The official highest scorer in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Kamsiyochukwu Chinyere Umeh, has revealed the secret behind her success.
Sixteen-year-old Umeh, a student of Deeper Life High School in Ogun State, was declared the top scorer with an aggregate score of 360 by the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) during its 2023 policy meeting, which held in Abuja on Saturday.
She disclosed that she had no plan to emerge the highest scorer in Nigeria but only studied to pass the examination.
“I only read to pass with good grades to enable me further my education. I was never particularly aiming to be the best,” she said.
Commenting on her reading schedule, she explained, “I focused on revising past questions, using the series I had. I also read during the times the school scheduled for us to read and also at night in the hostel. In fact, I read for as many hours as I could. My parents and teachers also encouraged me a lot,” she said.
Narrating further, she pointed out that she was intimated about the UTME when she got into the SS3 class.
“I was a bit scared because I felt I wasn’t ready for the examination yet. My first contact with the past questions the school provided to us was really scary. In fact, I became more afraid than I was before because the questions appeared very difficult. This further created fear in me.
“But I continued reading, our teachers drilled us and we also prayed and fasted. We had lots of tests, JAMB classes and mock exams. So, when I got into the exam hall and saw the questions, I was so happy and I thanked God, because the questions were a lot easier than I had expected.”
Excited by her achievement, she expressed her gratitude to God and to everyone who supported and encouraged her. “My parents were excited and I particularly could not contain my joy. I wanted to shout at the top of my lungs because I was incredibly excited.”
The real 2023 top scorer said she would like to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). “I am a lover of Chemistry and the idea of working in an industry or factory appeals to me.”
She advised other students to endeavour to start preparing early for their examination, encouraging them to be determined, pray and trust in God to grant them success.
Kamsiyochukwu’s mum, Mrs. Umeh disclosed that her daughter’s consistent excellence dated back to her primary school days at the University of Lagos Women Society College Nursery and Primary School.
She admitted that the school provided an excellent foundation for her daughter.
However, she emphasized that beyond academics, she also ensures that her daughter gets involved in house chores. “To me, a child’s success should be holistic, and not just limited to academics. I encourage her to know how to cook and handle various tasks.”