How To Gain Admission into ABU – Ahmadu Bello University

ABU Complete Admission Guide For UTME, DE, Remeddia, Diploma and IJMB Applicants
ABU logo

You must have heard these about ABU …

“They only accept Muslims”
“They only accept applicants from the north”

There are more hearsays really. But how true? Let’s find out.

To say the truth, ABU is one of those universities that take catchment areas seriously. They also recognize less educationally privileged states as being required by the federal government. Before you say, “didn’t I tell you”, OAU, UI, UNILAG, UNIBEN, UNILORIN, etc use the same or similar quotas in their admissions. This doesn’t imply that their admission lists are not on merit. They are but there are more to understand about them. Let’s keep reading.

I had explained what catchment areas and less educated states are in my recent post. Recognizing these two criteria is not limited to ABU, other federal universities do the same. If you read the post I referred to above, you will understand me better.

But if I say, you can gain admission to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria on merit, you’d asked me, “how? Just follow the guide below.

I’d followed this guide for my students in the south-west several times and it worked fine.

ABU has no major differences from other universities in Nigeria; except for some important tweaks that will be covered in this post.

Let’s get started. I will be covering the following areas:

  1. Ascertain your O’level results are complete
  2. Choose ABU in UTME as the first choice with the right Course.
  3. Obtain ABU post UTME when on sales.
  4. Gaining Admission to ABU as Direct Entry Applicants
  5. How ABU  Treat their Pre-degree or Remedial Students for Admission to 100 level
  6. How ABU Distribute Admission Spaces Among Applicants

1. Ascertain your O’level results are complete

Some applicants blindly seek admission without complete results. Some have one or two deficiencies in very important subjects. Yet, they believe, since ABU is a northern university, they can just accept anything weaker or inferior. Forget that and pay attention to the information below about your O’level result.

ABU is consistently accepting all O’level results including NBAIS; which you might have heard about. I had posted some information about the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) earlier. You can check it out for further details.

You need 5 credit passes in O’level subjects relevant to your proposed course in the school. The university equally allows ordinary passes in SSCE (certain subjects) for some courses. JAMB brochure has details on this; see it online here.

You can combine two O’level results in any ways possible e.g WAEC plus NECO, WAEC plus NABTEB, NECO plus NABTEB etc. For some courses, you may not use more than a sitting, however.  Some schools don’t allow this.

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You can check my post on “How to Study, Understand and Use JAMB Brochure: Admission Success Channel.” as a guide to know what look for in JAMB brochure.

And to know directly if you qualified for a course at ABU, kindly check your eligibility status here.

Using Awaiting Results for ABU Admission

Having said that, O’level result is a must for you, you can as well apply with awaiting result during JAMB registration if you’re yet to write any SSCE or you’re expecting to make up for a deficiency or two.

ABU entrance

In this case, you will have to return to JAMB CBT centre when your result is out and the required subjects are made. There, you will upload the result which was kept awaiting before.

No institution will give admission to any candidates using awaiting result as at the time admission lists are being prepared.

2. Choose ABU in UTME as the first choice. 

Another silly thinking is that perhaps you can take ABU as a second choice institution because they are less competitive. Why don’t you ask yourself this, “If ABU is truly less competitive, why couldn’t they admit all their admission seekers?” Hence, I advise you to take ABU as the first choice if you truly need them.

Choose your Course at the School. 

ABU is one of those federal universities offering good courses and with needed infrastructures. You will have enough choices to take from. However, you’ll need a JAMB brochure to guide you on your choice. This is because you don’t only choose a course, you need to understand the following before you do:

  • Is the course available at ABU
  • What O’level grades and subjects needed for the course?
  • What UTME subjects should you write for the course?
  • Does ABU has special conditions about the course?

In fact this area calls for special attention.  Don’t write Yoruba or Igbo in UTME for ABU. The University does test their applicants (during post UTME) on the same set of subjects they wrote in UTME.

However, they never set Yoruba or Igbo questions during Post UTME. Hence, you have to write only three papers. With this, you’ve failed the post UTME and that’s the end of your admission.

Therefore, I suggest you write any other Art subject instead or check your eligibility first for the course.

90+ Courses Available at ABU (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria) for UTME/DE Applicants

3. Obtain ABU Post UTME when on sales.

Ahmadu Bello University Zaria sells post UTME and tests their candidates.

However, before you can obtain POST- UTME form and write their test, you must score 180 or above for all courses.

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In your own interest, however, don’t duel on 180 plus for courses like Medicine and the likes. You will need to score really higher to compete for their top degree courses.

