Correlation Between UTME, POST UTME And Student Academic Performance

Project and Seminar Material for Education

Correlation Between UTME, POST UTME And Student Academic Performance


This study was carried out to assess correlation between utme, postutme and student academic performance in university of port harcourt.

The study adopted descriptive survey research design in which two hundred students admitted between 2008/2009 and 2012/2013 academic sessions in eight selected Departments drawn across two out of the four Colleges in the University constituted the sample. Secondary data obtained from the Academic Affairs Office of the University was used to analyse the hypotheses that guided the study using Pearson Moment Correlation Coefficient and ttest statistic at 0.05 level of significance.

The result indicated that there is a significant correlation between students‟ results in post UTME screening test and student academic performance; there is significant difference between students‟ UME scores and their post UTME screening test scores and there is a statistically significant difference between the academic performance of male and female students of University of Portharcourt students admitted through post UTME screening test.

Given the fact that the study established that post-UTME has helped to expose the inadequacies of students that wrote UTME, the study concluded that each University should take the issue of post-UME screening test with all the seriousness and attention it deserved as same will further encourage hard working and intelligent student to continue to work hard knowing that their efforts will ultimately be crowned with a brilliant performance in the Post-UME which would guarantee them a place in the University.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the study

In order to qualify for admission in the Nigerian university, a candidate must satisfy some minimum requirements. In the first place he or she must obtain five relevant credits in the senior secondary school certificate examination including English and in some cased mathematics. In addition such a candidate must sit for and obtain a minimum pass mark in the University Matriculation Examination conducted by the Joint admission and matriculation Board(JAMB) as well as pass an additional post university matriculation examination screening test (post-UME) conducted by the selected university.

Notwithstanding those stringent requirements for admission, most Nigerian students still perform badly I their semester examination and indulge in a variety of examination malpractices which make the conduct of examination a tedious chore that may degenerate into life threatening or due at the worst. Malpractice committed by a candidate to make up of their deficiencies in knowledge include using prepared materials brought in by candidates as hard copies hidden in obscure in part of the body or as a soft copy stored in the memory of sophisticated handsets, sourcing answers from outside the hall through the medium of text messages, using machineries to write examinations illegally and writing examinations for which they were not registered.

This investigation was prompted by series of evidence across Nigeria. For example, in a discussion with a student after the first semester examination conducted by the department of microbiology at the university of port Harcourt during the 2010/2011 session it was revealed that a candidate, a year two micro biology student estimated to be about 30years old (official age 26) was found writing an examination for which he was not registered. Investigation revealed that he was admitted through the UME/post UME process with scores of 211 and 80 respectively and a means of 146.

An evaluation of his computerized speed-sheet for years one 2009/2010 Session showed a CGPA of 0.14 .further investigation revealed that the student had been out of school for about 10 years before finally gained admission through ‘’concession’’ to read micro biology. The observation that the candidate had a very low score in the post-UME screening test, and still gained admission prompted this study which aims at investigating the relationship between the cumulative Grade Point Average [CGPA] of students in the firth year of study and their performance in the university Matriculation Examination and post UME Screening test, a major parameter for admission.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The relationship between UTME, Post UTME score and student academics performance in universities in Nigeria is raising a dust. Akinniyi [2011] Notes that most students who perform well in UTME get admitted into universities through the influence of their ‘god fathers’. Though the scope of god father can get them admission, work in later years. Akinniyi (2010 emphasizes that first year grade of students may not after all show an relationship with their UTME score. It is against this background that this study poised to access the correlation between UTME, Post UTME and academic scores of 200 level students of the department of educational management in Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state in order to justify whether these reductionist entrance examination conducted for screening candidates into Nigerian Universities are necessary or not.

1.3 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated and tested.

H01: There is no significant correlation between students‘ results in Post UTME screening test and their academic performance.

H02: There is no significant difference between students UME score and their Post UTME screening test.

