Why Must Students Take UTME Every Year?

By Farooq Kperogi 

Why do students have to take the UTME (the mandatory entrance exam to get into Nigerian higher ed institutions) every single year even when they have no need to? 

The SAT, America’s rough equivalent of Nigeria’s UTME, has a 5-year validity period.

That means if, for any number of reasons, you’re not able to get into a university in a particular year, you can submit scores from any test taken within 5 years. 

Requiring students to take the UTME every year seems to me needlessly exploitative. 

I know a student who had great UTME scores from last year but had no success getting a place at the university of his choice even though he had more than the minimum entry requirements. He retook it this year and fell short of the minimum cutoff by a wide margin. 

If he were in the US, he would have submitted his scores from last year.

Several credible people have told me that the current JAMB registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, is an exceptionally honest, smart, and innovative man who is receptive to fresh ideas. I hope someone can whisper this suggestion to him.

JAMB can organize UTME several times in a year, not just once, but should allow test scores to have at least a two-year and at most a five-year validity period.

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