ABU Post UTME CBT hall

It’s certain that candidates seeking competitive courses must do well not only in the UTME but also in the post-UTME.

You know why? Your post-UTME score is over 400 just as your JAMB is over 400. The university will offer you admission based on your score in post UTME eventually.

Now you want to know the departmental cut-off marks for your proposed course. Well, I can’t give you anyone specifically and here is why. Departmental cut-off marks are not static (stable). They change every year depending on certain factors:

  • Number of students competing for the course
  • Average performance in UTME
  • Average performance in post UTME

How I wish the school make their departmental cut off marks public. But it’s not; at least not yet. However, this is the cut off marks popularly believed to be used by the university.

  • 220 – 240 – Medicine (O’ Level result with one sitting only) and Nursing
  • 200 – Mass Communication, Common Law, Pharmacy, Anatomy, Physiology
  • 190 – Computer Science, English Language, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Geology, all engineering courses except Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering.
  • 180 – All other courses

I will update this post when I have official departmental cut off marks. kindly revisit sooner.  Just know that what matters to you, for now, is to score high in JAMB and work for same in the post UTME.

Admission to ABU as Direct Entry Applicants

This section doesn’t concern UTME candidates. So skip. 

Direct entry applicants are those who had completed their BSC, HND, ND, NCE, RN, IJMB, JUPEB, Cambridge A’level, Foundation etc in a school and decided to proceed to the university to continue with the same courses or related ones.

To seek admission into ABU as a direct entry applicant, you must also:

  • obtain JAMB form. Yours is called JAMB Direct entry form instead of JAMB UTME form.
  • register at any CBT centre nationwide
  • register for Post DE; the same time UTME applicants are registering.

ABU accepts graduates of BSC, HND, ND, NCE, IJMB, DIPLOMA etc for her direct entry admission.

Direct Entry (DE) JAMB Regularization: Procedures, Price and Closing Date

ABU also runs IJMB and Diploma programs on her campus and affiliate ones. These candidates are usually their favourites for direct entry spaces. They accept outsiders as well for their degree courses if you have the requirements. Below are what direct entry applicants should know before choosing ABU.

Obviously, before you can apply for ABU post-DE, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Have a minimum of lower credit for ND holders
  • Have Merit grade for Diploma
  • 9 points in NCE or IJMB
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Kindly, visit, study and understand JAMB brochure for further information. I explained what you need to look for in JAMB brochure here in full.

How ABU Treat their Pre-degree or Remedial Students for Admission to 100 level

Something is important here. If you’re a student of ABU Remedial programmes, you are 99% of times going to be offered admission to 100 level. Let me explain!

In my last 10 years of producing students to ABU Remedial programmes, I never recorded a student who was not eventually offered admission to 100 level. This is why.

You must have failed two of the three conditions below before the school can show you way home.

  • Failed remedial final exams
  • Failed in UTME
  • Failed in Post-UTME

ABU will consider their pre-degree students for admission to 100 level if they pass the pre-degree exams, but it’s advisable to score 180 or above. Such student will be given admission through remedial instead of JAMB.

The school only asks you to attempt UTME for official record and order to have a JAMB registration number.  If a remedial student passes UTME and fails remedial exams, he or she will still be offered admission through JAMB.

But if you fail both, you can’t even do post-UTME and you’re going to miss your beloved campus.

How ABU Distribute Admission Spaces among Applicants

Like most federal universities (if not all), ABU usually bites more than she can chew. Abdullahi Kundila, the registrar of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has disclosed that over 63,000 candidates applied for admission but only about 10,000 were admitted in 2017. What percentage was that? Then who won, who lost?

ABU follows the 45, 35, 20 principles like their counterparts. By this, it means the university will give admission to 45% on merit, 35% based on catchment areas and 20% based on less educated states.

ABU 19 Catchment and 23 Educational Less Developed States

This doesn’t mean admission given to catchment areas and less educated states is not on merit. No!. It only means, the aggregate mark to be considered for (35%) catchment areas will be less than merit and (20%) less educated will be lesser.

Also in this series

  1. UNILAG Admission Complete Guide For UTME, DE, Foundation and JUPEB Applicants
  2. ATBU Complete Admission Guide for UTME, DE, IJMB and Diploma Applicants 
  3. Bayero University Kano (BUK) Complete Admission Guide for UTME and DE Applicants 
  4. UI Admission Complete Guide: For UTME, DE, Cambridge Advanced Level Applicants 
  5. OAU Admissions Complete Guide: For UTME, DE, Predegree and JUPEB Applicants 

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