Simple Ways To Make First Class In Nigerian Universities

I could remember those days in the universities, whereby almost all our course mates had the same intention of graduating with first class honour, but only few or none later succeeded, possibly because we failed to understand the secrets on how to make first class in Nigerian Universities.

At the long run when the journey became very tough, many started praying to even graduate with at least second class division, while some were even begging God to help them to graduate with any grade, because there was very little chance of graduating.

Even till date, when ever you ask a fresher in the University; “what grade do you want to graduate with?” The student will always tell you that they want to graduate with first class.

Bitter truth!

No fresh student would ever tell you that they want to graduate with second class, but as the time keeps moving, they would get to understand that;

the way Bitter Kola sounds good to the ear, is not the same way it tastes in the mouth.

Though, it may really be true that it is not easy to make first class in some Nigerian Universities, but I want to give you hope that anyone can actually make this first class if they can apply the right secrets.


Just as you know, once you have the right key to any padlock, you can actually unlock it without asking for your identity.


So, if you will be able to apply the secrets that I will outline in this post, you will definitely bag first class honour regardless of your age, understanding, and so on.


Grading System Used In Nigerian Universities

In educational field, grading system, is a process, structure, or techniques used to classify, scale or rank students according to their performance scores.


In Nigerian University educational system, a four-point grading scale is used in classifying students according to their performance.  


But the student is said to fail the course if they score less than 45 marks. Though there are some institutions that awards “E” to students that score 40 – 44.


Grade Point is a number in relative to the grade scores, which is used to calculate the average performance score of students.


Difference Between GPA and CGPA

GPA and CGPA are almost the same function in Nigerian University system but they differ in the period of time they cover.


GPA simply means Grade Point Average, it is commonly called by students as GP; and it’s used to show the performance of students only within a semester.


While, CGPA means Cumulative Grade Point; it is also used to present the academic performance of students.

Below depicts the grading system used in Nigerian Universities:

S/N Score Grade Grade Point
1. 70 – 100 A 5
2. 60 – 69 B 4
3. 50 – 59 C 3
4. 45 – 49 D 2
5. 0 – 44 F 0
Nigerian University Grading System


The table above shows that if a student scores 70 and above in any course, such student makes “A” grade in that course.


But the major difference between GPA and CGPA is that; while GPA presents students average performance within a single semester, CGPA presents students average performance through out their stay in the University.


CGPA is normally used to determine class of honour; like First Class Honour, second class upper division, and so on.


How To Calculate Your GPA And CGPA

How to make first class in University

Calculating for GPA Calculating the GPA is really very simpler than you may think. It is done by dividing the total Quality Points (QP) with the total Credit Units (CU).


That is; it can be mathematically stated as: GPA = TQP/TCU.


Meanwhile Quality Points (QP) can be gotten by multiplying the grade Point made in a particular course by the Credit Unit (CU) of that course.


For example: using the table below, the student’s QP for Microbiology (AMB) is the grade Point he made in that microbiology multiplied by the Credit Unit of the same microbiology. That is QU = 4×1 = 4


S/N Courses Credit Unit (CU) Score Grade Grade Point (GP) Quality Point (QP)
1. AMB 1 60 B 4 4×1 = 4
2. BCH 3 55 C 3 3×3 = 9
3. Biotech 2 75 A 5 5×2 = 10
4. Genetics 2 45 D 2 2×2 = 4
5. Physio 3 39 F 0 0×3 = 0
  Total: 11       27
GPA Calculation


From the table above, the GPA is = QP/Total CU


GPA = 27/11 = 2.45


The student’s GPA was somehow poor because he had “F” in Physiology. That is why it is always nice to do everything possible not to fail any course if you really want to make a good grade, because “F” kills GPA.


Calculating for the CGPA

To calculate for the Cumulative Grade Point, you will still have to use the same method as outlined above. But since CGPA covers the total semester in that a student spent in the school, you will have to make a complete list of all the courses you offered starting from year one till your final year.


Prepare these courses in the format presented in the table above and follow the same formula we used above, and you will get your CGPA, which determines your class of Honour.


What Does It Mean To Make A First Class?

It is actually your CGPA that will say if you made first class Honour or not. So after calculating your CGPA as explained above, and your CGPA falls within 4.5 – 5.0, then it simply means that you are a first class student.


You can check the table below to know how the classes of honour are structured:

S/N CGPA Clas Of Honour
1 4.5 – 5.0 First Class
2 3.5 – 4.49 Second Class Upper
3 2.50 – 3.49 Second Class Lower
4 1.50 – 2.49 Third Class
5 1.00 – 1.49 Pass
6 0 – 0.99 Fail
Classes Of Honour


So, in a more real sense, making a first class means that you are a bright student who was able to stand academmic challenges and out competed other fellow students.  

