7 Ways to Answer JAMB-UTME CBT Questions

In my post on facts and reasons why you can make it this year, I tried to give every reason not to be afraid of the new development in JAMB especially if it is your first time of writing a computer-based examination. I also tried to point out some advantages that the Computer-Based Test has over the Pencil and Paper Type. I cheer you on to click on that link title and read that article before going any further. It will be well worth the 2 minutes. I did not write a computer-based examination during my time but I have since then written a number of them while seeking scholarships and participating in competitions. The first scholarship I got in school came from an aptitude test that was computer-based and from my experience, I can confidently say that computer-based exams are much better and whether we like it or not, the world is advancing everyday and Nigeria does not intend to lag behind. Here are seven ways to answer JAMB questions, particularly a computer-based type examination. Please pay attention to each of them carefully.

1. Make sure you read the instructions very carefully.

Since this is a new system, you cannot assume you know all the rules. Go through every single instruction that appears on the screen as you proceed to take the examination and ensure you adhere to them. Usually, in this kind of exam, those instructions are usually more like a guide giving you the details as to how you are to proceed with answering your questions. Every instruction given to you by the invigilator of your center and every instruction you see on your computer screen as you start must be properly and accordingly followed.

2. Ensure you fill in the necessary details and check all fields properly.

It is likely that you will first be asked to enter in your registration number which will be used to auto-generate the details which you registered with. This of course means that you must have your registration details at the tip of your fingers. Ensure that whatever is auto-generated before you to see is well cross-checked and matches your registration details to avoid losing your result to someone else. Should there be any problems, seek the help of the supervisor or any invigilator or personnel around. Anything you are asked to fill in to the system should be typed in properly.

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3. Plan how much time you will spend on each of the subjects.

This will depend on the amount of time that will be allowed for the examination. JAMB would usually give three and a half hours for their exams but who knows, this might change with the new development. However, whatever time they give you should be well shared for the four subjects to avoid wasting much time on a particular subject. Like I have earlier mentioned, if you know what you are doing, the Use of English paper is one that you can easily finish in the shortest possible time and have more time for other subjects. So, plan how you will spend time on each subject and be sure to adhere to it even if you have not finished by then so that you can adequately touch all subjects. Your time will display and count down on the screen before you.

4. Begin with the Use of English paper and then proceed to another subject you know best.

You will likely be asked to start with Use of English for at least thirty to forty minutes before moving on to other papers but whether you are asked to or not, I will advice you do that because if you have prepared well, you can finish it fast in about thirty minutes and bag good marks there and this will give you confidence to take on other quite difficult subjects. Besides, the multiplier effect on failing a question is less in English that on other subjects. When you are done with the Use of English, proceed to the next subject that you are strongest in. The reason for this is that, where you have strength, you will most likely answer more correctly and quickly which will give you even more confidence to continue.

5. Don’t spend more than a minute on any question.

Depending on the type of question, you may need to spend more time on some than others. Some questions are easily answered before you even finish reading the question, these kinds of questions should take you not more than thirty seconds to answer. Others require logical reasoning and calculation and will likely take more time. No matter how much time they take, please do not allow the time you spend on them to exceed a minute, if you are going to finish your exam on time. If the question seems to be taking more time than expected, look at the options and check if you have gotten enough information from your calculation and reasoning as the case may be to infer an answer; if you have, please choose the most logical answer and proceed. Speed as much as accuracy is very important in any examination.

6. Select an answer for every question as you meet them.

Had the examination been a Pencil and Paper Type, I would instead be saying start with the questions you know best and then proceed to the others afterward because from flipping through your exam paper, you will be able to easily identify these easy questions but not in a Computer-Based exam. Here, you will only able to see one question on the screen at a time. If you choose to answer the questions chronologically – according to how they are numbered – fine and good; if you choose to pick questions randomly as your instinct guides you and answer – also good. Whichever way you choose, make sure you provide an answer whether you are sure or not (if you are not sure, guess logically) for every question before your screen as you meet them because you may not have all the time left after the exams to select and go back to those questions.
If you so choose, you can write down somewhere or find a way to note questions you were not sure of should you end up having enough time left to go back. The only questions you may leave and come back are those ones you are sure you know but may take too much time to solve but when you keep doing this over and over in an attempt to find the simpler questions, you may end up solving little or no questions when the time is up. Remember, once you run out of time, the computer will not hear, “Please sir, just two more minutes”, neither will it go around collecting other people’s scripts while you quickly shade blank spaces on your answer script. Your computer will automatically submit your exam for assessment the very moment your time is up and you will have to stop even if you have not answered a single question.

7. Guess logically by elimination answers to questions you are not sure of.

Often times, you will encounter questions you have an idea about but you are not sure of the correct answer. Some other times, they will be questions you seem to have no idea about. Nevertheless, while many students would usually resort to ‘tum-bum tum-bum’ guessing – a haphazard pattern of guessing answers to questions with the hope that one would be lucky – that is not the best resort. The best way to face such questions and provide very reasonable and likely answers is by ‘logically guessing by elimination’. This can be likened to the 50:50 lifeline in the “Who wants to be a millionaire” television program where the computer takes away two incorrect options and leaves two options – one being the correct answer and the other an incorrect option.
After reading the questions, if you have prepared properly, when you go over the options, you will discover at least one or two that can never be the answer, eliminate them and then work with the remaining options, that way you would have increased your chances of picking the correct answer.

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