JAMB Registration: Conditions where you must make schools first choice only


Perhaps, you are in a dilemma about which school to choose as you carry on with your registration for the Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME).

The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) has already rolled out registration procedures for regular and Direct Entry (DE) candidates this year and there is limited time left to complete the JAMB registration.

By now, you must have created your profile and generated your ePINS to be able to make payment for JAMB registration. That is before proceeding to locating the accredited CBT centre you wish to write your exams.

You may be wondering which tertiary institution should be the first choice in your UTME Registration. Which should be the second choice and the rest? It’s about making the right choice as you register for the exams. EduCeleb.com is here to guide you through making the academic registration exercise hassle free.

First Choice and others

As from the 2018 admissions process, JAMB provides that prospective candidates make four choices in their registration.

These four choices represent a variety of options left for the candidate to finally gain admission into their choice tertiary institution.

The choices you eventually make mean the order of priority of universities, polytechnics, monotechnics, colleges of education and innovation enterprise institutes you wish to attend.

When I wrote the UME (as it was called until after 2009) about a decade ago, we had two choices for universities to attend. Anyone who wishes to attend a polytechnic or college of education would have to make from two other choices when they write another exam called the PCE.

It’s these two that had now been merged to make for the UTME we have today. With that, candidates had three choices. 2017/2018 was when the choice of institutions got increased to became four.

Which school should be the first choice?

In reality any school could be the first choice in your JAMB registration. You may decide to make any university, polytechnic, monotechnic or college of education your first choice.

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But the other choices may just be a waste if care is not taken. Not all schools accept other than first choice. If you must choose some schools, it must be as the first choice or nothing else.

I chose the University of Lagos (UNILAG) since its management had always advertised that only those who make it their first choice would be offered admission. I was offered admission there. That’s after meeting some other admission criteria. The university from which I am an alumnus is dubbed the university of first choice and the nations pride.

Many other tertiary institutions have so far keyed into this notion of ‘first choice only’. Even some JAMB admission styles now necessitate schools to demand you make them their first choice only. EduCeleb.com therefore lists such conditions here.

JAMB Registration:
Conditions where you must make schools first choice only

In their entirety, schools that accept only first choice are in the minority. If you dream to be a student in any of such schools, you must make them the first choice option.

The following conditions determine whether you must choose a school as the first choice.

  • Is it a federal university?
  • Is it a state university?
  • What course do you want to study?
  • What is your score weight?
  • Do you really want to go to the school?

Is it a federal university?

Federal Universities are just about forty (40) altogether. Almost all would only offer you admission on merit if and only if you make them your first choice while registering. These schools are very competitive when it comes to admission offers. Check out their list here.

The exceptions are the Federal University Dutse, the Federal University Birnin Kebbi, the Federal University Dutsinma, the Federal University Gashua, the Federal University Gusau, the Federal University Lafia, the Federal University Lokoja, the Federal University Kashere, the Federal University Ndifu-Alike-Iwo, the Federal University Otuoke, and the Federal University Wukari.

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Is it a state university?

State universities like the Lagos State University and Ladoke Akintola University Of Technology only accept those who choose their institution as first choice while doing JAMB registration. This is clearly due to their competitive advantage in the comity of tertiary institutions. Be sure that any other institution you have in mind accepts only first choice before choosing it.

What course do you want to study?

Depending on the course you want to study, you may not have any choice than make some schools your first choice.

If your goal is to study highbrow courses like law, engineering, medicine, mass communications, political science and economics, you’d better make the choice the first.

That would also mean that the school you are choosing offers any of these big courses. Don’t go about choosing law at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta! It won’t work.

You wouldn’t find any engineering course at the Ondo State University of Medical Sciences either. That’s why it’s important you refer to the JAMB Brochure to determine the best school for your course of choice.

What is your score weight?

Each person knows his academic weight. You know your academic capability barring all miracles and ‘act of God’. Your course of study may be any of these aforementioned highbrow courses or others.

How do you see yourself coming off among the best candidates? What are your chances of scoring of the best grades the tertiary institution is likely to pick its first choice?

I’m not discouraging you from believing in, or doubting your ability in any way. This is just in your own interest.

You may want to start gauging your possible JAMB and Post-UTME score based on past experiences. Compare that with what the schools required last year.

Without a 200 minimum score, you cannot write Post-UTME in UNILAG, and other schools such as Ekiti State University (EKSU), the Osun State University (UNIOSUN), the University of Benin (UNIBEN), the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAUA), the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), the University of Ibadan (UI), the University of Nigeria (UNN), the University of Calabar (UNICAL), the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Bayero University Kano (BUK), the University of Jos(UNIJOS), and the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA).

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What is your O’level SSCE result like? How was your performance in the core subjects required for admission into the course of choice?

How did you fare in internal exams of your secondary school? Will you be ready to give your best possible towards scoring very high in the UTME and Post-UTME exams?

Do you really want to go to the school?

If you really want that school as your institution of higher learning, making it the first choice would be fantastic.

Fulfil your goal of attending that institution you’ve always dreamt of by making it your first choice in the JAMB registration. This should be done considering the other conditions earlier highlighted.

JAMB reckons only with the first choice when it issues admission letters to candidates. You stand a greater chance of being admitted into an institution you made your first choice once you meet its requirements.

With the introduction of the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) in 2017, only the first choice institution is likely to show up in the process of checking your admission status. So, if you really want to be offered admission in that school, make it your first choice.


Admission conditions are always evolving. We would endeavour to update this post as we notice such.

Do you have any question? Did we miss out any other condition that will require one to choose a school as first choice? Tell us using the comment box below.


  1. what is the difference between a candidate that put a institution from when filling the jamb form with a candidate that later did change of institution as first choice after the jamb exam
    between these two candidates who will be given admission first

  2. what is the advantage of making a school your first and second choice, i mean making one very institution as ur first and second choice

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