A record 1,736,571 candidates registered for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) said.
Oloyede made the disclosure at a news briefing in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory, on Tuesday, in preparations for the conduct of the examination starting from Saturday.
Oloyede said the number of registered candidates for the 2017 UTME rose by 464, 287 compared with the 2016 figure of 1, 272, 284 candidates .
The registrar said that Imo had the highest applications with 101, 868, followed by Osun, 88, 655, 87, Oyo, 87, 811 and Ogun, 81, 349.
He said that 321 visually impaired candidates registered for the examination and that adequate arrangements had been provided to ensure their effective participation in the examination.
Oloyede said that frontiers had been expanded to deal with perceived challenges associated with the conduct of the examination, scheduled to hold in 624 centres nationwide against 524 centres used last year.
He said the lack of valuable information on JAMB activities, such as Computer Based Test (CBT), and misconceptions on the cut-off points were major challenges that had affected the board’s image.
According to him, many parents and candidates have not recovered from “technophobia” or the fear of technology, which makes them think CBT method is cumbersome.
“By providing information and enlightenment before, during and after the examination, with support from government and the media, I believe that our candidates and other stakeholders will be empowered.”
The registrar said that cut-off point was not set by JAMB but by a policy committee chaired by the Minister of Education with the board, vice-chancellors, provosts of colleges of education and polytechnic rectors as members.
He described cut-off point to be a minimum requirement and not an indication that one was admissible
He reiterated the board’s resolve to prepare more after learning all the lessons from its past to organise for a successful examination.
“Following the continuous determination to curb the incidence of examination malpractice and other related offences, we will use the Biometric Verification Machine to verify candidates before admitting them for exam,’’ Oloyede said.”
He warned candidates to desist from seeking reposting from exam centre assigned to them to another as there would be no rescheduling of examination