Why over 679 candidates who scored 300 and above were not admitted into universities – JAMB


The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has explained why hundreds of high-performing candidates who scored 300 and above in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) were not given admission into any tertiary institution.

According to a JAMB’s 2020 policy document seen by PREMIUM TIMES, out of 2,967 candidates who scored 300 and above, 679 candidates were not admitted.

The board listed nine reasons why the candidates did not get admission.

They are rigidity (candidates who want a particular programme refusing to settle for anything else), wrong O’level subject combination, low post UTME screening score, UTME-combination deficiency, and non-acceptance of the offer.

Other reasons are duplication of application, absence from post-UTME screening, mismatch of catchment institutions, and where candidates fail to upload their O’level with five credits in the required subjects.

Not given admission

Millions of students seeking admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions write JAMB-conducted tests annually. The candidates complete four subjects, with English Language compulsory for all applicants.

The remaining three subjects depend on the courses respective candidates apply to study. Scores for the four subjects are marked to 400 aggregate.

Some 433,445 candidates scored 200 and above in the 2019 UTME exams, out of which 222,684 candidates were also not admitted.

In the same vein, some 22,523 candidates out of 61, 405who scored 250 and above were not given admission.

Admitted candidates

Over 1.8 million candidates applied for the 2019 UTME.

Out of that figure, only 612,098 got admission — representing only 33.7%. The figure includes 42,098 candidates admitted through direct entry.

The document also showed that out of the 1.8 million candidates, 59,667 were absent while 16,586 engaged in exam malpractices.

“We had 59,667 absentees and recorded 16,586 number of examination malpractice cases in the 2019 UTME,” the board said.

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