Jamb replies El-Rufai over favourable cut-off marks for Northern


The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has stated that students from the northern portion of Nigeria do not receive “preferential cut-off grades” in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).


JAMB further stated that Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, was incorrect in claiming that UTME candidates in the North were given special treatment or had lower cut-off marks than candidates in other regions of the country.


Fabian Benjamin, the board’s Head of Information and Media, made these remarks in an exclusive interview with Punch on Tuesday.


Since its inception in 1978 as a government agency charged with “conducting matriculation examinations for entry into all universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education in the country and to place suitably qualified candidates in the available places in these institutions,” Benjamin claims JAMB has not set minimum scores for schools.

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“We don’t award candidates preferential or differential cut-off marks,” a JAMB spokesman said. Candidates are admitted based on the criteria set forth by the schools. In the case of the UTME, they take the exam and the results serve as the foundation for their selection once the policy meeting has approved the start of admission.


For everyone, there are no preferential cut-off marks. The minimum score is referred to as the cut-off mark, and each institution sets its own minimum score; it is a function of performance in the UTME for the year, subscription to programs and institutions (i.e. how many candidates applied to the institutions or for the programs), and it is a function of performance in the UTME for the year. These are the factors that influence whether an institution’s or program’s minimum score rises or falls.

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The subscription to a particular program or school is the deciding element. Technically, if the subscription is very low, it will damage the program’s minimal score.”