JAMB Cut-off Marks : Hurdles candidates must face

AS universities, polytechnics and colleges of education await the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB cut-off marks for year 2018 admission, students’ fate still hangs in the balance as the search for admission has just begun. Though federal universities have a minimum standard cut-off mark of 200, many of the students who want to be admitted into these universities are still waiting for JAMB’s cut-off mark to commence admission.

On the other hand, the few who want to go to private universities have since started their admission processes with the commencement of interviews for  interested applicants without waiting for the JAMB cut-off mark. One major reason for the delay in releasing the various cut-off marks, according to JAMB, is the re-conducted UTME for some candidates.

Release of cut-off marks

The Director of Information, JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, who spoke with Vanguard said all is now set for the release of cut-off marks on June 26 during a stakeholders’ meeting. Expected at the stakeholders’ meeting where decision for the cut-off marks will be taken are vice-chancellors, rectors and provosts of institutions of higher learning to mention a few.

After the release of cut-off marks, candidates are still going to confront the hurdle of departmental cut-off points. Last year, some candidates who scored 230 to 247 still were denied admission due to departmental cut-off marks which they could not meet.


Cut-off mark: Cut-off mark is that mark which candidates are expected not to score below if they want to be admitted into any tertiary institution in Nigeria in a given year. In cut-off marks, a candidate is expected to score above or get the exact mark. If a candidate meets JAMB’s cut-off mark, it is never a guaranttee that he or she will gain admission into the institution of his/her choice. In  recent years, cut-off marks were between 120 and 200 for universities and 100 and 160 for polytechnics and colleges of education.

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Besides, candidates who meet the cut-off mark are expected to face the faculty and departmental cut-off points before they could be considered for admission. Our findings show that departments determine the cut-off every year based on the number of candidates who applied for such courses.  For example, cut-off marks for  medicine, law, nursing, engineering, pharmacy and mass communication vary and are generally higher than cut-off marks for other couses.

Thus, a student that performed very well in UTME but seeks a particular course in a particular university, often missed such a chance over the years. Even JAMB score of 200 doesn’t guarantee you admission into the university, it only qualifies you for admission. However, you must meet the departmental cut-off mark. For instance, at the University of Calabar, UNICAL, the  departmental  cut-off mark for Medicine and Surgery is 291, Theatre and Media Arts is 270, Nursing and Nursing Sciences is 256, while Zoology and Statistics is 180. Those marks vary from year to year based on the number of candidates jostling for the few vacancies.

At Bayero University, Kano, all courses in the Faculty of Dentistry  is 220 and Law 200. For the University of Ibadan, cut-off mark for law is 280.

However, it is important for candidates to know how institutions arrived at those cut-off marks. For UNIBEN, it uses the 50:50 method to calculate cut-off marks – 50 per cent UTME and 50 per cent Post-UTME. To calculate its aggregate score, you divide your JAMB score by 8, divide your Post-UTME score by 2, add your answer in JAMB score and your answer in post-UTME together. It will give you your aggregate score.

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At Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, the departmental cut-off mark is an average point derived from JAMB, O’Level result and post-UTME screening point. It is across board  for all courses/departments in the school.

Aggregate cut-off mark,

Once you meet the Departmental cut-off mark for your course, you will be given admission. Moreover, to calculate OAU’s aggregate cut-off mark, OAU uses the 50:30:20 method to calculate cut-off mark i.e 50 per cent UTME, 40 per cent post-UTME and 10 per cent.  If a candidate has A1 –  2 points, B2 –  1.8 points, B3 – 1.6 points, C4 – 1.4 ponts, C5  – 1.2 points and C6 – 1point.

As against the normal five credits requirement in other institutions, at OAU, candidates must have a minimum of six credits at O’level in not more than two sittings, score a minimum of 200 in UTME and meet the Departmental cut-off mark of his/her chosen course.

The process is also the same at the University of Ibadan. In order to gain admission to study any course in UI, candidates must have a minimum of six credits at O’level in not more than two sittings, score a minimum of 200 in UTME, participate in the post-UTME screening exercise conducted by the school and meet the departmental cut-off mark.

To calculate UI aggregate cut-off mark, it uses the 50:50 method –  50 per cent UTME and 50 per cent post-UTME. To calculate UI’s aggregate score, divide your JAMB score by 8, divide your post-UTME score by 2, add both and it will give you your aggregate score.

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