After a long anxious wait, candidates writing this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME, finally have an idea of their timetable. The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB has said that the examinations will commence on Monday, March 9, 2015. JAMB’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Fabian Benjamin, told newsmen earlier in the week that:
“All the logistics for the examination have been put in place and the examination will start on March 9 across the 400 centres in the country. The examination will last for 10 days, and will be rounded off on March 21. There are going to be breaks during the days, but the exams are going to run for 10 days,” he added.
Although the date has now been settled, there are many unsettled issues surrounding this year’s examinations. One of these is the reported hoarding of the compulsory text for this year’s examination as well as the soft copy of the UTME syllabus and brochure.
Recommended: JAMB CBT Practice Software.
Candidates were expected to pay the sum of N4, 500 for registration, and an additional N500 for the book, Last Days at Forcados High School by A.H Mohammed. The plan was for the book to be issued to candidates at the point of registration after showing evidence of payment.
However, this was not the case in many registration centres across the country. One candidate who simply referred to himself as Tope said: “I paid N5, 500 at Union Bank, but I was only given the scratch card. I wasn’t given any other document. When I got to the point of registration around Ebute-metta, I paid N1, 000 to do my biometric registration, but I was not given any book.”
Another student who did not want her name in print said that she had to borrow the text from a friend as she also was not given the book either at the bank or at the registration centre.
The 2015 UTMEs will also be the first time that the examinations will be exclusively computer based. Prior to this time, candidates have been writing either of the CBT as the Paper Pencil Test, PPT, or the Dual Based Test, DBT, mode of the examinations. Some analysts say that this could be the reason for the low registration figures for this year’s UTME; only 1.4 million candidates registered, compared to 1.6m in 2014, 1.7 m in 2013, and 1.5 m in 2012.
The JAMB spokesperson had in an earlier press conference, urged candidates to be fully prepared and take every opportunity to practice with the computer on their own. “There is nothing strange about writing the examination through this mode and their normal telephone usage,” he had said.
However, this has done nothing to avail the fears of some parents and students who told our reporters that using the computers under examination conditions when you are not very familiar with it, could be destabilizing under examination conditions. Especially since the date for the commencement of the examination was announced so close to the time.
Preparing for JAMB’s CBT
The Saturday School Life team downloaded practice samples of the CBT and researched on ways to help students remain calm and collected under for best results. One thing candidates should do is to download these samples themselves. Although the software is available for free on various sites, candidates might need to pay a sum of N950 to the agents who sell to receive an activation code.
It is only when this code is available that users will be able to access the full practice questions. Without an activation code, you will only be able to access two questions in each subject. Considering the short deadline, this might be the only opportunity for some to practice how the test is done. If that is the case, pay close attention.
Another thing candidates must do is refuse to panic; it is the same UTME, the only difference is that you are filling the answers on a computer. Follow the instructions given by the examiners in the hall. Take your time to read and answer the questions. Be quick, but don’t be hasty. Remember, time matters. But time is not all that matters.
Be sure to quick ‘next’ when you are done with a question, and ‘submit’ when you’re done with the entire test. Don’t go in with the mindset to cheat, you might be unpleasantly surprised. If for any reason, your computer has a problem, quickly get the attention of the examiner. Don’t try to fix the computer yourself. (Vanguard)