About 1,837,011 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates will begin jostling for the 500,000 admission spaces in public universities in the country from tomorrow. The examination, which is computer-based, will be conducted in 645 centres approved by JAMB nationwide. The examination will last for nine days (from May 6 to 14).
Of the 1,837,011 registered candidates, 1,769,197 registered for UTME and 100,153 registered for the direct entry examination.
Last year, the board registered 1,338,687 candidates for the UTME and 75,328 for direct entry.
Warning to candidates
For those sitting for the examination, the board has handed down rules that candidates should obey.
The board warned candidates against bringing electronic gadgets and other unauthorised materials like eyeglasses (unless recommended); USB, fez caps, calculator, tape recorder, camera, wristwatches, bangles, and cell phones, among others, into the examination hall.
It said these items remained banned in the examination hall during the conduct of the UTME.
The board said these through its Head, Public Affairs and Protocols (PAP), Dr. Fabian Benjamin.
Arrival at exam venues
The examination body admonished candidates to arrive at the venues of their examination one hour before its commencement. Benjamin said this would afford the candidates the opportunity to go through biometric verification prior to their admittance into the examination hall.
He warned that any candidate who is 30 minutes late into the examination venue would not be allowed to sit for the examination.
The JAMB spokesperson advised candidates to strictly adhere to the examination schedule as stated in their notification slips, which would be made available to them in due course and would feature the venue, scheduled date, session and time of the examination.
“All candidates are required to be seated only in the allotted seats assigned to them and should follow the instructions as issued out to them by the examination officials and should not attempt to leave the examination hall until one hour after the commencement of the examination,” he said.
Adhering strictly to examination etiquette
Benjamin reminded the prospective candidates of the need to adhere strictly to the examination etiquette, warning that a stiff penalty awaited anyone who ran afoul of the laid-down rules and regulations governing the examination. He reiterated the zero-tolerance of the board for examination infractions and other unwholesome practices that could undermine the sanctity of its examination.
He maintained that as a responsible organisation, the board was, as usual, committed to providing a level-playing field for all candidates in the upcoming UTME.
Benjamin said: “The board’s UTME, apart from being a medium for assessing candidates’ ability, is also used to rank their performance in a cohort of aspirants for tertiary education.”
The UTME, as a standardised test, is guided by rules and regulations that must be strictly followed by both the examiners and candidates to arrive at a valid and specific objective, he said.
He went on: “Examination etiquette is encapsulated in the candidates’ code of conduct comprising rules and regulations that must be followed by all candidates before, during and after the examination.”
Candidates and CBT centres preparation
The Nation’s correspondents visited some centres across the country to know the adequacy of preparation made by them, in terms of processes and criteria put in place for a safe and a well-equipped environment for candidates writing the exams.
100 NSCDC officers deployed for exam in Osun
Ahead of the test, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Osun State, has deployed over 100 officers across the CBT centres.
Its spokesperson, Olabisi Atanda, in an interview with The Nation, warned impostors to stay clear of the JAMB CBT centres in the state, vowing to deal with them legally.
She said: “We are deploying 100 officers and men. They are to guide against all forms of misconduct, impersonation and exam malpractices.
“No matter the antics employed by unscrupulous persons bent on frustrating the policies of the government and dispossessing Nigerians of their property, the long arms of the law would get at them and justice will be served.”
In an interview, a candidate, Faith Makinde, said: “I am a bit nervous because this is my first time of writing the exam but I am well-prepared to sit for the exam. I have been attending extra classes in preparation to sit for the exam.”
At some of the centres visited in Osogbo, Osun State capital, it was observed that the officials of the centres were putting the vicinity in order by cleaning and clearing the bushes around the area. Some of the places visited included the CBT centre at Service Area, Agunbelewo and Technical College along Capital area of Osogbo.
UI DLC, Amanda ready for UTME in Oyo
The University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (UIDLC), Ibadan, Oyo State, stated that it’s fully prepared for the UTME. Its Director, Prof. Emmanuel Omobowale, told The Nation that the centre was well-prepared for the examination, pointing out that JAMB had already inspected the centre.
He said: “We are prepared for the examinations. Everything is in place. There is no problem as regards UI DLC CBT. We have three halls of 500 capacity each, making our centre perhaps the largest around. In fact, we serve as a kind of back-up for JAMB because if there are issues with any other centre in Ibadan, JAMB moves the candidates to our centre. We are fully ready. Our centre is definitely the place to be when talking about CBT exams in Ibadan.”
At Amanda CBT Centre, Oluyole Ibadan, Oyo State, an official of the school, who said he was not authorised to speak because the proprietor was not around, said the centre was prepared for the examination. He added that their facilities were intact and ready for candidates to use.
He noted that the centre wouldn’t have been given permission by JAMB to conduct the examination, if they were not qualified.
He, however, said he could not speak on the total figure of candidates expected for the examination, saying that JAMB office was in the best position to speak on that.