Over the years, the use of past questions and answers in preparation for examinations have been of great value to students across various learning environments. Past questions have been reported to have improve performance and boost students’ morale in examinations.
Past questions helps familiarize you with likely examination questions, time, strength, weaknesses and technicalities of questions. When studying with past questions, endeavour to attempt 60% or more of each year’s question correctly. If you get this, you are as good as ready to go. If you are a Jambite, ensure you purchase all focus textbooks (textbooks that are particularly written for JAMB purposes). This helps you to relate to areas in the past questions you cannot answer yourself. The benefit of past questions cannot be exhausted as it is emerging. Below, I manage to emphasize on some of these benefits:
1. Past questions enables you identify possible number of questions that JAMB will set in your year of examination. This is very important because it will enable you adjust your preparatory speed.
2. Past questions help to understand the likelihood of examination duration. This is very imperative for Jambites/students because if you do not practice with time, in the examination hall, meeting up with the given timeframe will be very difficult. You are not often asked to answer all questions but to attempt all. Hence, you must be as fast as you can.
3. Past questions allow you to understand the number of alternative choices provided by your examiner. Knowing that you have options gives you the understanding that you need to answer the best questions you know first rather than attempting it in 1,2,3,4 order especially in theory parts.
4. Since you are familiar with past questions, you are able to work out your own time which is as a result of the required time for each subject/question.
5. Examination questions can be technical at times. Two identical correct answers can be given for a particular question. For instance, check this JAMB question 1 for Government 1978:
Objective Question 1:
Democracy means a system of government in which:
A. the majority rules
B. the minority rules
C. there is no party system
D. the people rules
E. none of the above
Now, since Democracy is a government of numbers where majority carries the day, you will be correct if you choose (A). However, Democracy has also been defined as a government of the people. From this view, you are also correct if you choose (D). But you know what? Option (A) conveys the message more than any other options here. So, past questions helps you identify these technicalities.
In 2008/2009 when I was writing my JAMB, I have the same technicality issues with some questions about parliament. Although I can’t really fathom what the argument was about again, I can remember that I took the question to my JAMB lessons Government teacher who clarified the technicality for me. All things being equal, you just need past questions to do better in examinations.
6. Past questions helps identify your strength and weaknesses and capitalize on it. We all know that there are some subjects you know more than others. Understanding this helps you to first answer the subjects you know and like the most before moving to other less interesting and difficult questions. The trick is that if you spend the bulk of your examination time answering the subjects you like most, then you are sure of being faster than when you battle and waste all your precious time on the difficult subjects/topics.
7. Past questions helps you understand which area of the questions are more important than others. In doing so, you spend more time on the questions that are more important and give you more marks than others. This technique can help you if you have limited time.
The benefits of jamb past questions to Jambites cannot be totally discussed in one page work like this.
So, are you preparing for Post UTME? Get some past questions now!
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