How To Gain Admission into ABU - Ahmadu Bello University - School Contents

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How To Gain Admission into ABU - Ahmadu Bello University

ABU Complete Admission Guide For UTME, DE, Remeddia, Diploma and IJMB Applicants
ABU logo

You must have heard these about ABU ...

“They only accept Muslims”
“They only accept applicants from the north”

There are more hearsays really. But how true? Let’s find out.

To say the truth, ABU is one of those universities that take catchment areas seriously. They also recognize less educationally privileged states as being required by the federal government. Before you say, "didn't I tell you", OAU, UI, UNILAG, UNIBEN, UNILORIN, etc use the same or similar quotas in their admissions. This doesn’t imply that their admission lists are not on merit. They are but there is more to understand about them. Let's keep reading.

I had explained what catchment areas and less educated states are in my recent post. Recognizing these two criteria is not limited to ABU, other federal universities do the same. If you read the post I referred to above, you will understand me better.

But if I say, you can gain admission to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria on merit, you’d ask me, "how? Just follow the guide below.

I’d followed this guide for my students in the southwest several times and it worked fine.

ABU has no major differences from other universities in Nigeria; except for some important tweaks that will be covered in this post.

Let’s get started. I will be covering the following areas:

  1. Ascertain your O’level results are complete
  2. Choose ABU in UTME as the first choice with the right Course.
  3. Obtain ABU post UTME when on sales.
  4. Gaining Admission to ABU as Direct Entry Applicants
  5. How Does ABU Treat their Pre-degree or Remedial Students for Admission to 100 level
  6. How ABU Distributes Admission Spaces Among Applicants

1. Ascertain your O’level results are complete

Some applicants blindly seek admission without complete results. Some have one or two deficiencies in very important subjects. Yet, they believe, since ABU is a northern university, they can just accept anything weaker or inferior. Forget that and pay attention to the information below about your O’level result.

ABU is consistently accepting all O’level results including NBAIS; which you might have heard about. I had posted some information about the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) earlier. You can check it out for further details.

You need 5 credit passes in O’level subjects relevant to your proposed course in the school. The university equally allows ordinary passes in SSCE (certain subjects) for some courses. JAMB brochure has details on this; see it online here.

You can combine two O’level results in any way possible e.g. WAEC plus NECO, WAEC plus NABTEB, NECO plus NABTEB, etc. For some courses, you may not use more than a sitting, however.  Some schools don’t allow this.

You can check my post on “How to Study, Understand and Use JAMB Brochure: Admission Success Channel.” as a guide to know what to look for in the JAMB brochure.

And to know directly if you qualified for a course at ABU, kindly check your eligibility status here.

Using Awaiting Results for ABU Admission

Having said that, O'level result is a must for you, you can as well apply with awaiting result during JAMB registration if you're yet to write any SSCE or you're expecting to make up for a deficiency or two.

ABU entrance
In this case, you will have to return to the JAMB CBT center when your result is out and the required subjects are made. There, you will upload the result which was kept awaiting before.

No institution will give admission to any candidates using awaiting results as at the time admission lists are being prepared.

RecommendedJAMB Brochure For Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State

2. Choose ABU in UTME as the First Choice  

Another silly thinking is that perhaps you can take ABU as a second-choice institution because they are less competitive. Why don’t you ask yourself this, “If ABU is truly less competitive, why couldn’t they admit all their admission seekers?” Hence, I advise you to take ABU as the first choice if you truly need them.

Choose your Course at the School. 

ABU is one of those federal universities offering good courses and with needed infrastructures. You will have enough choices to take from. However, you’ll need a JAMB brochure to guide you on your choice. This is because you don’t only choose a course, you need to understand the following before you do:
  • Is the course available at ABU
  • What O’level grades and subjects needed for the course?
  • What UTME subjects should you write for the course?
  • Does ABU has special conditions for the course?

In fact, this area calls for special attention.  Don't write Yoruba or Igbo in UTME for ABU. The University does test their applicants (during post UTME) on the same set of subjects they wrote in UTME.

However, they never set Yoruba or Igbo questions during Post UTME. Hence, you have to write only three papers. With this, you've failed the post UTME and that's the end of your admission.

Therefore, I suggest you write any other Art subject instead or check your eligibility first for the course.

90+ Courses Available at ABU (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria) for UTME/DE Applicants

3. Obtain ABU Post UTME when on sales.

Ahmadu Bello University Zaria sells post UTME and tests their candidates.

