In recent times, exams in Nigeria, like the JAMB UTME and in some higher institutions, have seen a big change with CBT. Last year, the West African Examination Council released a statement, that WASSCE for private candidates was also going to take the CBT format starting in 2024. What is CBT, and why do we even need to do it? Stay with me to understand all you need to know about it and how to avoid common mistakes students make during CBTs.
What is a CBT?
The term CBT means different things, actually. It could mean Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Central Bank of Turkey, Constant Bitrate, or Computer-Based Tests. Our emphasis here is Computer-Based Tests which involve the use of computers and technology for exam administration. Instead of the traditional pen-and-paper approach, you answer questions on a computer.
Why Shift from Papers to CBT?
CBT offers several advantages over traditional methods. One notable benefit is the faster processing of results. Take JAMB UTME, for example; the move from manually marking scripts to the efficiency of CBT has significantly reduced the time it takes to release results. Instead of waiting for about 30 days or more, candidates can now receive results within 30 minutes to 48 hours.
With WAEC also embracing Computer-Based Tests for WASSCE for private candidates, there’s a prospect of a more streamlined and faster assessment system. The move towards CBT aligns with global trends in education, focusing on being efficient, accurate, and adaptable.
Common Mistakes Students Make During CBT and How to Avoid Them
Not Knowing Computer Interfaces
Treading unfamiliar grounds can be unsettling, and CBTs are no different. Before the D-day of the exam, practise with computer setups like the actual exams to get familiar with the interface; know where the “Next” button is, where the “Submit” button is, and know their differences.
Bad Time Management
Plan how much time you spend on each section. Make sure you have time to check your answers before hitting submit.
Read more about time management here.
Overlooking Exam Instructions
Read and understand all the instructions before starting the exam. Know how to move through questions, submit answers, and use any tools available.
Panic Under Time Pressure
Practice managing your time when you prepare. Pretend it’s the real exam to boost confidence in handling time limits. You can try Practice Exams on the uLesson app to get familiar with any Computer-Based Tests.
With CBT becoming the norm for major exams, students need to adapt and prepare adequately with every resource they can find. Now that you know its advantages over the traditional format, study regularly and practice in a CBT-like setup.
It’s not just about knowing the subject; you also need to be good with the technical side. With good preparation, you can smoothly handle Computer-Based Tests and shine brightly in your exams.