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5 mistakes that can stop you from gaining university admission in Nigeria

Gaining admission into a Nigerian university can be a struggle, especially into the first choice tertiary institutions.

Prospective candidates who have passed their Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) and the Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination (UTME) might wonder why they are not admitted despite their good grades and UTME scores.

There are many reasons why students miss admission every year. Many people might think university managements are not fair and transparent in their admission procedures, but the truth is, every institution has its admission requirements and criteria.

UNILAG matriculates over 9000 students
New students during their matriculation ceremony (Nile University of Nigeria)

Here are some of the mistakes that could lead to admission failure.

1. O Level result combination

Candidates seeking admission into a tertiary institution will either use his/her WAEC, NECO result or combination of both. However, there have been questions on whether some universities accept a combination of NECO and WAEC results.

Here is it, some schools like the University of Lagos only accepts one O level result from its admission candidates. So, if you are choosing a school like this for admission, you are expected to use one O level result.

2. Wrong O level subjects combination

The wrong O level subject combination has also been identified as one of the reasons many students are denied admission.

If you want to study say, Biochemistry in the university, you are expected to have at least five credits in your O level result. And this credits must include English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology. In some schools, the fifth course has to be Physics while in others, any other science subject is allowed as the fifth subject.

You have to know the O level subject combination your choice university want.

3. Age

The official age for admission in Nigerian universities is 16. Before a candidate can be admitted, he/she must have reached the AGE of sixteen (16) by the 31st day of October in the year of admission.

4. False state of origin claim

Falsifying your state of origin is always an issue in state universities where indigenes get a bursary and subsidised tuition. Tertiary institutions like Lagos State University (LASU) take this seriously.

5. Cut-off mark

This became a little controversial as the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board recently lowered the cut-off mark for universities to 140, while polytechnics and colleges of education were pegged at 120 and 100 respectively.

However, first generations like the University of Ibadan and University of Lagos UNILAG only consider only candidates who scored 200 in their UTME exams.

So, if you want to be admitted to any of these schools, your UTME must not be less than 200.


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