English language is one of the most important school subjects there is, it is a foundational subject in the sense that everything at school is taught in English. It is no wonder you must pass it to advance to the next class because without English you are not learning anything at all.
It serves us in communication with everyone in this nation, whether they are Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, or Igala. Did you know Nigeria has lots of ethnic groups with over 500 different languages? English is the official language we all use to communicate.
This is part of the reason why it is a core subject at school, students need to study it to blend in with civilization. And because of its significance, when English exams come, students become visibly stressed, because they know this is the one subject they can’t fail.
But don’t worry, as long as you have started exam preparations for English early, there is no need to feel afraid. There are steps you can take to prepare better when exams is coming.
Of the exams, the ones you write to indicate the conclusion of one educational level and the start of the next are the most important, e.g. the conclusion of secondary school education requires that you write the O’level exams.
This is where WAEC, NECO, and JAMB come in. The results from these exams are used to determine your legibility for admissions into a higher institution, such as a university, polytechnic or College of Education.
You will need at least 5 credits in your O’level WAEC result and a cut-off mark of 180 in JAMB to become legible for admission into a university in Nigeria.
In JAMB, the English language exam is deemed the most important, referred to as the Use of English in JAMB lingua, it is the only subject made compulsory.
JAMB English has four sections, the English structure section is just one of them. The other sections are the passage section, lexis section, and oral form section.
In this post, we will be looking at ways you can begin preparations for English exams, and how you can be prepared for JAMB English, and also, there is a brief explanation on how you can respond to JAMB structure section questions.
Seeking ways to prepare specifically for your JAMB English exams? That's easy, find out more.
Answering JAMB Structure Section
We often hear about lexis and structure without being wholly sure what it is, this English language topic feels like a hidden topic in the school curriculum, even the keenest students find it ambiguous, yet, it is central to the English language.
It forms the basis for most of the English grammar. Structure in English is described as an organization of words, it’s almost like having to piece together a jigsaw puzzle, every piece has to be in its place for the puzzle to make sense at the end, if words in a sentence are placed in the wrong order, the grammar will definitely be wrong.
So sentence structure can be described as the arrangement of words, phrases, and clauses in a sentence. The structure can affect the grammar or meaning of a statement, for example, read the following sentences,
“The dog jumped over the fence”
“The jumped over fence the dog”
The second sentence doesn’t even make any sense. In Jamb structure section, expect lots of questions that deal with English grammar and sentence structure.
You may be asked to point out the correct order of words in a sentence, you may also be asked questions on sentence completion, antonyms, and synonyms. Not entirely difficult, but the questions could be tricky.
To score high points it is best if you start preparing for the JAMB English exams before it’s too late, when the exam date is closing in on you.
How Do You Start JAMB English Exam Preparations?
To prepare for JAMB you just need a few things to get ready. JAMB made it easy by supplying everything you need for the exams on their official websites, first there is the JAMB syllabus.
JAMB English Syllabus
The JAMB syllabus is like a curriculum of sorts, one that guides you on the topics that you will be asked in the exams. It leads you to areas of concentration in the subject, so you can focus your reading efforts where it matters.
You can simply download the JAMB English syllabus from the JAMB website, or you can read it online, whatever suits your fancy. Don’t forget to select and download only for the year you are writing, it is different for each year.
For instance, at the time of this writing, you should be downloading the JAMB English syllabus for 2020.
In the JAMB English syllabus, stroll to the JAMB structure section to see the list of topics you need to study, and take note of the objectives of the JAMB structure section, it is very important indeed that you do.
JAMB Recommended Texts
Next up on the list is the JAMB English recommended books, what good is English exam preparations without a long list of books to read.
The Joint Admissions Matriculation Board has some really good choices of books you will find very helpful in learning and revising your English language, most of them are English textbooks written by different authors in Nigeria.
And one or two of the books are the compilation of past questions and answers of the JAMB English exams, ingeniously called Past Q&A.
If you want to pass JAMB English with good scores, we suggest you get to reading.
Attempt At Least One CBT Mock Exam
The JAMB Computer Based Test (CBT) is new to a lot of people, most probably including you, to avoid being completely overwhelmed by its use during the exams, you better practice it at least once, to see and feel what it’s like.
Take a mock JAMB exam to test your skills. JAMB once again is responsible for providing this necessary tool to help you with your JAMB exam preparation, you can take the mock exam on their official website.
Other Ways To Start English Exam Preparations
The English language as a core subject in academia, needs you to be focused on preparing for the exams in order to be successful.
Here are some simple ways you can prepare for English exams.
Visit The BBC Bitesize
The BBC has a huge section of their website that deals with education. The BBC Bitesize is a center of knowledge, where you have beginner level to advanced level topics. You will find all secondary school subjects here including English, they have covered every conceivable topic under each subject.
The explanations on the website are easy to understand, relevant, and they give relatable examples. The website is very user-friendly, you will love the interactive interface. To get a glimpse of the Bitesize's simplistic explanations, just read how they described English structure;
“The structure of a text is the sequence of ideas it contains and how it is put together. No text will make sense unless it is structured clearly. It should have a well-chosen opening, middle, and end.”
How helpful, and simple.
If you want to learn about something, say a certain topic or grammatical expression, you just search for it.
However, the Bitesize is originally designed for the British education system so you might be stumped a few times if you don’t know what KS1, KS2, or 4th level English mean (apparently they are education levels), just jump right into the topics, they are your major concern.
Here is an idea, use Google to directly access the topic you are looking for, for instance, if you want to read up on Monophthongs, just google ‘BBC bitesize English monophthongs'
After each topic you can take a test, the test is objectives only similar to the JAMB English exam.
Use English Learning Apps
To say there are hundreds of English learning apps is an understatement, there are thousands of them, and you can try many of them for free.
Find an English learning app you can use to study, revise and prepare for your English exams. It is a nice way of revising English on the go.
You get to practice while moving around and whenever you please since your phone is always with you. While you need these apps on your phone, you don’t need just any app that pops up on the search bar.
Look at the ratings and reviews of the app to determine which ones are good and which ones aren’t. One of the best apps is the MySchool.ng JAMB CBT + WAEC Past Questions app, it is Nigerian based and it has over 60,000 past questions and answers.
You can even read the past questions and view their answers without an internet connection, the app works offline.
The app is a simulation of a CBT practice exam, use it to test your skills and ability, and to learn more English. It is a handy tool to have, to enhance your preparations for English exams.
Done here? Take a look at the JAMB passage section while you still have the time.