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How to gain admission into a top Nigerian university



How to gain admission into a top Nigerian university

At one point in your life, you will be faced with the challenge of squeezing your way through the swarm of “jambites” and crossing the other side to become an undergraduate. For many people, this is usually a tough time of doubt and confusion. I understand because I’ve been there.

Gaining admission into a Nigerian university is not for the faint of heart, especially when you are aiming for a top choice university. The reason is that several others are also targeting these same schools and some of them might even have more connections or money to buy their way through. Even at that, there are tested and trusted tips and tricks that will get you into the Nigerian university of your dreams. I will show you 7 ways to gain admission into a top Nigerian university, but before that, what are some of the best universities in Nigeria?

What are some of the top universities in Nigeria?

Nigeria is filled with all sorts of tertiary institutions both colleges of education, polytechnics, and universities, but when it comes to the best universities in the country some of them in no particular order are:

University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)
University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)
Covenant University
Federal University of Minna (FUTMINNA)
University of Ibadan (UNIBADAN)
Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK)
University of Lagos (UNILAG)
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)
Abia State University (ABSU)
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Babcock university
University of Uyo
Rivers State University of Science and Technology.
University of Calabar (UNICAL)
University of Benin (UNIBEN)
Landmark University
University of Jos
Nile University
Ekiti State University
Bowen University
Federal University of Technology, Akure

Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive. There are a lot of other fantastic schools in the country. Getting into these schools and others that I haven’t mentioned here is tough, but possible. That’s why we have this step-by-step guide on how to get admission into the top Nigerian universities. What are you waiting for? Let’s dive right in.

1. Do your research.

Dig deep. Browse the internet. Read the news. Before you even start the journey of trying to get admission, you need to know more about the school you are going into. Your dream school might be great, but at the same time, it might not be ideal for you. What do I mean by that, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

Have you ever heard of a student gaining admission into an amazing school only to find out that their chosen course was not accredited? If you want to gain admission into a top Nigerian university, then you need to find out more about the schools available. When you do your research, you have more options and that increases your chances of gaining admission into a top Nigerian university. Let me not forget to add that doing your research right also helps you to stay updated with vital information.

2. Get good grades

In every university admission system, grades matter. That is the primary reason why there is such a concept as cutoff marks and the like. The purpose of every university’s cutoff mark is to screen the multitude seeking admission and give it to a deserving few. If you want to get admission you must pass your exams.

Though, I’ve seen people who wrote up to four JAMB exams and eventually got admission with their lowest JAMB score. However, this doesn’t always apply to everyone, it is still advisable that you try as much as possible to study smart and achieve good grades in your UTME and post UTME exams. The competition will be stiff especially when you are going to a top school. Getting good grades will give you an edge over other students.

When I talk about good grades I’m referring to your O’level, JAMB, and post UTME

O’level examinations

WAEC, NECO, and NABTEB all fall under this category. Getting good grades in WAEC doesn’t necessarily mean A1 parallel. It means getting nothing less than C’s in your key subjects. Your key subjects are the related subjects to your desired course. Example:

An aspiring Medicine and surgery student will need at least 5 credits in these subjects;


While a law student will need at least 5 credits in


Keep in mind that the subjects you must pass in your O’level examination strictly depend on the course you want to study. Failure to pass those subjects can cause a delay in your admission. Practicing past questions regularly can help since some of the questions asked are recycled. If you want to stand a higher chance, try to pass in one sitting so that you won’t have to face the hurdle of combining results later in the future.


The almighty JAMB has become a thorn in most students’ flesh, but it doesn’t have to be the same for you. Whatever you do, please do not aim for the minimum grade of 180 marks. While that might get you access to the gate of your school, it might not be able to get through the front door, especially if you are going for a reputable course.

Ever heard of the term “JAMB cut-off mark”? There’s a reason why that term exists. Getting below that cut-off mark which could be anything from 160 to 200 could mean goodbye to anything concerning admission in that year.

Aim for a jamb score of 240 or more for a start. The truth is scoring high in JAMB (250 and above) helps you tremendously to gain admission to your dream school. You know what they say, aim for the moon, even if you don’t get there, you might fall on the stars.


