Past Questions or Textbooks: Better For JAMB Preparation? -

Past Questions or Textbooks: Better For JAMB Preparation?

Reading for JAMB UTME
While preparing for JAMB UTME, one of the tips that will get you into shape is preparing by reading.

That should be obvious, right?

However, you can get confused with more things to cover during the reading sessions. You're put into the dilemma of depending on reading textbooks or past questions or both.

This is why very many candidates are asking if they should concentrate on reading textbooks or past questions.

And if I were you too, I'll try to ask the same. 

Do you know why?

If you won't consider being selected in the coverage of your topic as suggested in my post, "How to Study UTME Questions To Score 270+", you will end up reading beyond normal. 

That's popularly called "over-reading" if you're even able to read to that extent, still covering necessary topics.

In this post, I will be answering your question of whether it's better to read textbooks for JAMB UTME or better to concentrate on past questions available.

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Textbooks Coverage is Truly Wider But With Limited Resources

Of course, you can do better in UTME if you can lay your hands on all recommended texts given by JAMB.

The board had listed a few books to be covered, from which students should expect questions to be set.

  1. UTME: Textbooks For English and Mathematics
  2. UTME: Textbooks For Physics, Chemistry, and Biology
  3. UTME: Textbooks For Music, Arabic, History, and Art
  4. UTME: Textbooks For Literature, Government, IRS/CRS
  5. UTME: Textbooks For Accounts, Economics, and Commerce
  6. UTME: Textbooks For Agric, Geography & Home Economics
  7. UTME: Textbooks For France, Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo

However, going through the list, you're surprised by the efforts, in terms of money and time, that will be required to get them in your possession.

For instance, for English, you have about 18 texts to cover to be sure, you're ready for the 60 questions to be set for the test of English.

You may need to cover a dozen other books for you to be fit for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Literature, Government, CRS, etc.

With this, it will be difficult to recommend that you should solely depend on textbooks to prepare for the exam if you'll use them at all.

Hence, let's look into using the JAMB past questions to prepare for your exam.

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Past Questions is Also Wider, Yet Not as Limited

What if I told you that JAMB did repeat questions? What if I told you that JAMB didn't have new questions to set?

If you've been picking a few past questions and reading between the lines, you must have noticed some years where the same questions were repeated. Though might not be entire questions, you can't ignore one repetition here and there.

And if you take note of the number of years since JAMB has been testing and producing students to universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education, you wouldn't doubt that, at least to a certain extent, this board has run out of questions.

Do you think there will be more questions to be set apart from millions already covered in the past years?

This shows that you have things, more, under control if you can cover past questions - even selectively i.e without covering the whole years.

As a matter of fact, in my time and till today, most students prefer studying the past questions to reading textbooks.

Of course, it saves you money as you're only to buy four past questions packs. It, as well, saves you the time to be confused about what and what to cover if you use textbooks instead.

If you take a moment to read, "How to Study UTME Questions To Score 270+" and "How to Solve the 3 Types of Questions in JAMB UTME", the posts take prospective JAMB candidates by hand and show them how best to approach reading for UTME - using the past questions.

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You Will Still Need a Few Textbooks If...

As much as I don't want to recommend reading textbooks where you can have access to past questions, I will leave some stones unturned if I pretend some texts won't matter in the end.

For some subjects such as Literature and Languages, JAMB usually changes textbooks, with time. The implication is that, the board, over the years, may change their topics for like of Literature, English, Yoruba, French, Arabic, etc.

Hence, for this set of subjects, it may be wiser to get their textbooks to support the past questions, as new questions may be set from this literature.

For instance, the English novel used last three years ago might have been changed. Hence, the new novel and anticipated questions should be your priority instead of the old novels and related questions.

The literature text might have recently been changed. Reading for those is like preparing for the past. You need to get in shape for future questions.

Dictionaries, in preparation for English, is an all-time recommended book. You will need this to get yourself better ahead of the past questions too.

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If you have access to enough recommended texts - covering the right syllabus, you may want to use textbooks. However, with experience, using the past questions is smarter as the benefits obviously outway that of the text. And where necessary, a combination of the two will be the best choice.

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