This year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, computer-based test, CBT, for the 2016/2017 Academic session begins today throughout the federation and some West African countries.
Last Thursday, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, had confirmed that more than 1.85 million candidates that applied for admission will participate in the examinations billed to last for two weeks.
The board’s Registrar, Prof Dibu Ojerinde, in a statement said this year’s figure was an improvement on the 1.47 million candidates who applied for the same examination in 2015 and added that the figure for the 2016 UTME showed an increase of 113, 673 applicants against last year’s figure.
He further said a total of 343 prison inmates nationwide will participate in this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, and assured that the inmates would also have access to computers at both the Kaduna and Ikoyi Prisons.
Speaking on efforts made by the board to ensure smooth exams, it said:”For purposes of clarity, let me remind Nigerians that, the first Joint Matriculation Examination (JME) was held in 74 towns in Nigeria and by a special request in Gambia, with a total number of 96,884 candidates tested. However, the challenges in the conduct of examination became enormous as the number of candidates increased.
“Question papers were printed and flown into Nigeria and transported in trailers escorted by security agents to the Board’s office. The distribution of the materials to the various examination towns was also done largely by air, road and so on.
“Materials were stacked up in large cartons and distributed to states from where they were conveyed in vehicles to the custodians. This was the story of the board. Today, the Computer Based Test (CBT) has erased all this hurdles and ensures that the system is seamless.”
On the misconception about cut-off points, the statement said, “First the cut-off point is not set by the board, but by the policy committee chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education with the board, Vice-Chancellors, Provost of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics, Monotechnics etc.
“The 180 cut-off point is a minimum requirement and not an indication that one is admissible. Other factors and criteria of admissions will also follow in arriving at what constitute admissible cut-off point. Nigerians should also note that institutions are at liberty to go higher than 180 depending on their peculiarity and this does not in any way infringe on the powers of the board,” the statement added.
It said that statistics taken by the board had shown that Imo had the highest number of applicants for the 2016 exercise, while the Federal Capital Territory had the least with a total of 5, 069 applicants.
This year’s examination would hold simultaneously in 521 centres in Nigeria and eight foreign centres including Accra, Bea in Cameroun and Cotonou in Republic of Benin as well as in London, Jeddah in Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia, Johannesburg in South Africa, Addis in Ethiopia and Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire.
It said that visually impaired candidates were expected to take the examination at designated centres in all the state capitals and the FCT. It noted that a total of 201 visually impaired candidates would also be participating in this year’s examination nationwide.

READ ALSO  Death of Assad: Mystic predicts World War III