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Results of Nigeria’s key university exam cannot be ‘upgraded’, testing agency warns

IN SHORT: Ignore posts trying to lure you into raising your Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination score. Those behind such posts are out to defraud you, the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board told Africa Check.

The results of the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) have been released online, and candidates with low scores are already being encouraged to improve their marks.

The annual examination helps determine students’ chances of gaining admission to higher education institutions. It is conducted by Nigeria’s Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB). 

JAMB is a state agency that conducts matriculation examinations for candidates seeking admission into Nigeria's universities, polytechnics and colleges. 

The board said 8,401 candidates scored 300 and above out of 1,904,189 candidates who sat the exam. Just over 77,000 candidates scored 250 and above, while 439,974 others scored 200 and above. The maximum score possible in the UTME is 400.

To gain admission to a Nigerian university, a candidate must score at least 140 points in the exam. This is the minimum threshold for universities to consider candidates for admission.

However, for courses such as dentistry, medicine and surgery, the UTME cut-off mark for admission to some universities is 220 and above.

A message that has been circulating on Facebook since April 2024 advises candidates not to “panic”. It claims that an “upgrading team” can raise their score from “250 to 320”.

The message has a Whatsapp link and a phone number for interested users to call. However, it is very unsafe to click on WhatsApp links posted online.

The claim about upgrading UTME scores can also be seen here and here(Note: See more instances listed at the end of this report.) 

But can the so-called “upgrading team” help candidates “upgrade” their score? We checked.

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Nigerians should ignore such claims

Candidates with low UTME scores are vulnerable to people who claim to have the ability to raise their scores, Dr Fabian Benjamin told Africa Check. He is the spokesperson for the JAMB. 

But scores can’t be upgraded. “The claim is false,” he said.

“Nigerians shouldn’t fall for these scams. Persons behind the posts are out to defraud you because they ask you to pay a certain amount of money to get what you want. Don’t fall for these scams.” 

The message also appears here, here and here.

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