The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Is-haq Oloyede, has confirmed that this year’s UTME results were poorer than those of three years ago and blamed it on the coronavirus pandemic. He made this known on a live programme on a Nigerian Television Authority’s tagged “Weekend File.”
He mentioned that the students did not have time to prepare for the exam this year like in previous years due to the pandemic. According to him, 99.65 percent scored 120 marks and above out of the possible 400 in 2021 as against 99.80 percent in 2020. Oloyede said, “In 2018, it was 99.99 percent but in 2019 it dropped to 99.92.
“Also, in 2020, 69.82 percent of the total candidates who sat the UTME scored 160 and above but in 2021, it reduced to 65.62 percent.
Mr Oloyede, who said UTME is a ranking test and not an achievement one, likens it to a race where sprinters are ranked based on the time they reach the touchline.
He said: ”But in an achievement test, you would have determined the pass mark even before the test. That is, you have something like scoring 50 per cent stands for “C” or scoring 40 per cent represents “D,” and so on like that. Promotion examination to another class in a school is a ranking examination but at the certification level, such as senior school certificate examinations, what we have are achievement examinations.
“So, as far as UTME is concerned, it is a ranking examination. Therefore, there is neither pass nor failure, because it is not the UTME that qualifies its candidates for admission. Between 10 and 15 per cent of the candidates who seek admission through JAMB don’t even sit for the examination, and they even start in 200 level based on their A-level. But if you score 400 in UTME and you do not have five credits in SSCE, then you are not qualified for admission.”
He said UTME only became necessary because the number of those who are eager to get admitted into the higher institution in the country are more than the number of the available spaces, “so we are conducting the UTME to rank them.”