H03: There is no significant difference in academic performance between male and female Educational Management students admitted through Post UTME screening.

1.4 Purpose of the study

The broad objectives of the study is to evaluate the correlation between UTME, post UTME and academic performance score of 200 level students in University of Portharcourt (TASUED)

1.5 Significance of the study

This study will provide policy makers with evidence and reference materials for policies making in educations. It will also provide further researchers with a premise on which other researcher can be conducted.

1.6 Scope of the Study

It is believed that as at the time of this research, 200 level students already have their CGPA profile available with them. The selection of students is also limited to the departments in the college of Applied Education and vocational Technology.

1.7 Operational Definition of terms and Acronym


Unified tertiary Institutions Examination

Post UTME:

A screening examination that is usually done after UTME

Academic Performance:

Intellectual ability of student’s performance measured by their scores in respective courses in school.


Cumulative Grade Point Average

Matriculation Examination:

It is an exam done after obtaining O’ level certificate for admission into universities

Chapter Five

Discussion of Findings, Summary and Conclusion

5.1 Discussion of Findings

Tables 1a and 1b show the difference in UME and post UME score of students of University of Portharcourt, Portharcourt, Lagos State, Nigeria. It showed that students performed wonderfully well in JAMB only to perform woefully in post UME. The percentage of students that scored between 180 and 199 in JAMB is 44.6% while students that scored between 70 and 100 marks in post UME is 10.9%.Table 4.1 succinctly showed that performance of students in JAMB to be highly impressive than they did in Post-UTME with 55.4% scoring above 200 marks out of the maximum obtainable marks of 400. The cause of this may not be farfetched. Most students do cheat in JAMB by using all sorts of methods while it is impossible to cheat in post UME. This contributed greatly to their low marks in post UME. This result is consistent with the findings of Ifefili and Ifedili (2010) who observed that in 2004/2005 academic session examination in the University of Benin, the average percentage of successful candidates in their first year result was 14.23%, the carryover students was 66.94% while the probation students was 18.80%. These were the students admitted by the last JAMB result only. While the first year students in 2005/2006 session who were admitted by the first Post-JAMB, the average percentage of successful students were 39.65%, the carryover students were 53.80% while the probation students were 6.54% which implies that the students that were admitted by Post-JAMB performed much better than those admitted with JAMB scores.

According to Amatareotubo (2006), candidates who scored significantly higher marks in UME than Post-UME must have cheated in the former and could not pass well in the latter. According to Ebiri (2006), the end result of cross-validation of UME scores of candidates cannot but have a salutary effect on the quest by universities to admit students who have the best prospect of doing well in their university work. From the analysis of data shown above, low correlation between UME and post UME scores displayed in Tables 1c and 1d is an indication that not all the candidates that obtained high marks in the UME also obtained the same corresponding high marks in the post UME. This finding was supported by the early findings of Umo and Ezeudu (2010) who noticed low correlation between UME and post UME scores at University of Nigeria, Nsukka and also Busayo (2010) who reported that 56.5 percent of the students who scored above 200 failed the post UME screening at University of Benin, Edo State. This shows that candidates admitted with post UME are now performing well in their academics than the students admitted with only UME. However, this result is at variance with the finding of Ajaja (2010) who reported no significance difference in the achievement of UME and post UME scores of candidates.

Table 3 showed academic performances based on gender, it was found out that female students performed better than male students. Studies on gender dimension to academic performance of students are increasingly featuring across disciplines.

Deepak et al (2011) study shows that female medical students outperform male students in overall test assessment. Although Deepak et al study suggests an evidence of male dominance in enrolment proportion, but female students were dominant in performance. Similar evidence of female students outperforming male students was also found in the field of agricultural science (Hedjazi and Omidi, 2008). These evidences do suggest that females are not intellectually dwarf and are likely to encourage more female enrolling on courses that have over time enjoyed masculine dominance. Bolton and Muzio (2008) and Berry (2007) show evidence of male dominance in professional career progression in spite of the increase in female membership of some professions. But Powell (1990) suggests that: ‗if there were no basic differences between male and female managers, it would be just a matter of time until the proportion of women was about the same at all managerial levels‘.

