How To Pass Exams In A Nigerian University

How To Pass Exams In A Nigerian University

Passing your exams in school is one of the first priorities of a student, that’s why today we are going took at the major steps on How To Pass Exams In A Nigerian University.

I mean what is the essence of passing JAMB and other various exams you need to write to get admission into an Higher Institution, if you keep failing your exams and are eventually asked to withdraw. 

One of the mistakes students make is forgetting that a Nigerian University is different from any other University in the world. It is not necessarily harder or simpler, it’s just different.

So if you’re interested in knowing how to Pass your exams in a Nigerian University, with distinction I might add, keep reading. 

These tips are not only for University students. They are also for those in any higher institution in the country. Polytechnics, college of education and so on.

How To Pass Exams In A Nigerian University

Why do you want to pass 

Before we take a deep dive into these tips, you need to ask yourself WHY? I know this sounds like something from a meditation book but stay with me. Knowing why you want to pass will help you know exactly what to do. 

Do you want to show your haters that you can have a first class? Are you trying to boost your GPA? Is it a day to your exams and you just want to read enough to not fail? Or are you a final year student who just want to maintain your 2.1 and get out? 

Knowing the answers to your WHY will go a long way in helping you set your priorities and let you know which of the remaining tips to follow.

Know Your School System 

This is necessary for you if you want to pass your exams. Each University has a thing or two that makes it different from other Universities. 

There are certain peculiarities to your school and the course you are studying that you need to take note of. There might be a standard for the questions in your exams. 

Maybe it’s 80% theory and and 20% objective. Or it might just be 100% theory. Are there some lectures that would prefer you use big words to answer questions? 

Are there lecturers that don’t like it? Being aware of things like this will let you know what to expect in your exams and how to answer questions. 

Speak with a senior student in 400 level or so. They know a thing or two that you don’t. 

Prepare A Reading Timetable

Preparing a reading timetable that you follow is setting yourself up for success. Especially weeks or months before the exam start. 

You will be able to read ahead and tackle those courses that are more difficult than others. 

Don’t forget to allocate more time for reading the courses with multiple units than those with single units. You don’t want to have an A in a 1 unit course and a C in a 4 unit course

Take your classes seriously 

Go for lectures early. For one you’ll sit in front and probably hear the lecturer better rather than sit with the latecomers at the back. Sign your attendance. 

A lot of Nigerian lecturers take it very seriously. Submit your assignments and projects as soon as possible. 

Take notes in class. Ask questions in class if you don’t understand something. If you’re too shy or are afraid for one reason or the other, visit to get access to numerous tutors on any course or subject. In the one on one live classroom, it will be just you and your tutor. 

You can ask as many questions as you want without any intimidation. Being a serious student pays in the long run.

Read To Understand

There is a huge difference between just reading and reading to understand. If you are reading to understand, you’ll probably find yourself reading a sentence multiple times in order to understand. 

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You might even have to bring out your dictionary so you will understand certain words better. When you understand who and what Noam Chomsky did, you’ll probably be able to answer questions on the theories he wrote better. So don’t just read for fun when you’re reading for an exam, read to understand and you will pass your exams in a breeze. 


You also need to find out how best you assimilate, your ability to retain what you’ve read for a long period, if you want to read to understand. 

Some people assimilate better when reading in groups while some prefer to read alone You can also try reading in the middle of the night when there are no distractions. 

There is also a method reading with quiet and calm music, like some omah lay’s songs, playing in the background. 

Just figure this part out and you’re set. Don’t forget to create a good environment for studying. It might be hard for you to assimilate if your roommate is watching a very interesting movie next to you.

Study Past Questions and Notes

A guaranteed way to pass your exams in University with distinctions is going through past questions and notes extensively.

 A lot of Nigerian lecturers repeat the questions they asked years ago. Why? Because Chem 101 from 5 years ago is still very similar to Chem 101 today. 

So lecturers recycle questions over and over again even if they change a thing or two. Studying the past questions for a course before an exam will make you able to predict your exam questions easily.

Test Yourself Before The Exams

This is another way to guarantee success in your examination. 

Testing yourself before the exams by setting mock questions, answering past questions without looking at your notes, telling your friends to ask you questions, discussing possible questions with a group of friends and so many other ways, are great ways to test yourself for an exam. 

This will make you more prepared and ready for the exam.

Do Not Focus on the Area of Concentration Alone

Areas of concentration or AOC were very popular in secondary schools. With AOC, nice teachers would give students the specific topics they should read in preparation for an exam or test. 

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This however does not work in most Higher Institutions in Nigeria. At least not the way it did in secondary schools. 

Most lecturers will probably not give AOC and those who do will almost always ask questions outside of it. 

So don’t just focus on the AOC the nice lecturer gave you. They have plans to shake you during the exams when they ask a totally different question. Don’t fall for that trap. Read beyond the AOC. 

Ask for help 

There’s a yoruba proverb that says Abere ono kìí ṣina . Which means he who asks for the way, will not get lost. 

So ask for directions from your friends or seniors. Take tutorial classes if you need to. You can visit for that. 

Your senior friends could give you pointers on what to avoid when answering a particular lecturer’s question. Just ask for assistance from the right place and you will find it. 

Eat Good Food And Sleep Well

This is probably not something you would expect in an article about passing your exams but the truth is that your body needs rest and good food. 

Especially during the exam period. Studies have shown that a well rested brain will perform better than a tired brain during exams. 

So sleep and eat good food. Don’t starve yourself because you want to pass. You might even pass out in the exam hall if you do so.

In conclusion

passing your exams in a Nigerian University is quite easy. As long as you follow the tips above, you will be fine. 

Focus on your studies early enough and don’t get sidetracked by parties, friends who distract you or anything that takes your attention from your studies. 

Leave any extra tips you know in the comments below. Good luck. 


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