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Home » JAMB 2022 Form- UTME 2022 Registration » Part 3: Mistakes that Leads to University Admission Failure: Choice of Institution

Part 3: Mistakes that Leads to University Admission Failure: Choice of Institution

This guide is for all the candidates who want to apply for The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, (JAMB) Examination, we presenting to you the common mistakes to avoid when applying for admission into any Higher Institution in Nigeria.

In the UTME, applicants are allowed to choose two universities, two polytechnics and two colleges. (Although this has changed in the 2014 UTME)

In the UTME form, you will see 1st most preferred choice, 1st more preferred choice,1st preferred choice then 2nd most preferred choice and 2nd preferred choice. In my own best form of selection, I will put it like this:

1st most preferred ……………………………………….………………… 1st university

1st more preferred …………………………………………………………. 1st polytechnic

1st preferred …………………………..………………………………… 1st college

2nd most preferred ……………………………………………………. 2nd university

2nd more preferred …………………………………………………….. 2nd polytechnics

3rd preferred ……………………………………………………………….. 2nd college

Take note that you can put it in any order depending on your reference. For instance, Colleges of Education may come before Polytechnics. In addition to this, there are other factors you need to keep in mind before filling in your institution. The following six points should help you in choosing your institution(s) when applying for JAMB Examination.


Jamb Registration


Note: If you missed the Part 1 and Part 2. Or if you are reading on any other website aside from, then you are missing out on all the vital information! You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. Read the final part – Part 4 Here.


Cut – off Mark

You need to consider the cut-off mark of the university you intended going. (Please refer to our previous articles for a list of universities and their cut-off mark) on a list of and their cut-off mark) if you are sure you can beat cut-off them you are good to go. But wait there is another thing to consider

First or Second Choice Institution

Some universities accept candidates who put them as first choice only. Others accept candidates who put them as 1st or 2nd choice institution. Usually, the first choice is not a problem; the challenge in most cases has to do with the university that will go for second choice.

Before, you select a university for second choice; you have to make sure that they have the record of admitting candidates who put them as second choice.


(Please refer to the appendix on the University Admission Bible for a list of university that accept 2nd choice)

High Competition from Educational Privilege States

Application into some Western and Southern universities is very competitive. Some students then and even now will usually say if I don’t go to OAU, I will not go to any other school.

But after many failed attempt say up to 3 times, they will now settle for a state school. When they are supposed to be a graduate, they will be in 100 level. I pity these students.

If you are not from educational less developed state, I will advise that you throw your options open. First ask yourself, how many universities do I know? How many of them are in my catchment area?

Before now, students don’t like going to university in distance land. However, in recent years, we have seen the exodus of students from West to North and East. Many of them have successfully graduated.

There was also this notion that universities in the West and South have the best facilities and human resources. However, many Northern states have also invested heavily in Education.

Many of them have good facilities and human resources. That explains why many students who would have been staying at home decided to try their luck there. Many of these students got admitted on merit and they are doing great.

So the point is that you should throw your options open. Never rely on one university. If you choose one educational privilege state university, choose another state university either from that area or from an educational less privilege state university.

However, if you want to choose a second choice university, make sure the university accepts second choice. Many federal universities and some state universities do not accept second choice.

Before you finally choose your University, you may need to consider your intelligence, the catchment area and whether you are from educational less privilege state.

Then we have the issue of selecting Polytechnics and Colleges. Although, this may not be your priority, you may want to select the good ones. They say what is worth doing is worth doing well.
In the case of Colleges of Education, there are degree awarding colleges of Education and those that can only award NCE. So, if you are going to choose a College, I will advise you to choose at least one degree awarding College of Education. They are not much, may be about 9 of them out there. What it means is that the Colleges can award degree like Universities.


NUC Admission Percentage Ratio

Nigeria University Commission (NUC) regulates admission into Nigeria universities. Today students just apply to any university without considering the risk.

There are three factors to consider when talking about admission percentage. Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, JAMB registrar identifies admission criteria for merit at 45 percent, catchment, 35 and educationally less-developed states, ELDS, 20 for Federal Government-owned institutions.

For state-owned institutions, merit was put at 40 percent, catchment 40 and ELDS 20.

The next section deals with Universities and their catchment area including educational less developed state. So, in this section, we will focus on failure to observe the NUC admission percentage ratio. This is the area I called Mathematical calculation of admission chances.

Case1 – If you are a brilliant student that means you can pass on merit. Already you have 45% chance of admission. Assuming the university you choose is from your catchment area you have additional 35% chance of admission. If you add that to 45%, you have 80% chance of admission. So, even if you are not from educational less developed states, you have 80% chance of admission.

Case 2 – Assuming you are not brilliant, it means you only have 55% chance left i.e. minus 45%. Now if you are not from educational less developed states, you are left with 35% chance of admission.

Due to lack of information, some of these students who have 35% chance of admission will still choose universities that are not in their catchment area.

That simply means they have no chance of admission. No wonder many of them fail. The gist is this; determine which of these factors apply to you. Your aim is to maximize the percentage thereby increasing your chance of admission.


Catchment Area

The catchment area is the locality which in most cases is the geographical or socio-cultural area contiguous to the institution. The Federal government under NUC stipulates that 35% of admitted students should be selected based on catchment area.