However, before you can obtain the POST- UTME form and write their test, you must score 180 or above for all courses.

In your own interest, however, don’t duel on 180 plus for courses like Medicine and the likes. You will need to score really higher to compete for their top degree courses.

ABU Post UTME CBT hall
It’s certain that candidates seeking competitive courses must do well not only in the UTME but also in the post-UTME.

You know why? Your post-UTME score is over 400 just as your JAMB is over 400. The university will offer you admission based on your score in post UTME eventually.

Now you want to know the departmental cut-off marks for your proposed course. Well, I can’t give you anyone specifically, and here is why. Departmental cut-off marks are not static (stable). They change every year depending on certain factors:
  • Number of students competing for the course
  • Average performance in UTME
  • Average performance in post UTME

How I wish the school make their departmental cut-off marks public. But it's not; at least not yet. However, this is the cut-off mark popularly believed to be used by the university.
  • 220 – 240 – Medicine (O’ Level result with one sitting only) and Nursing
  • 200 – Mass Communication, Common Law, Pharmacy, Anatomy, Physiology
  • 190 – Computer Science, English Language, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Geology, all engineering courses except Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering.
  • 180 – All other courses

I will update this post when I have official departmental cut-off marks. kindly revisit sooner.  Just know that what matters to you, for now, is to score high in JAMB and work for the same in the post UTME.

Admission to ABU as Direct Entry Applicants

This section doesn’t concern UTME candidates. So skip. 

Direct entry applicants are those who had completed their BSC, HND, ND, NCE, RN, IJMB, JUPEB, Cambridge A’level, Foundation etc in a school and decided to proceed to the university to continue with the same courses or related ones.

To seek admission into ABU as a direct entry applicant, you must also:
  • obtain JAMB form. Yours is called JAMB Direct entry form instead of JAMB UTME form.
  • register at any CBT centre nationwide
  • register for Post DE; the very time UTME applicants are registering.

ABU accepts graduates of BSC, HND, ND, NCE, IJMB, DIPLOMA, etc for her direct entry admission.

Direct Entry (DE) JAMB Regularization: Procedures, Price and Closing Date

ABU also runs IJMB and Diploma programs on her campus and affiliate ones. These candidates are usually their favorites for direct entry spaces. They accept outsiders as well for their degree courses if you have the requirements. Below are what direct entry applicants should know before choosing ABU.

Obviously, before you can apply for ABU post-DE, you must meet the following conditions:
  • Have a minimum of lower credit for ND holders
  • Have Merit grade for Diploma
  • 9 points in NCE or IJMB

Kindly, visit, study, and understand the JAMB brochure for further information. I explained what you need to look for in the JAMB brochure here in full.

How ABU Treat their Pre-degree or Remedial Students for Admission to 100 level

Something is important here. If you're a student of ABU Remedial programmes, you are 99% of times going to be offered admission to 100 level. Let me explain!

In my last 10 years of producing students to ABU Remedial programmes, I never recorded a student who was not eventually offered admission to 100 level. This is why.

You must have failed two of the three conditions below before the school can show you the way home.
  • Failed remedial final exams
  • Failed in UTME
  • Failed in Post-UTME

ABU will consider their pre-degree students for admission to 100 level if they pass the pre-degree exams, but it's advisable to score 180 or above. Such students will be given admission through remedial instead of JAMB.

The school only asks you to attempt UTME for an official record and order to have a JAMB registration number.  If a remedial student passes UTME and fails remedial exams, he or she will still be offered admission through JAMB.

But if you fail both, you can't even do post-UTME and you're going to miss your beloved campus.

How ABU Distribute Admission Spaces among Applicants

Like most federal universities (if not all), ABU usually bites more than it can chew. Abdullahi Kundila, the registrar of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has disclosed that over 63,000 candidates applied for admission but only about 10,000 were admitted in 2017. What percentage was that? Then who won, who lost?

ABU follows the 45, 35, 20 principles like their counterparts. By this, it means the university will give admission to 45% on merit, 35% based on catchment areas, and 20% based on less-educated states.

ABU 19 Catchment and 23 Educational Less Developed States

This doesn’t mean admission given to catchment areas and less educated states is not on merit. No!. It only means, the aggregate mark to be considered for (35%) catchment areas will be less than merit and (20%) less educated will be lesser.

