June is here, then July in a few more weeks. Among many things that come with the month, July is famous for secondary school graduation ceremonies. Before then, final year students in Nigeria are typically engaged in a string of examinations – UTME in March, WAEC in April/May and NECO in June/July. Preparing for and writing all these exams and coming out in flying colours in the end is no mean accomplishment. However, not all candidates will be proud of their performances. Some will excel while others will need an alternative plan to move forward if they do not make the grades required for their next steps. So a big question is – if you do not make the desired JAMB/UTME cut-off mark, what next? If you ever ponder on this question, the following are possible options you should explore.
Apply to a private university. Most private universities in Nigeria will readily give admission to candidates who have at least attempted the UTME exams as long as you pass their admission interview and can afford the tuition.
Apply for a different course. Cut-off marks are not uniform for all courses. The competitive courses will require higher marks than the less competitive ones. For instance, Medicine may require a cut-off mark of 270 and Medical Lab Science may require 200. If you cannot meet the mark for medicine, then you might want to consider medical lab science as a plan B with the same result since both courses require the same subjects’ combination. This is an option some persons will struggle with as it may appear they are settling for something less. However, if you decide to go with this option, then ensure it is a well informed decision.
Explore other tertiary institutions apart from universities. Some other tertiary institutions do not require high cut-off marks like universities do. Although a significant number of people will prefer not to, applying to polytechnics, monotechnics, colleges of education and IEIs is still an option to explore. To learn more about these other post-secondary options, have a look at my post, what next after secondary school?
Advanced Level Programmes: Some higher institutions do provide pathways into university education in Nigeria. Such programmes include; JUPEB, IJMB and University Foundation Programmes (UFPs). At the successful completion of any of these programmes, candidates can secure direct entry admission into year 2 in universities that recognize the qualifications. For more details on IJMB and JUPEB have a look the Official IJMB Website
Register for JAMB/UTME again: This is not an option many people will willingly take, but it is an option and should be considered in the event that the options stated above are not satisfactory. If you really have to, brace up and do the exam again.
When you have thought through these options, hopefully you find what steps you need to take to move forward after secondary school.
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Have a splendid June.