As preparations reach advanced stage for the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has for the first time in the history of the examination fixed separate dates for the conduct of the examination.
This year’s examination according to JAMB Registrar, Professor Dibu Ojerinde would feature the first Computer Based Test (CBT) in 70 centres across the nation alongside the usual Paper Pencil Test (PPT) and Dual Based Test (DBT).
The PPT and DBT he disclosed would take place on Saturday, 27 April, 2013 the CBT would hold on Saturday, 18 May and run through June, 1, 2013.
Professor Ojerinde while addressing a press conference in Abuja on the preparedness of JAMB for this weekend examination explained that the Paper Pencil Test remains the examination where candidates make use of paper and pencil to answer the questions while the Dual Based Test is the one where questions are given on a computer system while answers are entered into an answer sheet.
The JAMB Registrar, who added that for the Computer Based Test both questions and answers are given on a computer system, said that the Board had concluded all arrangements for the smooth conduct of the 2013 UTME using the three testing modes.
The difference in dates of the examination he noted would not compromise the quality and sanctity of the questions stressing that the questions have been based on the best principle of test construction known as Item Response Theory.
He added that JAMB has over a thousand questions for each of the subject in its bank such that candidates would not be given similar questions.
A total number of 1,735,720 candidates registered for the examination which will also take place in six foreign countries such as Republic of Benin, Cameroon, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ghana and Saudi Arabia.
While giving the breakdown of the total enrolment, Professor Ojerinde disclosed that 196 prison inmates from Kaduna and Lagos prisons registered for the examination and 145 visually impaired candidates also registered for the examination.
He said that this year’s total enrolment represents a 13.35 per cent increase from last year enrolment which was 1,503,931.
A total number of 1,629,102 candidates applied to use the traditional paper pencil test, 15,008 candidates applied for the Dual Based Test while 91, 610 applied to use the Computer Based Test for this year’s UTME.
The JAMB Registrar explained that the introduction of Computer Based Test became imperative to solve the challenges faced by examination bodies in the country saying “the growth of the education sector is one of our paramount concern and we must be seen as working towards that noble objective”
He said that JAMB would not hesitate to stop the examination in any security challenged states if there is danger to the lives of candidates even as he allayed fear on the rumoured postponement of the examination date.