How to score high in JAMB

If you are a Nigerian student intending to write JAMB soon, the pressure of doing well may bear down on you. Especially considering the high failure rate. 

It is easy for teachers, parents, and the community at large to attribute failure to pass JAMB to a lack of intelligence or laziness of the students. However, a student may have studied long and hard for the exam and still not pass, and there is a good reason for this.

Passing or failing jamb is not only a measure of how much time the student spends studying (though this factors in), it boils down to how effective the strategy the student employs is. 

In this article, I will outline a perfect strategy that will help you ace JAMB this year. Scoring over 300 will no longer be just a dream, but a goal that can be achieved. 

What to do before the exam

What you do in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the exam is the determining factor of whether you will pass or not. 

Going into the exam hall unprepared is setting yourself up for failure; trying your luck by guessing can only get you so far. 

Before the exam, you have to thoroughly prepare yourself by following the tips below (preferably in the order it is written):

1. Understand the exam format 

To score high in JAMB, it is important to familiarize yourself with the format, the number of questions and the time allocated for the exam, as it will help you prepare for the exam effectively and manage your time during the exam. 

JAMB is a computer-based test (CBT) that consists of multiple-choice questions in four subjects: English Language and three more subjects of your choice. The exam usually lasts for two hours and consists of 180 questions.

2. Get the necessary study materials

The next step is to purchase the necessary study materials for JAMB which includes the JAMB brochure, syllables, recommended textbooks and past questions for the subjects you will be taking. 

3. Create a study plan

Creating a study plan is extremely crucial in preparing for JAMB. Your study plan should outline the topics and sub-topics that you need to cover for each subject, the amount of time you will dedicate to studying each day, and the duration of your study sessions.

I can say for sure that creating a study plan is easy enough, but sticking to it is the hard part. To increase your chances of complying with your schedule, make sure to:

  • Set realistic goals: Go easy on yourself. Do not schedule long hours for studying if you know you can’t keep up with it, instead increase the time little by little as you go. Also, give yourself enough time to learn each topic. Do not rush yourself.
  • Take breaks: Schedule breaks from your study plan to rest and recharge in order to prevent burnout and maintain focus. 
  • Reward yourself: Give yourself a little incentive at the end of your study sessions to boost your morale. It can be in the form of treating yourself to something nice or giving yourself a break if you achieve a goal in record time. 
  • Have an accountability partner: If you are someone who lacks self-discipline, you could reach out to your parents, siblings, teachers, peers, or anyone that you respect to keep account of your studies. This could go a long way in helping you focus and avoid procrastination. 

4. Practice past questions

This is hands down the most effective method to do well in JAMB. Questions are very often repeated so if you study enough past questions, you’ll come across familiar questions. 

However, the answer keys to the past questions sold in bookshops are riddled with errors. The answers to most questions are wrong. So even if you can recognize the questions and remember them, the answers you have learnt might end up being wrong. To avoid this, it is best if you discard the answer key in the past questions and look for answers in the past questions’ textbooks instead.  

5. Use online resources 

There are many educational websites online that could help you prepare for JAMB. Mock tests are extremely helpful resources that would enable you to experience what the exam will be like. 

6. Attend Tutorials

Attending JAMB tutorials can be helpful especially if you find it difficult to understand certain topics. Having someone to explain things to you is much better than trying to wrap your head around hard topics on your own. 

Another advantage to attending tutorials is that you might end up meeting up with your peers that could be potential study partners. Studying in a classroom setting with peers can help ease some of the burdens of preparing for such a hard exam and lighten up your study experience. However, this could be a double-edged sword as it could lead to you focusing more on having fun than studying. So be careful.

7. Study consistently

You have to be consistent and ingrain the habit of studying into yourself. Without consistency, all your efforts will go down the drain. Ensure that you study every day and avoid procrastination.

8. Review

Learning without going back to revise is a wasted effort, as you will end up forgetting. As you study, keep going back to review what you have learnt.

Spend more time revising than you do learning something new because, at the end of the day, it’s what you can remember and write on the day of the exam that counts not everything that you have studied.

9. Get enough rest and exercise

Relax, give yourself breaks and reward yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard, as you’re more likely to forget what you learn when you’re under pressure.

Getting enough rest and sleep will help you retain what you learn. So get a good night’s sleep and give yourself breaks throughout the day. 

10. Start early

This is the most important. Don’t wait till a week or a month to the exam before you start preparing. Waiting till the last minute, and then bombarding yourself with so much information in so little time is a recipe for disaster; you will fail. So start early and pace yourself. 

What to do on the day of the exams

1. Get enough rest

Do not study through the night on the day before the exam. Revise before you go to bed, but make sure that you sleep for at least 8 hours. 

2. Eat breakfast 

You need to be in good shape on the day of the exam, and hunger will not help you with that. Make sure you eat a hearty breakfast, drink enough water and go out feeling energized.

3. Stay focused

    Once you sit in front of the computer, the only thing on your mind should be the questions in front of you. Make sure to read each question carefully before you answer. Avoid distractions.

    4. Manage your time well

    Do not stay on one question for too long; remember that there is a time limit. Allocate time for each question and ensure that you answer all the questions. Skip the questions you don’t know the answer to and come back to them later. Manage your time well so you will have enough time to cross-check your work.

    5. Stay calm

    Do not panic. Anxiety can make you forget what you have studied. Take a deep breath and carefully read each question; do not rush. Stay calm and composed during the exam.


    If you follow the tips above to prepare for your JAMB exam, then congratulations because you’re well on your way to scoring high in JAMB. With hard work, dedication and the right mindset, passing JAMB will be a breeze. 

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    Habibat Musa

    Habibat Musa

    Habibat Musa is a content writer with She writes predominantly on topics related to education, career and business. She is an English language major with keen interest in career growth and development.

    Articles: 101

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