Will I Be Offered Admission With My Lower/Higher Score?

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Some candidates had been asking a few related questions: 

  1. Can I study Biochemistry or Pharmacy with 213?
  2. Can I study Nursing or Medicine with 164?
  3. Can I be admitted for Law or Mass Communication with 220?
  4. Will my school accept 201 for Accounting, Economics, etc?
These are a few I can quote here. 
These questions can’t be answered with a simple YES or NO. Hence, it will take me a few minutes to answer things. But when a reader drops a comment asking this kind of questions, I quickly respond as follows:
Yes, but on three conditions, namely: 
  1. The cut-off marks as drawn by your proposed institution
  2. The aggregate (or departmental) cut-off mark after the post UTME or screening 
  3. And the rate of competition for the course vis-a-vis the number of spaces available.
However, for more clarity, there is a need to expatiate on these factors and give references where possible. Through this, you may be lucky if your school comes into the discussion. And if not, you should get the full idea of how things relate to your own institution.
Let’s ride on.

Cut Off Mark is Not General Among Institutions

Yes, different universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education with different cut off marks. It will be easier to decide if your proposed course will accept 140, 200, 250 0r 300 if you tell me the name of your school. Maybe, commenting that below this post will help me to be more specific. Yet, I should be able to take you around some facts here, such that you’ll get the idea of how things work with the mark you have now.
Every institution has its own cut off mark. However, you should first be aware that the JAMB cut-off mark is different from that of schools’. And those may not be the same as their post UTME cut-off marks. If you can’t differentiate, you’re likely to mix things up.
I detailed the differences in the three of them in my post, “Differences in JAMB, School and Post UTME Cut-Off Marks“.
The summary of it is… the mark JAMB recommends for the year admission is called JAMB cut-off mark. It’s also called the national cut off mark. However, most schools won’t accept that. Instead, they will draw their own cut off marks. That’s called the school cut-off marks. Finally, there is usually what is called departmental cut off marks which schools draw after their post UTME or screenings. 
For the purpose of clarification, let me take you into a few references.

Some Schools Generally Accept 200 or above Irrespective of the Course

If you score any mark above 199 – i.e 200 or above, you’re welcomed for the post UTME of some universities. These universities will, no matter what JAMB announces, require prospective applicants to produce 200 or above before they can participate in their post UTME/screening exercises. So, if you score 200 or more, you’re qualified for this stage. It’s safe to say with 200 or more qualifies you for the proposed course – be it Medicine, Nursing, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Anatomy, etc.
However, this mark may not be enough if the competition is higher or the school still draws higher cut-off marks for different courses. Some universities such as the University of Ilorin will draw scores such as 260, 230, 250 for Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy respectively. In this case, your 200 won’t help you. You just have to present exactly what they want for the courses.
This score may not be enough if the competition is higher or the school still draws higher cut-off marks for different courses before the post UTME registration.
A similar situation is the Federal University of Oye Ekiti that draws different cut-off marks for courses ranging from 170 to 250. Here, 230 won’t help you with a course they draw 250 for.

Some Schools Accepts 180 or Above But May Not Be Enough

Of course, for some universities, 180 is the required mark to be qualified for their Post-UTME. So, it should be cool to say with 180 or more, you should be able to study Nursing, Microbiology, Physiotherapy, and the likes in those universities.
However, even if these universities want to consider 185, 191 or so, the competition for the courses won’t give you the opportunity. Imagine a school that decides to consider 180 or above for Nursing. This university then has 50 spaces for Nursing candidates. Eventually, 100 applicants are competing for the 50 offers. Among these candidates, 75 had got above 200 in UTME. So, who do you think the list will favor – 180 candidates or 200 candidates? In fact, the 75 candidates will be shuffled to the 50 with the highest scores. Hence, people with 240 or above may eventually be considered even though the university is accepting 180 or above.

Some Universities Accepts 160 But Usually For Less Competitive Courses

I’d mentioned earlier that some universities may accept the declared cut-off marks by JAMB. More likely, if JAMB recommends 160 and 140 for public and private universities respectively – as we had it last admission years, those schools will take the same score.
However, many of them only consider these marks for a few less competitive courses. Hence, your 160 or 140 may not even be considered by these universities for courses such as Economics, Biochemistry, Law, Accounting, Economics, Geology, and more.
A very good example of these sets of universities is Osun State University that accepts 160 or above for all her courses but 200 or above for Accounting, Political Science, Nursing, and Law. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology also accepts 160 or above for any other courses apart from Medince and Nursing.

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Post UTME Points/Computation May Deprive You Admission

Some candidates may think if they score above the cut off mark of the school accepted for UTME, they’re safe and should be able to study or be admitted for their proposed courses. Unfortunately, that is not the case as the final computation may weaken your high JAMB score.
For instance, universities such as the University of Ibadan will divide your JAMB score by 8 and that of your post UTME score by 2. Then, she will draw her departmental cut off marks and match it. If the aggregate score is lower than your departmental cut-off mark, you’re out of luck – even if the JAMB score was wow.
For universities such as the University of Ilorin, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Benin,, University of Ibadan, etc, scoring less than 50% in post UTME is an automatic disqualification and the end of your admission process with them even if you’d got 390 in UTME.


At this point, you now understand that it’s hard to judge at the JAMB level if your score will help you study or gain admission for a particular course. It depends so much on several factors which must be looked into too. 
But, all in all, the higher you score at each stage of your admission, the brighter your admission chance.

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