JAMB Abolishes National Cut Off Marks

JAMB Abolishes National Cut Off Marks: Institutions are now allowed to set their minimum cut-off marks for admission, Stakeholders fail to arrive on deadline for 2021/2022, 2021 admissions will be conducted only through CAPS.

Jamb cut off mark for 2021?

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board JAMB on Tuesday cancelled the national admissions benchmark, also known as the cutoff mark for admission into tertiary institution. Instead, it allowed each institution to determine its own minimum admission criteria.

The decision was made at the 2021 policy meeting, which was held virtually Tuesday under the presidence of Malam Adamu Adamsu, the Minister for Education.

During the meeting, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede (Registrar of JAMB) stated that certain universities such as the University of Maiduguri offered 150, Usman Dan Fodio University Sokoto proposed140, Pan Atlantic University proposed 210. The University of Lagos 200, Lagos State University190. Covenant University190. Bayero University Kano is 180.

The deadline for closing amendments for 2021 admissions was also approved by the stakeholders on October 29, 2021.


The stakeholders decided to give the ministry the right to decide on the closing of admissions.

The 2021 admissions guidelines, adopted by the stakeholders, stipulate that all applications to degree programmes, NCE, OND, or other degrees must be made through JAMB.

The meeting approved that Direct Entry (DE) is open to candidates with 6 points or less. Minimum score is either 2 or E. This is as per law.

On other admission criteria, he stated the credentials must be uploaded onto CAPS and should be recommended by the institution. JAMB then approves and the applicant accepts the offer.

He indicated that if candidates decline an offer, the institution may change the candidate after notifying JAMB.

The guidelines that each institution has the right to admit candidates on its own terms based on the institution’s minimum score were also approved at the policy meeting.

It was also decided that every institution should keep the minimum score approved by policy meetings.

According to stakeholders, admissions to 2021 will be conducted through CAPS. This means that no institution can admit candidates if they don’t upload their details to CAPS.

Oloyede disclosed further that the board is adding two new subjects to the Unified Tertiary matriculation Examination 2021/2022, UTME. These subjects are computer studies and physical education. The total number of subjects will reach 25.

They also exempted foreign candidates, prisoners inmates, and visually impaired from taking part in the post-UTME exercise.

Oloyede, speaking on 2020 admissions, stated that about 600,000 of the 956,809 spots in 962 higher education institutions have been filled.

Oloyede admitted that many places are not being filled in for several courses due lack of qualified candidates. He also stated that 36,381 students were admitted by private universities out of 120.938 spaces.

Adamu, Minister for Education, declared the policy meeting opened and commended JAMB in introducing NIN to the registration process.

Sonny Echono was the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education. He said NIN had significantly reduced exam malpractices in 2021. Additionally, the minister stated that the West African Examination Council will also adopt NIN mandatory use.

“I’m delighted that the Board recorded the lowest number cases of examination irregularities since the introduction by JAMB of NIN. This was because those who normally would have exploited weak links through biometrics breaches had been effectively stopped.

“It’s gratifying to see that the WAEC is following the NIN route to combat examination malpractices. The Ministry is investigating other ways to use NIN for uncovering other admissions irregularities. All those responsible, including their collaborators within the institutions, would be held accountable. 

Minister expressed concern over illegal admissions conducted by tertiary schools.

He directed JAMB that the government be provided with a list identifying the institutions in question for any required punishments.

His words: “It’s saddening that even though there were clear instructions at previous policy meetings, some institutions continue to illegally accept candidates outside of CAPS. These acts constitute a direct attack on the system, and appropriate sanctions will be applied to anyone found to be involved in such disruptive acts.

“Also, any institution that issues admission letters to candidates other than CAPS will be prosecuted for gross indiscipline or fraud.

Admissions that are not approved by CAPS will have severe consequences. This makes it difficult for candidates to succeed in their studies. The threat of illegal admission will await them after graduation, making it impossible to enjoy the full benefits of the candidates.

“As a demonstration, I have directed JAMB, to bring forward appropriate sanctions, the listing of all institutions that were involved in the violations of the directives of government which was was personally communicated by me at Gbongan, Osun State’s 2018 policy meeting.”

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