How Departmental Cut Off Marks Are Determined and Fixed

Have you ever asked yourself, “how does a school determine and fix department cut off mark?” then you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what I am going to show you in this article.

First, I hope you know that there is a difference between JAMB cut off mark for institutions and the departmental cut off marks?

Before we dive deep into the topic, let me quickly explain the difference.

JAMB cut off mark is fixed. Departmental cut off mark is flexible and varies every year. Why does departmental cut off mark change every year? I will explain that to you later in the article.

Also, JAMB cut off mark is the minimum score you must have in UTME before you can apply for Post UTME admission screening exercise.

On the other hand, departmental cut off mark is the minimum aggregate score you must have before you can be admitted for any course you choose.

In most schools, you will surely be given admission once you meet the departmental cut off mark but scoring above the JAMB cut off mark does not guarantee admission.

Still confused? Let me shed more light on that using examples.

JAMB cut off mark for UI is 200. If you want to apply for ANY COURSE in the University of Ibadan, you MUST SCORE at least 200 in JAMB.

However, scoring even 300 in JAMB does not guarantee your admission into UI if you fail the Post UTME and your aggregate score is below the departmental cut off mark for your applied course.

If you prepare for Post UTME the right way and use past questions, passing won’t be an issue.

However, scoring even 300 in JAMB does not guarantee your admission into UI if you fail the Post UTME and your aggregate score is below the departmental cut off mark for your applied course.

If you prepare for Post UTME the right way and use past questions, passing won’t be an issue.

You might later be given another course or you may not.

The same thing applies for OAU, UNILAG, UNN, UNIBEN e.t.c.

Now that you understand the difference, the most important question is how do schools come up with the departmental cut off marks? That is exactly what I am about to show you.

Different schools use different exams to determine the aggregate score.

Since the introduction of JAMB Central Admission Processing System (CAPS), JAMB has made it mandatory that all institutions make use of JAMB as at least 50% of their candidates’ aggregate score.

While it is compulsory that you must meet the minimum O’level requirements for your course (usually 5/6 credits in one or two sittings depending on your course), some schools like UNIBEN, UI and UNN do not use O’level as part of their aggregate score.

Whereas OAU and UNILAG make O’level 10% and 20% of their aggregate score respectively.

So, it is important that you first know how your school of choice calculate the aggregate score.

Also, some schools conduct Post UTME and others do not.

So, JAMB is 50%, the remaining 50% can be:

  • Shared between Post UTME and O’level scores e.g OAU, OOU, LASU and UNILAG
  • Post UTME score alone e.g UI, UNN and UNIBEB
  • O’level score

NOTE: What I listed above is still used as at 2018 and very likely to be used in 2019 too. But, remember that there might be changes.

Knowing that, let’s go to the last and most important fact which is;

DEPARTMENTAL CUT OFF MARK IS USUALLY THE LOWEST AGGREGATE SCORE AMONG THE ADMITTED CANDIDATES FOR A GIVEN YEAR.

For example. If 10,000 people applied to study Medicine in University of Ibadan and only 150 are admitted because of the departmental quota, the cut off mark for Medicine in UI for that year will be the least aggregate score among the 150 admitted candidates that year.

So, let’s say;

  • 30 candidates had above 80 in their aggregate
  • 100 had between 76 and 80
  • 19 had between 74 and 76
  • The remaining 1 candidate had 73.4

The departmental cut off mark for Medicine in UI that year will be 73.4.

That is why once you score below the departmental cut off mark, admission is not sure unless your leg in longer that 6fts.

You get the point now?

The departmental cut off mark is the aggregate score (not JAMB/Post UTME score) of the last candidate that will be admitted that year.

So, if you are going to gain admission for that course and you score below the departmental cut off mark, they either have to admit more than their quota or admit less than their quota on merit.

I really hope that you enjoyed the article. If yes, don’t forget to share it using the share buttons below.

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