By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, has explained that results of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) cannot last beyond one year because it is a ranking and not an achievement test.
Oloyede stated this in Kano State during an interaction with journalists after an assessment tour of the board’s Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres and others within the state as well as the board’s ongoing projects.
Explaining the difference between the two, Oloyede said achievement tests’ results can be banked over a period or even for life because they “are not one-chance examination, they take continuous assessments, they do practical assessments, on-the-spot assessment and a final exam, which is added together,” while the ranking test is “a one-chance examination; you cannot use it to accurately judge the capacity of the candidate because it is taken in one sitting and can be affected by several factors.”
Citing example, the JAMB Registrar said: “Somebody who wants to read medicine last year that scored 230 and this was why he could not do medicine. If you tell the person not to take another one this year but to use the last score, the student will not listen because you are killing the student, because we have to re-rank them for this year.”
Oloyede said the suggestions (for the result to last over a year) were from people that do not know the nature and purpose of the examination, adding that the purpose of the examination determines the duration of the result.
“The purpose (of UTME) is just to rank people who are assumed to be already qualified,” he said.
On whether the post-UTME conducted by tertiary institutions is an indictment on the credibility of JAMB, Oloyede said the board does not have any problem with institutions having a say in how candidates are admitted, noting that universities should not be deprived of re-ascertaining the qualities of candidates they want to take.
“If I am sure of the validity of my examination, I will not be afraid of you testing and re-testing the candidates because it will come back to almost the same thing. There were disparities in the past between our examination and the post-UTME, but that cannot be said again,” the JAMB Registrar added.