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Frequently Asked Questions About The UTME

Posted by on May 23, 2021 0

faqs about the utme, utme, unified tertiary matriculation examination, frequently asked questions about the utme,

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is Nigeria’s official entrance examination board for students seeking admission to any Nigerian institution of higher learning such as colleges of education, polytechnics and universities. 

Before 2010, JAMB conducted two separate examinations for students seeking admission to higher institutions of education in Nigeria. The first examination was the University Matriculation Examination (UME) for candidates seeking admission to any Nigerian university. The second was the Monotechnics, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Matriculation Examination (MPCEME). This examination was intended for candidates seeking admission to Monotechnics, Polytechnics or Colleges of Education in Nigeria.

Presently, JAMB has combined these two examinations into one called the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).  The UTME is mandatory for all candidates seeking admission into Universities, Monotechnics, Polytechnics or Colleges of Education in Nigeria. So if you intend to attend a higher education institution in Nigeria you have to write the UTME.

When can I sit for the UTME?

The UTME is usually written once a year during the months of April and May. The date for the examination is announced by JAMB.

How do I register?

In order to sit for the UTME, you need to buy a card called the JAMB e-pin. The e-pin contains digits (made up of ten (10) digits e.g. 2372892844). Once you have purchased the e-pin, you can register for the exam at any JAMB accredited CBT Center.

Is the JAMB syllabus the same as for the WAEC?

The JAMB syllabus for the UTME is very different from the syllabus of the West African Examination Council (WAEC). JAMB gives all the students applying for the UTME a copy of its syllabus and brochure.

The JAMB syllabus contains all the subjects and topics you are advised to study as part of your preparation for UTME.  Even though the subjects are the same as for the WAEC or the NECO, the syllabi are not the same, so make sure you prepare with the JAMB syllabus for the UTME.

How do I know what subjects to select for the UTME?

The JAMB Brochure contains the list of all Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria. Every institution has specific and different requirements for each course or discipline.  

Under the requirement segment, each institution will indicate the subjects you must sit for in UTME in order to qualify for admission.  Usually, they will require that you take the exam in four different subjects. The requirements differ across schools, subjects and disciplines. So make sure, that you check the requirement for the exact school and course you want to study. If you sit for the wrong subject you’re automatically disqualified for admission.

How is the UTME structured?

Every student must write four subjects in the UTME. Each of the subjects comes with 40 questions, except Use of English which is 60 questions. The total mark for each subject is 100, and the total mark for the four subjects is 400. The questions are structured in a multiple choice format, giving students 5 answer options labeled A to E. In the past, students had the option to write the UTME with a paper and pencil or as a computer based test (CBT). 

Presently, JAMB has announced that henceforth all other UTME will be written as a Computer Based Test (CBT). This means that a computer system will be used for writing the UTME. If you’re planning to write the UTME this year, prepare for a Computer Based Test (CBT).

What is the minimum grade I have to reach?

A few weeks after the UTME results are released, JAMB announces a certain mark referred to as the cut-off mark. The cut-off mark (also called pass mark) is the lowest mark a candidate can score to be considered for admission in any Nigerian institution of higher education.

The cut-off mark announced for universities are different from the ones released for Polytechnics, Monotechnics and Colleges of Education.  
For instance, the cut-off mark for the 2020 UTME were:

This simply means that to be considered for admission into any Nigerian university, the lowest score you can have in the UTME is 160, for the Polytechnics, the lowest score you can have in the UTME is 120. Also, for you to be considered for admission into any Nigerian Colleges of Education you must score at least 100. 

How do I prepare for the UTME?

In order to prepare well, it is essential that you familiarise yourself with the UTME syllabus. Please click on the button below to access the UTME syllabus for all subjects. After you have familiarised yourself with the syllabus it is all about learning the required material.


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