AVOIDING MINOR PITFALLS

In one of my previous publications on easy ways to get admission, which is precisely the fist volume, with this being the updated/volume II, I had outlined five key advantageous and salient points that can project a candidate and put him at a vantage point. However, in this publication, the attention is on legal tactics, tactical maneuvering and manipulations that can push a jambite chances upward. Remember that there are no pre-admitted students, so, whether you will be admitted or not basically depends on established criteria, emerging phenomenon and possibly administrative disposition at the time of selection.

Michael O'Jules

Michael O'Jules

Vocational Business Educator, Admissions and UTME Nigeria

One thing to bear in mind however, is that many applicants are vying for limited space, therefore, it is not always possible to admit all students. So, seeing things from this perspective, it can be said that admission is one big battle. Many are applying for competitive programmes like Medicine, it is not always possible to get those courses. Sometimes, it can be due to performance deficit, availability of spaces, and so on. So, applicants must learn to bear in mind, the possibility of an alternate course. If however, you cannot offer another course other than that which you initially chose, especially when you are vying for Medical courses, it may mean another year of trying for you. So, performance, luck and prayers all work together to make you scale through. Let us now discuss step by step, the various manipulations in admission processing.

  1. Apply for all the Available Options in a Session

You see, only those who must have had a hard time getting admission may understand this point. After all, if I write jamb and score very high, I will surely get admission, new jambites may think. But not everyone often have that luck per se. For me, admission did not really suffer me. In 2008, I got admission even as it was my first, but unfortunately, I got a Pass in Mathematics, hence, I forfeited the admission making me attempt for a second time in 2009 where I studied Business Education and graduated in 2013/2014. So, I had a soft landing when it came to admission matters.

But if admission has been difficult for you, then you really want to try this option. This means you have to buy JAMB form and write the exam. Also, you have to purchase Predegree form too. Although many persons had criticized the predegree programme for reasons best known to them, I have always seen students admitted through Predegree, hence, in a bid to ensure admission once and for all, it is recommended to use all the available options though it may be costlier. Predegree is a one year intensive programme whose certificate (JUPEB) helps you to gain admission into year two. This is to say even if JAMB admission to 100 level fails, you will then start the Predegree programme while your colleagues who were lucky with admission also starts year one. By the time they are entering year two, you are done with Predegree, and being admitted into year two with them. So, it looks as if nothing was lost. While hoping that JUPEB certificate will do you good in year two, it is also expedient to purchase JAMB form again together with your hope of admission into year two. All these are money consuming… but are you put money ahead of your admission? That is incredulous!

To fully understand what I just describe above, let me conceptualize the story as follows:

This stage I and II takes just a circle of 2 years. This is what you must place your mind on. It doesn’t matter if admission does not come at the first attempt after using this method, what matters most is that you got the admission at last within the two year plan framework. Another issue is the issue of changed programmes. The programme you chose may not be the one you wanted, but you must accept it and apply for interfaculty transfer in year two.

  1. Indigeneship (Catchment Area) Quota System

Indigeneship within this context refers to where a person hails from. Catchment Area however, is the boundaries within which a university considers to be indigent to its establishment. It basically refers to a state of origin and applicants/students who hail from such catchment area have some forms of benefits which outsiders do not. For example, anybody whose father or mother is from Bayelsa by family affiliation is an indigene of Bayelsa State. In the Niger Delta University for instance, only those whose fathers or mothers originates from Bayelsa are accepted as indigenes. The name “Niger Delta” here did not make it possible for Niger Delta states to be accepted. This was one of the earliest misconceptions we had then. Since the University is a state sponsored university, such provisions were not made as if it is a federal university.

From the earliest stage, the quota system for admission for indigenes to non-indigenes was 80:20. However, with the involvement of JAMB, such quota system may have been altered as indigeneship/catchment area has been reduced to 35%. The NDU on its own has not made it public through any bulletin nor publication that it maintains such quota. Only reference is made to it during presentations but its effectiveness has not really been discussed.

