Stride Radio

The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede has dashed the hope of extending the validity of UTME score beyond one year. Some days ago, a member of the House of Representatives, Honorable. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (APC-Oluyole) proposed a three-year validity period for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results in the country. With the bill she submitted. The bill – “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (Establishment, etc.) Act, 2021 and Other Related Matters.” ; if the bill scales through the National Assembly, the validity of JAMB results would no longer be one year, but three years.

However, the bill is likely to face a technical hurdle whenever it would be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives, if the recent comment by the JAMB Registrar is anything to go by. According to Professor Ishaq Oloyede, the main reason why the validity year of the UTME score cannot be extended is that UTME is a ranking and not an achievement test.

SAT and ACT (US Ranking Tests) like UTME. Have Validity Beyond One Year!

The JAMB was established in 1978 by the Federal Government to conduct Matriculation Examination for entry into all Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria. In the United States of America, (US) high school leavers seeking to proceed to tertiary institutions are mandated to take and pass either SAT or ACT in order to secure placement in a university and other tertiary institutions. The SAT, meaning Scholastic Assessment Test, has been in existence in the US since 1926. It is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States.

How long is a SAT score valid? Technically SAT scores don’t have an expiration date, however most tertiary institutions in the US prefer SAT, not older than five years. The ACT is an acronym for American College Testing, is an alternative standardized test being used for college admissions in the US. It came later after SAT, basically ACT is to SAT, what NECO is to WAEC. Just like SAT, officially ACT scores do not have an expiration date. However the company recommends that candidates re-take the test after five years. The implications of the above is that both SAT and ACT test scores are usable within five years.

As long as JAMB recycles and reuses UTME past questions every year, there is no justification for not extending validity of UTME scores beyond one year. By extending validity of test scores to three years JAMB would be expanding access to tertiary education. Nigerian students are facing many hurdles in order to access tertiary education, even after scoring high in UTME, applicants would still have to register for post-UTME examinations in their chosen tertiary institutions.

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