The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has clarified that there is no uniform minimum score in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for admission of candidates into universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.
The Board also made it clear that the national cut-off mark decided each year after the conduct of UTME by stakeholders at the Policy Meeting on Admission was a minimum benchmark which respective institutions would not be allowed to go below.
Spokesperson of JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin in a statement on Monday said the clarifications became imperative in view of “a layer of misconceptions on what is generally described as “uniform minimum national UTME score” for admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria”.
He noted that institutions were at liberty to set their own higher cut-off point requirement for admission depending on their programmes.
The examination body also reminded candidates to note that each programme (course) has a different minimum score which is usually very high for competitive programmes.
Benjamin said: “For long, many candidates and some members of the general public have come under the erroneous impression that there is a minimum national UTME score, which they also refer to as ‘cut -off point’
“The truth is that there is no one particular national minimum UTME score for all Universities, Polytechnics or Colleges of Education in Nigeria,” said.
He also explained that in most cases, UTME score was not the sole determinant of placement of candidates into tertiary institutions.
He said this undue attention to “the so-called national minimum UTME score (UTME cut-off point) is a major source of failure of many ill-informed candidates who assumed that they have finally attained the benchmark having achieved the so-called minimum national score or “cut off point’ for admission”
The Board has repeatedly stated that: “No uniform minimum UTME score (cut -off) for all Universities, Polytechnics or Colleges of Education in Nigeria; each Institution determines and submits to JAMB its minimum UTME score; after having analyzed the UTME performances of its applicants against its available quota.
“Decisions at the annual Policy Meeting on Admission does not reduce the minimum prescription of the institutions except the few institutions whose submitted minimum UTME- scores fall below what the Policy Meeting considers as the minimum score acceptable.
“UTME score is just one of the two or three scores that are generally added together to obtain the eventual aggregate score and ranking of the candidates.
“Other parameters are Post-UTME /Post -A/L qualifications screening/test score; O/L grade score; and in some cases, physical test (such as applicable in the Nigerian Defence Academy/Police Academy).
Therefore, it is the score from all the segments that are added together to have an eventual ranking table or “cut off” score.
“For the 2020 admission exercise, for example, no candidate with a UTME score of 209 can be considered for admission into any programme at the Pan African University (PAN) whose minimum UTME score is 210.
“Also, no candidate with a UTME score of 199 can be admitted into any of the following universities whose minimum score is 200; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; University of Ibadan; and iii. Covenant University, Ota among others.
He added that the same thing applies to Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, noting there were cases of candidates with UTME scores of above 300 that may eventually rank below some other candidates with UTME score of 200 when all other scores are aggregated.