Consequently, if you fall under non-indigenes, then the chances of admission in a school such as the NDU will be limited. Because imagine the whole of Nigeria being under 20% while only Bayelsa State basking on the privilege 80% can bring? If this is maintained, then students will start looking for the other way. It is therefore, advisable (speaking from indigeneship/catchment area point of view) to always apply to a University in your home state. This argument does not mean that all applicants who apply in their home state are admitted nor are those who applied to universities outside their state are not admitted. What this means is that your chances are increased when you applied in your own state. Again, if you are applying to a University like the Niger Delta University, meanwhile, you have been using your father’s LGA from Delta or another state, and your mother is from Bayelsa, what that means is that you will put away that LGA because it is useless in this instance. Just go to your mother’s LGA secretariat and process a local government of origin (LGA). This allows you to enjoy all the benefits of an indigene and also increases your chances of admission.

In the Niger Delta University alone, the difference in tuition fees between indigenes and non-indigenes is N50,000 especially in year one. Medicine fees is N200,000 to N150,000. Law is N180,000 to N130,000. Engineering is N170,000 to N120,000. While other programmes are N160,000 to N110,000. All these are year one fees as at the 2018/2019 academic session. Nevertheless, by the time you get to year two, the fees dropped by N30,000 and this is what you pay till final year.

  1. Change of Course Manipulations

When you hear change of course manipulations, you may think it is one fraudulent activity. But it is never so. It is the same genuine change of course you knew. But in this case, it is a kind of reasoning process. Let us get down into deep discussion. Let’s say you apply for a programme like medicine (please, for the purpose of this paper, let us call each field of study a programme instead of a course because actually, a course is like a subject in the university and not really a field of study). Now, you are aware that medicine is competitive and requires higher cutoff mark, higher than the general yearly cutoff mark. This is to say if the general cutoff mark is 160 as in the 2019/2020 session, medicine will surely be 200 and above. In fact, if you scored 200 you are still at disadvantage because the amount of students who will be scoring 250 and above may be much. You will not really expect the Vice Chancellor to leave those high scorers and admit you with low score. It doesn’t really work that way.

However, our attention/searchlight here will be beamed on those who scored below 200. You know what? Medicine requires those who can perform because if you cannot perform, in year three, if you cannot pass MBBS exam, you will be transferred immediately from that programme and Faculty altogether for good. In June, 2019 alone, about 40 students who failed the MBBS exam were transferred from the Faculty of Basic Medical Science. While those who earlier applied for Medicine but could not get it, but did very well, first class indeed, were all moved back to their pride of place – Medicine. So, you see? Medicine is not by power, not by interest, not by blocking, it is by brain. Now, you blocked your way and find yourself into medicine, and later, you cannot perform. You know what? While you can block your way to get in, you can never block your way inside. You cannot o. Not even in NDU. Interviews I had conducted with students especially amongst 100 and 200 levels indicate that you just can’t block. It is only a performance thing.

So, if you scored low, and you initially chose medicine, the advice/manipulation here now is that you should change to another alternate course. Not even to Nursing, not Pharmacy, not Med Lab because all these programmes requires higher jamb scores. Even if you find your way, when your colleagues will be applying for scholarships, you can’t apply because most scholarships for medical students would not accept a jamb score of less than 200. So, you are in a better position if you change your course. Do you know why? Let me diagrammatically explain. In both diagrams below, take note of the candidate that scored 170 in jamb.

From the table above, you can see the reason why you need to run from medicine if you have a low jamb score. This is because the candidate with 170 is hoping for admission in medicine but his mates who are in biological science are busy getting admission. Note that one man’s food is another man’s poison. A jamb score of 170 that is a disadvantage to a jambite in medicine constituted no disadvantage to a student in biological science. So, this is just the explanation. Go to where your power reach. Where the sons of rich men are fighting, the sons of the poor just sit back and watch. You should not use your low score to be hoping for admission in medicine.

You may want to argue however, that what if they cannot give me medicine, won’t they give me another course? Yes, you are right, but the course they will give you may be far from what you want. This is because admission must have gone far by now, and only the areas/programmes that students are running away from may be available by then. It is before admission you should have selected an alternative programme, else during admission, you no longer have the power of selection again. Then, from medicine, you may find yourself in Science Education or Agriculture. These are the issues.

