How to Train Yourself for CBT (UTME and Other Exams) -

How to Train Yourself for CBT (UTME and Other Exams)

JAMB is not the only exam using computers to test candidates seeking admission into various universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education across the country, companies are using the same medium to test their prospective employees. This has been for a while and with all indications, it’s here to stay.

UTME applicants are not exempted from their proposed schools' entrance exams too. Most institutions conducting post UTME adopt CBT as well.

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And now that everybody is aware of this, they are set to give to it. Yet, they must be trained for this. In fact, being computer literate may not be enough to pass Computer-based exams. Familiarizing yourself with the environment or practical scenarios is important. This is why JAMB initiated mock exams to prepare candidates for the real CBT environment.

To learn using a computer to write exams, training classes are available around our local towns, yet students have to pay between #2000 to #5000 to get themselves set for what is ahead. Obviously, some candidates will want to save money. Hence, there is a need to see if it’s possible to learn this on your own.

Luckily, it’s possible to learn the CBT all by yourself. With the help of this guide, you should be ready to face any CBT now and in the future to come.

Facilities Needed For CBT Self Training

  1. A laptop or desktop computer
  2. Mouse (for desktop), touchpad (included in laptop)
  3. CBT Software
  4. Access to the Internet (If no CBT Software)

Let’s get some points understood about those items needed.

1. A laptop or desktop computer

CBT is conducted with a desktop or laptop computer. And because you’re preparing for one, you don’t have to look around for both laptop and desktop for this self-help training. You only need one.

I recommend a laptop though. Why? Getting into the exam room, you may just be presented with a laptop instead of a desktop. If you’d learned with desktop, you may not be able to use the touchpad – since a laptop doesn’t use that.

Yet, if you practice with a laptop, you may not be used to a mouse that a desktop uses. This is why you should get the next item handy even with your laptop - a mouse.

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2. Mouse and Touchpad, Keyboard 

If you get a laptop, that already has a touchpad. Yet, you need to get a mouse with your laptop. In this case, you will be able to use both the touchpad and mouse to practice. Therefore, if you’re presented with a desktop, you’re on, and if a laptop, it's perfect.

Whether you use a laptop or desktop, you’re sure to have a keyboard attached. In a CBT test, you could need the keyboard to enter your applicant number, form number or registration number as the case might be.

That could be all you would need the keyboard for especially if the questions are multiple tests. A keyboard may be more needed if you have to do more than that such as typing a report or so.  Luckily in the UTME, you ONLY need the keyboard to enter your UTME/JAMB registration number before you can start your exams.

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3. CBT Software

A JAMB or other exams CBT software is available online. You can download some free and use them free. Though the free version may be limited to a few weeks or a number of users, yet you will be allowed to practice with them.

If you must gain access to more resources like more questions, you may have to pay for the access keys or registration license, which doesn’t cost much.

You can do your search online for some of this software.

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4. Access to the Internet (If no CBT Software)

If you can’t afford to buy or download any software as earlier mentioned, you can just practice live online. This will require you to get your computer connected to the INTERNET before you can use such online platforms. Using paid software doesn’t require the internet to use.

If you choose this method, I recommend Simbibot. This is an online resourceful platform where you have access to questions on several subjects/topics to practice with.

List of subjects available on SimbiBot
Now that we have all the above handy, let’s dive into how to use our mouse and keyboard.

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Activities Involved in the Computer Based Test (UTME)

1. Using Keyboard for CBT

This is your keyboard. What will you need it for?

To enter your registration number or candidate's identification number. In the case of UTME, JAMB registration number.

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Hence, the few keys you should master here are 1 to 0 keys (these are called numeric keys) and the two alphabets at the front of your registration number.

Here are the numeric keys
Once, you enter your UTME registration number, hit enter key on the keyboard or click on "Login or Enter to Start Exams"

Check for your last two alphabets here
If you make a mistake while entering your registration number, use the backspace key to delete the error entries and enter the right ones.

The backspace key and its symbol

2. Instructions Page

The next page that displays after logging in to start the exams is the instructions page. You will be welcomed with a quick guide on how the questions are set, how you're expected to answer them, the duration you need to use for the test, and the procedure for the final submission.

For the purpose of practice, here is a CBT instruction.

You should quickly go through this. The time, used to read instructions is not part of the time given for your test. You can take your time to digest the instructions unless the center insists all candidates must start at the same time.

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3. Using Mouse for CBT

After reading the instructions, click start the test/exams on the screen to proceed.

As earlier said, your questions will be multiple choice in UTME.

Multiple choice questions contain (A, B, C, D, E).

This is how your test page will look

This is where you will need to use your mouse or touchpad mostly.

See how to Use the Mouse and TouchPad

This is your CBT mouse

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It contains two buttons and a scroll wheel. The buttons are right and left. The scroll wheel sits at the center.

You won't need the right button for your UTME. The scroll wheel can move your page up and down.

The left button is your main weapon here. That's what you click to pick the correct answers.

Below your mouse is a ball or laser light that will let your cursor move to where you want it on the page when you move the mouse around the desk/table surface.

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A cursor looks like this on your screen

To use your mouse...
  • Place your palm gently over the mouse
  • Place your index finger on the left button and your middle finger on the right button. Let the thumb and other fingers sit by the sides of the mouse holding it around
  • This time don't click anything
  • When ready to choose your answers, move the mouse a bit on your desk until your cursor gets to the hole beside the answer. Left-click inside that hole with your left button.
  • When the bullet appears inside the hole you clicked, it means your answer has been selected.
  • If you wish to change the answer, move the cursor to your new option and click. This time, the bullet will leave the old answer's hole and appear in the new choice.

The answer chosen above is E

4. Using a Laptop Touchpad

You can be presented with a laptop instead of a desktop. Here you will use the touchpad instead of the mouse explained above

There are no major differences here too.
This your CBT laptop touchpad

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The touchpad sits right at the center of the edge of your keyboard (on laptops). It has two buttons too plus the track space (which represents the scroll wheel). You move your index or middle finger on the track space to move the cursor around the screen.

As earlier said, you only need the left button to choose the correct answer and track space to move the page up and down if need be. More so, the track space can also be hit/clicked to select an answer.

Important Parts of the CBT to Understand

Take note of the parts

Attempting the Questions

  1. After answering one question, you move to the next one by clicking on "Next"
  2. When a question is answered, the computer will make it appear bold.
  3. If you find a difficult question, you can skip that by hitting "Next" too. Then, you can come back to that later.
  4. If a question is skipped, the computer will indicate that by making the number look faintly instead of bold when answered.
  5. You can click on the exact number of the question you skipped to attempt it when you're ready
  6. You use Previous to go back to the last question
  7. You can click on the tab of your next subject after completing one. Even if you don't complete subject 1, you can still click to move to subject 2 and so on. You can move around your 4 subjects at any time until all are completed/attempted

Starting and Submission of the Test

  1. As soon as you click on start Exams, your time starts counting down.
  2. When your time is up, you will be automatically logged out even if you've not completed your test. 
  3. If logged out, the computer will submit for you if you don't hit submit button yourself
  4. If the computer submits for you, no official penalty or deduction of marks for that (in UTME)
  5. Don't click on it until you've completed the 4 subjects

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