How to Make First Class in Nigerian Universities with Low 100 Level CGPA

How to Make First Class in Nigerian Universities

Many students tend to get drawn back when they finish their first year at the university with a very low grade. Many students tend to go with the flow and keep on failing; however, some students go back to the drawing board to review the mistakes they might have made and improve their performances. Having a poor result in your first year should not mean the end of the road; it is very much possible to graduate with a Second Class Upper Division and even First Class in the University after a bad 100 level result.

It is no exaggeration to say that low performance in college can hinder many students’ professional futures upon graduation. Performance is assessed in various ways by educational institutions, and, in order not to end up in unpleasant situations and maintain a good academic record, you need to be aware. Many students tend to get bad grades in their first year in the university; however, the good news is that they still have 3 or 4 more years to rectify their mistakes. Below we have listed out some tips to ensure that you make up lost ground and achieve a first-class degree at graduation.

Understanding the grading system

Most schools in Nigeria make use of the 5.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). The percentage is shared equally from the first year to the final year in many institutions. In such Universities, 100 Level carries 20%, 200 Level carries 20%, 300 Level carries 20%, and so on. While in some other schools, 100 level amounts to 15%, 200 level amounts to 15% while the remaining is shared between the last years in the university. Going by these two systems, having a poor result in 100 level should thunder you from graduating with a first-class or a second class upper.

For example, if your CGPA is 2.1 in 100 level on a scale of 5.0. Your second-class upper division is sure with a minimum score of 4.0 from 200 level to 400 or 500 level.

If you aim at first-class degree, which is a minimum grade of 4.5, it is still achievable with a low hundred level score. If your 100 level CGPA is extremely low, then aim for close to 5.0 as from your year two. With a fairly satisfactory first year result, a CGPA around 4.6 from 200 level can land you in first class. This is not in words but action. Below, we have listed some tips to help you achieve that first class result you dream about despite the initial slip.

8 Top tips to achieve a first class

1. Organize a study plan

To do well in school and get a much-desired grade at the university, the first step is to have a good organization of what you want to study and when. You need to define your priorities and identify the materials that leave you “with the flea behind your ear.” It is interesting to take extra time to focus on key subjects.

Develop a spreadsheet that has your entire study schedule, and the subjects need to be defined at specific times – especially when you have more disposition. Before starting the day, it is always good to review your list of tasks and identify how the study will be applied, that is, reading handouts, accompanying video lessons, solving exercises, and so on.

2. Avoid distractions that can get in the way

Spending hours chatting on social media, laughing at memes, and always leaving the study for later will not leave you among the best in the entrance examination, so it is worth understanding that there is time for everything and that the study is paramount. If you know you have serious difficulties focusing, turn off your mobile devices, and focus on that moment to get more out of your content.

Some people prefer to study in the morning, while others prefer to study at night, but all this will depend on how you absorb the material better. If more people live in your home, ask them to respect your time of study and leave to chat in your breaks, as this will be essential to optimize your time and understand the content of the subjects.

3. Take regular breaks

Don’t just study and forget about life, because balance is the answer to your learning difficulties. Within your schedule defined at the beginning, remember to put moments to take breaks and refresh your mind, considering that this small act helps, and a lot, to remember the material.

You need to be hydrated enough, have a balanced diet, exercise, and have your leisure time, too; after all, nobody is iron, and you need to keep your health balanced before writing exam, test, or even assignment. Respect your hours of sleep and seek relaxation techniques to have the necessary calm to resolve all issues without difficulties.

4. Take notes

We know it can be boring at times but taking notes in class will help. A tip that we can give you to do this is to do color coding, that is, use different colors to write your notes.

Also, we recommend that you keep them organized so that it is easier for you to understand. Later, you can clean them when studying.

5. Complete assignment

Ok, this is obvious, but it is important to prioritize your tasks and put procrastination aside. How to do it? Unless you need to research something on the internet, leave your cell phone, tablet, or computer somewhere not to be distracted. If you are given an assignment, the likelihood of it being used to grade is very high, considering the uncertainty about most universities’ calendar in Nigeria. So we urge you to do your assignments when given to you by your lecturer to avoid missing out on marks that would inadvertently affect your grade. Getting good grades from your assignment can leave with your just little mark to fight for when it comes to the exam.

6. Participate in class

It may be a bit difficult for you if you are a shy person, but in addition to some teachers appreciating it, this could have a positive impact on your grades. Also, participating in class can help you solve your doubts about the topic discussed in class.

7. Solve multiple exercises

As much as you read for hours, watch video lessons, pay attention to the teachers’ explanations and talk to other students at school, remember that you have to put into practice all that you have been learning for months. So, look for old past questions to get used to the pattern of questions asked.

Go after simulations, correct your mistakes, and redo the exercises as many times as you need, as these actions will greatly increase your chances of getting good grades.

If you ask many people who are on a first-class or graduated with a first in college how they achieved this feat, you will be surprised to find out that most of their time was spent solving past questions rather than reading randomly. Solving past questions helps to narrow down on the course syllabus.

8. Review syllabus for your examinations

It is one thing to study and learn everything, but the result will be different at the time of an exam when you have understood the subject. Review your notes for a week or two before the test; even your books can help you. Don’t forget to look at the syllabus to find out what you need to review better.

Likewise, making cards or flashcards with synthesized information will help you have better grades when taking your exam.


All in all, avoid being downtrodden by your grade after your first year at the university. Wallowing in pity over the poor result can result in more harm than good. It is better to put in more effort despite your poor result. If you eventually don’t come out with first class, then the second class upper is still an excellent result.