  1. Man-Know-Man Saga

In Nigeria, the issue of man-know-man is no longer new. Man-know-man refers to advantage gained based on closeness, knowledge or relations to a person. Take for instance, your father is a childhood friend to a Vice Chancellor of a certain university. Now, you applied for admission in this certain school and your father is aware that his beloved childhood friend is the Vice Chancellor. Now, immediately the VC of that school learns that his friend’s son/daughter has applied for admission in his school, of course, he may even be the one taking down his details for admission consideration provided he met with the requirements. During admission periods, the administrators of various institutions receive pressure from the national community to admit their wards. This works for many. Sometimes, we even see a student with low cutoff mark in jamb studying medicine. We often find out when we are applying for their scholarships. Before we even ask how they did it, they are already laughing. So, man-know-man can also help an applicant to gain admission. Another thing too is application for concessional admission. But let us discuss this in the next subheading.

So, if you have a lecturer, an administrator, just anyone in the university you are applying, do well to consult them concerning your admission. They may in turn, know someone that knows somebody, before you know it, admission has arrived.

  1. Develop A listening Ear

It is not enough to buy JAMB form, write the exam and go to bed. Then when you heard that post utme forms has been released, you woke up again, purchased it, wrote it and went to bed again expecting admission. Although, that was supposed to be the norm, but there are various requirements and information going on that may put you at advantage if you heard them. For example, the news will emerge that all jambites should go and re-upload their o’level results. If you were sleeping (like busy with your schedule, not following current trends on whatsapp and facebook and other school’s handles and groups), this activity will pass you and you can never get admission. This was what played out in 2018/2019. Some persons who even worked their admission never got it because they were not informed to go and upload their result. Some that even went, the café person said yes, they have uploaded it, but alas! they did not. Maybe network did not favour them or the pressure of jambites uploading was mounting on them that they forget your work, and so, before they realized, admission has passed them.

Again, just like we read above, mouth talk to mouth can also bring advantage. I know of some applicants who got admission because they were close to children of administrators. So, from mouth talk to mouth, they presented their names to small children who passed such names to their fathers and mothers and you know what? Admission has arrived. So, develop a listening ear. Don’t be too rigid in conversations. Open up and follow popular discussions especially after the post UTME period. This is at least, the most rugged period in the admission circle. From these discussions, you make friends, get new information and keep abreast with all that is going on.

Again, a jambite will never know of what we called a concessional admission to the Vice Chancellor. There are applicants who scored very high but did not get admission, while their colleagues who scored lower are getting admission. This is not a back door working matter. In some of these instances, those who scored lower (but still beat the cutoff) than others who got admitted often claim they do not even know anyone in the institution that the admission just came. So, you that scored very high, you do not need to sit at home, you apply for concessional admission. You beseech the admission officer and laid bare your complaint respectfully. Tell him/her that your colleagues scored lower but has been admitted, how come you that did well has not been admitted? Appeal passionately. I had advised a school daughter on this before. She did well in her jamb and post UTME but while most of her colleagues had been admitted, she was still waiting for admission. Unfortunately, it was the second batch already. You know one thing, once 1st, 2nd and 3rd batches are out, admission chances are getting slimmer by the day. So, I advised her to take her parents to present a letter of concessional admission to the VC and also reach the admission office. Whence the admission officer saw her scores, he was like how come she has not been admitted with this score? He promised that within two weeks, the admission will come. And of course, at the third week, the admission came. So, sometimes, when you feel you are supposed to have been admitted but nothing is happening, leave the house, take your parents and see the admission officer and the VC, provided you scored very high. Even where your score is average, then, apply for concessional admission.

Conclusion

This paper builds on the foundations of the first volume. The volume 1 is titled “easy way to write your jamb and post UTME and get admitted once for all time”. This volume 2 builds on some of the strongholds of the first volume. It is my belief that this paper will be of immense benefits to all jambites.

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