Successful Tips On How Candidates Can Excel On External Exams

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Stakeholders have given success tips on how candidates can excel in the May/June 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in May 2022.



The two external examinations are crucial requirements for the SS3 students to gain admission into universities, polytechnics and colleges in Nigeria. For WASSCE, conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), candidates are required to obtain five credits and above including English Language and Mathematics. Candidates are also expected to score high marks in UTME, conducted by the Joint Admissions Matriculation Examination (JAMB), to to gain admission.


Immediate past principal, Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Bwari, Abuja, Stellamaris Omu, said preparation for the examinations should be thorough, from the sides of the students, school and parents: “The student who has been taught over time should be properly ingrained in him/her, and student should not wait until last minute to begin to prepare for examination.


“Good time management is key to study and preparation. Students should study and revise all academic work done in class alongside past examination question papers and examiner’s guide to get an idea of what to expect and answers to provide.


“Students should read and study always so they can overcome anxiety, fear and be more confident in their approach to examinations. They should apportion time to practice as the examiner stipulates.”


She encouraged students to have mastery of the subject with confidence, and always begin the examination with questions or topics that they have mastered to avoid waste of time on those that appear difficult to them:


“Students should form good study groups long before the scheduled dates for examinations to undertake team reading, questions and answers sessions that aid recall. During the examination, students should read the questions carefully and follow examiner’s instructions strictly.


“Answer the easy questions first, read over your work before submitting the answer script to check errors and numbering. While answering a question, if you are stuck, leave that number and go to another, and come back to tackle the previous one, and most importantly, write clearly.


“As examination period approaches, students should avoid noisy environment, distraction from unserious persons and malpractice tendencies that could affect their chances of finishing well. Schools should provide revision lessons and similar opportunities for the students preparatory to the examination.


“Schools should be able to assess the level of preparedness of students, encourage and motivate them, emphasise recall and encourage reviews of work done”


A lecturer at the English Language Development, Lagos State University (LASU), Dr Ganiu Bamgbose, said: “The over reliance on mercenaries, support from schools, go along affecting this students study performance. Schools need to let students know they will pass exams if they work hard and prepare themselves for it.


“Students should be made to understand that learning is important to performance of students and studying for exams has its rewards. They should be made to see learning beyond passing exams.


“Parents should equally avoid asking teachers what ways they can assist their children. What other way do they want teachers to assist their children after teaching and preparing them for the exams?


“Teachers should make parents realise that their children just have to read and that is the only way. They should prepare them for the exams. I know many schools that do this and there are special classes for the SS3 students.”


A teacher at St. Paul School, Uzere, Isoko South Local Government, Delta State, Gladys Efemona, gave some useful tips on how students can do well in WASSCE and UTME: “Creating a study timetable is necessary for students to perform well in their exam. They have to assign a different subject for each particular day.


“For example, they can decide to study Physics on Monday, Chemistry on Tuesday and so on. The personal timetable must not include many topics that you cannot read. They have to set a study schedule to something that they can achieve every day.


“Also, read according to the pace that you understand. Because your friend reads five topics in a day should not intimidate you. Do not adopt such a style when you yet know your reading capacity.


“Teachers must be more accommodating and create avenue as well, where the students can have access to their subject teachers and consult them for further explanation in any subjects, parents too can assist when necessary.


“While I was in secondary school, my teachers created this avenue and we were able to consult them regularly. My dad assisted, even my elder siblings it was easy, cause that anxiety and phobia were taking care of. I believe if students can form a bond with them, it would help them achieve better results.


“Further more, past questions and the syllabus are needed to enhance their study. They should be able to meet their teachers after class.


“SS3 students should attend classes regularly and take down notes. When they surfer the Internet, it should be relevant to academic. Their phones should be switched off while they study.


“They should avoid excessive use of phones and do not pay for examination malpractice.  Schools and parents should not engage in chips. This has affected the mind-set of the youths, allow them sweat it out, to achieve greatness.


Vice Principal, St. John Secondary School, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Mrs Yemisi Taiwo, said: “Students should start exams preparations early enough to cover the syllabus no matter what their your reading pace could be.


“WAEC syllabus has a subject outline for each topic you need to study for the WASSCE examination. It serves as a guide for students to know what to read and understand for exam.


“Every student must prepare for their examinations using the WAEC syllabus. It is the only way to prepare for the exam. The best way to answer WASSCE questions is to prepare for the exam and be confident with your answers.


“They should learn how to answer multiple-choice and essay questions. Do not allow yourself to get overwhelmed with anxiety. Fear prevents you from utilising your full potential. It will make you choose the wrong options and not perform well in your exam.


“I recommend that they do not waste time with unfamiliar questions. Attempt the questions that you know before tackling other problems. Do not make the mistake of trying to collaborate with other classmates inside the exam hall.


Collaborating with other students should be study group but inside examination hall, mind your business, so it doesn’t affect your performance. As you are preparing, make the decision that you want to be independent during the exam.”


A secondary school teacher in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Mr Innocent Ekwe, advised: “Students preparing for external exams should shun all social media activities to enable them concentrate and prepare well for their exams.


“Teachers should ensure they cover the syllabus and scheme of works to prepare students for WASSCE and UTME and do well in their exams. Students should study hard. Success does not come overnight. It comes as a result of hard work.


“Students will always pass their exams with flying colours given a conducive environment for effective teaching and learning. For SS3, they should organise intensive classes for them to cover the lost ground in SS 1 & 2.


“They should avoid over sleeping, indolence and exposing themselves to side attraction such as social media and other extra – curriculum activities that make them wile away their time.

source: theSun


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