In the labour market, first class students are really highly needed, because it is believed that they are highly employable and have a lot to offer, because they are always serious in all they do.  

Though, there may not be much employment opportunities in the country today, but if you have first class, I don’t think you would stay so long without meeting mind-blowing opportunities, even international opportunities.  

Recently there was a report of a man, an indigene of Ebonyi State who graduated with first class in Mathematics from University of Nigeria (UNN).


But due to the nature of unemployment in the Country, he later found himself farming in the village, even with his first class.


But because first class is bullion, it’s an asset that can never depreciate; this boy was later remembered by the Federal Government of Nigeria, and was given scholarship to proceed with his Masters Degree, including other offers.


This simply means that first class is an honour that has the great potential of attracting great favour and opportunities at any time.


But the bitter truth today is that First class is seen beyond mere university grades; there may actually be some students that may graduate with first class without having any other useful knowledge or wisdom that is required in the labour market.

Auch students may have graduated with first class possibly because they were good in cramming and were able to make high grade in the university through cramming.


so, the point I am trying to bring out here is that; though first class honour may really be a source of great opportunities, but it would be nice to develop yourself in many aspects of life while you pursue high grade in the university.

Don’t invest all your attention, your hope and energy only in making first class, because the society today are looking for people that have something useful to offer, not merely people with high university grade.



How To Make First Class In Nigerian Universities

1. Resume School On Time

If you really want to make first class in the university, the expo you should know is that the least grade you should have in any course should be ‘C’ in just few occasions.

If you really want to make first class, your target should always be to have between ‘A’ or ‘B’ in all the courses you will offer.


If you allow your performance to bring a lot of ‘C’, ‘D’ or even ‘F’ in your results, then your are actually jeopardizing your chances of making first class.


So, to avoid this, there is always need to start your struggle on time, right from year one.


I have some many of my friends that would have made first class in the University but the poor score they had in their year one first semester later disqualified them; this was so because they did not resume school on time in their year one.


If you fail to resume school on time in your first year, you may actually find it difficult to settle down and concentrate on time; and some times students may not even meet some lectures or Quiz because they resumed behind the time.


So, to work for first class, do not wait till your second year before you start making efforts, the best time to start is now, in your first year, first semester. One more point is that it is always very easy to score very high during the first year, as the lecturers are not always strict yet to the first year students.

But getting to second year, lecturers assume that students have understood the school system, and no more friendly to students in terms of Marks/grades.


To make first class, you should start now to value any mark no matter how small; never joke with any mark. I remember a very brilliant student that had a CGPA of 4.49 and was not given first class honour.

If you check the difference between 4.49 and 4.5, you would understand that it is just 0.01; that means he needed just 0.01 mark to make first class, still he was not considered.


It is said that nearly can never kill a bird, and that is why you should never neglect or joke over any mark no matter how small, because a very little mark still has the potential to make you or mar you.


2. Don’t Miss Any Lecture

If you really want to unlock the secrets on how to make first class in Nigerian Universities, then you should not undermine this section.


One of the best secrets to scoring very high in Exams or Quiz is by attending every single lecture meant for you. When you attend lectures, you always have the picture of the lecture in your brain, the demonstration that the lecturer used during his lecture. All these would always help you to remember everything your were taught, even without having to read in pressure.


This is why it is always easier to read and understand a lecture note you prepared on your own during lecture, than reading reading a lecture note that you collected from another person, because you missed the lecture.


While jotting a lecture in a lecture hall, you always use your own language and can repeat it at any time, unlike when you are reading a handout or other of its kinds.


More importantly, most lecturers sometimes expose their exam questions consciously or unconsciously while delivering their lectures. By attending lectures, you may actually be able to understand your lecturers and be able to predict their pattern and the likely questions they wiy ask in Exams or Quiz.


3. Take Every Single Assignment Serious

Knowing that every mark is important, then you should always strive not to lose any mark no matter how small. Don’t always be deceived that lecturers don’t use or record assignments, as most of them actually make use of their assignments. So, since it doesn’t cost anything to do your assignments, there would actually be need to do all you are required in every assignments, because you may not actually know the one that your lecturer may use.


4. Put Your Best In Every Single Quiz or Class Work

The same thing applicable here, while hoping to write your quiz, always prepare as if you are preparing for your exams.


This is where many students always get it wrong, some always say that they don’t want to stress themselves preparing for quiz, that they prefer preparing and doing well in exams.


But it would be wise to know that addition is never the same with subtraction; if you do well in your quiz, I think that would add a lot to your scores if you still do well in Exams.

