UTME Marking Methods Revealed
Unveiling the Methods Used in Marking UTME
Title: Unveiling the Methods Used in Marking UTME English and Other Subjects
The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) plays a crucial role in determining the future of countless students seeking admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This national standardized test, conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), assesses candidates’ knowledge and skills in various subjects, including English. The marking process of UTME subjects is a rigorous and meticulous one, designed to ensure fairness and accuracy. In this article, we delve into the methods employed in marking UTME English and other subjects, shedding light on the process behind the scenes.
I. Setting the Question Papers:
Before discussing the marking methods, it’s important to acknowledge the significant effort put into setting the UTME question papers. Experts in the field of education, subject specialists, and experienced examiners collaborate to ensure the questions are comprehensive, relevant, and aligned with the syllabus. This thorough process aims to maintain the standard of the examination and provide a fair assessment for all candidates.
II. Computer-Based Testing (CBT):
Since 2013, the UTME has transitioned to a Computer-Based Testing (CBT) format. The move from the traditional pen-and-paper method has streamlined the marking process and increased efficiency. With CBT, answers are directly entered into a computer system, eliminating the need for manual data entry and minimizing the possibility of human errors during marking.
III. Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):
The majority of UTME questions, including those in the English language, are in the form of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). These questions present candidates with a stem and a set of options, from which they must select the most appropriate answer. The marking of MCQs is relatively straightforward, as the computer system automatically grades the answers based on the correct option.
IV. Subjective Questions:
In addition to MCQs, certain subjects, such as English, may contain subjective questions that require more detailed answers. These questions assess candidates’ comprehension, essay writing skills, and critical thinking abilities. The marking of subjective questions involves trained examiners who evaluate the answers based on predefined scoring criteria. To maintain consistency, regular examiner training workshops and calibration exercises are conducted.
V. Marking Scheme and Rubrics:
To ensure standardized and fair marking, JAMB employs a well-defined marking scheme and rubrics for each subject. The marking scheme consists of guidelines and instructions for examiners, outlining the criteria for awarding marks to different components of the answer. Rubrics provide detailed descriptors for various levels of performance, enabling examiners to assign appropriate scores based on the quality of the response.
VI. Examiner Training and Moderation:
JAMB places great emphasis on examiner training and moderation to uphold the integrity of the marking process. Examiners undergo rigorous training sessions to familiarize themselves with the marking scheme, rubrics, and the expectations of the examination board. Moderators oversee the marking process, reviewing a sample of marked scripts to ensure consistency and accuracy among examiners. Any inconsistencies or discrepancies in marking are addressed through a robust moderation process.
VII. Quality Assurance and Standardization:
JAMB has a comprehensive quality assurance mechanism in place to maintain the accuracy and reliability of the marking process. The examination board employs statistical analysis, such as item response theory and equating methods, to ensure the comparability of scores across different test administrations. Additionally, post-marking reviews and audits are conducted to identify any anomalies and rectify them promptly.
The marking methods used in UTME English and other subjects undergo a meticulous and systematic process to maintain fairness and accuracy. From the setting of question papers to the training of examiners and the implementation of standardized marking schemes, JAMB strives to provide a reliable assessment of students’ knowledge and skills. The transition to computer-based testing has further enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of the marking process. With continuous quality assurance measures, JAMB ensures that the UTME marking system remains a robust and transparent evaluation tool for students aspiring to pursue higher education in Nigeria.