Many candidates often complain about inability to gain university admission despite having high scores in the Unified Tertiary Institution Matriculation Examination (UTME). 

Most of the times, such individuals miss admissions as a result of their own fault. Here is a highlight of some of the things you may do to ensure admission this year.

The first is thing you have to do is to confirm the actual cut off mark of your required course in your preferred institution in the past few years. This is because the value of advertised cut off mark for each course is usually less than the actual value required for admission.

For instance, if you score 250 and intend to read Law in University of Benin (UNIBEN), you need to confirm from somebody in the school if anybody with 250 or less has been admitted to study law in UNIBEN in recent times. 

After confirming that your UTME score is enough to help you secure admission, you need to seek information about the post-UTME of the institution. Different universities have different modes of conducting post-UTME.

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For effectiveness, you should try to obtain past questions from your choice institution for preparation. Many schools use the weighted average of UTME and post-UTME to compute the aggregate scores of candidates. You need to aspire to score above seventy five percent in the school’s pre-admission examination to stand a chance of getting admitted.

If you find out that your score will not qualify you for admission into your choice program in your desired university, you need to go for a change of course/institution to a less competitive course. However, you must confirm that your. UTME subject combination will qualify you for admission into your new choice of course. If your UTME subjects are Physics, Chemistry and Biology, you can also change your course to one that requires those three subjects. You cannot, for instance, change to Computer Science (which requires Mathematics as UTME subject).

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Your ordinary level subjects must also qualify you for your choice of program and university. For example, a candidate that needs to study Computer Engineering in any Nigerian university must have at least a credit in ordinary level Further Mathematics. Some universities also have special requirements for admission. It is possible for a candidate that has 280 in UTME not be admitted into an engineering program in the University of Lagos if he does not have a credit in Further Mathematics.

My general rule of the thumb is that if you score less than 250 in UTME, your chances of getting admitted into any medical course is low. It is better to opt for a course in the natural sciences. Also science candidates that score less than 200 in UTME should not expect to be admitted into any disrespect discipline outside Faculties of Education or Agriculture in public university in Nigeria.

It is often counter productive to stay at home with the thought of having better scores next year. It is better to seek admission with your current score to any available institution/course and prepared for another UTME. Most candidates that abandon admission chances usually score less in subsequent years. My personal maxim is “hold on to what you can obtain and seek for what you need”

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