Choosing The Same School as 1st and 2nd Choice Helps Admission?

Is Choosing The Same Institution Twice Still Working To Favour You In Admission?
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As soon as a candidate insists that the same school should be chosen for him or her as a first and second institution during UTME registration or Change of Institution exercise, I immediately know what he or she is up to. But there are things to know if you’re such a student.

Have you fallen the victim to being advised to choose a school as the first choice and the same school as the second choice?

A student doesn’t just come up with this without reading it somewhere or being advised by a brother, sister, friend, or teacher that, admission is sure if the same university, polytechnic, or colleges of education is considered number 1 and at the same time, number 2.

Let’s see what is right behind this. We will, as well, see if it’s true that a school you choose as first and at the same time second, will have no other choice than to offer you the proposed course.

The Idea Behind Choosing a School as First and Second Choice at The Same Time

Back in 1999, JAMB conducted two matriculation exams – UME and MPCE. While the former was meant for admission into universities, the latter was for admission into Monotechnics and Polytechnics. See Differences Between Polytechnics and Monotechnics (Admission Guide for UTME Candidates)

As at that time, you could choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice institutions.

The norm then was to choose a school of your priority as the first and second. In fact, some students would consider the same school as their thirds. The deal was to show your proposed school that you truly wanted them and you don’t care about any other school.

Similarly, some students, like me then, would choose the same course for the schools, so as to prove we loved the courses and preferred them to others.

And in most cases, it worked like charm! Schools would offer you admission if you merit it.

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Where another candidate merits it but didn’t choose the school twice, with limited spaces, you might be considered for the offer ahead or instead of him.

No report or means to prove this was working but we all experienced it then. And it favored us most of the time. However, no official disclosure that our admissions were due to this method of choice.

Is Choosing the Same Institution Twice Still Working to Favour You Today?

The answer to this is very simply NO.

I know you’d heard that it was working. And in most cases, those giving the advice were usually graduates of the early and late 90s. These are admitted candidates of our time. They’re still eating a twenty years old soup. They’re living in the past.

Admission policies had changed drastically in the last 10 years. What worked last year, might be outdated today.

Below is the proof that this is not working any longer.

Before now, the very purpose of 2nd, 3rd, or 4th choice institution should serve is:

  1. If you don’t meet up the requirements of your first choice institution, the second choice might give you space.
  2. If you didn’t meet up with the 2nd choice’s requirements, the third choice might consider.
  3. If you don’t meet the third school’s requirements, the fourth may accommodate you
  4. And if you don’t meet that, as well, you should wait till next admission year.

But, this is not the order of the day in 2020 and most likely, beyond. Hence, let’s explore how things are working now.

After choosing the four schools in JAMB,

  1. You’re expecting admission from the first choice. If they don’t offer you admission or you don’t meet up, you can bring any of your second, third, or fourth choice to number 1 through the change of institution and chase the institution with the mark you had.
  2. If you’re no more interested in any of the choices, you can still take a completely new school as the first while changing the institutions.
  3. During the change of institutions, you can change all the institutions to completely new ones.
  4. You can keep changing schools and partake in their post-UTMEs/screenings until one eventually offers you admission.

In short, for now, you’ve got the flexibility to change things the way you want before the post UTME or after screening. Changing to schools can be done THREE times now. Hence, no rule of thumb, as to how you change your institutions. I’d discussed several ways to choose institutions in my post, “How to Choose Institutions in UTME and DE: A Must Read for All Admission Seekers“.

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JAMB and Schools Only Offer First Choice Candidates Admissions 

The latest you must know is that schools in your second, third, or fourth position won’t offer you admission. They’re just there for you to twist around if you can’t be offered by the first choice or don’t meet the first institution’s requirements.

This is why JAMB only gives admission (on CAPS) to candidates that choose a school as the first choice. 

If a second, third, or fourth choice school allows you to obtain her post UTME form, she is just baiting you. After the form, registration, and participation in her post UTME, you will be asked to change her to the first choice before you can be offered admission by both the school and JAMB. Take a look at my comprehensive guide on this in my post, “Universities/Polytechnics that Accept 2nd or 3rd Choice for Admission

Of course, JAMB only offers candidates in the first choice position admission through the CAPS. If you’re still in the second position of a school that wishes to offer you admission, JAMB will not allow you to see your admission not to talk being able to print the admission letters. This is why all institutions will later instruct their applicants to change them to the first choices if such candidates through want admissions from them. See the meaning of JAMB CAPS and how it works.

Choosing a School as First and Second, at the Same Time Doesn’t Help in Admission

Going back to the question, choosing a school as both first and second, is not doing anything today. No school cares to be considered in the second position – even a college of education. It’s the first choice that matters in the end.

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Hence, when you choose one as the first, that’s perfect. But as second again, irrelevant! You can just choose another school as the second, so that, you may consider that for your first choice later of the one at the top doesn’t consider you or you don’t meet its requirements.


The instruction or advice that if you choose a school, as the first choice and second, helps you to quickly gain admission to that school is just out of common sense. It’s not real or anywhere official.

No schools care about what you’re thinking of them and the love you have for them. They have their laid down policies for admission. What matters, in the end, is, 1st choice, passing your UTME and passing her post-UTME (if any). Once these are in place, you’re on the merit list.

Best of luck!

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