Gaining admission into Nigerian Universities is becoming increasingly difficult by the day and this has resulted to seeing young secondary school leavers who are suppose to be within the confines of the academic walls of their departments roaming about the streets with the slogan “I still dey find admission” – a local parlance that means am still searching for admission into higher institution.
As much as we would love to lay this malaise on the doorstep of a failed government or educational sector call it the Nigerian bureaucracy, it is pertinent to note that most of our admission seekers are not going about it the right way. It is also worthy of note majority of the admission seekers are not academically deficient as most people will think. Majority of them are matter of fact intelligent chaps who have made their O’level and UTME in flying colours that without the aid of mercenaries or what we call ‘runs’ or ‘special centres’ as the case may be.
Now that you have made your O’level, passed your UTME, its about time to remind yourself that admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions does not come by those singular criteria. Seeking for admission requires a meticulous and strategic approach else you will watch your admission chances role away from your very eye while others that did not score as high as you did are flying their caps with their matriculation gown at your face. Here are some basic approaches that if meticulously followed would not just land you in your higher institution of choice but your course of choice as well.
1. Academic competence: By this I mean you have to be academically sound. I don’t mean you must be a genius but having gone through the walls of secondary school for six years, writing the Senior Secondary Certificate Exams, you should be able to hold your head high in your subject areas.
2. Institution of Choice: Your choice of institution will to a large extent determine if your admission is successful or not. Having a good knowledge of the institution you intend to choose is key to overcoming this huddle. Virtually most higher institution in Nigeria except the private ones admit student with a quota system and the catchment area thing. Double check if you fall within the catchment area of the school as this will enhance your chance of securing admission before someone who is not in the same catchment area with the school. Most school give preferential treatment to student within the catchment area even when they score a lower mark in their post UTME than those outside its catchment area.
Its also advisable you pick the same school as your first choice and second choice with a different course as nearly all the schools rarely consider their second choice candidate for admission.
3. Course of studies: This is also part of getting to know the school of choice but this time Choosing both your first and second choice of course within the school curricula meticulously. Some course have higher cut-off marks than the other. Your first choice should normally have a higher cut-off than your second choice so it becomes easy to go for the second choice if you couldn’t meet up the cut-off for the first choice. Do your research about the school and your department of choice very well. This will help you to know the cut-off mark so you can prepare yourself adequately to work around it.
3. Change of Institution and Course: Your UTME result might prompt you to go for a change of institution or course form especially when you feel the score would not meet the basic requirement for admission into your first choice institution and course. Do not hesitate to go for a change of institution form. It is far better than staying at home for another one year waiting to write another UTME in the name of it must be University A or Course B or never.
4. Study: After you have gotten your UTME result and your score is high enough to sit for the post UTME of your University of choice, it is not time to rest on your laurels or roam about the street visiting friends, old Secondary school mate to celebrate your success in JAMB as it is not uhuru yet. The post UTME is the final huddle, it is where the work lies and you have to give it all you have. Give it your best by studying harder than ever before. You have done your research, you now know what the course cut-off mark is, get a taste of past questions and know your area of concentration. Study the past questions, practise with it. Set an exam scenerio, time yourself and let someone supervise you and see how well you will perform.
Cover all area necessary, study as if its your last chance at getting admission, don’t leave your admission to chance and remember you can’t really afford to stay at home another one year waiting go round the same admission circle again.