The problem with JAMB and Post-UTME

The yearly ‘ritual’

Every year, there is an admission ‘rat race‘ in Nigeria. Candidates press for a place on the admission list of tertiary institutions.

JAMB Examination

The journey begins with an examination – an ‘all-mighty’, examination that (potentially) grants candidates a window of opportunity to secure an admission. This examination is the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), colloquially referred to as JAMB. JAMB is the Board that conducts this examination; but over the years, the examination this board conducts has come to be known as JAMB. It is commonplace to hear an average Secondary School (High School) graduate talk about preparing to sit for his JAMB! JAMB is an acronym for Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board.

No tertiary institution admission happens in Nigeria without the blessing of JAMB. Once a year’s JAMB has been taken; and since the examination is administered using Computer-Based Test (CBT) technology, candidates have their scores almost immediately after the examination these days. Thereafter, a JAMB policy meeting is convened. It is at this meeting that ‘cut-offs’ are set. A cut-off is a minimum score considered appropriate for a school to admit a candidate into a programme.

Institutions’ ‘cut-off’ marks

Different cut-offs are set for different school types. For instance, the cut-off score for universities is different from the cut-off score for polytechnics and colleges of education. In practice, the university cut-off is always higher. Within institutions, cut-offs also differ from programme to programme. It is believed (at least, sub-consciously – to an extent, though) that programmes with enhanced cut-offs are ‘superior’ to programmes with very low cut-offs. The extent to which this assumption holds is, to say the least, not clear as post-training experiences have shown that opportunities and placements are not the same for all individuals. Some who studied the so-called superior courses are not performing superiorly in terms of financial capacity, fulfillment, and even social status while some others who studied some despised courses are doing valiantly well in these measures. Personally, I believe that certain factors determine placements in life. That is, however, a story for another day.

Serious consideration

In one of my former institutions, at a time, I headed a faculty and sat at the top of the committee that was responsible for admissions for all programmes offered in the institution. As we prepared for JAMB policy meeting that year, many things were on my mind. My topmost concern was my institution’s cut-off score and the quality of candidates to admit. You can imagine that. And that is always the priority on the mind of every serious executive of an Institution of Higher Learning in Nigeria during these meetings. Setting a higher cut-off score ensures that quality students are admitted. Nevertheless, these ‘quality students’ disappoint us these days in their routine post-admission academic performances.


A particular school decided to stop admitting the so-called ‘A-parallel’ students and opted for candidates with average results instead! This decision was occasioned by the poorer than poor performances of the category of students erroneously classified as ‘A-students’. Machinations of ‘Miracle centres’? Products of a pathologic examination malpractice system? Dysfunctional academic structures in our state? How did the ‘A-students’ get their result? We may never get the right answers to these questions.

Post-UTME screening test and our future

Tertiary institutions have tried to overcome this prospective undergraduates’ ineptitude by brewing a Post-UTME screening test. This test was originally conceived to mitigate the admission of students who do not have what it takes to cope in referent institutions’ programme offerings; however, this exercise later transmogrified into a money-making and admission-sorting’ machine for individual institutions. Thanks to the timely intervention of Federal Government some years ago – even though it was a short-lived radical solution, that almost outlawed the Post-UTME screening’s exorbitant fees and sometimes, rather inappropriate tests and admission considerations. Not a few schools fumed at this ‘vice’’s scrap.

Today, the hydra-headed defective form of our beloved Post-UTME screening test has resurfaced and institutions are, once again, leveraging on its resurgence to continue their annual business of raising internally-generated funds and (sometimes, unintentionally) scuttling our bid to bequeath a strong academic plinth to the next generation.


  1. I have learn some excellent stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you place to make this sort of magnificent informative website.

  2. I like this blog very much, Its a very nice berth to read and incur information.

  3. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  4. Superb post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!

  5. Loving the information on this website , you have done great job on the posts.

  6. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  7. Thank you for any other informative website. Where else may just I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal manner? I’ve a mission that I’m simply now operating on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such information.

  8. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We could have a link exchange agreement between us!

  9. I used to be very happy to search out this net-site.I wished to thanks on your time for this wonderful learn!! I undoubtedly enjoying every little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

  10. Fantastic web site. A lot of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you on your effort!

  11. I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a post that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  12. Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a good portion of people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  13. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so
    much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog.
    An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  14. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

  15. We absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome weblog!

  16. Nice blog right here! Also your site rather a lot up very fast! What host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate hyperlink on your host? I desire my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  17. Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I’m shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  18. Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!

  19. You are my inhalation, I own few web logs and often run out from brand :). “Actions lie louder than words.” by Carolyn Wells.

  20. I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

Comments are closed.