Aiken (2007) reports that male students are often superior to female students in academic achievement in schools. The evidence of the existence of gender gap in American schools is also attested by Glenn and Ashley (2009) who affirm that there is a large gender gap that widens dramatically at percentiles above those that can be examined using standard data sources. They submit that an analysis of unobserved heterogeneity indicates that there is only moderate variation in the gender gap across schools and that the highest achieving girls in the U.S. are concentrated in a very small set of elite schools, suggesting that almost all girls with the ability to reach high achievement levels are not doing so. Guiso, (2008) examine the correlation between test scores and measures of cultural, political, and economic gender equity and they discover that the gender gap in average scores is smaller in countries with greater gender equity. This submission is obvious in Nigeria because there is evidence of gender inequality.

Ansalone (2009), for example, stated that some researchers have uncovered that many teachers often hold quite different expectations for males than for females, and in so doing, it actually influences the academic performances of these students. Research also shows that teachers address more male‘s questions and accept their answers more than females (De Marrias, 1991). Woodfield and Earl-Novell (2006) and Richardson (1994) agreed that female students outperformed male students. They attributed this partly to the facts that female students were more conscientious and were less likely to miss lectures. Barrow et al (2009) found that, the female performed better than the male and noted female advantage in the first class. Emaikwu, (2012) reported statistical significant difference in the mean academic achievement of male and female students with the mean academic achievement of male students being higher than that of their female counterparts irrespective of the mode of admission into the university.

5.2 Conclusion

The findings of this study showed that the introduction of post UTME has helped expose the inadequacies of some candidates particularly those who scored high marks in UTME due to the opportunity they had to cheat during the examinations. Many who scored 200 marks and above in JAMB performed below expectation in the Post-UTME. Before the introduction of Post-UTME screening, virtually all candidates who scored 200 and above secure admission almost automatically to the university of their choice. With post UME screening deficiencies of the candidates are exposed, especially when they are asked to write. Merit should be the sole criterion for university admission in Nigeria, not minding the influence of parents or guardians. This will motivate young people seeking admission into university to work harder. Likewise, the law governing examination malpractices should be enforced and culprits sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others. These measures would make the university admission system trustworthy and strengthen the credibility of higher education in Nigeria.

5.3 Recommendations

This study has shown clearly that post UTME screening is a necessity for determining the suitability of candidates for admission to tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The following recommendations are made to further strengthen post- UTME screening by the university in Nigeria.

  1. JAMB should not be scrapped as being proposed in some quarters. Instead, JAMB should be saddled with the responsibility of conducting pre-qualifying exam while universities should be allowed to conduct a post UME screening, as this will make students sit tight and shun all forms of exam malpractices.
  2. A cut-off point of 200 in UME as a bench mark for calling students for post UME screening exercise is not adequate. We have cases where most of the students that scored below 200 in UME performed better in post UME than the students that score above 200. Majority of the students that scored 200 might be as a result of examination malpractices. No wonder Umo and Ezeudu were even calling for the arrest and persecution of students that scored high marks in the UME but low marks in post UME if they failed to account for the disparity in their performance in the two examinations. As they recommended cut-off points of 160, the researchers recommend also.
  3. Candidates for post UTME screening should be screened for the exam and supervised during exam to guard against cheating.
  4. Since little improvement on the performance of post UME students over the UME students was noticed, for the post UME screening tests to select credible students, students should only be tested on their level of coherence in the English language through essay writing and oral interviews in addition to objective questions.
  5. Since UTME scores has not truly reflected the academic performance of prospective students seeking university admission, yet it is government compulsory requirement for admission into the first year programmes of all tertiary institutions, universities should continue to combine the UTME and the Post-UTME scores using the weighted average of the combination.

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