Tertiary Tips: Getting Yourself Into University

By Hope Imaka – EMTV Online

School is back in, and for those of you who are in Grade 11 and eager to get accepted into a tertiary institution, your efforts need to be boosted now.

For Grade 12 students, the pressure is on; remember what you put into making this work, is what you get out.


Attend Your Classes

As boring as you might think high school lessons are, they are very important. Attend your classes, pay attention to what your teacher is saying, note it down and practice, Practice, PRACTICE!

Your homework is also very important, this is your teachers way of ensuring that you do get around to practicing and revising the material set out for you during the course of your studies.

Practice makes perfect!


Various study tips

As an independent student, you need to know what works for you. Some students respond well to colours (that is, they make their notes so colourful with highlighted key points in their books), others prefer discussions, some prefer writing practice essays, and some even prefer to just read quietly.

At the end of the day whichever way clicks for you, should be the very one that you employ. Remember, you not only want to retain information, but you also want to understand it.


Assessment Tasks

Your assessment tasks are very important. More often than not, students drop their performance level because they fail to hand in their assignments.

These are easy marks!

Now in the age of technology, information on just about anything can be found over the internet. All you need is 20-30 minutes tops to collect all the information you could possibly need. After collecting your information, you just read, understand and write your information down in your own words.

Don’t forget to engage in ethical practices by acknowledging the sources from which you got your information from in your referencing and bibliography.


School leaver forms

Apart from the total of your progressive and examination marks, your school leaver form determines whether or not you get an offer to a tertiary institution.

It is important to understand that these institutions have a specific quota. Even though you have reached the minimum entry requirements for a specific program or school within an institution, it’s best you scan for other available options to spread your chances of being given an offer.

Most of the time, students aren’t given an offer because of the choices they make. 

Particularly for those programs that are high in demand and low in spaces (like Science Foundation and Law), you have to be reasonable, and smart about it by really evaluating your overall performance. If you feel confident about your results, then go for it.

If, however, you are feeling less confident and a bit worried, I would advise you choosing a programme that you can comfortably get in. The main thing is to get accepted into the institution, work your way in there, and chances are you will encounter an opportunity to apply for the program you most wanted.


National Exams

The National Exam is the final hurdle you have to face. In order to tackle this in the most comfortable position of all, you need to make sure that you do your studying all year long to be well versed with your material, and make sure to have a big healthy breakfast.

Things to bring into the exam room:

  • The essentials – pencil, ruler, sharpener, biros, eraser, calculator (scientific calculators; graphing calculators are not allowed), protractor, ID card
  • Water
  • Watch
  • Hanky/tissue, if you’ve got a runny nose or flu

Keep calm and reassure yourself that you’ve got this; you know the facts and the formulas required. Once you are given your exam paper, fully utilise your 10 minutes reading time to read, understand the questions, take note of the questions you can answer and quickly jot down information you may forget like formulas and dates.

Answer the questions you are confident on and spend time on the questions you aren’t too sure about. The extra time you have in your exam should be used to revise your answers.


GPA Entry Requirements

Generally, I would advise maintaining a GPA of +3, which would be a minimum of ‘C’ grades. If you see a single ‘D’ grade or less in your report card, it’s time you sharpen up. That ‘D’ could come between you and that university offer.

Should you have any specific questions about GPA entry requirements from the main tertiary institutions and their programs, I advise you contact them.

University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG)

University of Technology (UOT)

University of Goroka (UOG)

Divine Word University (DWU)

Pacific Adventist University (PAU)

Institute of Business Studies (IBS)


These are your two last crucial years of high school, make the most of it, get that offer, and make a difference.

“Carpe Diem” – Seize the day


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