If you say you must wait for Exams before you prepare well, what if the exams happen to disappoint you? This is why you should always put your best in everything that involves marks.


5. Limit Your Social Life

Though you are expected to allow school to pass through you, as you pass through school; but everything should be regulated. It is really of utmost importance that you associate with people, but always remember your priority in school which is academics, and to make first class.


so, while socializing, do not be carried away by campus social life; know the kind of social life you involve yourself, and also know the kind of people you mingle with.


6. Form an Association of Like Minds

It is always said that iron sharpens iron; if you want to go fast, then go a lone; but if you want to go very far, then you have to go in group.


look within your department, there must be few or some serious ones that also want to make good grades. Don’t live a selfish or isolated life, form a discussion group with them. Through this, you would always be able to share ideas together and help each other to grow.


One advantage of having a discussion group is that it helps you to know if you still have what you read in your head, it helps you to know the aspect that you have forgotten, and can easily revisit your note or handout to recollect.


Some times you may read very hard and think that you have everything in your brain, but during discussion and questions with your group, you can actually be psyched, and you would discover the area that you no more have your brain.


I remember during our days in the University, we had a very powerful and serious discussion group of which we were all aiming to make first class, and the interesting thing is that three out of our group later made first class.

  Meanwhile, the only three first class students that were recorded in our set, were all from our discussion group. That is the power of rubbing minds together with people that have the same goal with you.


7. Study And Understand All Your Lecturers

One important secret you should know is that every lecturer has their own pattern of Exam or Quiz questions, and as well has the particular pattern they always expect students to approach the questions.


Some times you may actually be making sense in your answers to exam or quiz question, but because you didn’t follow the pattern of that particular lecturer, he may not really be satisfied by your answers and may affect your marks. This is why you need to study all your lecturers and know what they need or expect from you whenever you are attending to their questions.


The best way to study your lecturers is by always attending all their lectures; by so doing, you will get to know their pattern of teaching and what they expect from students.


8. Don’t Neglect The Potential In Exam Past Questions

While preparing for your exams or quiz, it is always wise to predict your lecturers and make additional efforts on your predictions.

Predict the possible questions that your lecturers would likely ask in exam or quiz, and prepare extremely against those questions.


It would really be hard to make these predictions without understanding the pattern the lecturers always ask their questions; and the best ways to understand this pattern is by revisiting the past questions of the exams they gave to your predecessors.


I could remember during my own time, if I predict about ten exam questions, at least 5 must surely come out in exam; of which I had already made extra preparations against those questions.


9. Pour Out All Required In Exam Hall

Having prepared very well for your Exams, it would be wise not to pity any question in exam hall, in fact don’t mercy any of them.


Don’t be selective in answering any question, make sure you always put down everything in your brain about that particular question, as long as you are still within what you are expected by the lecturer.


Your goal while attending to any exam question should always be to impress the lecturer by your elaborated and brilliant answers.


But in all, don’t forget to always obey the exam instructions, always read carefully all the instructions of the exam, and make sure you stick to them. Stick to only the questions the lecturer asked and don’t go extra mile to answer more than the number of questions you are expected to answer.


10. Don’t Forget To Always Pray For God’s Grace

It may really be true that your efforts count a lot in achieving your goals, but may be very wrong to depend wholly on your efforts. Our efforts a lone may not really be enough to get us what we need, just that we ought to do our own part.


It would wise to always have it in mind that your efforts may not count without God’s grace, and that is why you need to blend your efforts with God’s grace.


Ask for his grace to read and understand, ask for his grace not to fall into any problem, ask for his grace in all your academic activities. As lecturers will be marking your scripts, you still need the grace of God, because sometimes it doesn’t really mean if you have written well or not.


There was a very brilliant student that really pursued first class with his last vigour, but unfortunately he had missing scrip twice; of which you know that was automatic carryover which he needed to rewrite even when he had written the exams very well and was expecting ‘A’.


So because of this, his CGPA was badly affected and his first class ambition was ruined.


Sometimes you may not really know the mood of the lecturer that is marking your exam scripts, sometimes he might make mistakes in awarding marks; all these are clear facts that you really need the grace of God to support your efforts.



Making first class in Nigerian Universities is never really easy as it always sound, it actually requires several dedicated efforts and sacrifice, as outlined in this post.


It is always a great honour graduating with first class, as there is always countless number of opportunities embedded in it.


But while on your journey to graduating first class in the University, you should also have it in mind that the society today is looking beyond mere first class.

The society today is looking for those who have something positive to offer, and this is why you should work beyond mere first class, develop yourself beyond ‘cramming to make good grades.” Look for ways to add value to your life even as you strive to make your first class.

I wish you success as you pursue your first class goal.

One Response

  1. Yakubu shem August 13, 2021

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