JAMB:We don’t fix cut-off marks - VybezTV
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JAMB:We don’t fix cut-off marks

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) states that there is no uniform national minimum score for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for the various levels of tertiary institutions, nor does the JAMB adopt such a requirement for any institution.

This was disclosed by the Head of Public Affairs and Protocol, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, in Abuja on Monday.

Benjamin said the agency has never set a uniform national UTME score, also known as cut-off mark, for any tertiary institution.

“The clear admission process outlined by the former president of the Academic Staff Union of University, Prof. Nasir Fagge, and published in Premium Times, is exactly the process followed in conducting the admission examination at tertiary institutions.

“This process has even been improved by eliminating human intervention through full automation with the introduction of the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS),” he said.

“To emphasize the importance of this process, the Board conducts the UTME and submits the results to the institutions for conducting the admissions,” he said.

He further said that before the start of the admission process, there is usually a strategy meeting with all the heads of the institutions, chaired by the Minister of Education.

According to him, at this meeting, the admissions policies, which include recommendations from each institution and their preferred minimum scores for admission, are presented and discussed, not the JAMB.

“Prior to the meeting, for example, more than 50 percent of the universities had submitted their minimum scores of 200 and above in writing to the board for consideration at the meeting,” he said.

“The same is true for the other levels of universities.

“The implication of this process is that no institution can admit an applicant whose score is below the minimum score it submitted,” he said.

He, however, said there was no national minimum UTME score for all universities, colleges or educational institutions as only individual institutions set their minimum admission scores based on their specifics.

The JAMB scrapped the general minimum scores for admission to tertiary institutions, leaving it to schools to set their own minimum requirements.

Benjamin also said the board has no input into how institutions decide how or what criteria they will use to award college spots.

“The committee’s job is to make sure the goal post doesn’t get moved in the middle of the game,” he said.

“Moreover, in most cases, UTME scores are not the only factor that determines whether applicants are admitted to institutions of higher education.

The excessive attention given to the so-called national minimum UTME score is one of the main perceptions of many ill-informed applicants, who assume that if they have achieved the so-called national minimum score or ‘cut-off point’ for admission, they have reached the benchmark.

“It is therefore a double jeopardy for many candidates who believe the widespread myth of a uniform UTME (cut-off) score for all universities, polytechnics or educational institutions in Nigeria,” the report said.

It said the examination board does not give a uniform cut-off score for all universities, polytechnics or colleges.

This is because each institution determined and submitted to JAMB its minimum UTME score after analyzing the UTME results of its applicants in relation to its available quota, he added.

He said the decisions at the annual admissions policy meeting did not reduce institutions’ minimum UTME scores, except in a few cases where those institutions had submitted minimum UTME scores that were below what the meeting considered an acceptable minimum score.

“It should be noted, therefore, that the UTME score is only one of the two or three scores that are generally accumulated to arrive at the ultimate total score and ranking of applicants by most institutions.

“The other parameters are the post-UTME/post-A/L qualification test score, the O/L grade score, and in some cases, the physical test (e.g., at the Nigerian Defense Academy/Police Academy).

“Therefore, the scores from all of these segments are added together to obtain a ranking or “cut-off” score,” it said.


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