Jamb-Waec-Neco| How to Answer Examination Questions Fast: Increase Reading Speed

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When it comes to answering questions in examinations, speed is highly important. Speed and accuracy is important to pass Jamb, Waec, Neco, or any other like-mannered school examination. In this post, you’ll learn how to answer examination questions fast.

Consider the fact that jamb has reduced the time for UTME from three to two hours. This is according to the registrar of Jamb in 2017.

The Use of English was reduced from 100 questions to 60. While other subjects like Biology, Economics, Chemistry, Literature, Mathematics etc., were reduced to 40 questions each.

So, if this system is used again, a student would have to answer a total of 180 questions for 120 minutes. I hope you are beginning to get my gist.

In the examination hall, a student has less than one minute to answer each question, including mathematics – if offered.

And so it is with other exams too. WAEC, NECO, WAEC GCE, NECO GCE, NABTEB, etc., all have their time limits.
Hence, the issue of speed becomes a crucial one. At least, for every student who wishes to pass big.

I guess many students don’t get to finish their questions within the time limit. Tell me, how can you get marks for questions you never got to answer?

This post is not to scare you in any way, but to gear you towards having a very high speed in answering your questions. I say again, speed is important.

Consider the following ways to tremendously increase your speed in answering Jamb question, as simple or tough as they may appear.

Way to Answer Examination Questions Fast

1. Ask God for Speed
This is the chief of all keys in getting a good increase in the speed of how you answer questions in examinations. I could have put this at the bottom of my list, but I chose not to. How can I ask you to put Him first when I put Him last?

If you didn’t know, I’m happy to tell you that God gives, and He gives generously. If you ask Him sincerely, he’ll give you. He’ll teach you what to do. He guides, and He saves.

But remember, Proverbs 16:8 _”The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”

If you have gotten my gist, walk in it, and run with it.

2. Increase your Reading Speed
Your reading speed is very essential to answering questions fast.

A slow reading speed will reduce your rate of answering questions.

An average reader reads 250 words per minute. If you are reading less, it’s bad, but can be improved.

If you are currently not sure about how fast you read, it’s no problem. The fact is you have to be able to read fast to answer exam questions fast.

How to Test your Reading Speed

So, you can test your reading speed – it’s simple. Just get a book with a long text on it.

Perhaps, something like a newspaper, novel, or magazine will do.

Get a good time checker – maybe a wall clock. Note where you are starting from – the exact word.

Start reading and don’t stop until you’ve spent a minute.
After a minute exactly, stop.

Note the last word you read and then count the number of words that you were able to cover.

See Also: How to Pass Jamb: 11 sure ways

If you were able to read and understand more than 250 words, then you are not slow.

If you cover more than 300 words, then you are somewhat fast.

No matter how much you cover, trust me, you can get better.

How to increase you reading speed

If you have tested your reading speed, and noticed that you are slow, then you need to improve and increase your speed.

Don’t get disturbed, there is a simple way to do this.

If you currently read less than 250 words per minute, no worries. This technique, and more, will help you get a faster reading rate.

Firstly, you need to eliminate all bad reading skills. Yes, there are some ways of reading that reduce the rate and speed at which a person reads.

To answer examination questions fast, you need to eliminate them completely.

Some of these bad reading habits are vocalising, sub-vocalising, pointing or fingering, head movement, and regression.

Vocalising is when an individual pronounces the words while reading.

Doing this will definitely give the reader a slower reading speed than the normal reading rate.

Pointing or fingering is touching the words and moving the finger as you read.

I guess this word create a kind of rhythm for the reader. It may feel good and alright, but it reduces the speed of reading.

So does head movement. Regression is constantly going back to what has been read, to reread.

If you do any of these while reading, you are certainly reading slower than you could, trust me.

Get rid of these negative habits of reading, and you will be much better at reading.

It may not happen overnight. It may even seem you are slower, but keep at it, and you’ll be so much better.

If you are not doing any of these bad reading habits, or just got free from them, here is what you can do frequently and daily to improve your reading speed.

Fast Way to Increase your Reading Speed in Days

Look for something that contains a long text, perhaps, a novel, newspaper, or magazine. Get on a section of it and find a time watch.

A section of the text can be a chapter of a novel, or an article on a newspaper.

I will advise you not to use a text you already know. It is very easy to read texts you already know fast.

But remember, you wont know examination questions until you see them.

So, it’s better to find an unknown text.

Now, for a minute, read the text as fast as you can. I mean as fast as you possibly can, while still getting some of its meaning.