That means if you apply to university from your catchment area, you have 35% chance of admission already. However, those from the western state should exercise caution in this regard. This is because the three universities (OAU, FUTA, & LAGOS) in their catchment area are very competitive.

So if you know you are fairly brilliant, you may despise these universities and go for the ones not in your catchment area. But make sure you can pass on merit.


O Level Result

Some institutions consider O level before giving admission. For instance, university of Ibadan requires O level on one sitting. Some Universities require six O level credit if you are using two sittings.

If a university requires that applicants should enter their O level for post UTME application, it means they consider O level for their admission. So if Your O level does not make sense enough, you may think twice before applying to the University.

This also applies to those using awaiting result. You may confirm from your choice university whether they consider O level before given admission.


Choice of Course

In addition to choosing your institutions you are expected to choose your courses for each institution. For the purpose of this project we are focusing only on the university. Before choosing your course, there are some factors you need to consider, let us discuss them one after the other.


O level

Do you have the O level subjects require for the course? Every year many students lose their hard earn admission because they do not have the O level requirement to clear into their courses.

Before you proceed, check from JAMB brochure the five O level subjects you will need for the course. If you do not have the entire subjects yet, make definite arrangement to sit for them and obtain good grades.

Do not leave anything to chance, plan ahead for what you need otherwise you will end up losing your admission even if you are offered. Some Universities accept six credits if you are using two sittings, please keep this in mind. Also take note that some universities have specific entry requirement for O level apart from what is in the JAMB brochure.


NUC Admission policy

National Universities Commission, (NUC) introduces the 60:40 Science/ARTS admission ratio policy to meet with Federal Government, FG target for MDG for vision 20:20:20.

That is for every year of admission, 60% will be from science and the remaining 40% will be from ARTS. You know that in many secondary schools, the numbers of those in science class are less than those in Art class.

Now the Federal government says, even with their small population universities should take more students from science class. This they say is to position Nigeria as one of the industrialize nation in the year 2020.

So, don’t be surprised if majority of science students in your class get admission. That is both Arts and commercial students combine will share the remaining 40% after science has taken 60%.

I can hear you say that is not fair. Yes it is not so, if you are in Art class you have to read very well. This is because admission into Art courses will be very competitive especially if you are not from educational less developed sates.


Course Competitiveness

Some students choose courses that are never meant for them due to parent or peer pressure. Some courses are very competitive. You must be brilliant to get admission into these courses unless you are from educational less privilege states.

These causes include Law, Medicine & Surgery, Accounting, Pharmacy, International Studies, Banking & Finance, Mechanical Engineering, Agric-Econs e.t.c.

For example, in pharmacy, there are specific numbers of cubicles for students. Admission is not beyond the number of cubicles available – course by course, department by department, faculty by faculty. If the intake is more, computer will reject.

Because of the high number of students who apply for these courses, the university expected that you should pass on merit. You can now see that if you are forced into applying for these courses, you are likely going to meet with stiff opposition.

Funny enough, I have seen students who filled two competitive courses as their first and second choice during Jamb and post UME application. For instance they may take as first choice and second choice.

Worse still they may take law as first choice and ISD as second choice. Now, what they are telling the university is that it is either they give them Law or they should not give them admission at ll. Guess what? That decision is easy for the school to take especially if that person doesn’t meet the cut-off mark.

However, those who choose wisely usually consider their opportunities. They dictate for the school what they want. For instance, assuming they choose Law as their first choice, they will look for less competitive course as second choice.

They may take English as the second choice. In that case if that person fail the first choice, it will be easier for the school to fix them for their second choice. How can you choose wisely?

That is where orientation comes in. when you choose your first choice, the next thing to do is to list other related less competitive courses. Now ask others what this course is all about and the job opportunity.

Then choose the one that appeal to you most as second choice. You may even inquire from the school whether the choice you have in mind is a competitive course in the school. When you are sure that your two choices are not competitive, then you can fill them in your Jamb.

The fact many students don’t know is that whether you choose one course as first and second choice does not give you advantage over somebody who choose it as first choice and choose another course as second choice.

What it simply means is that you throw away your second chance of admission. The truth is that if you meet the cut-off for your first choice, the school will not even look at what is in your second choice.

But if you don’t meet the cut-off then they will. Imagine the disappointment when they will see that you choose the same course as second choice.Take note that when applying for JAMB, you may choose the same course for different schools.

For instance you may choose Law for University of Benin, UNIBEN as first choice and choose Law for Delta State University, DELSU as second choice. But when applying for post UME, don’t fill in two competitive courses for the same university.

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5 thoughts on “Part 3: Mistakes that Leads to University Admission Failure: Choice of Institution”

  1. List of 2015/2016 universities that admit two sittings waec results,and when registering for jamb can i put 1st choice unilorin,2nd choice oau ?pls help me.

  2. Pls. Legendk!D I need your help I don’t no what do I did my 2015/2016 Jamb registration in a cafe and of recent I heard that is not allow. i am in trouble pls. help me, tell what to do next. I will be V. great full to your replies

  3. pls sir I got 194 on my jamb and I want to study business education in unizik ,am my qualified for the school cut off mark?

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