For candidates of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), 2017 is a year that holds a few surprises.
While many are gearing up to complete registration and prepare academically for the examinations, here are some vital updates they must keep in mind:
1. Registration has not started
It is vital that we begin with this, because many have put up posts that the registration has begun. However, in his latest discussion with the press, the JAMB registrar stated clearly that registration has not commenced, but will commence soon.
Therefore, ignore any other news to the contrary as we will be breaking the news, when registration commences.
2. 1.7 million candidates are expected
In 2016, the number of candidates that registered for the exam was: 1,561,443, this year about 200,000 more people are expected.
The registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede himself gave the figure while speaking with students and other bodies. This means that you need to ensure you begin registration as early as possible to get a good centre and avoid been caught in last minute rush.
3. Mock UTME to be conducted
This is also good news for those who are taking the exam for the first time as it will help them have a feel of what it is like, before the pressure of the real thing.
Plans are in place for a mock UTME and this might explain the delay in beginning the sales of the examination forms. So if you are preparing, start your preparations now, so you can do well in both the mock and the real deal.
4. CBT centres
As the number of espected candidates has increased the board also has plans in the works for more Computer Based Testing (CBT) Centres in order to the make examination exercise far better.
Since there is only one week to satisfy, 1.7 million students, it is totally understandable that more centres will be brought into play.
Another key feature of the 2017 UTME that students need to keep in mind is that cheating and any other form of examination malpractice is really frowned upon.
To ensure this is enforced, the guideline for CBT centres include: The adoption of CCTV cameras for all of them. This means one thing, the exams will be closely monitored.
Also, technology will play a big role in this year's exam. This is the type of hall to expect as a candidate:
A single hall containing 250 functional desktop or laptop computer systems with extra 25 as backups.
The computers must be minimum 15 inch screens and must be connected to robust computer server with capacity to carry a minimum of 250 systems concurrently.
7. Validity duration
Another wonderful news for students is that unlike previous yyears, the result they get from this year's exam will now be valid for 3 years and not one year as it was previously.
8. Harmony of timetables
Lastly, the organizers of the major examinations, including JAMB met to avoid a clash in schedules and in order to have a harmonized timetable.
An agreement was reached at the national headquarters of the Board in Abuja on Tuesday, January 24, after a meeting with National Examination Council (NECO), West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Business and Technical Examination (NABTEB) to harmonize the timetable.
Watch a video of a young Nigerian student speaking on cultism: