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Post-UTME (Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination) is the examination conducted by tertiary institutions to test the ability of students seeking admissions into their schools. Many people refer to it as Post Jamb and it is usually conducted after UTME. Only those who have the required grades in UTME are eligible to write the exam. Universities have different cut-off marks. Some allow those that have 180 and above grades in UTME to write POST-UTME while some base theirs strictly on 200 and above. Many Federal Universities and some State Universities in Nigeria allow only students with UTME scores of 200 and above to sit for their Post UTME.
Tertiary Institutions that conduct Post-UTME set their admission cut-off marks based on the aggregate of these two results (UTME and Post UTME). Some add the two results and divide it by two while some base the aggregate results on percentage. Anyone who fail or do not meet the cut-off mark will not be granted admission. Some might be lucky if there is reduction in the cut-off marks while some through connection or ‘long leg’ might be admitted. The Post-UTME screening exercises come in diverse ways such as objective, Multiple Choice, Essay or Oral form unlike in UTME where Examination is in Objective format.
The idea of cancelling Post-UTME is a topic for debate. Some people in the education sector and in the society said it should be cancelled while others said it should not be scrapped off. They latter believe that the screening exercise has more advantages and has improved the education level of the country. Some of the advantages are discussed below.
POST-UTME is a recent development to combat the rate of examination malpractice that followed UTME in the past. It is seen as a device to screen out people that got high marks in UTME due to cheating and to give opportunity to the innocent and faithful ones with lower grades. Nigerian Universities once faced challenges with students that were admitted in the past. Those with the highest grades were being admitted into prestigious faculties and departments and later to discover that they were with empty brains. Withdrawal was at its peak. The so-called students could not communicate in English Language and many of them struggle with their studies. The institutions were filled with dullards leaving the academically sound ones in the streets and at home wasting away. These problems were so much that institutions decided to start conducting their personal examinations under strict rules and supervision.
Since the inception of Post UTME, an avenue has been provided for the intelligent students to have access to tertiary education. Students are admitted on merit, bribing and score inflation has also reduced. Any student with 200 and above score in UTME is expected to pass Post-UTME without stress. This has helped a lot. Some students with ridiculous high marks in UTME do fail Post-UTME while those that managed above 200 in UTME do well in POST-UTME. This has granted them a fair play in the process of admission seeking. Post UTME is the saviour of those that do not engage in exam malpractices and those with good grades but from humble backgrounds.
Post-UTME screening exercises also help students to know their capabilities. Not all students are meant to be in Universities, some do not have what it takes to be in a University even though almost all the students will love become University graduates. Those that cannot meet the cut-off marks set by universities settle for other tertiary institutions like Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and other Universities with lower cut-off marks. Post-UTME also helps students to discover their abilities, talents, career and capabilities. It makes students to be more focus on their studies as they tend to read wide in preparation for the exam. Due to its complexity in nature, students burn more candles at night and reduce their involvement in social behaviours and vices (read an interesting article on social vices students do) so as to pass, meet cut-off marks and be admitted into institutions of their choice. There is an increase in the level of seriousness, academic performance and learning ability.
The act of screening out people help to reduce population in institutions in the sense of setting limits on the number of students to be admitted. There is reduction of stress on the available resources and infrastructures with lower number of new students. The available infrastructures are enough for the students and the learning environment is free and void of over-population.
On the other hand, some people are advocating for the total scrap of Post-UTME because of some reasons. First, they believe that many Universities have turned the exercise to business ventures where profit is being made from the sales of expensive scratch cards, result checkers and forms. Parents are being milked financially to purchase forms for their children.
Secondly, some students have lost their lives on the roads when travelling down to various schools to write the exam. This is because the exams are conducted in the school premise which is usually far from students’ resident. Some people risk their lives on the poor Nigerian roads, some involve in fatal accidents, some lose their body parts or lives. Unfortunately, they might not get the chance to write the exam, pass or even resume to school even after doing well. The lives of young ones should be preserved and thus a stop to Post-UTME.
Also, some students with high grades in UTME lose admission due to poverty because of the inability to afford the scratch cards and Post-UTME forms. Some students with good grades are faced with dilemma in exam halls if they are weak in the format of the examination. Timid or shy students that do hide under the objective format of UTME might perform woefully in oral Post-UTME exam. He/she might not be admitted, not because he/she is academically poor. Continuous failure in Post-UTME and inability to gain admission due to the exorbitant fee of Post-UTME forms can drain students’ interest in education.
Conduct of double exams for the same purpose – securing admission exposes students to stress. Post-UTME questions are more difficult, stressful and complex than the secondary school curriculum. Some questions are even outside students’ area of specialization or discipline. What will be the fate of an Art student given compulsory questions in Mathematics?
Finally, according to Professor Dibu Ojerinde, the Registrar of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board, the Post-UTME examination should be cancelled. To him, the introduction of the Computer-Based Test in UTME has curbed examination malpractice. Questions are no more leaked before the exam day. The use of ‘Types’ on question papers has reduced the rate at which students ask or whispers answers to themselves in exam halls. As Post-UTME have its advantages, so also disadvantages.