The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, said on Wednesday that with effect from 2017, candidates sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination would have to spend two hours instead of three hours.
The examination body also said it has reduced Use of English questions from 100 questions to 60 questions, while the other three subjects would be 40 questions each, making a total of 180 questions.
The examination board said the reduction of hours was in line with international best standards and practices where no candidate is kept in an examination such as UTME for more than two hours.
The Registrar/Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, made this known in Kaduna, during the opening ceremony of a strategic planning retreat on the monitoring, supervision and evaluation of 2017 UTME with the theme: “Inclusiveness and sensitisation of key external actors.”
He said, “We are going to reduce the duration of the examination for this year’s UTME. You cannot keep children of this age for three hours. For their age, the maximum time you can keep them is two hours. So, we are considering the reduction in the time they spend because once it is more than two hours you can’t expect that they will retain their presence of mind.”
He further said that a total of 240,000 candidates have so far registered for the examination which has been scheduled for May 20, barely one week after the commencement of the sale of forms which is expected to end on April 22.
Oloyede added that out of 13 commercial banks and the Nigeria Postal Service that have signified interest in the sales of the admission forms, only nine have paid for the number of application documents they required in the first instance. Zenith Bank has procured N2.5 billion worth of forms while Jaiz Bank procured N256 million worth of forms.
He also said JAMB has also made some changes in the use of computer for the test.
“From the general feedback on the adoption of the Computer Based Test mode, we have noted the challenge of computer low level literacy of some candidates, especially with the phobia for the mouse. This has been responsible partly for the call by some people for reversal to the Paper and Pencil Test mode. In order to ensure equity and level playing field for all candidates taking the UTME, JAMB has designed a system that will allow candidates to use only eight keys without the use of the mouse.
“All the candidates need to do is to press the letters A,B,C,D for responses(answer) to questions and keys: P = Previous question, N = Next question, S = Submit responses when candidate has finished examination R = Reverse (do not intend to go further to submit again).”
Oloyede added, “In order to amplify the past efforts and also expand the frontiers of equity and inclusiveness, we have met with the executive committee of the Association of Blind Persons in Nigeria at the board’s headquarters in Abuja in February 2017 and we also met with prospective blind candidates from a school for the blind in Lagos about two weeks ago at the University of Lagos.
“The outcome of these meetings revealed that while the challenged group fully appreciates the board’s recent efforts at improving and upgrading the facilities for the administration of the board’s examination for the blind candidates.”