You don’t have to understand it all, but at least, you have to be able to get some cogent gist.

So much that if I ask you what the text is about, you can tell me something.

For example, “The story is about a dog and I think it’s sleeping – or something.”

So, read as fast you can for a complete minute. Count a number of words you covered.

You should cover much more than 300 words. If you didn’t, try it over and over again.

What you are trying to do is to develop your eyes to read faster, much more than it does normally.

This would also teach your brain to comprehend things very fast.

This is a reading exercise, just like every other exercise for muscles in our body.

If you want to grow a huge muscle, you don’t sit back and do nothing, or just wish. Instead, you go to the gym.
It’s that simple.

If you do this reading and comprehension exercise a few times in a day, and daily, you are set for a better speed in your reading life.

You would come to a state when reading would become very easy, enjoyable, and pleasurable to you.

3. Get your concentration right
I guess so many people have issues with getting a good concentration level when reading in the exam hall. Have you ever seen someone reading out loud in an examination hall?

Perhaps, it’s not their fault. I guess they are only trying to get themselves concentrated. A good concentration level aids reading process.

Develop a Good Concentration Level

When do you love read reading? When there is noise, or when everywhere is as silent as a graveyard? Speaking of graveyards, I wonder if every graveyard is silent nowadays.

Many students love reading at a noiseless location. Some other loves reading with their earpiece on – listening to music.

A few of us don’t even know when we love reading.

Do you know when you do? In what situation do you understand things better – with music or with nothing?

If you read so much at night or very early in the morning, it’s obvious you are the ‘noiseless’ type. If you find it easy to read even when there is noise around you, it’s not bad at all.

Developing a very Rigid Reading Technique

Even though examination halls are almost always silent, what I would advise is that you develop a reading habit that can persist in all situations.

I’m talking about being able to read and comprehend, irrespective of what is around you.

What this means is that you can read and understand in a serene environment, as much as you can if a heavy speaker is burning music beside you.

See also: Sentence Definition and Types with Examples

Yes, you can develop such a reading habit. This habit makes your mind rigorous, rigid, and independent.

It means you can open it up, read, and understand, anywhere, anytime.

If you are a kind of person that think or does ‘ASIDE’ (figurative expression) a lot, this may be very easy for you.

If you don’t, you still can develop it.
How do you develop such a rigid system of reading? It’s very simple.

What would an athlete do to learn how to run a marathon? Run it.

One of the easiest ways to learn how to do somethings is to do it.

Look for a situation in which you would find it very difficult to read, concentrate, and understand. If you can’t find one, create one.

Consider these: getting a very loud speaker booming beside you. Playing a loved TV series like ‘Jenifa’s dairy’ on your computer or Television. Getting around family members and friends who are talking, ‘gisting’ and making fun. Getting in a group discussing a topic you would love to contribute to.

Now, try to read and comprehend at such a location. You might find it very difficult at first, definitely, but keep at it.
To keep training tenaciously daily is not easy.

But to lift up a gold medal at the Olympic is very gratifying, isn’t it?

The truth is that you won’t get the later until you get on the former. Things don’t come simple, I wish they did, don’t you? But they don’t, for now.

So, practice reading in a situation it seems difficult, do it over and over again. Remember, you are trying to make your mind as sound as it can be.

This would drastically increase your concentration. Better still, improve your Intellectual quotients.

With a sound mind, you can be able to make judicious decisions

4. Get a good measure of Knowledge in Certainty

You certainly may not now know what I’m talking about. But one of the biggest things that make students answer one question for several minutes is that they are not sure of what the answer is.

Reading to Enlarge Your Knowledge Base: Not depending on options

When you have options that look and seem alike, it becomes somewhat hard to know which is right. This is mostly the case in examinations like Jamb, Post UTME, etc.

When you are not certain about answers, it drastically reduces you speed. Here is an advice.

If you don’t know the answer to a question, or are not sure, leave it, and move to the next. Don’t waste your time, it’s precious.

You could always come back to the unanswered question later in the course of the examination.

Being stalked to a question does not help you, unless its the last.

However, to hinder doubt during examinations, it is important that you get a good measure of certain knowledge.

This means you have to study much more.
If possible, don’t learn to depend so much on options. Study to a very good extent.

So much that you can state right and certain answers to questions without options. This would undoubtedly improve your rate of answering examination questions.


Trust me, there is more to this than has been said. You questions would do a good job in pulling out more points. And please do subscribe.


Use of English (edited by Wale Adegbite, Segun Adekoya, and Adeyemi Adegoju)


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