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JAMB UTME Registration Tips: Guide To Choosing The Right Course And Institution

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This post is a guide To Choosing The Right Course And Institution (University, Polytechnic or Colleges Of education). Many candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria often jeopardize their chances of securing admission into the right course  as well as the right institution because they do not have the right information.

In this post, I have taking time to provide a clear guide on how to pick the right course and institution.

Choosing A Course of Study

Ask most candidates what they would like to study in school and they will easily give you an easy answer, but ask them why and they will start to gabble.  Many make the mistake of getting entangled in the unreasonable quest for professional courses like Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law even when they know that they are not good in those areas.  With the current state of things in Nigeria and the world at large, it is no longer much of what you studied but what you can do with what you studied.  So why not apply for a course you know you are good at or have passion for?  To help you make a good decision on that, I would like you to take time to ask yourself the following;

What area of Human endeavor would I love to give my Contribution?

What are my Natural abilities or talents (The things you do so well and yet easily)?

What subjects am I really good at and have interest in?

What would I love to spend the rest of my life doing?

Don’t make decision on which course to study based on “what course pays more”. When you are good at what you do, money will eventually flow in and keep flowing in.

SEE ALSO: JAMB Registration Tips: Choosing The Right O’level/UTME Subject Combination

Interest Is Crucial

There is hardly anything you can succeed in when you have little or no interest in such. The reason is that it is hard for you to put in the needed effort (and go the extra mile if need be) to succeed at something you have no interest in. Interest has a way of turning average performers into high achievers. Someone defined it as a psychological state of engagement. It’s that kind of enthusiasm you have towards something that makes you give it your best and maximum attention.

When students have little or no interest in their academics for one reason or the other, it has a way of negatively impacting their academic performances. Educationists are of the opinion that lack of interest is probably one of the strongest factors affecting students’ performances.

Why go for an engineering course when you know how you struggled in high school to make a “C” in Physics and Mathematics.

Many students have been asked to withdraw by their school authorities due to their inability to cope with the demands of the courses they are studying. This is something they could have avoided if they had gone for a course they are good at.

ALSO READ: What You Need To know About Using Awaiting Result For Admission

Selection of Institutions

Candidates should also be informed before taking the decision concerning which institution to select or choose. There are three major things to bring into consideration. They are cost, course preference and catchment area.

In terms of ownership, higher institutions of learning are categorized under Public and Private.  Private institutions are owned by individuals and organizations while Public institutions are owned by the government. These public institutions are further grouped into Federal owned (owned by the Federal government) and state owned (owned by the state government) institutions.

This has a cost implication. Federal higher institutions of learning are cheaper in terms of cost compared to state owned institutions while Private institutions can be said to be quite on the high side. So you need to put this into consideration.

The course you wish to study is another thing you should consider before selecting an institution. This is so because some institutions are better equipped to offer some courses better than others.  Look out for institutions that specialize in your course of interest. Make research, ask questions from students who have attended such institutions before and try to get details of their experience studying such courses in that institution; it is worth the effort.

Also candidates whose state of origin is captured in the catchment area of their institution of choice according to federal government guidelines on admission, stand a better chance of securing admission into such institutions. You may wish to consider this when selecting your institution. For list of institutions and their catchment areas, consult the JAMB Brochure.

For now, these are the important points every UTME prospective candidate should bear in mind. If need be I will create a second part of this post just to make sure you have every important information you need to succeed and secure admission into your desired course and institution.


JAMB has earlier announced that candidates applying for the 2017 UTME will not be able to select two universities as their choices of institutions, but they can choose a public university as first choice and a private university as 2nd choice.

So for 2017 UTME Registration below, is the format for selecting your institution;

1st Institution – Federal or State University
2nd Institution – Private University or Polytechnic
3rd Institution – Polytechnic or College of Education (COE)
4th Institution – College of Education (COE) or Innovative Enterprise Institute (IEI)

This means you can no longer choose a Federal University and State University as 1st & 2nd Choices respectively. If you must choose a university as a 2nd choice, it has to be a private university.

NOTE: You can select a polytechnic as 2nd choice, in place of a private university, and so on, as stated above.



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  1. Muhammadul Ashrafu

    Thank You For These Important Guidelines And Information. May You Be Blessed.

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