aiming for first class..Am a political science student, and I don’t understand anything about it, because it is not my passion….I was giving pdf to read only, everything seems confusing….To me.
    I am looking for Guides that can
    put me on track,so I could understand it better and achieve my aim in the course if though it was not what I wanted.

    • Hello Bassey,

      It is nice to hear from you.

      I am sorry for your experience at your school studying Political Science.

      What course are you passionate about studying at the university?

      Did you apply to study Political Science?

  4. This is helpful. I appreciate.
    I had 3.9 in my first semester exams in year one.
    Please is it possible to graduate with a first-class?
    I need your advice, please.

    • Mathematically, that seems impossible.

      You can calculate for yourself, assuming you get a perfect GPA of 5.0 for the two remaining semesters.

  5. I scored 239 in the 2021 utme exam and 329 as at 2022. I have not secured admission yet .I just wrote the prerequisite post-utme exams of Afit, kaduna .Please advice me on how I can achieve and live my dreams(graduating with first class).

    • Hello Alamin,

      The best thing is to be focused and determined as you study. Never forget your dream. Also, try to make the right friends.

  6. Hello sir,I find dis your tip really inspiring for me in my first year I had a gpa of 3.61 and gpa of abt going to 200 level pls sir is it possible to graduate with a first class or what are d grades I need to get to HV a first class

    • Hello Jerry,

      I hope you are having a wonderful day.

      I guess you are studying a four years course.

      Considering your CGPA, you can make first class if you get a minimum of 4.8 CGPA in your final year.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

  7. Good day sir, going to 200l now my 100l first semester gpa is 3.15, second semester is 4.11 and it’s a four years course can I still make it through first class? urgent answer pls. My CGPA is 3.61

    • Hello Zainab,

      Yes, you can make first-class assuming you get a minimum of 4.9 CGPA.

      Let me know if you need further clarifications.

  8. Good day sir, going to 200l now my 100l first semester gpa is 3.15, second semester is 4.11 and it’s a four years course can I still make it through first class? urgent answer pls

    • Hello Zainab,

      Yes, you can make first-class assuming you get a minimum of 4.9 CGPA.

      Let me know if you need further clarifications.

  9. Hello
    I wasn’t sure if my comment was left because I couldn’t see it. But if it wasn’t, I was asking if I could still make first class with the fact that I’m about to enter my fourth year by September in a five year course. My CGPA is 4.139. is it possible sir?

    • Hello Miracle,

      I hope you are having a great day.

      I wouldn’t say you were lazy with your academics.

      A CGPA of 4.1 is an excellent result for a Law student.

      According to my calculations, it is possible to still graduate with a first class.

      But you would need a minimum of 4.8 CGPA for the remaining two academic sessions.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

  10. Hi
    I was a bit lazy during my years in school l. Now I’m about entering my fourth year in school, my course is a five years course which is law. I’m on a 4.1, is it still possible to geta first class by the time I’m graduating.

    • Hello Miracle,

      I hope you are having a great day.

      I wouldn’t say you were lazy with your academics.

      A CGPA of 4.1 is an excellent result for a Law student.

      According to my calculations, it is possible to still graduate with a first class.

      But you would need a minimum of 4.8 CGPA for the remaining two academic sessions.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

  11. uh lamiedor

    I have a CGPA 3.36 in my first year. is there any hope to graduate with first class or 2 1 with with a CGPA 4.00

    • Hello Usman,

      To graduate with a first-class, you will need to get a 5.0 CGPA for the remainder of your stay in school.

      But, it is very possible to graduate with a 2.1 degree.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

  12. Hi,I am a 100 level student and exams are to commence in a month time ,and I have problems with maths I hardly understand any thing its difficult and I really want to understand and have a first class what to do ? please help .

    • Hello Melody,

      I hope your exam preparations are going well?

      First thing first, you need to deal with the fear you will perform poorly in your Maths examinations.

      Assure yourself that you can get an A in your courses.

      Now, concerning understanding Mathematics topics, this is what you should do now.

      Let’s say you want to study Indices in Mathematics.

      1. Go to YouTube

      2. Search for Indices

      3. Click on the result from the Organic Chemistry Tutor Channel

      4. Watch other Mathematics topics from Organ Chemistry Tutor on YouTube.

      I assure you will get a complete understanding of Maths.

      Let me know if you need further assistance.

      I wish you success in your examinations.

  13. Thank you Jesus. This information is indeed helpful, am preparing for my post jamb to gain admission into university of Lagos and with this information I can begin to start preparing to be a first class student. Thank you blessing God bless you, I really want you to guide me with my study in school

    • Hello Beatrice,

      It is nice to hear from you.

      Amen to your prayers.

      Let me know whenever you need any assistance or guidance.

  14. hello, i am a fresh first class graduate in public admin. About to finish NYSC. I need your guidance on scholarships opportunities & graduate assistantship.

  15. I came across this tips and it has motivate me alot on how to start if i gain admission into the univeristy as i am about to sit for my jamb,i pray i come out well. Thank you

  16. Thank you Blessing for making out your time to write this useful article… I really found it very helpful.thanks also for the materials and pdf textbooks you uploaded here. I’m currently a first year student of unn department of medical laboratory sciences.

    • Hello, Ugo

      It is lovely to hear from you.

      I’m glad that you find the article and materials helpful.


  17. Am a year two student ,I struggled in my year one due to my shortsighted am currently on 4.0 from my first semester year two ,my year one cgpa is 3.4 ,I really want to make first class before I graduate my dear is that my year one result will keep dropping the cgpa ,pls advise me thank you

  18. Honestly am speechless for this ur motivation post.but how can I make first class now coz already am 100level student but durring my C.A Test to be sincerely speaking I didn’t perform well so what’s best solution for me to meet up with exams and our exams start by next month ending…

    • Hello, Ibrahim.

      It is nice to hear from you.

      Do not allow the experience at your C.A test to weigh you down.

      Turn it into a motivation to do well in your exam.

      Ensure that you identify and work on your weakness. You will make A’s.

      I wish you success in your exam.

  19. This really blessed me. I just got into school and I’ve found some tips to help me get a first class beginnng from my first year. Thank you Jesus and thank you so much for everything you’ve said here

  20. Please i need advice
    This is my first year in university
    We just finished test we are starting exam next year and I want to graduate with first class any hope for me

  21. I will help some students on how to refresh their brains.

    Neglect your self from any form of disturb and stop deep thinking.

    Avoid deep relationship with a ladies..

    Look for a something that will earn you a little money.

    So anything you download will save you i, e you have good storage capacity.

    If you saturated your brain you can’t be able to quick and grab understanding of something.

    By contrast and compare before or after.

    By create or narrate a story or fable on your own.

    And lastly take to someone to cross check the mistake for you….

  22. There are situations one needs to buy materials to be able to come out with flying colors in some courses. And fingers aren’t equal. At all. Many a student sponsors themselves their undergraduates levels. What can they do to balance money making and academics?


Leave a Comment