A lot of schools have scraped out post UTME exams from their admission process, but prepare for it to be on the safer side. Even if you won’t be required to write an exam (I can see you smiling), you may be asked to submit certain documents for screening. Make sure those documents are complete and properly arranged to ensure you come out of the screening with a reasonable Post UTME score.

3. Choose your course of study wisely

The course you decide to study may very well be the reason why you will get admission or not. Some courses are very difficult to get in certain schools and this boils down to the importance of doing your research.

I wouldn’t want to be a buzzkill, but let’s face facts; some courses are more competitive than others. When choosing your course, there are several factors you must consider such as your ability in the related subjects. Please, whatever you do, consider your academic strengths. It is funny to see some students who hate memorizing the names of chemicals going to study pharmacy or a student who runs away from reading big novels looking for admission to study English and literary studies!

All these things matter. Think deeply about the course you want to study as it will affect your chances of not only securing admission but also graduating successfully. We don’t always hope for bad news, but if your JAMB score happens to be low, you may want to try opting for courses that are less competitive to boost your chances of gaining admission quickly. Keep in mind that when choosing what course to study, you have to pick one from two categories which are:

Professional courses (Typically first choice)

Medicine and surgery
Estate management
Banking and finance
Dentistry and dental science
Computer science
Petroleum engineering

Less competitive courses (Typically second choice)

Soil science
Library and information science
Guidance and counseling
Language courses (French, Portuguese, Russian)
Forestry and wildlife
Home Economics
Christian religious studies
Education courses

The professional courses I mentioned are more difficult to get, while the less competitive ones are easier to get. You should combine the two i.e select a professional course as your first choice and a less competitive one as your second choice to be on the safe side.


4. Follow instructions

Even if you do your research, study hard, and get good grades without following instructions, your chances of getting admission into a good school will reduce. This is because schools are looking for any excuse to screen out aspirants and reduce the stiff competition by all means.

For example, you were asked to register for the post UTME, and you were given a deadline of 1 week, what do you think will happen if you register for the Post UTME 1 month after the deadline? Of course, that opportunity will pass. The key to getting admission is to stay informed and follow instructions at the right time. This will ensure that you stay on top of the mission and secure admission for yourself fast.

5. Understand how admission to your chosen university works

Admission processes vary from university to university. After you’ve decided what school you want to go to, try to understand the dynamics of how they give out admission. Some schools have just 3 admission lists, while some schools issue more than that number. Some schools admit a larger number of students because they have the capacity while some smaller schools opt for a more limited range of newly admitted students.  The majority of schools give admission more easily to the indigenes as opposed to non-indigenes (that is people who do not come from that particular state).

Also, try to understand how your school calculates its final cut-off mark. Yes, most schools have their unique cut-off mark which is different from that of JAMB. It is usually a fusion of your Jamb score plus your post UTME score, but some schools put a twist on their cut-off mark. Find out how this aggregate is calculated so that you can know where you stand instead of putting all your eggs in one basket.

These are all very important factors that you can use to your advantage. For example, if you apply for a school in your state of origin, combined with a reasonable result in WAEC/NECO, JAMB, and post UTME, coupled with another supplementary application in a school for a course that isn’t competitive, you will gain admission into the university.

6. Get connected

Admission into a good Nigerian university is a big deal. Trust me when I say you cannot do it alone. Especially in a country like Nigeria, you need to stay connected to go far. You never know who can help you secure admission and I’m not even talking about bribery and corruption.

Let me give you a perfect example. Do you know that every year, there are Whatsapp groups for students aspiring to get admitted into different Nigerian universities? In these Whatsapp groups, the admin shares very helpful information and updates that make the admission process easier for these students.

You could also tell people around you that you are seeking admission. I know of some schools that give official admission slots to the staff of the university. Imagine if your mother’s colleague’s husband is working in your dream university and he has a free admission slot! The only way you can access that is by telling people about it.

7. Pray about it

I may have put this point as the last, but it is not the least. No matter how far you think you are going, you need to put God at the center of everything. You might do everything right and still be at home while someone with grace gets that admission slot you so desire. Follow these tips outlined above then make sure you commit your admission into the hands of God and watch how quick your admission will come.


Some people get admission the same year they graduate from secondary school and others? Well, they aren’t so lucky. Either way, with this practical guide, you have everything you need to gain admission into a top Nigerian school to study the course of your dreams. My advice? Use this information the best way you can and you’ll get your admission as soon as possible!


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