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Also in this series

  1. UNILAG Admission Complete Guide For UTME, DE, Foundation, and JUPEB Applicants
  2. ATBU Complete Admission Guide for UTME, DE, IJMB, and Diploma Applicants 
  3. Bayero University Kano (BUK) Complete Admission Guide for UTME and DE Applicants 
  4. UI Admission Complete Guide: For UTME, DE, Cambridge Advanced Level Applicants 
  5. OAU Admissions Complete Guide: For UTME, DE, Predegree, and JUPEB Applicants 


  1. Good afternoon
    Will ABU Zaria accept D7 in literature (WAEC) because i used it to register for both jamb and post UTME.

    1. Firstly, you can check JAMB brochure to confirm if the university wave English or accepts D7.

      Another way is to use the tool provided by JAMB to check if you're qualified for the school and course.

      Use the search box at the top of this blog to search for "
      Check If You Are Qualified For the University and Course You Chose in JAMB"

      in that post, I detailed how to use the tool.

  2. Please does Abu offer petroleum engineering....if yes please what average score should I target to be given admission on from enugu, Nigeria

    1. The only to know is to check JAMB Brochure or the school portal. Kindly act accordingly.

  3. Sir, I scored 232 in jamb and for law what's my chance that I will gain admission

  4. Pls I want to know when ABU direct entry form will be out for 202

    1. ABU doesn't sell Direct Entry for. They only sell post DE form. JAMB sells the DE form. As for their 2020 post DE form, no date announced yet.

  5. Pls is any body can helpe out whc course can I study in Abu saria with 166 score in janb

  6. Can someone with jamb score 184 gain admission into Abu Zaria to study veterinary medicine?

    1. I doubt that. The course is competitive. However, your performance in the post UTME can boost your chance.

  7. Will ABU admit 12 points in ijmb for pharmacy? When is their post DE form on sales.

    1. Yes, they can. However, if there are enough candidates with higher points than you, they may not consider 12 point.

  8. I applied for Dental Surgery with 241, should I do change of course? Or is there any hope?

    1. I don't know what your school will consider. Hence, I may not tell you whether to change course or not.

    2. My school is ABU,any chance please? Appreciates!

    3. There is no way to judge. Only the admission committee can answer such questions.

      I'm sorry.

  9. Can I be given a chance to study medicine at ABU Zaria with D7 in English?

  10. Can I apply for DE if I miss the jamb DE form?

  11. Hi, I'm a cameroonian student and I registered DE for ABU zaria, considering the 45,35,20 admission method can I get admission in the university?.

    1. Thank you sir, please I also wish to know if the admission list for the faculty of medicine and surgery for DE applicants is out yet, thank you.

    2. I don't have this information. Kindly be following updates on your JAMB CASPS to know when admission is out.

  12. Greetings Sir. I'm from Cross River State Nigeria. I wrote Jamb both last year and this year with ABU as my first choice in each case.i used different SIM cards to register the Jamb exams,and I registered two post utme for last year and this year's jamb. Since they're gonna merge the two sections,will I be permitted to write the two post utme exams? Will I be given two admissions at thesame time? Secondly, what is the o' level result grade for studying medicine and surgery. Thirdly,i want to study ophthalmology,but during my jamb registration,the man just filled in medicine and surgery for me. So is it when I get to school before I'll be ushered into the ophthalmology department,or do I need to precisely fill in “ophthalmology" in my jamb instead of just writing medicine and surgery? God bless u as u answer sir

    1. You can choose to follow you admission for last year instead of this year. If you prefer that, don't bother to register for this post UTME. Just follow the last year all through. If you prefer this year admission, you can still register for the post UTME and sit for this year schedule instead of the last year schedule during the post UTME.

      For Medicine, you need at least C6 in English, Maths, Phy, Chem and Bio. However, the higher your grades, the better.

      The school will separate students into different branches of Medicine at higher level before you graduate.

  13. Good day sir am from Niger state, I want to write jamb as awaiting results to Abu zaria and to study medicine and surgery so after writing my jamb sir what will I do next.

    1. You wait for your O'level results to come out. After that, you go to CBT centre to upload that results. You have to also fill the post UTME of the university. Then, partake in their CBT test. Read the post below for more details

  14. Can I study theater art in ABUzaria with D7 in mathematics

    1. According the JAMB brochure, ABU requires Five (5) SSCE credit passes to include English Language and Arts subjects. See that in the link below.

      With that, it means, you may not need C in Maths. It's worth trying.

  15. Good day sir, please can I gain admission to ABU with 166

  16. Is ABU post UTME form for 2022/2023 out


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