Why I Failed JAMB Exam 5 Times: JAMB Mistakes to Avoid

In 2012, I sat for my first JAMB examination, hoping to gain admission to study Medicine and Surgery.

Little did I know I was in for a long ride as I went on to sit for the UTME exam for four (4) other years.

Trust me, failing an exam multiple times is not a pleasant experience. But over these years of my non-success, I learnt some lessons that have helped me.

To this day, Nigerian students sitting for the UTME and Post UTME exams make similar errors as myself. Please learn from my experience so that you pass your JAMB examinations with flying colours.

In this post, I will share my experience writing the JAMB exam five (5) times and the lessons I learned during these years of failure.

Let me know in the comment if you have any questions or need further clarification. I will love to hear you and offer assistance to the best of my ability.

JAMB Mistakes to Avoid

The following are the mistakes you must avoid as a student preparing for the JAMB UTME exams;

  • Lack of Exam Preparation
  • Not Studying With the JAMB Syllabus
  • Cramming JAMB Past Questions
  • Not Studying With the Recommended Textbooks
  • Wrong Choice of Institution
  • Fear of Failure

Lack of Exam Preparation

woman sitting beside table reading book

Many students sitting for JAMB do not prepare adequately for the exam. Early preparation is the first step to passing your exams with flying colours.

Exam preparation is not about you reading your textbooks every day. But it involves you having a study strategy like drafting a personal reading timetable, getting the recommended textbooks, etc.

When I was preparing for my JAMB, I made the mistake of only reading my books without an action plan. I also did not have a target score in mind.

Also necessary, start your preparations as early as possible. Late preparation is one reason why aspirants fail their exams.

But if at this moment you are starting your preparations late, then I have to tell you not to give up on yourself. Put in your best and hope for the best.

Not Studying With the JAMB Syllabus

man and woman looking at a laptop

The JAMB syllabus contains a list of topics and points you need to know for the examination.

You cannot get a high score in the UTME exams without studying with the syllabus. This syllabus serves as a guide for what you need to study.

Also, note that the questions in the exam are directly from the syllabus.

The Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) will never set questions outside the syllabus.

You can access the JAMB syllabus by clicking on the button below;

Ensure you study each subject you are sitting for using the syllabus.

Cramming JAMB Past Questions

Woman sitting on the bed holding her phone

Cramming past questions is the most common reason students fail the JAMB examination.

Generally, cramming is a poor studying technique, and it is worse with the UTME exams.

I know then you will ask how to go through the past questions. Well, the best technique is knowing the reasons for the answers to each question.

For example, let’s say you fail a question from 1997 in JAMB biology; you have to go back to your textbook and know the reason for the answer.

That way, you can answer similar questions without guessing the correct answer.

Also, I recommend you get those textbooks with answers at the end of each topic. They are the best.

student studying with a laptop and book

The JAMB-recommended Textbooks are a must-get for every student sitting for the exam.

JAMB says it is common sense to buy these textbooks; you purchase them.

These textbooks are helpful because questions for the exam are lifted right from them.

It is necessary to get them as all the topics in the syllabus are in the textbooks.


Also, in my post on how to prepare and pass the JAMB exam excellently, I recommended some particular textbooks to help with your preparations.

Wrong Choice of Institution

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

The mistake most students make is applying to competitive universities or courses with low JAMB scores.

It is not about your desire but your performance in the exam that determines your chances for admission.

For example, a student with 260 in JAMB has no business applying to study Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nigeria.

Such a student is supposed to apply to a State University where he may have a chance to get admission to the MBBS programme.

Let me know in the comment if you need advice on your JAMB score and choice of institution to know your chances for admission.

Fear of Failure

do not be afraid

Fear of failure is one reason why many students fail the JAMB examination.

They lack the self-belief they are qualified to get a high score on the exam.

Well, you have to believe in yourself and your academic ability. This is easy to achieve when you have prepared adequately for the exam.

Tell me your fears about the JAMB exam in the comment. Let me help you out.

Let me know if you have any questions or need further clarification. I would love to assist you.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Failed JAMB Exam 5 Times: JAMB Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. Please I want to study law and choosed ABSU as first choice, what’s the cut-off mark and is ABSU the best choice?

    • Chuks,

      ABSU is accredited for Law.

      You can study Law at ABSU if that is your choice.

      Also, the cut-off mark will be released after the Post UTME base on students’ performance.

      Ensure you get above 280 in your JAMB.


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